In 9Honey’s Dating Diaries series, Aussies share their experiences of looking for love – and all the highs and lows that entails. This week, Michelle, 44 a chef from Sydney, opens up about dating after divorce, apps and attraction – or the lack of it.
“Three years after leaving my husband and after setting up and deleting my dating profile several times, I decided to go through with it and start online dating.
I haven’t dated much since my divorce, and I know so many people who have had awesome relationships from online dating.
So after reading a recent profile of Bumble founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd, who talked about setting up a dating app that would be better for women, I set up a profile.
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A little while later when I was out with my girlfriend, she told me this guy she had been dating exclusively just matched up with her other friend on Bumble. She said when she confronted him, he didn’t even apologise for it.
We both went to delete our profiles, but then we started looking through all these different guys, swiping left and right.
I had no intention of reaching out to any of them, until I got a notification that one of the guys we’d swiped on liked me.
As we started speaking, he said he was pretty new to Bumble and had been on a couple of dates but there was “no spark”.
I loved that he was so honest about it, and we eventually started texting.
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If I ever texted him after dinner he would always say he couldn’t talk until later because he was busy getting the kids ready for bed. I loved how committed he was to his kids, and having children myself, I knew I could only date someone with kids as well.
We were in similar industries, and he had a great sense of humour, but when we finally met up I wasn’t feeling it.
I really, really wanted to be attracted to him, but honestly, there was no spark.
He said there was for him. I didn’t tell him on the spot. We said goodbye and talked about setting up another date, but the next day I texted him and let him know that while I was so happy to have met him, it wasn’t right for me. He took it really well and I was so happy I had been upfront.
I don’t want to waste anyone’s time when they could find someone they really like. It has made me feel better about trying online dating again, although for now I’m going to have a break because it was actually really exhausting, and I’m sure not all of my experiences are going to be so good. I have heard too many horror stories to be that naïve!”
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Ah the dreaded “spark” situation. Many experts have argued it doesn’t actually exist, or it’s made up to justify our bad love life choices, but I would say it’s a reflection of how much we’re willing to commit ourselves to someone. And if you’re not instantly obsessed with them now, it’s likely not going to develop.
Of course, there are people who have said they grew more attracted to their partners as time went on, but considering you both have far more important commitments (in the form of children), it does you both a disservice to settle for something you can’t put genuine energy into.
I mean, three kids takes enough out of you (I imagine) as it is – it’s admirable you spared yourself the additional labour of projecting feelings that don’t exist.
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A great takeaway here is that you’ve set a solid precedent for what you expect from online dating. And while no one is immune to the abysmal side of apps, it’s great to hear your first experience set a standard of respect, honesty and open communication.
Maybe it’s a good time to reflect more on what gives you a spark when you meet someone, and what you expect that to look and feel like when it comes to dating. Or it could be a great time to date people you’re not normally attracted to, if what you went for in the past sparked more problems than it did passion.
Dating apps, at their core, were designed to open our world a little bit more when it comes to looking for love.
So with profiles at the touch of a button, understand what it is you’re hoping to get out of it, avoid mindless swiping, and keep your intentions (and your self-worth) at the top of your priority list.
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