Love in Limestone: Dating is hard, talking about it shouldn’t be

Photo by Susan W.

I read my horoscope today. Or at the very least, a Facebook meme that outlined – in great detail, I might add – my personality based on my star. The Gemini strikes again. The duality. The Jekyll and Hyde. The ‘love me,’ ‘but not too much.’ The ‘call me every hour,’ ‘but only sometimes,’

How’s that for being born under a bad sign?

Whilst thwarting a string of unwanted ploys for a late night hook up last night, I started delving into what it really means to be in my thirties, quasi-over-weight, divorced and looking for love in a new city.

Even as I type this out, one ex has asked what I’m wearing. Seemingly harmless – he did add the winky emoji, after all! (Beware the constant sarcastic undertones.) Simultaneously, one bloke I met randomly has reached out. It appears he’s nursing himself back from a vicious hangover, given the nature of the inventory of messages I received yesterday.

How do you put yourself out into the world as successful, content, charming, and above all worth it, while you’re bitter and jaded and taking stock in the idea of ‘boys are dumb, throw rocks at them’ adage?

It’s a delicate balance, and a hard line we tow as women. In the era of #MeToo, we’re guarded when we date. The messages we receive. The constant battle between oversharing on social media, while heeding the warnings of online dating. I mean – how can you put up a limited profile on Tinder, but then add a potential suitor on Instagram where they suddenly have access to your entire digital life you’ve so diligently curated over the years?

As Pat explained: “Love is a battlefield.”

There’s a few new dating trends and terms I’ve read recently. Serendipidating, as per the New York Times, refers to “putting off a date in the hope that something better comes along”. While Orbiting is defined as essentially trolling and engaging with your ex on their particular social feeds, claims The Independent.

So basically, we’re stuffed into a cycle – you meet “Joe” on Tinder. Since you’ve been chatting a few weeks, you change platforms to Instagram. Now “Joe” has got your inside scoop. But you’re not fully sold, so while you’re still chatting with other “Joe’s” on other sites – enter the OK Cupids, and POFs – you can’t help but look up what your most recent ex is doing now. And of course they have a public profile. You don’t need to “follow them” to see that their current flame is a younger, thinner, prettier version of yourself. (Again, back to sarcasm.)

Do these Millennials have it easier than us Xennials? Is it because they don’t remember a hazy blue ring of smoke circling a whiskey and coke in some half empty dive bar, while the cowboy on an adjacent stool asks you to dance? And how do we abide by these new set of dating rules? How do we inject ourselves into this new way of falling in love? Do Millennials just accept that this is how dating, and hook ups and potential life partners … meet one another??

Back to my original point. How does a thirty-something divorcee meet someone in 2018? I’m not sure they needed to coin “serendipidating,” as I’m confident it just generally applies to an influx of unread messages. And same goes for “orbiting.” I can’t be the only gal on the planet elbow deep in a bottle of wine, watching a Grey’s Anatomy repeat, while flipping back and forth on her phone from a Tinder swipe to a secret glance at what could be a recent post on her wasband’s social feed.

And no one explains just how much time you’ll end up investing in either term.

And how much time do we really have anymore, anyhow? Somehow, I manage to squeeze in my work schedule(s) around my full-time (single) parenting and independent woman (!!) social life. Where does that leave room for the occasional ‘let’s go for a coffee,’ or the more committal ‘can I take you for dinner?’ Especially when online dating seems more like sifting than drifting from date to date.

Next time we chat, I’ll shower this with a few true-blue anecdotes of venturing out into the dating sphere. I actually have found several precious moments in time to give ‘real world’ dating a chance.

And to sum the experience: it appears I’m working on my PH.D in serendipidating with a minor in orbiting.

Oh look at that. A notification from OK Cupid.


Follow Lilly’s dating highs and lows, and get some advice from the lady herself on Facebook at Advice or Anecdotes? We accept either or both at [email protected].

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