This year has reset my brain. Some events have taken place that have made me relook at everything. They were not minor things. They were profound, if not life-threatening. It has nothing to do with COVID-19, but they have made me look very seriously about my life going forward.
The way I currently live isn’t sustainable. I work for myself, I work from home. I am fairly cut off from everyone where I live, and more so during pandemic times. Everyone I do know who is within reaching distance already has their bubbles sorted. Now in Tier 3 all bets are off. For me, and because of this, much of 2020 has been spent cut off from people.
The introvert part of my nature has been sated. The ambivert in me just wants to get out there and party hard. My family aren’t local, so I only get to bubble with them in infrequent chunks. Social media in that respect has been vital but I have kept it in check and in most cases it’s only reminded me of what I am missing *sad face*.
Categorically, I do not want to spend the rest of my life like this. Normal times were still fairly isolated. I am capable of doing people things. I love going out, I love exploring, road trips, meals out, bars. I love to dance, forage and window-shop. I want a reason to dress up.
I’m not sure I’m cut out for coupledom but I want to be. I can’t pretend to have had any relationship that wasn’t either terribly flawed or didn’t end badly but I don’t know if that’s because of me, or because I make bad choices. My current benchmark is if I’m uncomfortable introducing you to my parents, we’re not going to work. I am torn between enjoying my independence and not wanting to be completely isolated.
I’m overthinking all this right? Running before I can walk? All I know is that something needs to change. I need to find that one person who gets me. I’m sure they exist. But it’s not going to happen whilst I stay like this. And that’s really what it’s all about. Thankfully I don’t feel at this stage like I am in any rush. It’s just that instead of avoiding it, I am now open to it.
Getting back on the dating apps seems like a way to redress the balance a little. After a 14-month break I feel ready to do it again, but differently. My previous set up is history. I tried it, now I know what it’s about and how it works. But I’d forgotten how difficult it is to connect with people on dating apps and how much more difficult it is when you are looking for something more substantial with someone who at least ticks some of your boxes. It never used to be this hard to strike up an intelligent conversation when I was looking for ‘short term’. All the attractive educated men seemed to be at it.
I am absolutely into personality over looks, but what else do I have to go on initially? I’ve already filtered out the Snapchat filters, passive aggressive memes, ex-wife photos and desperately unattractive middle-agers. I try to read into the descriptions but not everyone is great at writing those and even more of them seem to have nothing to say. Hinge seems to have found a way to address this with its focus on conversation points, but users still have the option to just like photos and that’s mostly what I’m seeing.
Three days after I jump started my app profiles, I hit a horrible slump and felt really depressed. It was probably because I’d woken up two hours earlier than normal (I am not a morning person) and the weather being dark, damp and cold. But I’m pretty sure swiping on the apps didn’t help. I don’t want the cycle of swiping to make me bitter and angry. I’m seeing a lot of that on social media at the moment. Thankfully I’m in no rush to get this done. If it happens, it happens. My slump did pass, and I have already found myself checking not so regularly which is a good sign that I am through the initial novelty period.
So far since the re-bump, I’ve seen profiles for four of my old contacts/dates – Tinder John, Harry, Andre and a guy I messaged with a lot in the early days (November 2017) but I don’t think I ever wrote about. Two of them have already messaged me. Nothing changes. And checking the updates from most of the dating bloggers I used to follow, nothing much has changed for them either.
I wonder if pandemic times have changed the way people are using the apps or the demographic of those using them? Is it better or worse, I cannot tell. I hear there’s a trend in people wanting to get coupled up for Christmas, but I can’t say it appeals. I’m happy to wait it out.