Online Dating in the Time of Covid

My apologies for the lame title. I can barely stomach hearing or saying anything virus-related at this point in staying at home life. As a city creature through and through, I never thought I would have an emotional tie to daily interactions with often stinky, definitely angry and positively crazy people during regular commutes to and from different urban destinations. Over the past several weeks, I have realized that it’s those daily interactions that make me who I am. The ability to go places is a close second. (I often envision myself in normal life again, possibly lacking the ability to function in shoes) —

I wonder how online dating looks during these times. If people are truly following the rules, it seems to me that entire relationships only exist in the digital universe. One would have to depend on their phone and laptop even more than normal (is that even a possibility?)

A few tales of the past have come to mind. Here are some, in my favorite short and bulleted format:

1. A single female friend of mine spent a week or two talking to a guy that she was thinking of dating. They set up a casual date so they could meet in person. On the day of their meeting, the guy texted my friend to tell her that he is pan-sexual. Thinking that means that he is attracted to bread products, she was thrilled. He then explained that he can be attracted to anyone of any background, gender or sexuality. My friend canceled their date and to this day, I still wonder what would’ve happened had he not shared the pan info (“spilled the tea” perhaps?) beforehand.

2. I once went on a date with a doctor, assuming he was intelligent and had a clue about others. He seemed great in emails and texts. As it turned out, good ol’ doc discussed the bar fights he got into when he was in college for the entire duration of our date. The only time he didn’t get nostalgic about brawls was when he was asking me what sangria is.

3. Remember the Man who feared tomatoes ? If not, please refresh yourself. When I met him for the second time in person, he was waiting outside of the restaurant (where he was scared of what they served) for me, and I spotted him from about a half mile away. And he was smoking a cigarette. That would have been fine, except for the fact that he claimed to be a non-smoker on his dating profile and said nothing of the sort when we had first met. Also, once he saw me approach him from the street, the cigarette went flying out of his mouth, as though he didn’t mean to have it there. Cigarette smoke lingers on the breath and skin for decades, so I really don’t know what he was trying to hide, outside of his food aversions.

I guess I’m just wondering if people are more disillusioned by potential partners during a time when you are not meeting in person. Do illogical choices come through even stronger during uncertain dating times?

Please let me know. I will be at home, searching for the ability to walk in shoes.

Online dating isn’t a game…no wait, of course it is! – Part 1

Sure, online dating apps have changed the way relationships and marriages develop and grow. Those who meet and form strong partnerships with Tinder and Bumble, as well as plenty of other, more particular dating apps are invoking a rise in interracial and inter-class relationships: an increase that no one has seen in the U.S. until now. For those lucky enough to find and maintain the magic that they are looking for through a dating app, you are passively doing your part in changing societal norms. HOWEVER – dating websites shouldn’t be overlooked, since the gamifying “swipe” apps would not exist, or thrive today without the original sites.

A dirty, dirty game.


https://mashable.com/article/online-dating-change-world/

I stand behind dating SITES because during the time I was actively using them to find a date, I found a guy or two.. thousand – that I thought might be my soulmate. I’ve created a breakdown of different guys that I met on dating websites that I hung out with for a special length of time, believing that they might be the one…along with the reason(s) why they most certainly did not live up to the role (and some fun follow-ups!).

First up (and there’s a lot of ridiculous details here, because I think “ridiculous details” is this guy’s real name):

Phil*- We met virtually on Match.com and after a bunch of messages, decided to meet in person at a café. Phil was nice and polite, and gave me a lot of attention throughout our courtship, but it became super apparent that he had some major issues that I could not deal with. The first sign was during our introductory date, when he told me I couldn’t get a ham and cheese croissant because I’m Jewish. I believe he confused being “kosher” with my religion and also: don’t ever tell me what I can and can’t eat, Phil. After a few weeks of chatting and hanging out, I told Phil that I dabbled in marijuana usage from time to time. His legitimate response to that (via text) was to inquire about my health. Phil didn’t understand why someone would smoke weed unless they had glaucoma or cancer. Baffled, but assuming that his narrow-minded comments would eventually dissipate as we fell further in love (in my imagination), I continued to hang out with Phil.

