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.

A Date!

Today I had a lunch date with a guy I matched with on Tinder yesterday. We’ll call him Bedford. Had it not been for the excessive amount of wine I sat around in my house drinking pretty much all day yesterday, I’m not sure he would’ve been someone who normally warranted any serious attention from me. As it was, we matched and he immediately messaged me with something more substantive beyond the ubiquitous, yawn-inducing “Hey, how are you?” and/or “How was your weekend?”, so it caught my attention and we started conversing. This went on for a while before he asked for my number, and I happened to be sufficiently tipsy enough to give it to him. Besides, he seemed pretty nice, decently attractive, and wasn’t sleazy.

How surprised was I when my phone pretty much immediately rang with a call from him? He was driving, so he called in lieu of texting. I was caught off guard, but not displeased. We talked on the phone for quite a while. Several times throughout the day, as a matter of fact. He was out of town (and lives a state over from me anyway), but he asked if I’d like to get together the next day (today) when he comes through my area on his way home.

Sure. Why not?

He texted me this morning when he was about to hit the road and I gave him the address to a local restaurant. He was about a half hour early which was perfectly fine with me because I was starving. I went to meet him and…we met. He looks like his pictures and was of sufficient height, but…eh. We ate and talked at a table then went and sat at the bar for a little bit and talked some more. He said he wanted to go to a park and walk around because he had been driving all morning and didn’t feel like sitting, so I located one and he drove us to it. We walked around the lake there for a while.

He was nice. And a gentleman. I wasn’t the absolute worst dressed I could be to walk along woodsy trails, but definitely not the most appropriately dressed for it either, and he was good about holding on to me as we tackled inclines and rugged ground.

But overall I just wasn’t feeling a whole lot of romantic chemistry. It was a nice time, but I wasn’t really that attracted to him either physically or mentally. I mean, of course not, because he actually paid me attention and was gentlemanly and enthusiastic about spending time with me. If he ignored me and/or treated me like crap and/or was blatantly anxious to get into my pants, I’d be all over it. He took my hand in his car a couple of times on the way back to the restaurant, and I let him so as not to be unkind, but I was completely not feeling it at all.

Nonetheless, it was a nice date. It’s nice to be treated like a lady every once in a while and to get to go on a real date even if there’s no potential.

I wish I were the type of person that allowed someone to “grow on me,” but I’m just not and never will be. I either want someone from around the first time I lay eyes on him or I don’t and never will. I feed off of instinct and passion and natural chemistry. That hasn’t gotten me very far in romance in all actuality, but it’s what I know and love.

All in all, Tinder has been good to me I guess. There are a lot of clowns and douchebags on there but it’s not that bad. Whereas traditional dating sites like Match and Plenty of Fish have never held my attention for long,  I actually like Tinder because I can appreciate the dynamic nature of it. Traditional dating sites force you to tether yourself to one geographical area whereas Tinder is based on where you and potential matches are at any given moment. So it allows for the potential to interact with someone who, while he may only be in the area temporarily, I might not normally come into contact with because he doesn’t live near me. Not the ideal foundation for anything substantial, but it’s a start.

 Bedford is the fifth guy I’ve met from Tinder. So far I think I’ve met some pretty good people, even if our dates never led to anything more. Good times nonetheless. I think I screen people pretty well.

And then there’s the one I still have yet to meet – JP. Who has not texted or called, of course. I’ve managed not to say anything more to him since Friday when I asked him to call me. Maybe he’s busy with LMDP. And if that’s the case, it would hurt to know for sure so I’ve not had the courage to check and see. Unfortunately he’s been on my mind pretty often since our impromptu reunion. Drats.

Mile High Club

So on Tinder, there seems to be a multitude of pilots. Especially of the commercial variety. And you know they’re pilots because they all use pictures of themselves in uniform with a gigantic airplane in the background, or from within the cockpit itself, so all the women see how hot and manly they are for possessing the knowledge and skill to operate such a sophisticated piece of machinery.

And yes, it has worked on me a time or two. I do tend to appreciate a man in uniform.

