celibacy, life, love, relationships, thoughts, women

Asking your friends to set you up

Some people, tired of bad dates, ask their friends to set them up with their single friends. It’s not a bad idea, because people with similar values and interests tend to stick together, so the friend your friends want to set you up  may share a few values with you.

Taylor Swift’s latest boyfriend was introduced to her by their common friends, who thought they would match easily, for an example. For famous  people, the friends circle is  the safest way to meet a potential date. They can’t go on Tinder or any other apps because they will probably be harassed.

But non famous people can also feel safer with dating if their friends pre-approve your date because they know him/her.

There are no guarantee though your setup will turn into a relationship. A friend of mine told me she was set up with a man who wasn’t her type. She ended up furious over her friend who chose to set up the date. “I felt she didn’t know me very well” she said. In that case, it’s as unpleasant as if you were not warned you were set up. Last year, I ended up sitting next to a single man at a wedding. When he learned I was a journalist,  he started to rant against my profession. I tried to avoid him during the rest of the evening because he was just a jerk, and I was pissed off at my acquaintances for trying to set me up with that guy.

Your friends can also take the offense if you don’t like the  guy they picked for you. They might think you’re too picky.

Besides, being in the middle can be difficult for your friends if your setup for a reason don’t call you back, goes M.I.A.,… or if you don’t get along very well and complain to your friends about the setup.

That’s why some people avoid setting their friends up.

One of my friends told me she can’t set me up with her single male friends, because she knows they won’t be my type. “I know all of you very well, and I know you wouldn’t be a good match” she said. It’s wise, because we’re still friends, and I avoided some disastrous dates.

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Future sex

In her book “Future Sex“, the journalist Emily Witt explores the limit of what we would call free love. She writes about her experience with online dating, porn, polyamory, internet babes and the childless option. If I do follow her conclusions, this list may predict the future of relationship, where internet have a strong place, except for polyamory (although I have met on dating app some men who were into this type of open relationship).

 The journalist wrote she had a problem feeling attracted by the men she met online. I do understand her, because I’m  bit lost on dating app like Tinder. I don’t really feel attracted right away by a man just by looking at his picture. Emily Witt said she wasn’t  into her online date when she met them face to face. Maybe it’s because women don’t have a smell cue when they meet someone online. That smell cue can be useful when you meet someone face to face in a bar or a cafe or a concert,… The journalist compared the attraction she had for men she met in parties, bars, … and men she met online.

Emily Witt also wrote about a couple working for Google who are into polyamory. It’s not a surprise, since in the Silicon Valley, there is a new sexual revolution where love takes the form of many lovers at the same time. Elsewhere, it’s just infidelity or open relationships, which are not so sustainable on the long run , because we are jealous by nature.

This book rises a question: can we be ourselves if we multiply lovers, and if we allow the distance internet creates between people? The future looks bleak then.

On the other hand, internet remains a mean to meet people. But it’s just a way. Internet remains useless when it comes to create a bond with someone.  And it’s easy to think, thanks to dating apps, online dating,… we can always find someone better. It’s the best way to end up alone.

Yet, we can’t force people to stay into our life.

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Are women disadvantaged with online dating?

Scott Solomon, a biologist at Rice University, explains women don’t benefit very well from online dating and dating apps. Because women rely on various criteria to choose their partner , while men rely on their sole vision to find a woman attractive. Solomon adds women use smell to evaluate a potential partner. The smell cues are not available online. So to be sure, we had to accept a date to know right away if the guy is worthy or not. And yes, if I can’t stand the smell of the man in front of me, I will rule him out immediately.

It’s true I look for common points, pictures, lines, … on Tinder before I swipe right or left a guy. A man I would find attractive only by his looks will turn me down. When I see a very handsome man on Tinder, I just feel not very pretty enough for him. So I swipe him left.

There are also another problem with dating app like Tinder. Many men use that dating app for “confidence-boosting procrastination”. It’s the case for millennials. But older men do that too. That’s why even if you swipe right many men and they swipe you right too, you don’t engage in much conversation with them. Out of ten men I had a match with, only one started a conversation with me. Out of the 53 matches I got so far on Tinder, I’ve only started the conversation with ten of them. Most of the time, I was the one who made the first move. At that rhythm, I would be better off with Bumble (the dating app where women make the first move).

