One Saturday night a few weeks ago, my friend came over. She is newly single and she recently signed up for Bumble. After a glass of wine, my curiosity started to peak. I asked her if it was okay to create a profile just to look. I have no intention of dating. I still wear my wedding rings. But I was curious to see what the market looked like and if anyone would find me attractive.
Spoiler alert: No one finds me attractive.
For those you are lucky enough to not be versed in online dating sites, Bumble is like Tinder where you swipe left to pass and swipe right if you like the person and if they like you, you are a match. Bumble is different than Tinder because only women can initiate contact with men. Personally I am not a fan of the whole concept of online dating. I would prefer to meet a man the old fashioned way. The whole concept of creating a profile to date feels to forward to me and is too much pressure.
At first the whole swiping process was fun. We swiped left when we saw things we didn’t like and right on things that we liked or at least seemed okay. Granted the whole thing was kind of shallow but entertaining. My friend and I laughed quite a bit.
As I was looking at profiles, there were men who didn’t say anything about themselves. Others were extremely well rounded. They wanted a woman to join them on hikes, wine tastings, dinners, travelling, runs, walks in the woods, trips to the beach, cooking a nice dinner, watching Netflix and to have meaningful conversations with. I started to get stressed out just reading these profiles. Some days I barely find the time to shower. There is no way I could keep up with all these Renaissance men. Maybe they are single because they are high maintenance and needy. Really, I just need a guy who likes frozen pizza, Disney Jr. and is willing to carry my luggage.
There seem to be a lot of men out there that play the guitar and I swiped left on them. I admire people who can play a musical instrument because it is a talent I definitely don’t have. But I don’t have the attention span to sit and listen to them play. Sure the first couple of times I will sit and appear impressed to be nice but over time I become bored because I would rather be conversing, or eating, or moving around or pretty much anything else. Those guitar playing men deserve to be with women who appreciate their talents.
I learned that I am not interested in dating guys who want to start a family. I have an amazing daughter. I am not interested in being pregnant again. It’s probably the PTSD talking but too much can go wrong in childbirth and I need to be here for my daughter. Also, I am in my late thirties and I don’t think I want to do any more sleepless nights or pumping sessions. So if a guy wants more than my amazing daughter, then he would have to bring his own children to the relationship.
I learned several things. I do value intelligence and an education. But as much as I am attracted to intelligence, I also am not into men who are pretentious about their education level and intelligence. Bryon was confident about his intelligence and never had a need to be pretentious. I am also leery of men who call themselves entrepreneurs and I am much more likely to swipe right on a man wearing a Red Sox hat as opposed to a Yankees hat.
I also found myself drawn to men who liked the things that my husband liked which was ridiculous. It doesn’t matter if a guy likes rugby or the Buffalo Bills, or Gordon Ramsay. He will never be Bryon. It is as if I am subconsciously looking to try to get back what Bryon and I had but that is not possible. Bryon was a one-in-a-kind. He was amazing and the world will never see someone like him.
I am no longer part of a Bryon-Kerry team. The goals and rules of the Bryon-Kerry team no longer apply. It is all me now. And on top of it, I am not the same. I am broken. I don’t even know who I am anymore. I always prided myself on being true to myself but the more I try to find myself, the more I wonder if I am going through some sort of identity crisis.
I just hate that I am even in this position. I feel cheated of my happily ever after. Almost all of my friends are married or are in committed relationships and my husband is gone. I wasn’t supposed to be in this position. I was perfectly content to be a wife and mother. I wasn’t supposed to be single in my late 30’s. The new rules of dating seem so complicated, full of craziness like dick pics and ghosting and pretending that you are too cool to be interested in each other. I don’t want to date. I want to be a wife but you aren’t supposed to want that or you are desperate. But I know I am not desperate. And as much as I would rather be a wife than have to date, I am not going to settle. I had true love and I know what it is and frankly I don’t want to be someone’s wife if we are not crazy in love with each other. I am not going to jump into any relationship with just anyone.
As the night went on, I started to become sad and the sadness began to intensify. I miss Bryon too much. No one will ever replace Bryon. He is a person worth missing. He is worth every tear and every pang to the heart. He is worth every lonely night. He leaves a void that I doubt any can ever fill. I just hope that living with the void becomes tolerable enough over time where I can move forward.
So after 6 hours, I realized that dating, at least online dating, was not for me and I deleted the app. I am not saying that love will not find me and I hope that if it does find me, I am open to it. But I don’t need to be looking for it online. If I change my mind, I guess the internet will be there.