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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broken heart, life, love, relationships, thoughts, women

Acceptance or isolation of your couple

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The new French president, Emmanuel Macron, raised some eyebrows before of the age difference between him and his spouse, Brigitte.  In our society, unfortunately, it’s not considered normal for a man to marry someone who is his senior, especially if the age gap is very large. My mother is two years older than my father. They haven’t met any reticence when they started their relationship. People don’t notice that difference. They just look as old together.

Those couples who have a large age gap do meet some reticence.  But it’s the same for couples who don’t share the same religion, the same background and pedigree, … Those couples are more fragile because of the pressure of their relatives and friends, over the society.  If their relatives and friends don’t accept the significant other, either the relationship survive by staying away from their circle or the relationship die. Love is not enough. Our circles have to validate our couple. Nobody likes to be cut from their friends and family, even if it’s for love.

Shakespeare grabs that difficulty for those couples in “Romeo and Juliet”. In the end of this tragedy, both lovers die, because their love would never have been accepted by their family.

Without strong links and reliable social circle, that certainly to have a destiny together can unbundle. At the risk of loneliness and the feeling of invincibility” said Serge Hefez, a psychologist in a french magazine.

Acceptance of your significant other from your family and friends is important.

A friend of mine told me his brother-in-law turned suddenly agressive toward him and his mother, after years of mocking from them because he wasn’t an intellectual like all the members of my friend’s family. “He was just a nurse, but recently he became CEO of a prosperous company he founded thanks to his IT skills. And since then, he has been agressive with us” he says. His sister has been torn for years between her family and her husband, and the feud isn’t over.

It’s not easy for family and friends to accept our significant other if he/she doesn’t fit into their ideal.

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Cougars (the age gap between lovers)

During the presidential elections in France, many comments were directed at Emmanuel Macron’s wife, Brigitte, who is 24 years his senior. Many attacks and critics  are targeted at the presidential candidates, and their relatives/friends/ assistant.  In the United States, Donald Trump’s wife, Melania, was not saved from those critics. But those critics were never raised against their age difference, even if they share with the new French presidential couple, the same age gap (24 years).

Melania Trump was never suspected to be gay for loving a much older man than her.  In France, there were doubts the presidential couple’s love was not genuine. As if a man couldn’t love someone older than him.  The only difference between these two couples is the moment when they fell in love. Emmanuel Macron was only 15 when he fell in love with his future wife. While Melania was 27 when she met Donald Trump for the first time.

In theory, should we all fall in love with someone who shares the same age than us? Would we be better off with someone who’s born in the same year than us?

With someone who is from the same generation than us, we can share many common points, the same experiences, the same references because of our education, the same values,… And we will age at the same rhythm. “With someone older, you will face all of his illness linked to his age. It’s a risk” says one of my friends. “As you age, the burden of age will be more difficult for your older partner. There will be some activities you can’t do with him” she added.

I don’t agree with her. With someone who shares the same age than us, there can be some major differences. If you’re introverted,  don’t like many social interactions  and prefer the comfort of your couch with a good book, you can clash with a partner who is the exact opposite than you. Whether she/he’s older or younger, or not than you. We can share zero common point apart the age with someone who’s as old as you. Besides, yes, there is a chance the older one in your couple can die before you. But life can decide otherwise. You can be hit by a bus tomorrow or die in an accident. There are no age to die.

We fall in love with the one who holds the promise to change our life. It’s not a conscientious act. It’s not like we can choose someone out of a catalog who will have all the qualities we look in a partner. Of course, if the one we love is violent or verbally abusive, we should leave him/her alone.

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

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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