I deleted the dating app about a week after installing it. It was such a relief.
I really don’t know what to say about the whole “dating in the digital age” thing. It is probably safe to say that it isn’t for me. Though I genuinely wasn’t looking for anything romantic in the first place (and I made that quite clear), I simply couldn’t contend with the unspoken (or not so unspoken) expectation of a hookup or FWB situationship. Whatever happened to just being friends?? Perhaps that is exactly my problem…the outdated desire for something strictly platonic with a member of the opposite sex. Stupid, stupid me.
Remember the guy with “a million tattoos”? Ugh. What a dud. I ended up messaging him, and we exchanged several messages over the course of five or six days. However, we hardly talked about anything at all. It was so weird. I had to do the majority of the talking…you know, asking him questions about himself, showing interest in the kind of person he was. The guy was great at answering, but downright awful when it came to reciprocating. It’s unfortunate because he seemed like a really nice person; we just didn’t quite click.
That seems to be an ever-increasing issue for me these days…not “clicking” with others. Though I can get along with and carry on a conversation with just about anyone, it has been hard for me to find people that rock a similar vibe as me—people who catch what I’m throwing. This seemed to be my primary issue as I would engage in conversations with the guys on the app…there just wasn’t any chemistry or meaningful relatability.
The Hidden Curse Of Being An Oddity
I can’t blame the guys though. I’m kind of a strange bird, I’ll admit. Most people seem to like me, but they don’t get me; I don’t particularly expect them to. It seems as though people don’t know what to make of me, so instead of taking the time to figure it out, they thank me for whatever entertainment I provided them with before falling by the wayside.
It is often hard for me to understand the fullness of the being that is myself. As a walking, talking, breathing contradiction, I’m full of duality and deeply confusing paradoxes. Often, there is no rhyme or reason, no viable explanation for the things I like, believe in or desire. I don’t always make perfect logical sense nor do I always do perfectly logical things. And yet, I have a side to myself that is heartily entrenched in the realm of what is black and white: cold hard facts and science-supported proofs. Then, as though I’d never had a single rational thought in my entire life, I’m off talking about whimsical, abstract things that have no sound foundation in “reality”. This is simply how I’ve always been, but maybe it doesn’t wear as well as an adult.
For the most part, my paradoxical nature fascinates me. However, there are times—primarily when dating—that I find these tendencies to be rather annoying and troublesome. There’s always the desire to find a “nice guy”, but with it comes an almost animalistic attraction to the “bad boys”. Sure, my past romantic dealings with bad boys have been absolute disasters. It’s like throwing gasoline on an open fire, but good Lord, the chemistry is always electric and all-consuming. The relationships burn fast and hot, never lasting more than a year. All the same, there’s a side to me that must crave the excitement of loving a man I’m destined to hate, but will thoroughly get a kick out of in the meantime. Of course, I came across just such a guy on the app.
Physically, he was my type. I always say I don’t have a type, and I suppose I don’t in the traditional sense of the phrase. When I look at a guy, I just know. It’s more of a vibe that they give off…it’s really hard for me to describe it because two people could look exactly the same and I’d like one way more than the other simply based on vibe. Anyway, I’m getting off topic (as usual). He seemed very rough around the edges and had a dark, domineering energy, but he didn’t necessarily look as though he’d have that in him. He owned a motorcycle, drank absinthe and was quite transparent about some of his more unconventional…recreational interests (hence the title of this post). Out of everyone I spoke to on the app, he was secretly my favorite. That being said, I greatly disliked that I wanted to get to know him better.
At first, our messages were quite friendly and of a reasonable length. Right at the beginning of our exchanges, I could tell that he was a bit of a character. For some reason, he reminded me of Jack Nicholson. Or perhaps he reminded me of some of the roles Jack Nicholson has played. You know, a bit erratic, a smidge neurotic and slightly (or entirely) unhinged. Did I mention that I actually love Jack Nicholson? Let’s call the guy “Jack” from now on. Constantly calling him “that guy” seems pretty rude to me.
Anyhow, Jack had an aura that instantly attracted me. I didn’t want to be attracted to that type of a guy, but against my better judgement, I was. Something about him screamed “trouble”, but it was like a fat kid with cake or a dog scooting its butt on the carpet…I couldn’t even help myself. Unlike many of the other guys, he took turns asking me about myself. What kind of music I liked. What job would I like to do if I could just wake up one day and do it. It was normal conversation, but with an enticing undertone. It felt like I was slowly being lured towards something more…thrilling. The more I spoke to him, the more interesting he became. He was different and I liked it, but still, something in my gut told me to leave him where I’d found him. I didn’t listen.
Can You Judge A Book By Its Instagram?
