Dating and the Confident Girl
Recently, I caved to my curiosity and installed Tinder on my phone, just to see “how bad can this really be?” — as it turns out, I quite like the interface, and it wasn’t too difficult to figure out some of the flaws (fake accounts and time-wasters) as well as the perks (just unmatch and POOF gone).
But, yet again, here I was faced with writing yet another bio. Who the hell am I? All of my bios are variations on a theme, but they all really fail to get to what I am like to interact with. A recent conversation with someone reminded me of the word “multifaceted” which a teacher used to describe me in a recommendation letter 30 years ago — it always struck me as apt. Then they added that I had so many layers. I thought about that, but I don’t see myself that way. I don’t feel like you have to go through any ordered layers to get to “the good stuff”
I said, “I see myself as more of a cabinet of curiosities,” and the more I carried on the analogy the more it worked:
- I am full of different drawers, some larger, some smaller, some with false bottoms that hide things I don’t want to be obvious. A few contain skeletons.
- Some require pass codes or keys before I will reveal the contents (but these are limited in number and mostly because they contain things that others don’t always want to confront or discuss, not because I am being cagey. Most come with the ARE YOU SURE pop-up prompts before I open them).
- The drawers can be opened in any order and a person can focus on what’s inside one drawer at a time, or open a bunch at once — I’ve had conversations go both ways.
Being confident in who I am, and not being willing to compromise who I am for another, means that I am quick to pull the plug when things don’t feel right. Tinder makes it pretty easy on the front end — I can happily judge others based on their description, photos, or lack thereof, before deciding to wade into anything — no one can contact me until I match with them (like the failsafe twin keys of a nuclear launch). Surprisingly, some people still can’t deal with a woman making initial contact and will panic/ignore/unmatch me and it’s like the trash taking itself out. Magic. I know there are also people who swipe right on every profile and then sort it out on the other side but I prefer to pre-screen.
One interesting factor is age. Initially, I set my “show me” range to between 35-50 but I kept running out of potential matches. So I expanded it. I went all the way down to 27 (20 years younger, because why not?) and suddenly it was a deluge — clearly the key demographic is 25-35. However, that lower end is also fraught with miscommunication and includes a lot more of the time-wasters and people who ultimately aren’t looking for the same kind of thing I’m looking for (which, by the way is just someone with fewer responsibilities and priorities to work around — finding date nights with my current partners, whom I adore, is a little like hitting that damned exhaust port on the Death Star, but in calendar form — and that is because my calendar starts out pretty full.). I suspect I will knock the bottom off that list soon enough — especially as I have found a couple of very promising matches.
For what it’s worth, OK Cupid has shown me similar results though anyone can message me there so I get a lot of “hey, what’s up?” openers that go nowhere and have had a lot of conversations fizzle. I’m definitely not as active there any more, despite it being the site where I met my other partners.
All of this carries through to in-person meetings, too. I’ve met people through the local poly group and other meetups, as well as getting to know locals via social media before meeting in person, and being open means that if people are surprised it’s because they weren’t paying attention. As Popeye taught me, “I yam what I yam and that’s all what I yam.”