Wednesday, November 30 2022

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As I write this, I’m reeling from the most brutal date rejection I’ve ever had.

Two of the best dates of my life and plans for a third turned into a text that read, “I just don’t feel a romantic connection,” in less than an hour.

I was caught off guard.

The Blake Vickers of several months ago who was not in therapy and who ate a mountain of anti-depressants every morning would have blamed himself for the way things ended. He would wallow in self-pity and listen to TOOL’s “The Patient” over and over.

Fortunately, this is the Blake Vickers of today.

So even though he feels quite disappointed, he doesn’t wallow in self-loathing. Instead, he focuses all his anger and negative feelings on those little icons on his phone.

One of them has an “H”.

Another has a small yellow beehive. The most dreaded of all is a red flame. While some are a bit better than others, they are all bad.

Dating in your mid-twenties is tough.

Work takes up most of your time and you don’t really meet anyone. Sometimes it seems like you met your person in college or died alone. and I’ve been out of college for almost two and a half years.

After dating for almost four years, I found myself returning to dating apps in the final months of 2021.

Here are some of the things I learned.

Most matches on dating apps end in ghosting.

I’ve been on both ends of this equation and I don’t know which one feels worse. You don’t have to be with anyone, but God, have the decency to break up with someone if you don’t agree. If someone as clumsy as me can do it, so can you.

For matches that lead up to a date, each is going to be a roll of the dice. Will you have fun playing arcade games and joking around or will you sit awkwardly while your date is completely covered in the entrails of a chimichanga while talking about their nap habits for more than 30 minutes ?

The number one date should always be something casual that you can get out of quickly. Meet someone for coffee and see how it goes.

Remember, no matter how good the conversation is on the phone, the face-to-face interaction will always have a different dynamic.

Don’t be surprised if the person you met on the app doesn’t look like the person you meet in real life. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, just be prepared for it.

Try to be honest with your photos. There isn’t a single picture on any of my profiles that hides my weak chin and lifeless shark eyes.

You will see your friends on the apps.

They will see you. It will be awkward. Best to swipe left and pretend it didn’t happen.

Just because their profile says they like the same things you do, doesn’t mean they’ll like you and vice versa.

Finally, and most importantly, never forget that these people are strangers.

You don’t know them, so be careful. Even though no girl has ever said or done anything to make me feel uncomfortable, I’m also a tall man who looks like he’s turning into a werewolf. Don’t go back to someone’s apartment unless you’re absolutely sure and have been on several dates before.

Single life can be difficult.

No one understands it better than me. My love life is a series of disasters ranging from comedic comedy stuff to real heartbreak.

It’s really depressing that dating apps have become the norm for meeting people. They take the human connection and the thrill out of the hunt for encounters and turn it into a dehumanizing game.

People stop being people.

Dating turns into a mean-spirited, algorithm-based round of hot or not. It eats away at your time, your money, and your self-esteem. There are very few people my age who don’t have dating app horror stories.

Delete these apps from your phone.

You will feel better. I will try to do my best to do the same. It’s time to get back to the bar scene. Say what you want, at least it’s not behind a touch screen.

Ladies, the drinks are mine at Dreaming Creek.

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