Starting with the (Wo)Man in the Mirror

“Oh, don’t do Tinder, I hear that’s just for hook-ups, have you tried Bumble?”  

“Swiping apps are so superficial, why don’t you do Match.com or eHarmony, I hear they’re better … I mean they’ve got to be better quality and more serious because they’re paying a membership fee.”

 “Have you thought about ChristianMingle.com?”

If I’ve heard these comments once, I’ve heard them 1,000 times! I know my family and friends all mean well and I know it’s coming from a place of love because they care, but it’s not that simple. Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, Coffee meets Bagel, Match.com, eHarmony, ChristianMingle.com, OK Cupid … I’ve tried them all and one thing remains true … the platform doesn’t matter, it’s all about the man behind the screen. Unfortunately, the screen has allowed for guys (and girls – I’m not naive) to become lazy, rude, and disrespectful. We’ve grown accustomed to surface level relationships and acceptance of dismissing people when things become uncomfortable. I wish there was a Yelp!-like site for singles – what I wouldn’t give to review some of the jokers I’ve gone on dates with. Alas, this doesn’t exist (yet … I’m sure there’s some start-up genius working on it) so how do I sort the men from the boys? 

It’s not easy and I’ve made some mistakes, for sure. It can be difficult when the noncommittal/ambivalent/casual nature of the “swipe-right” mentality isn’t your cup of tea. And for me, there’s the added complexity of my faith. Yes, as in God. As if the nauseatingly complicated modern dating culture wasn’t enough – lets throw christian values into the mix and shake things up! It’s confusing. It’s frustrating. At times it can feel hopeless. Some days I feel like Forrest Gump’s ping pong ball bouncing back and forth on what to do. My head and my heart are not always on the same page! Is the superficiality of the swiping dating apps fostering judgement? Is allowing a guy to stay over (PG-style) at the end of a first date shameful? Is paying for dating site memberships or matchmaking services morally sound? 

Carefree, Careless. It’s a game of who has the power … and it’s always the person who cares the least. #AloofnessWins. Good luck deciphering whether it’s a “I have zero interest in you” careless or a “I’m trying really hard to play it cool so you don’t realize how into you I am” carefree. Remain aloof as long as possible. This means NEVER text back with 24 hrs … EVER. He might think you like him (gasp!)

 

Let’s face it, dating will always be a game. Not many guys ask women out on proper dates anymore. It’s all about hanging out. In the name of being cool, you agree to hang – then, you spend the next three days – that you’re suppose to be ignoring him – wondering what the hangout meant. Did you see a movie, have dinner, end the night with a little action in the car? Be careful – you were just hanging out. It was just casual, right?! No strings attached. But, we did meet on a dating site/app, so it was a date and the purpose of dating is to build a relationship, no?! There is a simple solution to this seemingly endless cycle – simple ask the guy his thoughts on said hangout … or can you? Today’s rules on dating would tell you asking would be a death sentence to any potential future you may have together.

As time goes by, I see society moving farther and farther way from emotional vulnerability. People are fearful of showing any genuine emotion. Think about the last time you were angry with someone – friend, colleague, family member – did you speak to them, actually speak words, not text or email, and talk about the situation? Or did you hide behind social media to passive aggressively condemn the individual? In the dating world, if you become upset it means the end of the courtship. There is no talking things out, rather, you become labeled as “one of those” girls and the guy ghosts his way into avoidance of any true feelings.

When did everything become so calculated all in the name of appearing thoughtless?  If I text too much, I’m needy. If I’m always available, I’m clingy or desperate. If I respond too quickly to a text, I’m overly eager. Things should be simple! I should be able to call someone because I’d like to talk to them. I should be allowed to be angry when a guy stands me up or ghost without fear of being labeled as “that girl” … aka Crazy Psycho Bitch. Caring is a virtue, not a vice. It saddens me that apathy is more effective than honesty these days.

 

We need to start respecting one another again. Telling the truth – even when it’s difficult and painful. If someone gives you butterflies – tell them. If there wasn’t any chemistry and you’re not interested, for the love of God – grow up, be mature, and tell them. And part of that maturity comes with communicating in a respectful way. Texting is not a suitable means of communication for all conversations. I know it may sound crazy, but phones still make phone calls.

 

TEXTING = Death to communication. Phone calls: Filed under “I don’t use my phone for that.” #Email #Txt #Snap #Tweet #Facebook #DirectMessageIG but for the love of Carly Rae Jepsen … #CallMe-Never.

Texting is a complicated thing. It can makes things easier at times, but can also be the death of a relationship. How so? With texting, you never have an end to a conversation … you just pick up and drop off at any given time. But that’s not the worst part … the worst part of texting is the lack of tone. Voice inflections make and break the meaning of a question and/or statement. It’s the difference between playful sarcastic flirting and passive aggressive accusations. Part of building a relationship with someone is making time for them and that includes making time for phone calls or FaceTime when you can’t be together. Otherwise, you run the risk of disconnecting from each other – or in some cases ever truly building a connection from the get go. Which leads me to my final point for today, commitment. Making time for people you care about takes commitment.

 

Layaway. As my aunt once told me, online dating is like saying, “You know, I really like you, but I don’t want to commit because someone better may come along. So, I just want to string you along and keep you in the corner while I continue shopping the market.”

FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). Admit it, we live in a society that determines how great something was/is by how it trends on social media. There’s a constant fear of committing to the wrong thing because what if something better comes along?! Say you meet someone great, you get along better than you anticipated and to top it off, there was physical chemistry too. Jackpot! But then FOMO set in … if it was this good this time, it could be even better next time! What if this is just the tip of the iceberg? You can’t live your life in an endless cycle of what ifs unless you’re content with never moving forward. If you are content with the cycle, then fear not because you really will be missing out.

So, what does all this mean for me? At the end of the day – the one thing I can control is me. I’m going to commit to being the kind of person that I want to find. I’m going to be the kind of person I’m looking for … is looking for.  As Andy Stanley says in his series The New Rules for Love, Sex, and Dating, “In the realm of relationships unlike any other arena of life, we operate from the premise that a promise replaces the need for preparation. That a couple can promise, vow or commit themselves into a successful future. Preparation is the key to success. You must prepare to commit if your commitment is going to mean anything.”

 

I am committing to myself to becoming the kind of person that the person I am looking for, is looking for.

 

xoxo, Queen Bee … #BuzzingAbout
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