A couple of weeks ago, my girlfriends signed me up for Tinder. Over drinks, they took turns looking at pictures and profiles, squealing when they’d found a match, passing the phone back and forth to see various dudes and argue their merits.
Then I went home and unmatched myself from virtually all of them. They think I’m being too picky, but if the goal here is to find a person I’d like to share my whole self with; being selective seems the only way to go. It’s the height of entitlement to expect the world to deliver a special person to you and not have to work for it.
Up until yesterday, I’d been really enjoying being single. I have an insane amount of work that I mostly enjoy doing, a ton of pals, and a rich inner life. When I thought about getting into another relationship, after the initial excitement of possibly clearing the tumbleweeds from my undercarriage, the reality of what being coupled-up meant gave me pause. It’s so much work, navigating another person, learning their personal history, pet peeves and senses of humor. People are like foreign countries, they have their own languages, foods, traditions, and politics. I guess I haven’t really been willing to risk culture shock.
All this recent Tinder shopping got me day-dreaming though, and that morphed into hope, which kicked off some internal house-cleaning. I started doing my hair, smiling more and not dressing like America’s Next Top Hobo so often.
And then I agreed to meet a Tinderoni.
I can say without a doubt, it’s not a good idea to meet someone for the first time after you visit your grandfather in the hospital, nor is it wise to take your cousin and his girlfriend with you. Maybe I should have thought that through a little better, but I was already in Denver, I knew I’d want a beer and my cousin and his girlfriend are hilarious.
After a couple of beers and quesadillas, everyone went their separate ways. Nothing terrible happened, I didn’t nervous-puke, my cousin didn’t grill Tinderoni too much, everyone laughed at some point. But I have the sense that that was that.
And I don’t fully understand why, but today I feel a billion times lonelier than I did yesterday. Maybe it’s just emotional physics — my hope was too far up and the gravity of reality intervened.
Either way, I think maybe it’s wise to hold tight a little longer and refocus on all the lovely people filling my life and stop worrying about the ghost of a person holding my hand.
Jeanine Fritz: twitter.com/J9Fritzy