I ended up driving to another state with him to spend an early summer Saturday at his relatives’ house and pool, with the entire family. Knowing very well that I had just adopted my dog less than a week earlier, Phil had no qualms about staying with his family for over 10 hours. When I privately asked him about 9 hours into the visit when we would be departing, he announced to his whole family that I had to get home “to the dog” while rolling his eyes. That was not okay. Probably worse than managing my food intake. Neither was his behavior the entire drive home and via text for the next 12 hours, where I was insulted and told I was horrible because Phil’s cousin felt that I didn’t show Phil enough affection. He also demanded to know if I even cared about him. I must’ve repeated to Phil that I liked him but 10 hours with someone else’s family in another state after a few weeks of dating is a bit much and maybe his cousin needed to keep her comments to herself.

My apartment, in Phil's mind.

My apartment, in Phil’s mind.


After all of that judging, Phil and I still spoke and he had agreed to spend the night at my apartment for the first time. In preparation for that, Phil casually asked me if I had my own bathroom. This was said in the same serious tone as his marijuana-health inquiries and exasperation with the attention I gave my dog. With all the patience I could muster, I explained to Phil that it was not 1923 and I didn’t live in a tenement with my extended, seamstress family. As a result, I did have my own bathroom. He almost seemed convinced that I was telling the truth. So – we met each other out earlier that evening with a few of my friends, planning on going back to my place afterwards. We weren’t even out for that long when Phil turned to me after talking to one of my friends and accused me of not “treating him well.” He was already upset with me and I didn’t know why, and then told me he wouldn’t be staying at my apartment that night. That’s the point where I gave up on him and just wanted to hang out with my friends, but he wouldn’t leave. He followed the group of us to two additional bars and brooded in the corner, not telling me what he was upset about but not leaving either.

Why are you so angry?

Didn’t we just meet?

Phil eventually went home (not with me) that night, and I had reached the point where I officially wasn’t having fun with him, nor did I understand how his brain or emotions worked. I decided that night that it was over (and from his behavior, I assumed he felt the same). Phil ended up texting me the next day, asking if I had “calmed down” and if we can have a reasonable conversation. I told him I was calm the day before and didn’t understand him at all. I wasn’t interested in dealing with his mercurial behavior and it was very obvious by then that we were not a good match.

I had a few more texting interactions with Phil, wherein I was told how horrible I was for a bit longer but it eventually stopped.

In summary:

– Phil held food from me, kidnapped me to be with his family, made fun of the care I took for my child, yelled at me several times for not being affectionate, accused me of not having a bathroom and thought I had a serious illness.

I am fully aware that all of these interactions were partially my fault, since I kept our contact going. I wanted to believe that I had finally found him. The One. And I just needed to get past some early arguing.

I’ve looked Phil up a few times since we dated and it seems that not much has changed in his life. I hope he chilled out a little.

More games to come!

*All names have been changed because everyone on the planet is a complete lunatic.

Title Unnecessary, Just Like These Powerful Self-Summaries

Just to be clear (since I’m not sure the screenshot is), this person is not single and has posted a photo of a torso in the hopes of finding someone to please. Makes perfect sense, right?

Photo-editing aside, whichever suited suitor in the photo this summary is for, he already enjoys the company of “an older woman.” Why go on Match.com then? Possibly to talk about his supposed gym routine…maybe no one in real life (including said “older woman”) wants to hear about his daily fitness and employment patterns.

I guess I just wanted to point out that these are two more examples of individuals who are looking for something very specific, most likely not on Bumble or Match.com. I don’t know the correct places for them to go to suit their headless or older woman needs, but it definitely is not either of the places I found them.

Oh lord, give us strength…Facebook Is Testing Its Dating Service

It’s official. Facebook is now getting into online dating.

This is kind of weird to me, considering that every dating app I know about cuts right into your Facebook information as it is. Oh, but wait:

“You won’t see anyone you’re already friends with on Facebook, nor will you see people you’ve blocked.”

I want guaranteed proof that this will not happen. I feel like most apps have prevented me with people I never ever ever want to see again, let alone talk to or date – so this is quite an advantage.

Hmmm — “By utilizing the trove of data it already has about users, Facebook has the ability to become a powerful player in the online dating space.”

Didn’t they just get breached? Like really, really screwed? Is this really the time for “going steady” with dating?

It just rolled out in Colombia, and I’m praying for all of those who use it.

The Dateline episode is already being developed in my mind.

Keith Leans on Things (appropriately a Facebook page)

The Origin of the $wipe

As soon as I became familiar with the swiping feature of Tinder, I was hooked. It was not until several people in my life referred to the app as a “hook-up” tool that I started to realize that telling guys that I wanted to be in a relationship was just not the way Tinder worked. If you break the functionality of Tinder down, it’s essentially just online shopping for people – based solely on appearances, the way the Lord intended. Which is why it is really amusing to me that they have been embroiled in a lot of legal issues as of late.

