Day 2: Tinder

It’s true, I have more thoughts.

There is a reason why I’m more excited by the interaction I get on Tinder. The conclusion I reached last night was Tinder satisfies that stupid human need for an adrenaline rush. I figured this out while I was talking to Smart Friend while she drove me home after hanging out with a few friends. She specifically said a lot of people on Tinder are looking for hookups. Cue: red flag. And then it all made sense.

I thought about it. On OKCupid, you answer a TON of questions that measure your compatibility with other people. It’s also suggested that you fill out several sections about yourself. This provides people with a lot of information about you–your goals, what you’re doing, where you’re going in life. You could potentially gather enough information about a person to figure out whether or not you could live with them or whether or not you want something long-term with them. This is all very useful practically for the person looking for a partner. Romantically, though, there is always something to be said about mystery, or just the possibility that there is more to someone than what you see. If the OKCupid formula is used correctly, it can definitely find you a person well-suited to your needs, but might also kill the intrigue.

On the other hand, Tinder is all about those vague and stupid “sparks” people obsess over in romantic relationships. You see someone, *sparks*. You message them, you meet up (without ever really indicating what you expect from a relationship, what length of time you expect the thing to last, how romantic and/or sexual you would like it to be–if we’re only going by what people say in their profiles), you have however much fun you want with said person, and hopefully it’s a good experience. If it’s not, hopefully you have salvaged enough of your heart to be able to pick up your sorry ass and move on.

I personally have no belief at all whatsoever in “sparks”. I mean yes, I have experienced that carnal attraction to someone I find very attractive. But that’s not what I build my relationships on. I used to do a lot with “sparks”. It wasn’t very fun at all. The strategy I use these days is–protect my heart, just to give you an idea of where I’m coming from.

It’s ironic, but the first person I’m planning to meet up with is someone I messaged on Tinder. Now begins that most arduous task of meeting for the first time and laying out my expectations. What I’m going to do now will seem rather bizarre, but there’s a list of things I plan to cover on this first date, which I will include here. I feel these are things I should be allowed to bring up on a first date and expect honest answers. If we can’t discuss these things, well then that’s a deal-breaker. Afterwards, I’ll see how much of it I actually covered.

_What do you expect from this relationship?

His answer:

My answer: In a nutshell, what I’m looking for can be summarized in the word “cuddle buddy.” I’m not really looking for sex at the moment. I’m not opposed to it, but it’s not my primary reason for starting a partnership. If that’s your primary reason, then you’d best move along. I will not satisfy you. I’m also not looking for love. I have no interest in something long-term and demanding. I have one year left in the place where I am currently, and then I will most likely move pretty far away. I’m not looking for deep, emotional attachment. If that is something you want, you’d best move along. I will still leave in a year. Your ass will be heartbroken.

However, if you like having someone around with whom you can eat cider donuts, go foliage-hunting, check out random art galleries, or sit on the couch and watch a movie, I’m your person! At this moment in my life, I’m more into the read-on-the-couch-together aesthetic than I am in a DEEP PASSIONATE ROMANCE thing.

_Do you have any STDs? How frequently do you get tested?

My answer: No. I try to test every 6 months if I can help it. I’m due for testing soon.

His answer:

_How frequently do you expect we will be having sex? (I need a serious answer)

My answer: Not much, if at all. Once a month seems pretty generous. Admittedly, I’m probably a gray-scale asexual. I don’t require much sex.

His answer:

_How much time do you reasonably expect to see me in a week?

My answer: I’ve got quite a bit going on this semester. I’m basically working the equivalent of two jobs, and I might pick up a third. All are things I want to be doing. If you like spending study time with me, then we’ll probably get by. I can’t be spending nights all the time. I’m too busy. I can spare maybe one night every two weeks.

His answer:

_Do you want this relationship to be monogamous?

My answer: To be super honest, no. I think I’d like it to be an open partnership, just because I’m at a point in my life where a lot of things are transitory and I don’t like committing to anything too exclusively. Though if it really bothers you, I can be monogamous. Just know that if I find someone better has come along, I might leave. That will probably hurt a lot.

His answer:

 

I think that covers most of the bases. I’m beginning to like the word “partnership” to describe my romantic endeavors rather than “relationship”. The latter just always seems so serious. It also implies so much. I feel like “relationship” immediately conjures up monogamy, long-term, mostly-heterosexual, traditional power dynamics, traditional romance, traditional sexuality, and traditional everything. Sometimes that’s okay. I think in the long-term, I’m more traditional than I let on. But for right now, I need to break a few rules. Mostly the traditional ones.

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