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402 days. 402 (plus or minus… mostly minus) posts.

Tag: tinder

Day 815: Like Taking Candy

So, I was clearing out some blog drafts and I came upon this one from August 28, which was about two months after I started dating Joe.

A few things have changed since then. I’m 32 now. I have bangs. Joe and I have met each other’s families and made each other meals and agreed that we want to share the same balcony from the same apartment. But for the most part, this draft still holds true.

I’m publishing it today as an ode to a balanced, imperfect relationship. One that I want to keep.

Warning: it’s a little gushy and it’s totally something I would have hated (secretly loved?) reading when I was single.

File this one under the category, “Things people say to you and you roll your eyes, but then later you realize they were right.”

At 31, I’ve had a good number of dating experiences. I’ve had a long-term, loving relationship that just didn’t work out, and a series of shorter-term relationships that have ranged from from fun to serious, to confusing to honestly-I-can’t-believe-you-thought-I’d-like-that-movie.

But the key marker in my adventures is that they’ve all been complicated in their own ways. However compelling, there’s been a problem to be solved.

My friends and family have been relentlessly supportive of whatever and whomever I chose, but often with the gentle sighing caveat, “You know, I really think it should be easier.”

It should be easier.

That’s a particularly easy statement to ignore, because it can be intellectually overridden with facts about why it’s hard now but will get easier later, or snorts that maybe not everyone gets to glide down easy street in the beginning of a relationship. It just sounded too simple, and I truthfully figured that “easiness” just wasn’t in my nature. I enjoy complicated tasks – things that need to be untangled and wrangled and sorted out.

But that was before I met Joe.

I’m telling you, there’s something to this easy thing. We like each other, we tell each other we like each other and we have easy conversations about complicated topics.

That’s not to say it’s perfect. His cheap, black socks leave little fuzzies all over my apartment, and I swear they look like dirty spiders and it drives me freaking crazy. And my work life often bleeds into my after-work life, and I know I have a hard time disengaging when I’m focused on a project.

But. It’s easy. We like each other. He’ll buy new socks and I’ll turn off email notifications. He’ll teach me how to love cycling and I’ll teach him how to think performance art is beautiful (some of it, at least).

I’m not writing this to say that something’s wrong if your relationship looks or sounds different. If it doesn’t seem easy, it’s still okay. You’re the only one who knows what’s right for you.

But from one logical justifier to another, it’s been SO worth trying for easy.

Also, we met on Tinder.

Zeus Jones Holiday Party

The only photo of us from my work holiday party.
Captured by Colleen at 2nd Truth Photography.

Day 523: Advice to the Tinderers

In an attempt to be a social butterfly (instead of one of those irritating moths that gets trapped flying around in the lampshade when the light’s been on too long), I recently re-downloaded Tinder.

For those of you in-the-know, Tinder has been around since 2012 as an alternate to other cold sweat and anxiety-inducing online dating platforms like OkCupid. It’s much simpler and less work to manage. It hooks into your Facebook profile and let’s you choose one main photo, five extra photos and add a short “about me” paragraph. In addition to the photos and paragraph, other users see your age, how many miles away you’re located, any Facebook friends you have in common, and any mutual interests you identified on Facebook (although, I haven’t bothered to add any new Facebook interests since approximately 2007—has anyone?).

Aside from one super creepy message from someone who is apparently known for sending creepy messages (Dude. You know who you are. Stop being a creep.), it’s been fun to see who’s around. It’s really, really, really (really) easy to tell which Tinderers are looking for—erm—”short-term experiences,” and which ones are actually interested in meeting interesting people. And the ability to cross reference potential matches with mutual Facebook friends is a huge benefit.

Since Tinder users have to make most of their initial assumptions about each other based on six photos and not much text, the photography becomes extremely important. And telling. In keeping with my habit of offering unsolicited online dating feedback, I have some advice for folks (specifically guys) about how to make the most of Tinder photos.

The Advice

1. You can only use six photos, so don’t use the same one twice. Or worse, three times. This app is super easy to figure out, so it’s not a good expression of your intelligence if you don’t get how to use it.

2. Understandably, most of your Facebook photos are probably of you out and about with your friends, because that’s when people take pictures. But you with a beer in each hand and a bro on each side in every photo suggests you don’t have many outside interests. Add one of you with your dog, or your favorite board game or your roller blades. (The ladies are pretty good at sussing out staged photos, so you might as well be honest about what you like to do.)

3. Pick at least one photo in which you’re identifiable as the subject. You’re virtually invisible when all of your photos are of groups of people. Which guy are you? Trying to figure it out is like a weird Where’s Waldo game, only everyone is Waldo and they all wear sports jerseys.

4. Keep the close-up mustache shots and fishing photos to a minimum. For more information, see Day 115: Advice for Dudes.

5. Be yourself, and represent yourself as such. Per the number 2 parenthetical, don’t bother trying to trick people into liking you. This applies to more than just your images. There are so many different types of people in the world, all looking for different types of relationships. Be honest about what you’re looking for—odds are, someone else out there is looking for the same thing.