JShu on the Journey

A Kansan takes on Missouri

Posts Tagged ‘dating

On unrequited crushes

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So, recently I had a love-life epiphany.

This guy I’ve liked for a long time recently started seeing someone else. I kind of had a glimmer of hope that *something* could happen (it’s a long story, with more details than I care to divulge), but that seems to be gone now.

Surprisingly, my reaction was a lot less emotional than I anticipated. But it made me think, and I realized that I deserve more than an (as far as I know) unrequited crush, the is-he/isn’t-he interested dance.

I deserve someone who is not only interested but acts on that interest — otherwise, I need to stop giving head/heart space to men who don’t show that they are in fact interested and do something about it. Because frankly, I don’t have time for the guessing and overthinking. It’s just not healthy. Plus, why waste time on a mirage of a thing, you know?

Maybe this shows that I’m in a better place than expected when it comes to my love life? I don’t know. I didn’t really get into it much when it started, but my best friend challenged me to take a six-month hiatus from online dating.

I was burned out and getting pretty bitter about it. It’s hard to take when the only people who are messaging you (very infrequently) are people you’re not interested in, and the people you are interested in don’t return that interest.

My friend likes to say that maybe I’m just not cut out for online dating, that maybe I possess some sort of quality that doesn’t show online. I don’t know if that’s true or not. I don’t exactly have people coming out of the woodwork to ask me out in real life — in fact, the only dates I’ve ever been on have been through online sites.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this, other than, if you know of any single, Jesus-following young men, can you send them my way?

(I’m only half-kidding).

Written by Jessica

June 30, 2014 at 3:00 am

Let’s talk about Tinder.

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So, if you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you will know that I’m usually up for trying new online dating sites/apps/etc.

I’ve done eHarmony, OkCupid, Cupidtino (yes, that would be an Apple fangirl/fanboy dating site) and I’ve flirted with the thought of trying Match and Christian Mingle.

But a friend told me about Tinder a few months ago and I finally took the plunge and downloaded it. I hear it’s mostly a hookup app, but I wanted to check it out and see if people were using it for anything more substantive. To be clear, I’m not using it seeking hookups. I’m more interested in dates with likeminded people that could lead to a long-term relationship.

So, moving forward. I have yet to go out on a date, but I think it’s interesting in concept. If you are uninitiated, here’s how it works.

You create an account that’s linked to your Facebook. You select photos for your profile from your Facebook account, put in a snazzy couple lines of text to say anything you want, from a description of yourself to lame things like “I’m willing to lie about how we met.”

Then the fun begins.

You get one match at a time after you hone in your age/geographic radius requirements.

You see photos, first names, ages, mutually liked Facebook pages and mutual friends. You have the decision: going on the very limited information that I have, do I click the heart button or the X button.

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Screenshot, yo. Dale has a nice smile. No snark here. 

X-ing gives you a satisfying “NOPE” stamped over the person’s profile and you get the next person. If you like them, hitting the heart, you don’t see anything with that person again unless it’s a mutual like and they’ve liked you, too. Then you can message. Or in my experience, not message, because people like with abandon sometimes and then go silent.

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Noped.

So, I’ve only been on it for a few weeks, but I think it’s interesting. The sheer number of men on it is impressive. I’ve only seen a very few amount of people who are also on OK Cupid. Which is good because I’ve kind of exhausted the local area on there. You tend to see the same five people you aren’t interested in and after awhile that gets old.

On the other hand, I’ve noticed a few things:

  • Tinder is exceedingly bro-ish. I never realized there were so many fratty 20-somethings in the Kansas City region. It seems like they are all using this app, in all their 20-men-in-a-shot, red-faced binge-drinking, popped-polo glory. There are a lot of references to The Chive. I have a strong ‘Nope’ reflex for these types.
  • You get a lot of people moving through the area who aren’t from there, since it’s a location-based app.
  • Every once in awhile you get a guy who is obviously married (like, wedding photos are all his photos). Which is kind of sad.
  • You don’t get much context for a person. Who they are and likes and dislikes. You have to screen through messaging before you meet.
  • There are a lot of people using photos showing photos of questionable judgement. It amazing that these people actually have these photos on their Facebook pages and think they will help them find someone. Exhibits:
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I can’t even with this photo. Thanks for the nightmares, Randell.

