Tag Archives: Dating apps

Swiping Right Into Hell

I swiped left on a man because his Bumble picture was taken in a Joe’s Crab Shack.

It was at this moment I realized I might have a problem.

And that I might also be kind of a bitch.

It happened so quickly I barely had time to register what I was doing by the time it was done. My friend, Bumbling vicariously over my shoulder, yelled out, “No! Wait! It’s not Joe’s Crab Shack it’s Joe’s Steak House!” But it was too late. By the time she got to “crab,” my fingers were already flying across the screen to shield my eyes from the horrors therein.

I’m not proud of what I did, but it was instinctual. Visceral. My ovaries, folding in on themselves at the thought of mating with someone in an “I Got Crabs At Joe’s” shirt.

It wasn’t right, but it was real. And at the very least, it got me to ask some tough questions of myself, specifically: why do I hate every dude I meet?

Like any respectable, self-centered human, I of course blame my parents. My dad, presumably scared shitless at the prospect of raising two daughters, made certain my sister and I understood two very important lessons: 1.) Men are pigs, and 2.) Everything’s a rip off.

Could it be that his warnings worked so well, too well, that they guaranteed the end of House Clark?

I think it’s likely.

I think it’s also likely – perhaps more likely – that I am the problem. When presented with the opportunity to hand-pick a mate, I turn into the monster my father groomed me to be. That is to say, I rip men to shreds. I pick apart their profiles with reckless abandon, violently swiping away those who displays signs of romance (emojis) or outright insanity (“Ask me anything you want to know 😜”). Fishing photos, boating photos, baby photos, gym photos, and any sort of Jesus or CrossFit reference are also grounds for immediate and irrevocable elimination.

Ellipses are unforgivable. But the real tragedy is now I’ll never know what sort of guys I normally attract. 

Once I’ve whittled my matches down to a small – but elite – group of sea-fearing atheists, the real work begins.

First, I test the waters with a GIF. Dwight Schrute and Buster Bluth and are my baits of choice, as both say “I’m casual, I’m hip and I’m probably a little left-leaning.”

If he responds favorably (Impossible! I hate everyone!) I find something wrong with it. If he responds unfavorably, it supports my theory that dating is dumb and why am I even on here.

I am not a nice person on Bumble.

My friends think I sabotage myself in order to prove there’s no one out there for me. I think no one gets my humor (see exhibit below), and that men are time sucks.

(On the left, Rex, the sea lion. On the right, me questioning Rex’s mortality. It’s been months and I’ve yet to receive a response.) 

I get that a lot of this stems from insecurity. Make fun of yourself before anyone else can, reject people before they can reject you, blah, blah, blah. But, still. Why am I so unwilling to give someone a chance? Why am I terrified at actually liking someone and why, for the love of God, can I not get an update on Rex?!

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Bumble for Beginners

For Mom, and for my coupled friends with questions.

Bumble for Beginners: How to Swipe Your Way to Marital Bliss  

First, you redownload the Bumble app. You deleted it last week after a string of anticlimactic exchanges. But you’re halfway through a glass of wine and your cats are ignoring you. Your fate is sealed.

You open the app. You see the face of a nearby man who likely falls into one of three categories: The Weightlifter, the Wanderer or the Young Republican. If you like him, you swipe right. If you don’t, you swipe left. You swipe left on nearly everyone until Bumble casually tells you, “Keep this up and you’ll die alone.”

StraightOuttaOptions

Frightened into submission, you swipe right on the next viable subject — Steven, we’ll call him. He seems decent enough. And it’s a match! You celebrate for .075 seconds before you realize what this means: now, you have to talk to Steven. An actual conversation. It seems too much to bear. It’s all happening too fast. You’re not ready for that kind of commitment. You panic. You throw the phone facedown on your coffee table and rewind the movie you’ve been half-watching for the past 10 minutes.

-15 minutes later –

You miss Steven. I mean, did you even give him a chance? You pick up your phone and return to Bumble. You send Steven a GIF – a safe and easy first-move. He responds. It’s overwhelming. Stop smothering me, Steven!

You take a break from Steven and return to swiping. Every so often, Bumble throws in a fellow you’ve already thrown to the wayside. This feels very condescending. Like somehow, Big Bumble is spying on you. Watching you heartlessly sift through men, as you yourself sit cross-legged and pant-less on your couch. “Are you really in a position to be this picky?” Bumble says.

Me, Bumbling IRL.

Me Bumbling IRL.

No. You’re not. And so you vow to do better. You agree to a date with Steven. You decide to go for beers because God forbid you spend an entire meal with this nut job. I mean, you don’t even have any mutual friends.

….

You don’t even have any mutual friends.

What if he’s a serial killer?

You ask him if he’s a serial killer. He says no. Which is exactly the thing a serial killer would say, you knowingly tell yourself.

Date night comes. You try on forty different outfits. Why do you even care? It’s just Steven. For all you know, he’s only in it for the kill.

Regardless, you land on something cool and casual. Coincidentally, it is the same outfit you wear on all your first dates. You dab on bug spray the way most women would perfume, and you head out the door to meet Steven and potentially your own demise.

You walk inside the bar. You see a man that might be Steven. As you approach him, you tell yourself, “Be cool. Be cool.” You wonder if people around you know that you’re on a Bumble date. They don’t. Until you yell, “There you are! Wasn’t sure if I’d recognize ya from your profile picture!”

He blushes. You hesitate – do we hug? You barely even know each other. You go in for a one-armer. He goes in for a full-body. Somehow, you end up patting his back like a 50-year-old rec league coach. He says you look nice. You say, “Thanks. I didn’t brush my teeth because I don’t want my beer to taste weird.”

He laughs. But it’s a sad laugh.

You never see Steven again.