Yep, Bumble is using Tinder’s “stolen trade secrets.” I’ve discussed Bumble before, but it is worth it to mention that yes, it is a carbon copy of Tinder. That doesn’t stop anyone from using it, though. The more swiping for hook-ups the better, no?

It’s fascinating that there are so many people fighting one another for substantial funds generated from an app that essentially made the dick pic an acceptable introduction to potential dates.

Don’t we have other issues to address as a society? My role models at Bravo don’t really think so, but they are not the majority.

Everyone just needs to chill out and… look for a hook-up on Tinder or something.

Give me swiping abilities or give me death!

Judging Tommy

If this text conversation gives you a headache, then join the club. These are screenshots from a “get to know you” introductory conversation my single friend had with another great person named Tommy. Is it an undocumented rule that all of us have to have at least one bad experience with someone of this name?! As if it is not completely obvious, her messages are in green (and make sense) and his are in gray, and are mostly misspelled.

(screenshots from text convo)

Let’s repeat one of his best lines: “Why do girls feel the need to ask about a source of income i couldn’t tell ya.”

1. She literally asked “what he does” most likely to learn a bit about him, and what he spends his time doing.
2. She doesn’t represent all “girls” and what they “ask.”
3. Please note that his first question to her is if she has children or wants them – as though that is not personal or intrusive at all.
4. Why can’t he spell anything? Did he really win the lotto? Do all people who declare how much they earn per hour claim that their work is personal business?
5. Since when do people at law firms have “power”? Are we talking about super powers?
6. Why does he type “lol” so many times? Is it because he knows what the “opposite of a problem” is?

Net-net: It seems as though this conversation went south in about 5 minutes. After combing through it for context clues, I decided that “Tommy” has an obsession with Judge Judy and wishes he worked for her, at a real legal office, not one that he made up. He also wants to discuss fertility and reproduction, as his “safe” and “non-personal” topic.

Way to go, Tommy. Making the online dating game better with each misspelled and angry text.

Judge Judy GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Online Dating: Effective and Brutally Honest or Confusing and All Over the Place?

A wise reality star once said, “I wouldn’t recommend dating if you’re on the fringe of sanity.” And I tell ya – Shepard Rose (“Shep”) speaks the truth. He certainly doesn’t seem like he knows much of anything, but that’s a darn good phrase to live by.


Shep, being Sheppie.

I guess most people that are a bit confused, or close to insane will not acknowledge it. And I guess that’s what makes Loveflutter, a timely dating app that uses big data and analytics, so promising. The main gist of Loveflutter is that it uses actual words that you have said (typed) on your Twitter feed to match you up with like-minded singles, thus working with the logic that social media posts truly represent the essence of people. I get it – Tinder, etc is completely superficial, basing matches off of photos only, while other sites will survey and have you fill out bios ad nauseum that never seem to really get used for anything. Loveflutter digs into your social thoughts and makes matches that way. It’s new and different, but I just don’t really buy that it is as promising as this article claims.

“Effective” is a word I would use to describe a skin cream or pad training for my dog – not necessarily for a dating app, so I was already a disbeliever when reading the headline of this post. I also distinctly remember viewing and reaching out to different Twitter users on my own if I found them to be interesting. Isn’t that what the kids already refer to as “Sliding into the ‘DM'”? The innovation on this app must be super-impressive, possibly because they use “AI” and “NLP” acronyms enough to get greedy techies way too excited.

https://i.ytimg.com/

Also, you have to be a Twitter user who actually posts things AND you can’t utilize these amazing feats in artificial intelligence and compatibility measurement unless you have an iPhone*! I’d say that a large percentage of the single population is already missing out…

I would love someone to tell me that I’m completely wrong. Contrary to what you must be thinking, I don’t know everything (but thanks for the compliment!) It’s an idea that is different from a host of very stale, excruciating match-making models and devices, so maybe it does have some kind of a success rate.

Please educate me! Until then, I will be working on my Shep quote collage.


Not very southern gentleman of him. (Thank you, Bravo)

* My vast research resulted in an additional Loveflutter app that is available on both Android and iOS devices. Seems just like Tinder with a different name, and basically just makes dating even more confusing and annoying. According to this , Loveflutter BLUE is the “premium,” Twitter-verified version of the original, fake Tinder. All of this information makes me even more confused. Not a good look for a dating app, eh?