And:

What kind of girl is this intended to attract? Former drum majors?

What kind of girl is this intended to attract? Former drum majors?

But other than that, it’s refreshing to require mutual interest to get in touch with another person. That’s definitely a problem on other sites.

I dunno if it’ll go anywhere (lately I’m pretty solidly anti-online dating because it doesn’t seem like it’s doing me any favors), but there you go. Do what you will with what you’ve read.

Written by Jessica

March 15, 2014 at 9:47 pm

eHarmony: Why I’m not a fan

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I’m a sucker for discounts. Thus, seeing a $14.99/mo. discount for a three-month subscription to eHarmony, I decided, why the hell not? I have $45, no dignity and no dating prospects currently.

Oh yeah, and my best friend met the love of her life on there and they got married two months ago.

Me and my friend.

Me and my friend.

I’ve been on the site twice before. I had a subscription for one month about three years ago, then another month a few months ago.

It’s only been about a week and I’m already hating it again. Here are my hangups about the site.

1) From log-in to the help screen, there are couply-couples coupling it up.

You can’t avoid them.

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They’re everywhere, parading their coupledom.


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If you’re a little burned out on online dating and harboring some bitter feelings about love, it is more obnoxious than inspiring.

2) Free weekends.

I’ve been warned that this weekend is a free one. I’m battening down the hatches. I get that it’s all about showing off the service and trying to get paying members, but it is kind of shitty to be matched with people without photos (freebie weekenders can’t upload) and who can’t see yours. The first time I was on the site, the only people messaging me were the ones who couldn’t see my photos. It sucked.

3) Physical preferences don’t come into play at all until the profile.

Unlike sites where you can search for your niche, eHarmony delivers matches to you based on your answers to their questionnaire. Now, I filled this out three years ago, but I don’t really remember looks factoring into it.

Since you can’t actively search other matches, you see a lot of people emphasizing how fit they are and how they are super athletes and yadda yadda yadda, presumably to make clear that’s what they’re looking for, too. I know I’m never going to be the apple of their eye — I’m a recovering couch potato who is just now embarking on being more fit and my BMI is off-putting to those who care about that. I get that. It seems like this type is ALL of my matches lately.

On the subject, one thing that I’ve discovered as a thing is that a surprising amount of men put “physically fit” in the section “My friends describe me as,” as if physical fitness is a character trait like the other options, like “intellectual” or “hard-working.”

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I’ve decided that these guys are douchebags. Surely you are more interesting than that and have other character traits? And who describes their friends on their physical fitness? I sure don’t. Must be a fit person thing.

4) Profiles don’t offer much space for creativity

Unlike OK Cupid, which I’m also on, the essays tend to elicit short responses. Instead of “What I am doing with my life” and “On a typical Friday night I am,” you get prompts like “The most influential person in my life has been…” and “The most important thing I am looking for in a person is…” and “The one thing I am most passionate about…” (note that the latter just ask for one thing).

5) You can tell when people reject you.

I guess this is true of all dating sites, to some extent, but it still REALLY sucks. My thing lately is when I find a normal, non-marathoner guy I send him a message through the guided messaging (you send questions, they send questions, etc.) and he disappears from my matches. Yup. I’ve been hidden (or blocked, if they disappear from your communications feed, from what I understand of blocking). It’s demoralizing.

So anyway. I’m not sure if I am just terrible with rejection (it’s possible), I’m getting terrible matches (Thanks, eHarmony) or I’m just a social leper, but it’s really bumming me out, man.

It’s a sad thing when a dating site makes me think that OK Cupid isn’t so bad.

Written by Jessica

August 30, 2013 at 1:38 am

If life is a highway, I’m stuck in the parking lot.

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You know you are a writer (or at least a reader) when an every day occurrence, or statement, suddenly strikes you as a metaphor for your life.

This happened to me today. After lunch. I was attempting to exit a parking lot onto a busy four lane road.

The car ahead of me was taking forever to exit, which is pretty normal. It’s busy both directions and sometimes it takes awhile.

“I’m gonna be stuck in this parking lot forever,” I thought.

