I decided to write about this topic because it’s a new part of my reality. It’s scary, and taboo and all things confusing. But don’t just take my word for it. Ask any other single parent about the number one topic that gets swept over, especially in my community which is still quite traditional when it comes to relationships.
You guessed it...
There’s something really wonderful about the idea of meeting someone great through great people you already know. There’s just one little issue with that - it’s not always possible. This could be because everyone you associate with is just like you: a parent who never ventures out further than the beauty salon. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, because what’s the alternative in a big city like Sydney? Bars, clubs or festivals? I can definitely say that season in my life has passed and what holds my daily focus has shifted in a big way. But the fact of the matter is, when Xavier has gone to sleep and my daily work is done, there are so many hours that are free. Free for good conversation, laughter and the possibility of discussing topics that do not include buzz lightyear.
I didn’t want to get too deep with this post, because so far - for me at least - it’s been a funny journey! But I’m still human, and still a part of a big traditional community. So sometimes I care too much about what people think. As much as I try not to, that little asshole part of me occasionally comes up to the surface and tries to remind me that other shitty opinions matter.
In any situation where dating becomes the topic of discussion, I start thinking about what the other person might be thinking:
“You selfish bitch.”
“How dare you.”
“You have a child.”
“Focus on him.”
What other people really think:
“Fk I forgot the milk.”
“What should I make for dinner?”
“Omg it’s raining and I left my washing on the line”
“It’s a good thing she’s moved on”
Truth is, I don’t think anybody *actually* gives a shit. And if they do, it might be because they really care about you. Otherwise, the empty chatter is useless.
Over the past few months, I’ve decided to try out a dating app to see what all this new technology is about. And if you happen to be wondering, it’s nothing like what you’ve been told. At first I was scared shitless about seeing cousins or friends on the app. And when this actually happened, I swiped left so fast and hard that my phone flew out of my hand. (Left means no. Right means yes.) Then it dawned on me, if anyone tried to talk shit because they’ve seen me on a dating app, then shame on them for being on it too. (Lol.)
The process of filtering through faces has its light and dark moments, and for the most part, it’s really quite underwhelming. Here are some of my newbie opinions on the matter of using Bumble.
The bits I like:
I like the fact that some of the best conversations have just been about checking in with how someone else is living their life. It’s humbling and reassuring to chat to real people about things that matter to them.
It’s good to be able to make quick decisions regarding who you’d like to communicate with. I struggle connecting with hard atheists on a deep level, so that’s usually a quick no from me. So if someone has that detail in their profile, it makes it easy for me to say, “yeah nah”.
I know exactly what one means when he says he’s “looking for a good time” which is also a big fat no from me. I love the fact that I have control over what I share regarding my identity and location so in many ways, it’s quite safe and secure.
I also love discovering if someone is able to hold a solid conversation using text alone. I don’t know why this is so important to me, but I find it valuable that someone is able to communicate and articulate themselves using words alone. That’s kind of the reason why I’m trying this out in the first place. It all begins with words.
The shitty bits:
You might be making a massive judgement call on a beautiful person because you aren’t attracted to them physically. That one really gets me.
Having said that, and being completely/brutally honest, I find myself turned off by profile photos where a man is topless at the gym, holding a dead fish off the back of a dingy boat, or even better- using a Snapchat filter with a kissy face...(there is just no chance for us Nathan. No chance at all)...
I don’t like the feel of being on a conveyer belt of faces. But when I think about it, I’ve been single for 3 years and can count on two fingers how many times I’ve been approached by a gentleman in public. And come to think of it, one of them was the valet guy bringing me my car. He was cute tho...
Really, I’m not exactly a magnet while I’m out in my mum gear pushing a stroller, nor am I trying to be. So it’s all good. But it’s been nearly 3 years since my separation so it’s definitely a good time to leave the comfort zone.
I’d love to hear from you if you’ve found yourself in the same position. Were you as nervous as I was venturing into the online unknown? Hit me up with your stories via email or socials.