Personal · Writing

The Birth of a Tinderella


I’ve been home less than a week and really managed to create, well… Something for myself. Looking back on my summer goals I’m realizing besides the minimalism and paying off my car, some of the romantic dreams I’d painted probably weren’t going to come though. (The French studies and Infinite Jest just don’t seem to be happening, but if I read an excessive amount of books this summer I won’t feel too bad about it.) However, I’m not particularly bothered by this. I still haven’t heard back from the job I applied to, but in the mean time I’ve booked myself for well over 50 hours of babysitting this upcoming week which is more than I could have hoped from that barista job, along with being paid in cash at the end of the night. Being apart from my ex-not-boyfriend (it’s complicated) has been just as useful and much less painful than I thought. I don’t really get sad about missing him, because I realized shortly (days) after I finally ended things that the guy I thought I cared so much about either 1. doesn’t exist anymore or 2. never did. And I’m starting to think it was the second one.

(Side note: I managed to send him the bitchiest text a “we’re trying to remain friendly for the friend group” kind of situation could handle. Or maybe I overdid it, because he never responded. In which case, good. He could have really fucked me up, if I wasn’t more careful about not fully trusting him.)

Part of me is a little worried that this whole experience is going to leave my heart a little too guarded, so I’m going to try and strike a balance between trying to not let the rose colored glasses of new love interests cloud my judgement while also trying to not become a judgmental fuck. In the end I did gain a lot from it: a certain amount of confidence (I’m choosing to believe that he wasn’t a total sociopath and did like me, a little bit, at one point) and a much better insight of what I want/need/have to ask for/can ask for in a relationship. Even though I know it’s exactly what I need, and even though I know it’s not ex-not-boyfriend’s fault, I can’t help but be frustrated about how I let myself get dragged into a shitty backup-girlfriend-commitment-phobe-not-relationship. I mean, anyone you have to label as you “ex-not-boyfriend” probably doesn’t have their shit together to the point of it bordering on negligence, which I definitely feel like was the case in this situation.

When I broke up with him, I told him flat out that I didn’t think we should see or talk to each other anymore because I needed an “adult relationship” and he wasn’t going to be able to provide that with me. And he agreed, said he didn’t know what to say, and left. It had been falling apart ever since it started and I’m glad I finally ended things even if it took 5 break-up attempts to finally be successful.

I don’t know what drove me to do it (I blame a newfound obsession with Poshmark), but I inexplicably decided to download Tinder again. Tinder is typically not a great place for a girl like me to be. I’m highly sensitive (it’s a thing, like a real thing, you can google it) and a feminist, and also have a complicated (i.e.: fucked up) relationship with sex that sometimes makes me want to start crying when my friends casually discuss their conquests. This is a terrible combination when it comes to hookup culture because:

1. sexism is hypervisible to me

2. the thought of being pressured into sexual relations I’m not comfortable with gives me major anxiety

3. I’m not very good a putting myself out there, because I’m terrified of being hurt and

4. I’m very likely to get hurt, because I get attached extremely easily.

I knew though, from my experiences with J (as we’ll call him), that if I ever wanted thinks to be anything less than a shit show I’d have to stand up for what I want in a guy, aggressively and constantly. And trust my instincts, not accept shitty excuses and break it off when it doesn’t seem like it’s going anywhere. I was ready for Tinder, and this time I was going to do it on my terms.

So I put it loud and clear in my bio (which uses the max 500 characters in its entirety): Looking for something more meaningful than a bunch of empty dates or hookups.

I didn’t want to put “NO HOOKUPS” or any variation of that, because I didn’t want to come off as sounding anti-sex. I’m not anti-sex, in fact I have some major needs that need to be met, but I’m not going to be having sexual relations with someone outside of a committed relationship. That’s not who I am, at least not right now. In fact, I pretty much need to be seriously romantically attracted to someone before I can be that sexually attracted to them, and there is pretty much no scenario in which I hook up with someone and don’t start immediately falling a little bit in love with them (besides, I suppose, some pretty terrible sex).  So hooking up outside of a relationship is really just asking for trouble. Honestly, I kind of feel like if I was a part of hookup culture I’d deserve it when my heart got broken— I know myself too well.

I was hoping this would weed out the douchey guys, and it most certainly did. My match rate is MUCH lower than it was previously, which means those douchey guy’s I’d have to block? They don’t exist for me anymore! No more “wanna fuck” type messages in my inbox at all. (Okay one guy asked for me to sit on his face as his first message, but honestly I find guys aggressively demanding to give me oral sex less offensive than any other approach. Part of me admires them, and if I’m ever in a place to “hook up” I’ll probably only be responding to guys like that. So basically, I chuckled a little bit as I blocked him.)

Last night my best friend grabbed my phone and then proceeded to brag about how he had 100 more matches than me. 100 more guys he was never going to date, in my opinion. I also graciously didn’t mention that I’d only redownloaded tinder the day before, and had only used it during two periods of my life previously, and deleted all the matches from the first period after it ended.

Some of the guys I do think harbors hopes of having some sort of “meaningful hookup” with me where our souls connect in some magical way on the first date and then they take me home with them, and part of me is excited to burst their bubble. I’ve been upfront about what I wanted and will continue to do so, and I won’t feel a bit of guilt at guys who don’t believe what I tell them about my own feelings, or who mislead me as to their own. (Yes, I’m looking at you, J).

Anyways, I’ve decide that I’m going to try and go on 7 dates in 7 days this upcoming week. And I have 4 scheduled for the next two days. I’ve hardly even dated before, and never been in a relationship with someone I hadn’t first considered a very, very close friend. And now I’m getting a little sad. (Fuck you J! Not really, but kind of really.) So now it’s time to meet some new really cool guys. Hopefully guys with dreams for their futures, with a desire to work toward something and not just remain stagnate. And yeah, maybe they’ll all be ugly. I’m really lax on my standards because personality is really what matters to me most. Or maybe they’ll all think I’m ugly. I do think I look cuter in all of my pictures, but hopefully if I can find my makeup brushes in the pile of belongings that used to be my entire apartment, this won’t be an issue. (Yes, I know how problematic that is.) Or maybe it’ll be horribly awkward. Who knows? All I know is if I want a guy who meets all of my standards, I’m going to need to put some work into finding him. And it would be a damn shame to not take advantage of every resource at my disposal. Because money is fine, and friends are cool, but I’m built for love. I’m built for marriage, kids, serious relationships. Nothing is more fun to me than cuddling and watching TV. Nothings more important to me than the people in my life. So I need to focus on what matters, and this is one way for me to do it.

Let’s just hope it doesn’t go terribly wrong!

—xoxo, Jess


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