Married With Children (And Not The TV Show)

Tinder…the quintessential catalog of dating prospects. Or potential hook ups. Or whatever your little heart desires. The magic of it is that it can be whatever you want it to be. I, myself, tend to try to gear it toward that middle ground between a casual hook up and an insta-marriage called “dating.” Historically, dating was that mystical phase of romance where two people who enjoyed each other’s company collaborated to get to know each other better by spending time together engaging in enjoyable activities. Like, regularly. I’m not sure if there’s any such thing anymore, as of course, with the rise of internet- and app-based romance, it seems, at least to me, that it has become more difficult to initiate and sustain a connection with a specific person. So many romantic options at our fingertips now can inspire a kind of “attraction ADD” in that it can be hard to hold someone’s attention, or to have your own attention held, because there’s always the “next best thing” a swipe away. Romantic partners, like a divine burger, can now come made to order.

Be that as it may, Tinder does have its uses. I don’t have the normal 9-to-5 career, so my schedule doesn’t always allow me the luxury of getting out regularly to meet people the old fashioned way. So it’s convenient. I especially enjoy that it only allows contact between mutually attracted people. Years ago when I briefly dabbled in Match.com, it seemed as though the ONLY people who were reaching out to me were the exact opposite of what I had described as my potential mate. I also like that it allows the capability for real-time communication so that you’re able to converse like normal people. It’s basically like a virtual bar – you see someone you like, he likes you too, and you two start talking. All from the comfort of your phone.

So anyway…I matched with a boyishly handsome gent on or about the Sunday before last. Immediate conversation ensued, and even though it turned out we weren’t in proximity any longer (he’s a Navy pilot stationed on the West Coast but was currently traveling for training), which I figured would be a deal breaker, he made a point of letting me know he’d be moving somewhat nearer to me later this year. So we kept at it and from there, daily, regular conversation continued, during which he even started making preliminary plans to rent a plane and take me for a spin once he was nearer my way. As far as his dating life went, he said he’d met several girls from Tinder but since he’s so busy and travels a lot for work, most of those encounters never seemed to progress to anything besides texting. Seemed legit.

He piqued my interest as far as someone you’ve never met can do so. Physical attraction is one thing (and even that can be hard to gauge through pictures), but the next step is being able to click conversationally. I could check off both of those boxes with him right away though, so it was off to a good start. He was tall, cute, seemed pretty intelligent, and given that he was going to be closer to me in the near future, I figured I’d entertain it for now and see where it might lead. Thursday night we decided to progress to texting, which went well enough. We exchanged G/PG-13 pictures, talked a bit, flirted a bit more, and just generally maintained the status quo. So far, so good.

We continued texting on Friday morning and into the afternoon (for me) as he was preparing to fly back to his home base. He let me know when he was about to take off and then a few hours later followed up with pictures of him flying and the view of the plane from the journey over. We continued talking here and there throughout the evening. The last normal text I got from him were his remarks regarding a picture I’d sent him of my night out with some friends. A few minutes later I asked who he lived with. He never answered, but I figured he might be busy with getting settled in back home or with work or getting some rest or whatever else, so I didn’t sweat it.

The next morning I made sure to account for the time difference before texting him, and so it was noon for me before I did so. When he still hadn’t answered after a couple of hours, my Spidey sense started to tingle. Something just seemed off. I found it odd that he still hadn’t responded from the night before, and now was dead silent to subsequent texts. Could he have just been very busy? Sure. But my intuition wasn’t reading it that way and my intuition tends to be right about these things at least 93.76% of the time. I tried to refrain from doing so so as not to encourage myself to jump to conclusions, but it had to be done: I went to Tinder to see if he’d been active on there recently. And he had. More recently than my texts had been sent. So clearly he had been active on his phone and thus it was obvious that he was pointedly ignoring my texts for whatever reason. When I checked Tinder a little later and found that he had either unmatched with me or deleted his account altogether, the writing was on the wall.

Let’s see…what I had was a guy who made a point to tell me he’d be closer to me in a few months, who repeatedly told me how gorgeous I am and how he’d like to meet me sooner rather than later, and who offered to take me on a plane ride. A guy who had been pretty attentive while he was away from home, but then all of a sudden once he gets back home literally drops off the face of the earth. I pored over our conversation from the night before to see if I had said anything particularly asinine, but even upon the utmost self-conscious examination, nothing stuck out. Was it possible that he just very suddenly completely lost all interest? Sure. But again…that trusty woman’s intuition. That was completely possible, but I knew it was something else. It was the only thing that made the most sense.

Unfortunately, there was no immediate way for me to confirm my suspicions. I knew he had to have a Facebook account to use Tinder, but his first name is very common and I didn’t have a last name to go on. So I embarked on an investigative project that involved some creative Googling. It was a longshot, but given what he does for a living, plus the fact that it’s 2015 and EVERYTHING is on the internet, I knew that there was a sliver of a chance that something would come up. Lo and behold…my efforts led me to a news article featuring a Navy pilot talking about his aircraft. It mentioned some personal details about said pilot that made me 90% sure that this was the guy. From there I looked up his name on Facebook. Yep…definitely him. Oh, and his wife. And 2 toddler daughters. The happy family. Yep – MARRIED. I knew it.

So I’d imagine that that’s probably more so why his Tinder exploits never amounted to much. He was, in fact, too busy…with his wife and children. Makes sense.

The last text I sent him was to ask if his wife knew he was a lying, cheating bastard. He replied “Yes,” but I somehow doubt that. And then I deleted his number.

What a jackass.

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