That was followed by: “This parking lot is a metaphor for my life.”

Truth is, lately I’ve just been in a funk over being single. I’ve written a little bit about being on and off online dating sites (and failing at them), but lately I’ve been feeling, very strongly, that I would like to find someone to settle down with.

I don’t want to be married THIS INSTANT — I would just like to feel like I’m somewhere near the path of actually seeing marriage in the future. I don’t see getting married as a fix-all for being lonely occasionally and I don’t believe it automatically makes you a real, arrived, validated person (although those messages are out there).

I guess I should preface this by saying: aside from a kindergarten boyfriend, I’ve been single my entire life. It hit me like a ton of bricks this week that I’ve been on Facebook for nearly eight years of my 25-year-old life. I’ve never been able to click on the “In a Relationship” bit. Sigh.

After awhile, you start thinking, “What the hell is wrong with me?” And, “Why am I not being chosen?” And, “Where is God?” A whole lot of stuff (/baggage) can be wound up in our relationship statuses (or lack thereof).

I don’t want this to sound so melodramatic, because for the most part, I’m not broody. I know I’m pretty awesome (Hello, I’m great at what I do, I didn’t have 5 children before turning 25, I have a college degree, I love Jesus, I have a weird sense of humor), so please don’t let that be the takeaway from this.

I guess right now I’m just kind of in a waiting mode right now. Just hanging out in the parking lot of life.

Written by Jessica

June 28, 2013 at 8:08 pm

I suck at dating.

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Fact: I haven’t gone on a date in about two years.

Two. Long. Years. And what’s sadder? It wasn’t really an official date kind of date…sigh.

Part of this has to be geography. For one of those years, I lived next to what is sometimes called Disney World for senior citizens. Another part of it is just not meeting many people beyond work/working an awful lot/moving.

This weekend, at a low point realizing that Valentine’s Day is around the corner, I succumbed to temptation and put my dating profile back up on OK Cupid. I’ve not really shared this extensively, but I’ve been on and off it for the last few years.

I’ve really been more off than on — I kind of have a love-hate relationship with it. I love the ability to see people I probably wouldn’t have otherwise met. I hate the uneasy feeling that so much of online dating is just like shopping for a significant other…we’ve managed to reduce meeting possible spouses into just a shopping list of items. There’s just something so … inorganic about it all and I’m not really sure if I will find someone there. But there’s something to be said for trying and putting yourself out there, so there you go.

Given that, it’s kind of a funny coincidence (or a God-ordained moment?) that I’ve been snapped up into a single young ladies’ group at church AND the first sermon series I’ll hear here is about marriage/relationships. Yeah, I bet you can guess my first reaction to that news. It may have involved an involuntary gag reflex. 😉

But it’s started and it’s been pretty decent. I really appreciate my pastor’s sensitivity and honesty in addressing some pretty tough topics, like why we’ve as a culture delayed marriage and why it’s important to be pure before marriage and why we need to have a solid foundation in God before we really can love other people selflessly. The last is a good reminder — unlike the messages we hear elsewhere, we don’t find completion or wholeness in another person, it’s really in God. We love others because He first loved us. (See 1 John 4:19 for that one!)

It seems like the older I get, the more clearer the ache gets for another person to do life with. Not a day goes by where I don’t feel like I’m hopelessly single. It doesn’t help that nearly every other day Facebook delivers new hearts in the upper-righthand corner of my screen: “So and so is engaged!!!!!” I mean, seriously, Facebook? It’s usually hard to miss the million ring pictures, was that feature really necessary? And well-meaning loved ones. They can be add to it, for sure.

Like so much I’ve been thinking about in the last year with jobs junk (having a crappy one, getting a better one at a financially not-so-great company to getting a new one), I really just have to trust in God’s providence and timing. And try to confine my inner-green-eyed-monster.

Barbara, the leader of my small group, has been beating one thing into our heads in recent weeks, and I’m kind of trying to internalize it. She always says the desire to get married is God-given, and quotes Psalm 37:4…”Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

So, who knows? Maybe there’s hope for me yet. Despite sucking at dating. 😉

Written by Jessica

February 5, 2013 at 2:19 am