“Don’t take it personal…
Take the bitter with the sweet,
Easy come, easy go…”
(Note: if you’re getting this update twice, blame the Retrograde. I do.)
I’m now convinced: There’s some sort of deeply inherent masochism in online dating, isn’t there?
I mean, Tinder’s a complete crapshoot. I can clearly meet princes and pervs in equal measure, on any given day—depending upon what I’m looking for. But ultimately, it’s no harm, no foul, and no pressure, self-esteem-wise. If I want to date—or just feel cute, on a not-so-cute day—Tinder has ironically become a really weird security blanket. I know it’s there for me, if/when I should need it.
By contrast, Bumble might put me in danger of developing a complex, were I any less secure. Because, I—a model, by profession—have yet to find a single match among a seemingly endless array of aging male-model types. Go figure.
Presumably, this could be because I’m not young, thin, or (as much I hate to say it) White enough. After all, it is a well-touted statistic that Black women—particularly those approaching middle age (Hi)—are the least desirable demographic in the online dating sphere, regardless of how desirable we may be in person. I guess that means we’re the wallflowers of the Internet, or something. Good times.
Since I came to terms with my age, body type and race quite some time ago (and was never much into male-model types to begin with), I’ve basically just started using Bumble as a way to keep my swipe-hand strong, since it’s clearly an exercise in futility. It’s unfortunate, since its model would also be an effective exercise in female initiative, forcing me to make the first move, if/when I actually matched with someone…
Which apparently, I (literally) just did. No seriously; my phone just lit up, notifying me of a connection made. Now, I have 24 hours to “woman-up,” and say something before whoever he is disappears forever. Crap!
And then, there’s Old Faithful, eHarmony, which is—in a word—depressing, so far. In fact, it’s like that well-meaning great aunt you see at family gatherings, constantly reminding you that you should take whatever you can get, at this point, since you’re clearly already a spinster.
Case in point: No matter what I (repeatedly) indicate as my preferred age range (37-48), eHarmony insists that my window of potential matches should be wider—much wider (30-50). Additionally, they’ve decided that despite my being 5’10”, I should be receptive to any dude 5’5″ and over. Umm…okay?
Now, to be clear—if we’ve met in person, and I know we already have chemistry, height is a compromise that I may be very willing to make (and have, many times). But if you’re asking for my preferences, the idea of looking up to—or at least, across at—someone is…ideal.
So, thanks for your input, Great-Auntie eHarmony; but I know what I’m interested in, thankyouverymuch.
But it doesn’t stop there: Other criteria that may have some legit bearing on my compatibility with someone—you know, like education level—are seemingly disabled in my profile. What, do I need to upgrade just to indicate that I’d prefer someone with some college? Because aside from earning my own BA, I’ve committed to spending $30 for three months of this torture. Based on current results, that’s as much as I’m willing to invest, damn it.
Because it’s all an investment—of time, money, energy, hope—all spent just trying to prove (or disprove) that this is how romance works these days. Or worse, that in an age of instant online gratification, you are worthy of romance at all. Do I sound a bit frustrated? Fatigued? Confused? Slightly depressed?
Because…I am. This can’t be how this works. This can’t be how any of this works. *sigh*
Which is why I likely need to quit complaining and give eHarmony a legit shot, since a) I’m paying for it, and b) I just checked my so-called “connection” on Bumble, and I promise you, I never swiped right on that dude. In fact, I don’t recall ever seeing him at all. But I think it’s safe to say that I found out where all the non-model-types are hiding.