But there’s also an other explanation. Two of my dates I met on Tinder told me they swiped right almost every woman they saw on Tinder. They added once they got their match, they select the women they will start the conversation with. One of them told me he used another app to see who like him on Tinder, and then he selects the ones who really interest him.

There’s a deep feeling there are a lot of oysters on dating app, but no pearl. Yet, some people do find each other with Tinder, Bumble, or with online dating. Some people find their match right away, with the beginner’s luck. Other take their time, and some are more comfortable with online dating sites like OkCupid where you have to fill a long multiple-choice survey questions in order to find someone compatible with you. Although there’s a limit with those dating sites too. There’s a story of a math genius named Chris McKinlay who hacked OkCupid to find true love. He used bots to collect the datas left by women on this dating site and to elaborate his optimal dating profile. Over three weeks, he  received 20,000 answers from women, which he narrowed to 88 dates. Only three lead to a second date. Only one lead to a third date. None of them resulted in a serious relationship. He eventually met his significant other thanks to OkCupid. But she was the one who found him, without hacking her profile.

One of my friends told me dating apps, online dating sites, … are just occasions to meet someone new. “After you meet, relationships begin or not” he said. “Yes, it’s superficial, but the dates you get with Tinder, … are not. People are much more complicated than their  online profile” he added. After the meeting, it’s up to us to create a bond, if we like the person who stands in front of us at the bar or the coffee shop,…

For women, those meetings are crucial, because it’s the only way for them to use their smell. But I’m not sure women don’t benefit that much with online dating than men.

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celibacy, dating site, life, love, relationships, thoughts, women

Reunited by a dating app

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The Financial Times recently interviewed Whitney Wolfe, the founder of the dating app Bumble. That dating app forces women to make the first move.

I don’t use that dating app, because in my country, Tinder is way more popular. Perhaps because in my country, like in France, women don’t make the first move in general. Many of my female friends told me they didn’t make the first move with their significant other. One of them, who is still single, told me she would never make the first move.

But this interview is interested. The founder of Bumble said more than 5000 engagements and marriages were originated with the app.  She added most people used the app on Sunday nights and Monday.The app is the busiest during those periods of the week.

One of the couples who found themselves on Bumble used to know each other before. But they lost each other from sight. He used to have a crush on her when they were younger. By the power of an algorithm, they made a connection again. Without that algorithm, maybe they  wouldn’t have made that connection. Who knows? They could have bumped into each other in the street. But it would not make that connection so instantly.

Those who use the dating apps like Tinder and Bumble connect when they feel lonely. That’s why there’s a peak in connections on Sunday nights and Mondays. When you feel lonely, you are in generally in better conditions to look actively for someone and to jump on the first occasions. So, it might explain why these former crushes reunited.

I’ve never bumped into a former crush on Tinder. I don’t know what would be my reaction if it was the case. What would you do if you find a formal crush on a dating app?

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Dating your non type

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I’ve just finished reading “He’s not just your type (and it’s a good thing)” by Andrea Syrtash. She advises to look over your type of men or women to find love, and also follow your heart when you feel comfortable  with someone who doesn’t fit in your ideal type or your family’s expectations.

The author defines your non type by someone you would rule out at first because that someone may be too old for you, too far from you, too young, divorced with children… Or because that someone is very different from all your ex’s especially if you’ve dated the same profile over and over again. In other words, she advises to keep an open mind when it comes to love. But she adds you don’t have to accept everything, especially when your non type doesn’t treat you very well (by going M.I.A., or being physically or verbally abusive).

She admits your family and friends can have a problem accepting your non type. One of my friends admitted he had a problem accepting at first his friend’s companion, when she introduced her to all of her friends. It was a surprise for him because his friend used to date men before. Another of my friends told me her mother didn’t accept at first her new beau, who was divorced with two children.

Of course, all families and friends are not all judgmental about your choices. And sometimes, a good conversation with your friends and your family about your non type can  help them accepting him/her. Your choice can worry your family and friends. Because if you choose someone who’s older than you, over ten years of difference, that difference can weigh on your couple as both of you grow older, with the problems associated to ageing.

The author adds you can feel disappointed by your type of lovers. What looks good on paper doesn’t make necessarily a good match for you. Like if your date has all the qualities (achievements, emotional intelligence, education, wealth, …) but is terrible in bed (because he can’t have an erection).

