I’m a week in, feet officially wet, and skin thickening by the second. As I was warned by a close friend, Tinder is not for the faint of heart…but so far, it hasn’t been the cesspool of propositions and d*** pics I was fearing, either. In fact, with the exception of Negro Nabokov™ (see Day 6), it’s been exceedingly…polite (though to be fair, I suppose NN was politely asking if I was DTF).
In fact, what’s far more intriguing than my matches this week is how many of you – several of whom I haven’t spoken to in years, maybe even decades – have messaged me sharing your experiences, both on-and-offline. Some of you have shared fairy tales, while others are straight from the crypt, but clearly something about my daily confessionals is bringing out the confessional in others…which makes this ride – wherever it may (safely) take me – more worthwhile. Thanks for that.
Since I invited you all to take the ride with me, the question I’ve repeatedly been asked is: “Why TINDER???” It’s not a stupid question, and one I’ve asked myself repeatedly, both before and since pulling the trigger. Trust, I have my reasons…reasons I may come to regret. I suppose when I know better, I’ll do better, but until then, please bear with me, while I attempt to answer why, of all the online dating experiences I could have chosen, I’m on the dreaded (duh-duh-DUH…) TINDER.
So, yeah…I’m newly 40, regularly mistaken for ten years younger (thanks to Mom, Dad, and melanin), still making my primary income off my looks (thanks to my agents and God). Oh, and I happen to currently be single (and childless – by choice). Seeing as I’m (hopefully) just approaching middle-age, I’ve accomplished quite a lot thus far; most notably, knowing myself pretty well…and that my brains far exceed my looks.
For instance: I know that as much as I love sex, I’m not particularly into casual sex. Neither do I equate sex with commitment; I simply find it’s generally more fun when the parties involved care at least enough to make more than a minimal effort. And for me, great foreplay is much more a mental game than a physical one…though there are exceptions to every rule (but who wants to play those odds every time?).
I also know that I’m not interested – or necessarily capable, at this point – of shrinking myself to comfortably fit into the pockets of male egos, no matter how big and deep those pockets may be.
C’mon…don’t be lazy; banter with me. Spar, when necessary. Humor me. Respect me. Hold your own…since that’s the only chance you’ll have of ever holding me down.
And yet…I also know that being “held down” isn’t necessarily my endgame. I’m far past the phase of expecting Prince Charming (or…Prince) to ride up and jumpstart my happy ending (whatever that is), and well aware that, while I do occasionally get lonely, I am far from the worst person I could ultimately end up with. In fact, I may actually be a little too comfortable with my roommates, Me and Myself. Way comfortable. Like, “What benefit is it to me to incorporate you into my life?” comfortable. Like, “You know I don’t need you, right?” comfortable. Like, Rick James-and-your new white leather couch-comfortable: TOO comfortable.
Enter Tinder: Crusher of comfort-zones; Breaker of boundaries; Well-reported bastion of casual sex and romantic roads to Nowhere; Ground Zero for one date-and-break.
Because admittedly, I’ve never really just dated…even when I was attempting to do just that. I have rarely – if ever – even made the first move. In fact, this isn’t even my first foray into online dating (I’ve had two long-term relationships that started online – one of which began on Twitter). For all my online passion (and my ability to perform in front of an audience without hesitation), I’ve customarily been passive in my approach to relationships, which means the men I’ve generally ended up with were the ones brave enough to approach me. Consequently, my relationships have more often been borne more out of convenience than compatibility.
So, Maiysha-on-Tinder is about a lot of things: finally (at 40) exploring my options, Tinderized though they be; taking more initiative; NOT taking anything – including myself – too seriously; and perhaps most importantly, just getting out there. And sharing all of this with all of you? Well, that’s an exercise in vulnerability.
Because as much as “I” love “Me and Myself”…I may need more.