A few months ago I joined Bumble. I know, I know…. I vaguely recall swearing off app dating after my Tinder experiences years ago… however considering I work from home or in an office with 3 people, online seems the way to go. After 12 months of absolutely no dating, concentrating solely on myself, my family, my businesses – I decided it was time to jump back into the dating pool.
I pride myself on being a coach that mentors from personal experiences, ‘do as I say, not as I do’ coaching doesn’t appeal to me. Therefore it made sense to resume dating, from that perspective alone… we could call it research. However, now my heart is genuinely feeling that I am ready for new love, even if initially I wasn’t committed to the idea.
In the 4 or so months that I have been using the app, I must admit my profile may have only been viewable for handful of days, at the most. I turn it on, match with a couple of men at a time and begin conversations… and there has been some interesting ones.
I have always been selective in my swiping, however I’m quite surprised (or not) about how some operate in this space and other platforms. There are so many opportunities to explore my interest in human behaviour – why we do the things we do and what’s the motivation behind them, whilst actively engaging in online dating.
So let’s talk innuendo, unmatching, message mates and d*#k pics, amongst other things…
I have matched with others, that within that opening conversation there is a sexual undertone present, red flag waving…. From my photos and well crafted bio, I don’t believe that I appear to be the type of woman that is going to invite sexual banter within a few seconds of talking with you. With no provocative images or suggestive wording in my profile, that could on some level indicate that I am interested in a hook up situation, why instigate this? One potential match opened with ‘Ever had a Canadian’ in response to my initial greeting, noting he was from Canada and mentioning that I would love to travel to Canada. This cockiness, to me just displays a level of insecurity, not true confidence and not someone I’d prefer to communicate with.
A numbers game.
I have had several initial conversations, where the other party has mentioned they can’t wait to get to know me further, however the promises of conversations never eventuate… On Bumble the female initiates the conversation, and if I have matched and engaged with you, it shows there is a level of interest and intrigue on my part. A brief exchange, followed by the ‘I can’t wait to get to know you more’ line… and then crickets….. Perhaps it is just good for the ego, to match with many and not carry on conversations, because I’m fairly certain, it’s hard to tell much about someone after only saying ‘hello, how are you today?’
And then there is the opposite of above, when we match and have great conversations, that go for days… or weeks…. yet no commitment to actually meet for a first date. A couple of ‘we should meet’ lines, but no firm plans. I admit, its lovely to have good conversations, and find nice people to talk to, yet I’m not seeking validation or a pen pal, I am looking for a relationship 😉 My preference is to meet early, to see if there is any connection in real life, and whether I want to pursue the friendship further. ‘Let’s do coffee on Thursday’ – it’s as simple as that.
As much as I would like to meet potential matches early, sometimes circumstances don’t agree – two businesses, a teenage son, family issues, and earlier this year, unwell for several weeks. When once asked to meet for a coffee THE NEXT DAY, I replied that I literally had no voice (laryngitis) and wouldn’t be the best company – this was met with rather short, and annoyed responses in return. The next day he was gone – unmatched just like that… No explanation, just unrealistic expectations. I am sure that I triggered a past experience within, to react in that way, but it did save the time of meeting a person that clearly wasn’t a match.
A couple of months ago, I was chatting to a great guy, the conversation was interesting and he seemed mature for his age, though a few years younger than myself. I figured he must have become a father quite young, until he let slip the age he was, when his son was born. Which placed him 10 years older than the age stated on his profile.. hello, red flag. Yes, many of us, myself included look younger than our years, however is this really an excuse to mislead others? I once had a partner who forgot to mention that he was being dishonest regarding his age, until his birthday and then there was confusion. It was brushed off by saying that everybody lies on their profiles, however I felt upset that I had been in a relationship for six months and hadn’t known the truth.
We don’t want your photos. Gentlemen please understand that the majority of women, do not wish to receive unsolicited pictures of your privates. It is disrespectful and unattractive – we lose interest immediately, it turns us off, not on and shows your intent. Perhaps you are seeking validation, proving your power, or using shock value to get a little thrill, whatever your reason, it is not appealing in any way. And Ladies, if you don’t appreciate these photos, say so, mention to the sender that the photos are inappropriate behaviour, show your standards, disengage and leave the conversation.
It’s not all negative.
Don’t get me wrong, Bumble and other previous online dating apps, have not been negative experiences… I have found many genuine conversations and great connections with brilliant men.
Several of my friends are in amazing, committed relationships from forming connections online. Internet dating is not going away, it’s here to stay and it is just the nature of meeting others these days. There is a term now, for meeting someone offline – we ‘met them organically’ – that’s how rare it is. As much as I would love to meet a partner organically, I am too reclusive for this. Online dating gives options, and possibilities of meeting others that we would not normally encounter.
We do now live in an age of disposable relationships. That one didn’t work, hop back online and find another, it’s never been easier, and I believe we need to be mindful of this culture. I still think that it’s imperative to give ourselves space and healing in between relationships and dating experiences. We all have past hurts, conditioning and patterns, however the key is recognising them when they come up and working through them, not pushing them away and distracting ourselves with yet another date.
Remember always that online/app dating is not a tool to hide behind, there are real people behind those profiles, wanting real interaction. Manners are still a must, showing up in authentic ways, engaging in meaningful conversations and developing connection are vital for healthy relationships to develop. Keep this in mind as you swipe away and bumble on!
If you would like help navigating your way through the dating mine field, understanding your behavioural patterns and developing your boundaries, reach out and we can have a chat!