Dating in the 21st Century

I couldn’t think of a better way to illustrate what “dating in the 21st century” means to me — other than sharing my Bumble profile picture.

That’s right. That’s me. On Bumble. A current photo as well – so you know this isn’t something from a few years ago.

WTF am I doing.

I repeat – WHAT IN THE EFF AM I DOING?

I’ve never been shy when it came to online dating. Leave it to my desire for attention 24/7 and my inability to commit. Where this weird little chemical in my brain makes me believe that I can always do better, because – duh – the grass is always greener on the other side.

I suppose my first exposure to online dating was in high school. Not through some trendy swipe app, but through MySpace. Back in the day when you would “friend” anyone who looked cute.

Cut me some slack, I was 16.

I ended up meeting Zac, he was a year older, in college (DigiPen

We dated on/off for the better portion of my high school years until I finally ended it. I had just reached a point where I was tired of the game. Trying to figure out everything all the time like it was a game of Stratego (or we can get trendy and say Settlers of Catan).

After that I met a few people at events and dated mutual friends. Eventually I was back to “square one,” and was looking to tap into a new, different pool.

I was working full-time + a side job with not much time to date. My spare time was spent with my room-mate or other friends & “adulting.” So I decided to venture out into the online dating world — this time, with actual sites geared toward connecting people.

I’m cheap.

I’ll be the first one to tell you, but others may disagree (based off of what my bathroom and fridge look like), I do not like to pay for things if I don’t have to.

The first site I checked out was Plenty of Fish. I think everyone starts there. It’s overwhelming the amount of people on that site! The trouble I ran into was SOOOOOO many message in my inbox, that were absolutely ridiculous. People couldn’t spell, they were sending me gross/threatening messages, and the overall caliber of man on that site was sub par.

Not one to give up, I went on a few dates with men I met off of Plenty of Fish.

I went on a date with a teacher named Will (who I had a blast with, was a great kisser, but something didn’t click), a physical therapy resident named Sam (who was just too desperate and pushy), and a pilot named Alex (who showed up late, proceeded to have nothing in common with me, and then said he liked to blow off steam by “having lots of sex” ew.)

Then there was Dan. Oh man. Dan was HOT. The only problem? I had to get him drunk to enjoy spending time with him. He was so clammed up and shy. I constantly felt like he was judging me when he was sober. He was rude to my room-mate and teased my dog and cat in a way that made me uncomfortable. But – he was REALLY good-looking. He was a firefighter. He also had his own side business. He had a 10yr old lab named, Ally. We dated for a few months until one day I asked him if we could see each other exclusively.

BOOM – ghosted.

(Urban Dictionary defines “Ghosting” as: The act of suddenly ceasing all communication with someone the subject is dating, but no longer wishes to date. This is done in hopes that the ghostee will just “get the hint” and leave the subject alone, as opposed to the subject simply telling them he/she is no longer interested. Ghosting is not specific to a certain gender and is closely related to the subject’s maturity and communication skills. Many attempt to justify ghosting as a way to cease dating the ghostee without hurting their feelings, but it in fact proves the subject is thinking more of themselves, as ghosting often creates more confusion for the ghostee than if the subject kindly stated how he/she feels.)

That left a bad taste in my mouth, but I dusted myself off and got back to it.

The Banker. Alex. He had so much swag. Showed up on our first date in a well-tailored suit, groomed beard & looked like he had just walked out of a GQ magazine. I was immediately attracted to him. We had a blast. We played basketball, tennis, ran on the beach & watched the NBA playoffs together on days off. We went to all the swanky restaurants and bars. Best of all – he LOVED my dog & she LOVED him. He had a great balance of work hard/play hard that I hadn’t seen before & a fire for life. He really was amazing. A month into us dating, he gave me a key to his place.

WHOA.

WHAT?

Slow down. Slow down. Back the eff up. Things were moving WAY too fast. I was all of the sudden uncomfortable with this guy that I adored.

Add being caught off guard by this wonderful man to the absolute mess I had going on at home with my room-mate and you had a recipe for disaster.

I showed up to his place, handed him his key back after 3 months of dating and said, “I’m sorry. I have to give you this back. I really shouldn’t have it. I don’t deserve it.”

I broke his heart. I tried to keep things casual and mend them. But it just didn’t work. Shortly after I ended things with him, he found a new girlfriend – one I recently discovered he got engaged to, and I couldn’t be happier for him (although, slightly jealous).

It was time to upgrade my game.

Hellllllllllo, Tinder.

Everyone says Tinder is for hook-ups. I wasn’t sure what I was in it for. I wasn’t looking for someone to kick out of bed though.

I had fallen into this vortex of NEEDING attention. My goal was to have a date at least 3-4x per week. I was a woman on a mission.

Or maybe I was just hungry?

I connected really well with two guys, Ryan & Rob.

Ryan was this confident real estate broker who was apparently EXTREMELY photogenic. All I could think about was – yeah, I wanna be that girl on the blanket sipping wine with him at Chateau Ste Michele listening to Ray Lamontagne. Gimme.

Rob was an exciting mix of something familiar. The play boy who was too good-looking for his own good. With WAY too much of an ego. I pictured us drinking too much tequila on far away exotic locations & laughing as we skinny dipped in the hotel pool.

So I went out with both of them.

Ryan and I met at Cactus in West Seattle and enjoyed dinner & cocktails. We chatted and had a great time over all. Something was missing though. Maybe it was his crooked teeth – or the fact he refused to smile because of it. Either way, I wanted it to work because he seemed like someone I could respect – but I just couldn’t get passed the no smiling thing!

Rob and I met at my favorite pub, Elliott Bay Brewery. That poor staff has seen the majority of my first dates. We hit it off immediately. He showed up in a cast & crutches. We had too many beers & not enough food. I took him home that night and the rest is history. He just wouldn’t leave!

I was right about him though. He had way too big of an ego, I saw it as a challenge. To change this man and make him head over heels in love with me.

I succeeded. We did have the crazy exotic vacations with too much tequila and skinny dipping in the ocean (not a hotel pool). We had a blast & it was the most adventurous year of my life.

But it was also the most destructive and challenging.

I had lowered my standards because of the challenge. So what if he had become a better person because of me. Who had I become?

After 1.5yrs, I called it quits and left.

I ended up moving in with my ex-boyfriend, while waiting for the building I was going to move in to, to be finished.

Uh oh…

Got myself tangled up in another mess of feelings/emotions again while I was supposed to be “single. single. single. Do YOU girl. STOP DATING and figure out WHAT YOU WANT.”

Damnit.

Moved into my new place, settled in.

…and here we are again.

Back to working more than ever, constantly surrounded by the same people every day.

I am not the kind of girl to go to a bar by herself, either.

It’s so superficial to “swipe left” or “swipe right” based on someone’s FIRST picture.

It’s so ridiculous that dating has been broken down into online shopping.

However, I refuse to throw in the towel and give up.

Assuming I’ll meet Mr. Right while picking out the best avocado at the grocery store. Or maybe he’s the man singing off-key at church on Sundays.

Or shit, maybe I’ve already met him.

Here’s to another adventure in swipe apps.

Wish me luck.

Until next time,

Xo-Jack

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