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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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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The right stages of a relationship

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Is there a right order in relationships? I’m not so sure. Several of my friends had their children before getting married to their significant other. Some are even not married. “Traditional” couples still get married first and have children after.

But this is an evolution of relationships because it has to start from scratch. Every relationship begins with an encounter. Dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, Happn,… favour those encounters. Our professional and private circles can also help to meet someone. There are many ways to find a new relationship. To be fair, my last relationships all started with Tinder.

After the first contact, there is the first date. If you are careful, the first exchanges you made with your date help you to sort those who would make a disastrous first date. The men I met through Tinder exchanged several messages with me before our first date, and I was relieved by what they wrote. I didn’t have much surprises when I met them.

After that, some people decide to lead a particular relationship. An acquaintance started to be sex friends with the man she met thanks to Tinder. Another one started to casual date a man she met through some common friends. Generally, people take their time to evaluate their date. Especially when they have experienced several relationships.  But it can happen that some people want to start right away a long term relationship. Even if only the long run can tell if the relationship is sustainable or not.

With age, people also take their time before having sex with their date. Even with the people who meet through Tinder, which is famous to be a hookup site. This may be true for the young people between 18-24, but above that age, it’s not necessarily the case. Some people wait until they are certain there are feelings involved before having sex. It can take weeks or even months. The key is to take time to know our date. It’s not that simple. But if our date don’t want to spend time with us, that’s a sign he/she doesn’t want to have a relationship.

Some people wait until they meet their date’s friends and family, which is a sign the relationship is going strong. After all, if you don’t pass that step, it’s not a good sign. Our friends and family can also help us to tell if our date is right for us. Usually, our friends and family see when there’s a problem while we’re too blind with love. This step isn’t a problem if you date someone from your private circle, who was introduced to you by common friends. The blessing is already there.

Recently, one of my coworkers told me he’s divorcing. He met his wife at our office five years ago, and people were really surprised how fast their relationship evolved. She got pregnant only four months after they started dating, and got married in a hurry. Had they have waited, he may have known she was a bad influence to him. His career stalled after they started dating. She was really jealous and made him a scene every time he talked to female coworkers.

Yes, we all know some exceptions to this. Two of my friends got pregnant really quickly after they met their significant other. So far, they are still in their relationship. But they met their significant other through common friends.

Only fools rush in, isn’t it?

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Dating by text

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Nowadays, people don’t call each other anymore. I don’t call my friends anymore. We communicate either on WhatsApp, Messenger, iMessage,… And we schedule every of our meetings with texts.  I still call people from my professional sphere though. But I’ve noticed people communicate more and more by emails. Even on Linkedin.

But texts are not a real conversation. As Sherry Turkle said in her TED speech, we find a way to be connected, but alone. With texts, we keep people at distance.

Yet, when it comes to dating, texts can be useful. Who has the guts to talk to someone in the street and ask him/her out? The risk of rejection is really high in that case. It’s less of a big deal with texts. Although  with texts there’s a grey area because people can wait to reply to your text, and even not reply at all. And this can be a source of anxiety. On Messenger and iMessage, you can also see the dots indicating your friends (or family or lover) currently typing. It’s frustrating  when  those dots  don’t turn into a text.

When you try to ask out someone over texts, there’s nothing more frustrating to see this.

Aziz Ansari, who wrote “Modern romance” with the sociologist Eric Klinenberg, has a theory about what you should write in your text to reach your goal. In short, don’t do endless back and forth. A firm invitation to do something specific at a specific time is a better solution than typing pointless texts about everything and nothing to eventually forget why you started to text. Some humorous texts will also do the trick.

Yes, it can backfire because the other can refuse your invitation or can’t understand your humorous texts. But at least,  you don’t spend time typing pointless texts.

With a text like “Hey”, “what’s up?”, very few people would  write you back. At least, if you don’t know well the person. I don’t mind if my friends text me those, but they don’t do that in general.

Texts are just a mean to meet people. You can feel really alone if you text all of the time and never meet the other person at the receiving end.

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