“If at first you

don’t succeed,

Dust yourself off,

And try again.

You can dust it off

And try again.

Try again…”

 

— Aaliyah

 

For those who celebrate it, last Sunday was Easter. As a former Catholic schoolgirl-turned-non-denominational Christian with a strong leaning toward Far-Eastern philosophies, the holiday is more reflective than religious for me, these days. But the message is universal: Easter is a holiday about rebirth, as well as the symbolic start of spring.

Which is why, when I rolled over on Easter Sunday morning and checked my phone (morning ritual, and it stays), I had to smirk at the perfect timing of the alert awaiting me from Tinder. Apparently, after weeks—no, months—of inactivity, my profile had been removed from view, and could only be reactivated by resuming swiping.

Oh, you don’t say?

Truth is, I haven’t been much in the mood for swiping/charming/crushing lately, as I’ve been having far more fun flirting offline than on these past few months. But since my most recent interests live/work/play several states away, months of flirting have so far only resulted in…more flirting. And while it’s definitely been fun, I can’t help but suspect that I may be placing all of my proverbial eggs in ultimately unattainable baskets. (Easter pun intended.)

That said; I haven’t missed the online overload. Looking for the “good egg” among all the creeps, ghosts, cat-fishers, and premature infatuators was wearying, to say the least. After months of aimlessly swiping, scrolling, and messaging, I’d begun to forget what it’s like to simply meet someone, like the way they look and what they have to say, and act accordingly.

And let’s not underestimate how immensely enjoyable it can be to get to know someone (or a few someones) without the immediate pressure to engage, advance and escalate the intimacy. Ironically, it’s quite a turn-on…of the slow, teasing variety. These past few months—as anticlimactic as they may eventually be—have been a refreshing reminder that attraction can still occur and develop organically—and that I’ve still got it. (As if that was really in question.)

But, all that aside, what am I really doing, if all this conversation isn’t leading to any action?

So, at the urging of Tinder, and in the spirit of the season (and the spring fever I hope will soon ensue), it seemed high time to dust off my profiles, resurrect my searches, and flex my fingers again…

In other words, this Easter initiated another seasonal ritual: Spring Cleaning.

Have you read Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up yet? Me either. (Kudos if you have; I hear it’s great.) But basic logic tells me that de-cluttering my life—especially my love life—might make room for new magic to enter…

According to the table of contents Kindle gave me access to (shout-out to the free sample), Marie Kondo offers insight and advice on the following topics—which I’m now attempting to apply to my personal life:

1. Why can’t I keep my house in order?: No, really; must dating always feel so damned overwhelming? Is it simply my inability to compartmentalize? Or is it my terrible tendency to be over-tolerant—which often leads to settling for less than I want? And other than burnout, what do I really have to gain by keeping so many options on the hook, rather than a healthy rhythm of catch-and-release?

I mean, is it really so hard to find an attentive and assertive, strong and sexy, super-smart but silly, respectful but randy, ambitious, affectionate, creative, conscious, kind, self-loving and politically aware one-woman man’s man with excellent aesthetic tastes and a capacity for openness and unconditional love?

Don’t answer that.

Answer this: Why do I (and so many women I know) have such a fear of missing out on any guy in possession of just a few of those qualities by letting him go too soon?

Marie Kondo might say it’s the equivalent of tidying up just a little every day; which might explain why I haven’t felt like I’m making much progress.

2. Finish discarding first: Marie claims that the key to streamlining your life is to assess all of your belongings—in my case, prospects—and only keep those that “spark joy.”

Well, that’s easy enough, since, if I’m being honest, only two men have even sparked my interest in recent months, let alone joy. A third—the lovely gent referred to as “The Native” in previous posts—has seemed content to quietly fade into the friend-zone, so…it would appear that there’s currently room at the inn.

Next step? Purge my Tinder and Happn inboxes of all outdated messages; un-match anyone who never bothered to message; and remove every single dude I’ve crossed paths with more than five times and haven’t mutually matched with, because…clearly, he’s just not that into me. (Poor thing.)

Two-and-a-half guys and a now empty inbox later, all that was left was to update my profile. After all, any skilled fisherman will advise replacing your nets on a regular basis. So, I swapped in a few recent photos, tweaked the language, upped the humor, and just like that, I was casting my line. Again.

3. Tidying by category works like magic: Okay, so once more I’m swiping—and admittedly, it’s just like riding a bike. Already, the matches are lining up like showgirls, and my inbox is swiftly seeing some action.

But this is where a talent for compartmentalizing would really come in handy, wouldn’t it? I mean, I know people capable of categorizing their attractions as I do my shoe collection: one’s great for business; another strictly for pleasure; that one for a night on the town, this one just for kickin’ it…

It’s just not a skill I’ve ever successfully cultivated.

So, is a naïve belief that one person could be complex and versatile enough to be all of those things keeping me from having fun, while waiting for the magic to happen? Maybe so; but a girl can still dream.

4. Storing your things to make your life shine: Okay, so this was initially counterintuitive to me, since the goal was to purge all the extra baggage from my personal life. But as I scanned Marie’s sub-chapters, a few stood out: “empty your bag every day”; “don’t underestimate the noise of written information”; and “appreciate your possessions and gain strong allies.”

For my purposes, I interpret this to mean that I should continue keeping those inboxes as clear as possible, because not doing so risks keeping my mind cluttered with ghosts of flirtations past. And, in the rare instance that I meet a high-quality dude—like The Native—who isn’t necessarily a love connection, there’s always benefit in making a new friend, if everyone’s game.

5. The magic of tidying dramatically transforms your life: By now, you’re probably wondering why I haven’t just read the damned book—and I will, I promise. But here’s where the “magic” purportedly happens: Marie promises that if/when I put my house in order, I’ll discover what I really want to do.

Let us pray.

She also suggests that doing so will help me “identify what is truly precious,” which I suppose is the part I’m most eagerly anticipating, as I attempt to enter this new season as a now-seasoned swiper with a simpler approach. Sure, the likes of Tinder can definitely be rough, but I can’t be the only diamond in there. Hopefully, a cleaner slate will enhance the sparkle—just in time for my spring birthday.

And coincidentally, diamonds are my birthstone…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Rah One Love

    I’m just realizing that you’re almost a seasoned veteran at online dating by this point. Good luck and have a good time in this new season.

About the author

Who me? I’m just your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door. May I borrow a cup of sugar?

But seriously: I’m a musician, model, writer, all-around creative and devoted auntie. Like you, I’m just out here in the universe, trying to make it happen…whatever that is.