I’ve lost count of all the creative, innovative, full-of-depth girls on Bumble who send hand-wave emojis to start a conversation. Not even a, “Hi” or “Hello” because who’s got time and energy for those right?
And then there was this girl who made me pay for the whole tab on a first date. Like it’s the 16th century.
A friend told me that one day.
But to me, mutual friends aren’t the best option when you want to meet people outside your social circle.
If you’re on a self-growth journey like I am, you probably want to meet new people who have different views, work, and lifestyles than yours. It’s a way of expanding horizons.
Dating aside, I think that’s the main point of meeting strangers anyway: To learn from them and share something valuable from you.
Mutual friends are “safer” bets. But diverse perspectives and backgrounds have fewer chances there.
Online dating isn’t disastrous. Just mostly mediocre.
My partner complained that a lot of guys on dating apps have lackluster profiles and chatting skills. I told her it was the same when you swipe on women. (Oh, we’re polyamorous. So we normally date other people too).
A couple of nights ago, I went on a bar date. The girl and I matched on Bumble and she sent the customary hand-wave emoji.
I talked about the artsy photo she had on her profile and we talked about photography. The chat was okay and we had similar interests. I moved our convo on the phone. And we met at a bar the following night.
We were talking about our dating lives when I asked her, “So why are you on dating apps?”
“Well, why not?”
I shrugged, “Why bother?”
She thought for a while. Then she said, “Something to change my work-home-sleep routine?”
“Uhhh. How about friends?”
“Sure. We go out sometimes. But it’s the same people and the same stuff. Dating brings something a bit different, at least.”
“Fair enough. How about hobbies?”
“No time and energy. I’m too overworked (she’s an architect on a big construction project).”
“So you go out on dates just to… What? Drink a beer or two?”
She shrugged, “And have a new person to talk to while drinking. Sure.”
She really said that.
I was just something for her to talk at while drinking beer. I made sure there wouldn’t be a second date. People; don’t bother with people who go on dates purely out of boredom. It’s a recipe for mediocrity.
Outside dating apps
Tired of hand-wave emojis, I tried my chances outside dating apps. And the best virtual places according to the internet? Online communities and groups. I joined a few running and writing groups since I run and write.
And boy am I surprised. So many running group people are obsessed with calorie intake, pace, shoe brand specifications, lives of elite runners, and graphs and numbers that aren’t concerned with maps or terrains.
And I don’t understand writing group people who spend days dissecting sentences and poring over other writers’ work.
People; don’t bother with jerks who go on dates purely out of boredom. It’s a recipe for mediocrity.
The farthest I’ve run is a 55K mountain race. So maybe I haven’t reached the peak that running group people obsess about. And I haven’t published a book yet, nor am I too fond of Nabokov or Kundera. So that’s maybe why I‘m not too fussy about writing styles or reading lists.
Can’t we just talk about the actual impacts of running on our lives, instead of Scott Jurek’s or Eliud Kipchoge’s training stats last month? Maybe let’s look at Camus’s Return To Tipasa through the lens of our experience, instead of an academic or content marketing perspective? A man can dream.
When you try hard and smart enough, you might succeed in 1 out of 10 tries. And that one connection will be worth it.
Throughout this piece, I’ve talked about all those times things didn’t work out. I’ve got plenty more mediocre-date stories.
But not everything is bad.
I got some good book recommendations & running insights from the communities I’ve joined. I also met intriguing folks through friends of friends.
And I did meet some really good people in dating apps.
- The super mature artist — This lady’s gone through a lot. Her maturity is way ahead of her age. And that’s coming from me; someone who grew up receiving donations from the UN.
- The girl who made me realize what a fuck-up I was — long story short, she jolted me out of my self-destructive habit of exclusively sleeping with committed women, years ago.
- The flame I didn’t know — an old college friend and I never admitted our attraction for each other. Then we matched on Bumble. And poof!
- The hope of humanity — Ghosting shouldn’t be a norm. Not even in the gutless, commitment-less, superficial world of online dating. And this lady ensures this message is heard, far and wide.
- The girl who taught me Empathy and encouraged me to be nicer — She’s my partner now. (Lucky me!) We’re “poly newbies.” Happily exploring. And we’re learning more about ourselves, jealousy, and dealing with insecurities.
If you’re tired of all the online dating crap, it’s okay to stop and rest a little. But don’t give up altogether. Other genuine people like you are out there and they’re also looking. If you stop now, they won’t find you.
So if you’re a good person, please don’t dismiss online dating. Don’t let the assholes and jerks invade it.
This post was previously published on Hello, Love.
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