Bumble Bizz – The Networking Condom for Women

Have I covered the Bumble phenomenon on here? Maybe not, but I certainly have used it and oh boy!

Quick and dirty: Bumble is an online dating app that has been in existence for a few years now that basically promises “normal” women that they will have more control over their flirting experience. Developed by someone who knows the struggle is “real” for women (really? just women?), here is how the Bumble experience distinguishes itself:

At Bumble, women make the first move. In heterosexual matches, the woman has 24 hours to make the first move and the man has 24 hours to respond. In same-sex matches, either person has 24 hours to make the first move, while the other individual has 24 hours to respond, or else, the connection expires. By prompting our users to be bold and make the first move we’ve seen over 3 billion messages sent to date.

The first problem I had with these rules is that it doesn’t matter if I was able to start the texting conversation with the guy I paired myself up with. I would say that the majority of the guys I wrote to did not write back to me – I guess that’s what makes them normal? Some did write back and I had some uplifting conversations where one person ended up telling me that “I was no spring chicken” while another one freaked out a few days into our chat, and told me he still loved his ex and “couldn’t do this.”


https://www.amazon.com/Rubies-Bumble-Bee-Costume-Large/dp/B001R03F4K

Basically, I would just position Bumble as another outlet to search for the needle in the dating haystack of madness. It’s not any better or worse than anything else out there for flirting, or finding a mate that doesn’t insult you or have a virtual emotional breakdown. But, do I group dating sites and apps with professional “networking” sites and apps? Definitely not, so I was surprised to read that Bumble has expanded into the “bizz” arena.

“According to CEO and founder Whitney Wolfe Herd, a safe space is needed for women who are career networking, just as it is necessary for dating.”

Would I want to use the same mechanism to find a colleague that I would to find a boyfriend? Would I want to find out that my mate has been using a dating app to “network”? Would I feel any “safer” as a female looking to professionally network using Bumble Bizz and its location-based technology versus LinkedIn or at an actual conference or event?


http://theupstart.co/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/peek

NO. And I don’t understand why the marketing message is that there “is a shield built into Bumble.” Like a hardcore protective barrier? Also, why should women fear men and not the other way around? There are plenty of dangerous women out there who use all sorts of technology to prey upon others. This also makes me question same-sex flirting, networking and the “rules” for finding friends online, which Bumble also claims to do with “Bumble BFF” (really?!)

As any human being with the desire to connect with another human being, my advice would be to do what feels right, and not to depend on technology as a protective “shield” from negativity or danger.

Take a page out of my cousin’s latest suitor’s book. Pay additional cash to extend the chat window, get to know the other person for weeks and then when it comes to actually meet up and make things happen, just chicken out:

Here’s a game rule that someone needs to scream often: When you are planning your first date, DO NOT “play it by ear.”

Shmalentine’s Day: You’ll Get Through It

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone! Whether you are actually getting some fun attention today or want to scratch everyone’s eyeballs out, I just want you to know that you will get through it.

I once dated a guy I met on the magical land that is okcupid from late December until the beginning of February. He conveniently ended things with me over the phone by telling me he had met someone else who was 10 years younger than me, with whom he had a major connection. “It’s not fair to her to keep things going with you,” he told me. I was at my hair salon in the middle of getting my highlights done while he shared this amazing news with me. Running away in tears from the salon chair to the bathroom in a robe and foils all over my head was one of the less graceful moments of my life. “Not a big deal,” you say? “What does it have to do with Valentine’s Day?” you might ask. The same guy did have the wherewithal to hang out with me long enough to pass his strep throat along. So after I got my highlights perfected, I was able to go on antibiotics and lay in bed on Valentine’s Day while he swept his new young love off her feet.

There was another Valentine’s Day that I had been looking forward to for months several years before strep boy. I was actually in a relationship and couldn’t wait to go out for dinner and give each other cute gifts. I had only waited my entire life to experience that. You can imagine my excitement when I went back to my boyfriend’s apartment after dinner so he can give me my gift. We were sitting down and the next thing I knew, there was a Maglite on my lap. I looked up and heard the words, “you said you didn’t have a flashlight.” Well, he was right…and I still have that same sturdy flashlight to this day, thoughtful as it was.

Those are two mere examples of some great personal Valentine history. Stay strong, my fellow not-so-smitteners.

I promise you, it can always be worse.