I’ve matched with several pilots on Tinder but none of them ever live anywhere near me. We matched because they had flown into my vicinity temporarily for work and then were right back on the go again. I talked to one pilot a couple of times who seemed to be just looking for a hookup whenever he was in town. No thanks.

And then there’s JP.

JP and I matched somewhere around July 6th. He, of course, had the requisite picture of himself in uniform in front of an airplane. But he was standing a distance from the camera so his face wasn’t really clear. And it was only the one picture, which never really sits well with me. I figure if you only have one picture on a dating site (or app), then something is amiss. But he looked like he could be cute, and fit, and what the hell, it’s only Tinder…so I swiped right. He swiped right with me too eventually so we matched and he immediately started messaging me even though it turned out by the point we were over 300 miles away from each other. He had flown into my area that afternoon but had already left.

He told me how pretty I am and we made small talk about our professions and heights between July 6th and the next day. He said he doesn’t really get on Tinder much anymore because he’s not that big of a horn ball. And that was pretty much it. That’s how it usually goes with Tinder. At least for me. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I didn’t really think anything of it until he started messaging me again this past Monday night. I was delayed in answering him, but he got back to me the next day and we started chatting about vacations and various other things. He said he wanted to send me a picture of an experience he had in the Dominican Republic and asked for my phone number so he could do so. I figured what the hell and gave it to him. He sent me the pic and it showed a much better view of his face and I realized he was actually very cute. And he’s tall, which is a major plus.

From there the conversation flowed steadily and we ended up texting extensively. Even though I was out with my friends, I was kind of drawn to the conversation. It only ended because he had to get to bed for his transport van at 4 AM the next morning. He mentioned he was going to Spain the next day for recreational purposes, so I didn’t really expect to hear from him the next day, or not even necessarily at any time again. That’s just how these things go sometimes.

But then yesterday he started texting me again in the afternoon. It was more of the same as the day before…random chat and banter about various subjects. We delved more into background information…family life, education, relationships, etc. He broke up with a girl in December that he was with for several years, but says he’s over it and has moved on. She was a little younger and they were at different stages in their lives. At some point he mentioned that we were hitting it off well.

He managed to Facebook stalk me, which he freely admitted. I think because he had my phone number and it’s linked to my Facebook account, they suggested me as a friend to him or something. That’s acceptable. He even sent me a screen shot as proof, because otherwise he would’ve had to have put a LOT of effort into searching for me and that would’ve been just the tiniest bit unsettling for him to partake in that effort on his own in lieu of just asking me for my information. (Not that I’ve never done that myself, but I definitely wouldn’t admit it.)

At some point the conversation started waning, as he was getting ready for his Spain flight. I dozed off for a couple of minutes and woke up to find a missed call from him. My ringer volume was too low to wake me up or else I would’ve answered. I texted him to tell him he could call me back if he wanted, but he was already en route to the airport and said he’d try to if he had enough time at the gate. He never did call back but he kept on texting until just before takeoff. Even jokingly bragging about his free first class international ride. Must be nice to be a pilot!

The last few texts centered around him telling me he’d take me to Europe since I said I’ve never been. And then he had to go.

And again, I didn’t expect to hear from him for a day or two. Or even ever again.

But then this afternoon I get a message on Tinder. And it was him. He said he signed on just to talk to me. (Avoiding those horrid international texting rates…clever.) He asked me to download a messaging app called WhatsApp, so I did, and we connected on there. It turns out he’s in Spain with a female flight attendant friend of his, but he assured me that it’s definitely not a romantic thing. Whatever the case may be, I’m flattered that he made the effort to contact me all the way from Spain

I don’t know…I think he’s nice. Sweet. Cute. Smart. He’s not been overly sexual or sleazy sounding. But I haven’t even met him in person. Who knows what that will bring. And even then, he lives over 400 miles away from me. But I like talking to him. Surely there’s no harm in that?

In other news…never heard from that one guy from Match again. He’d definitely been online since I sent him those 2 messages, but he never responded and then eventually his profile link was greyed out, so I guess he either hid it or blocked me. I guess he found greener pastures. Ah well.

I’ve been talking to another guy on there in recent days who I’m supposed to meet on Saturday. I’ve never met a guy from Match before, so that’ll be a first.