Single in the 6ix: back at it and cultivating conversations

Texting on the phoneI’ve been Bumbling and Tindering for a little over a week. It’s been the veritable roller coaster of the highs of a potential prospect and then the quick descent into disappointment-bordering-apathy as you realize said prospect is either a dud or everyone you’ve matched with are content on not speaking to you.

Seriously.

What’s the point of matching if you’re not going to reach out to the person you matched with?

Because options. Many many choices are a swipe away and people are not willing to put in the effort to stay put a beat longer than two conversation exchanges. They’re looking for the boil, rather than the simmer.

Aziz Ansari Modern Romance

Courtesy of CBC (Penguin Press/CBC)

Exchanging stories with my fellow singles, they experience the same—often referring to these dating apps as a game. Glad I’m not an anomaly, but my apparently naive self just wishes my fellow humans had a little more class… a little more integrity, a touch more patience with the person behind their screen (aka me). I say this for myself as much as for anyone.

A little more class, a little more integrity, a touch more patience.

Even Bumble, where there are time constraints to force you into speaking to one another, has proven to just be another version of a swiping game. First the ladies have to reach out, then the men have to respond (if they’re interested) within the allotted 24-hours. This corrects the issue of accruing a gazillion matches as you do with Tinder. However, after constructing a dozen witty openers in Bumble, only 2 of the men I reached out to were actually interested in carrying on a conversation. The others responded but their responses were flat, and kind of ended the convo right then and there with a full stop. So we matched, and now because we have conversed once each, the time limit is no more and these guys just sit there. Sit there and be all mute and stuff.

How can you not feel deflated?

I’m only interested in people who know how to converse—or at least show signs of being interested. Call me a snob, but if you don’t know how to carry a conversation, like, say, responding in kind and then maybe also asking a question, I’m not interested. I cannot fake it. The few times where I’ve followed up with another question because I feel generous and patient and try and be empathetic in that maybe they don’t realize what being in a (texting) conversation entails, and maybe, just maybe I’m reading far too into their scant responses, my thoughts have been confirmed 100% of the time (thus far). There is no response back. Cue the crickets. Please, just unmatch me. Exclamation point.

I ask again, how can you not feel deflated?

A blurb taken from a post I shared back in March mirrors my sentiments a couple seasons later (seriously, fall is upon us):

It amazes me just how quickly conversations begin, with just how quickly they cease. Your counterpart ghosting. I’m no innocent either, I just wish we could all remember that humans are on the other end of the screen. This reminds me of Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance. Read it. Whether you’re single or not, read it (or listen to a 10 minute podcast from This American Life). It’s a good, quick read stating the obvious and not so obvious. Modern romance with its benefits of selection, feeds into the paradox of choice, which lends to never making a selection.

Can we just please have a bit more integrity, stop being complacent, follow through with a swipe… and start a conversation? Or if we match and you realize after the fact you’re just not interested, unmatch. Unmatch me please.

Oh the dating pains. Still, minor problems compared to the hilarious ‘what once was’ (the following is Aziz’ book trailer if you can believe it. Amazing):

Modern Romance shares the knowledge how most people would prefer to receive a text/email/phone call/basic communication indicating that the person they’re seeing (or at least attempting to see) is not interested. But when asked if they would step up to the plate and say as much, the majority would not. It must be bad when after going on one to three dates with men and I tell them (via text), I’m not interested, and they THANK ME quite enthusiastically for letting them know. That confirms to me what Aziz is trying to tell us.

The plus side of the lack of conversationalists though I suppose, is the fact that I know I’m not interested. And so I unmatch. At least my choices are made simple.

It’s a skill we are not all blessed at and I don’t pretend like I’ve perfected it. No way, no how.

I often match with people I realize after the fact I’m not interested, so I unmatch. I don’t want to keep a collection of matches, like earned trophies or validation that I’m popular enough to match at all. Is that a thing? I get that through these apps that are based on texting, we often are misunderstood. But when something as simple as, “Hi, how are you?” Is responded with, “Good.” There’s nowhere to go from there. And I’d really like to go somewhere. (I would like to stress the above is merely an example. I loathe the ‘hi, how are you’. It is generic, it is a closed question: it typically doesn’t warrant much of a response. It’s much more interesting to use a bit of your wit to draw out a person, yes? Yes).

I remain ever hopeful that there is someone out there who knows how to carry a conversation (and wants to) and better yet, is a much desired mutual match. I’m just not so sure Tinder or Bumble are where it’s at.

Looking for the simmer.

 

3 Comments

  1. September 1, 2016 / 4:57 PM

    Love that quote about simmering and boiling.

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