Nearly three years ago I wrote a blog post about how I was losing the dating game. Update: Not much has changed.
I’m here, a few years older, and not much wiser. With another breakup under my belt, another existential “Who am I?” crisis at hand, sometimes I wonder when history will stop repeating itself.
I’m older, just as cynical (or, as I’d like to describe it, “realistic”), and still as lost as I was the last time I was losing this game. Back then I proudly took myself out of the game, ready to sit on the bench as long as I felt necessary.
This time around, I’m on the fence. I know I’m injured, I’m not a valuable team player, and the coach should really pull me from the starting lineup. But there’s still a part of me that wants to play.
So what does one do when she’s on the fence about sitting on the bench during the dating game?
She goes on Tinder, of course.
My main goal in entering the world of Tinder was to troll people. Mature, I know. Believe me, in the beginning it was hysterical.
But after a while, they started legitimately asking me on dates.
To which my reaction was:
I never intended to date anyone who had the misfortune of stumbling across me and my barrage of unnecessary GIFs on Tinder. I honestly didn’t even realize that I’d encounter that situation. I thought none of them would take my immaturity seriously and that my tactic of trolling would be too obvious.
When I started receiving invitations for drinks (that always seems to be the popular go-to Tinder date), I realized the joke was over. I’d have to decide if I really wanted to date (not just people I met on Tinder but in real life as well) or run for the hills.
I chose to run for the hills.
I realized that I wasn’t throwing myself into the dating game for the right reasons. I was hoping to compete against my last relationship, my former teammate and current opponent. I wanted to win, but I learned that I’m losing. My opponent, from what social media has shown me, is winning the game. His new girlfriend is treated to trips to D.C., NBA games, theatre shows, brewery tours, while I am finding the least awkward way to reject strangers on Tinder.
Oh how the mighty have fallen.
While losing the dating game sucks, I’ve learned that I also shouldn’t throw myself into the game for the wrong reasons. If I have to sit on the bench while watching my opponent win, so be it. I have to heal from my injuries so that I can be a valuable player once again. Who knows how long that will take. Maybe my opponent will be 50 points ahead. But I should be playing for the right reasons, and winning for myself.
So for now, three years after I was losing the dating game, I’m still losing. Even though I want to play, I’m going to take myself out of the game and sit on the bench. Maybe that’s what I need. I’ll be back.