One night, Jack tossed me a casual invitation to be shown around downtown. He was apparently out of town for some job type thing, but he said if I was up for it when he got back he’d like to show me around. In the same message, he instructed me to check out his Instagram for photos of his motorcycle that I’d previously inquired about. Eager to take a closer peek at him and his life, I did exactly that.
I’d honestly been worried that I would see something distasteful on his page, but I thought his photos were lovely. His Instagram was rustic, wild even. There were very few photos of people (which I often prefer). Instead, he had taken photos of lonely expanses of desert roads, sun bathed mountains, pinkish-purple fluorescent sunsets and thought-provoking neon signs. I didn’t spend too much time on there…just enough to quickly scroll through and admire what a nice smile he seemed to have. It kinda made me melt…just a bit.
I was getting ready to close the browser tab, but had decided to scroll through just one more time. On that particular go, something grabbed my eye that hadn’t done so before. I don’t know how I missed it the first time. There, in the midst of all these gorgeous, non-creepy photos was a gun. I’ll give credit where credit is due though…it was artfully placed and photographed. Still, I instantly felt my enthusiasm slip away. He thought it’d be a good idea to post a public photo of a gun? Really though?
I’ll be honest, I’m not anti-guns. However, I’m not pro-guns either. It is a constitutional right to own a gun, if that is someone’s decision. I have no qualms or criticisms for a sound-minded individual who is properly educated and licensed to have one. But as we all know, not everyone who has a gun is sound-minded, which is obviously concerning. I suppose what bothered me most was the public display of the gun on his Instagram. I was quite surprised that he would be so open as to then post his Instagram link on his dating app profile for women to see.
Being a relatively upfront person, I went right back to him and asked, “What’s the deal with the gun?” Despite being completely turned off by what I’d seen, I really didn’t want to judge him for it. I expected for there to be a reason for having it…I mean, a reason other than using it on potential dates. He explained how he’d come to acquire it, and it sounded like a reasonable answer, but the conversation quickly went sour. He automatically mistook me for being a crazy anti-gun person who was “afraid” of guns. I’m hardly afraid of guns; I’m afraid of unstable people with guns. And since I couldn’t be too sure of how stable he was (obviously—I had just met him), the gun sent up a red flag. I now felt that I needed to be even more cautious about actually meeting up him than usual. After all, the world can be a scary place.
When I tried to explain that I was more worried about ending up dead in a ditch somewhere, he got offended. This truly made me feel bad. I apologized upon realizing that I had unintentionally (not to mention clearly) upset him, but I guess my timing wasn’t the best. His business trip had been a major fail, so I honestly think he was in a really bad mood over it. Me jokingly insinuating that he may or may not be a complete gun-wielding psychopath didn’t go over too well. He actually said that I’d “triggered” him. *sigh* My sense of humor isn’t everyone’s favorite flavor at times, but sheesh…I thought I’d said it as delicately as possible.
Am I complete fool to think it isn’t becoming for a man to show women he owns a gun when they’ve just met? It wasn’t just that either. I was concerned about Jack’s overall judgement and discernment. When looking for jobs, everyone knows potential employers look at your social media. In light of all the gun-related tragedies that have gone on recently, it made me wonder if his trip had flopped due to what they’d seen.
Well, long story short, Jack got icy AF after that. He didn’t seem to hold it against me…at least, he said he didn’t. Still, his demeanor completely changed. That brooding and domineering vibe I’d picked up on at the beginning, but hadn’t yet witnessed, popped onto the scene, which was nothing short of humorous. I think he was having a bootleg Christian Grey moment. I’m not saying that I wasn’t fascinated by it, but I’m not that kind of girl. First, he started trying to control when we talked and what we talked about. Then he tried to “give me permission” to do something or another…I forget what. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Submissive? Me? Boy, bye. Who knows? Maybe he was attracted to my directness and it triggered his inner Fifty Shades.
Whatever the case, I randomly deleted the app sometime after that and haven’t spoken to Jack since. Normally, I would never, ever, ever ghost someone, but I simply had to delete the damned thing to preserve my sanity. It actually had nothing to do with him or anyone else on the app. The entire experience had grown to be awkward, so it was making me unbearably anxious. I guess I’m just too old-fashioned to meet friends, lovers or whatever else in such a deliberate and inorganic way. However, I’m sort of sorry I didn’t continue talking to “Jack”…there was something about him. Sure, it was something I needed to leave alone, but still something. I don’t stumble upon that often these days.
So for now, this series has come to a screeching halt. I won’t be hopping on anymore dating apps anytime soon (hopefully), so unless some super dreamy guy bumps into me in Aisle 4 at the grocery store, I’m going to remain a thirty-something, single female.
But what do you guys think? Was it wrong for me to feel a little creeped out by what I saw on Jack’s Insta? What would you have done? Have any of you had a similar experience? I’d really like to hear some thoughts on this.