But I have some remarks about keeping an open mind. If your significant other wants you to change, even if you love him/her, I don’t think an open mind it’s an option here.

Nevertheless, most of my female friends told me they weren’t attracted at first with their significant other. And there are some famous examples too, like Michelle Obama when she saw her future husband trying to flirt with her, or Amal Clooney, when George tried to make his first move. At first, those ladies weren’t interested. As if their husband were their non type.

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The trophy

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Many wealthy women have tried to flirt with me after my divorce” said one of my friends, who’s a university professor. “But I refused all of them, because I don’t want to be the intellectual trophy they parade at their galas,… It’s not my cup of tea” he added.

My friend often gives lectures and conferences, and sometimes appears on TV. Usually, after his conferences, there are a lot of women who come and ask him questions. But my friend told me he’s a bit afraid of them.

I can understand him, as I also turned down two wealthy men last year, who were impressed by my intelligence as they said. I met them at a conference where I was one of the speakers. Both of them were much older than me. I felt exactly the same way as my friend with his wealthy suitors. Except I’m not shaken by a divorce like my friend.

My friend was married to a woman who was wealthy, but didn’t match his intelligence. I told him several times they weren’t a good match. His ex-wife is a socialite, whose goal is to appear in the cocktail parties pictures published in people magazines. She often  gunned him down in front of other people.  I told him she was very mean. Of course, she hated me.

“Why don’t you go for a female professor?” I asked him. He didn’t reply.

Nowadays, as men aren’t the sole breadwinner and decision-maker in a couple, most men search for their equal in education, intelligence, achievement,… They don’t look for a woman who just looks good. But it’s the same, and ever more, for women.

I half joked in a previous post about asking my potential dates if they can quote a poem from Baudelaire, some lines from “Economie du Bien commun”, or a theorem from Mandelbrot. Usually, I just ask what is the last book they read. If they can’t answer, I tell them it’s not worth to pursue the conversation. If they answer “just Sci-Fi ” or something like that, I don’t want the conversation to go on either. One of my dates told me he was reading “Le rouge et le noir” by Stendhal. I happily decided to pursue the conversation with him.

Besides,  your circles can dismiss quickly a companion who doesn’t match you in education or status. So, yes, your friends are a precious ally.

Guys who just look for a model as their significant other are either narcissistic, or just another model.

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Breadcrumbing

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Breadcrumbing is the act of voluntarily leading someone on with texts, comments and likes on social medias, calls when you can’t pick up your phone, long conversations on Messenger, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Tinder,… with no concrete plans of meeting up.

It’s a grey area in relationships. It’s not a relationship, but it’s not no contact either. Breadcrumbers can be found in professional circles too. On Linkedin, I’ve noticed a lot of people are looking at my profile, without leaving me a message or invite me for a meeting. In the digital age, we all leave our fingerprints everywhere. Before that, we didn’t have that possibility or maybe just leave a written letter or a object to someone without allowing  him/her to answer. Today, with social medias, we can leave a like or a comment just by one click.

It’s a torture if you hope for a relationship with a breadcrumber. It’s also a torture when the breadcrumber is your ex or an former friend who has disappeared from your life. When you don’t really care about this person, it’s not a big deal.

Breadcrumbing can happen after a breakup. Some people can’t really move on and cut all contacts with their ex. You end up with an ex who still sends you some messages, who likes all your posts on social medias, and even comments on it. But that ex never asks to see you again. Sometimes, it helps some people to move on. After some likes on Instagram, Facebook, … and some comments/messages, some people disappear from your digital life. Breadcrumbers are one step of ghosters, those who disappear without a trace. They are a cousin of the “friend zone”.

Breadcrumbers feed their ego. But you can’t count on them to have a real friendship or relationship. There’s nothing more frustrating than having someone who tells you “Speak you soon” or “Let’s touch base later on” without scheduling an actual meet up.

There’s two ways of breaking this circle. One is to confront the breadcrumber and asks him/her what he/she wants from you. The other option is to ignore the breadcrumber. He/she’ll eventually get tired of breadcrumbing you.

If you are a breadcrumber with your ex, it’s also wise to unfriend him/her on social medias.

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