7 Songs for 7 Months on Bumble

Photo credit: Sanita Kalnite

Spending the last seven months on Bumble as been an educational experience.

As I mentioned in my post You Better Shop Around, I’ve been taking a dive into the wild and a bit wacky world of online dating. When I first started this foray, I quickly discovered there was a lot of things I didn’t know. I found myself googling a number of words I’d never heard before. What’s a sapiophile? A pluviophile? And then there’s all the acronyms and terms. LTR. FWB. Ghosting. And what does that symbol mean?!

There was so much to learn.

With the spread of COVID I’m taking some time to step back and evaluate the experience. For me, song titles and lyrics have a way of bubbling up in my mind to accompany what I am noticing and learning. Here are seven songs that sum up the last seven months on Bumble:

  1. Find Me Somebody to Love (Queen)
    When I began my journey, I often found myself thinking, “Hey Bumble! Find me somebody to love!” And I am not alone. One of the first things I noticed is that there are a whole lot of people out there looking for somebody to love. And we are all hoping that Bumble will be the way to find and connect with that somebody. We are looking for a deep and meaningful relationship. We are looking for somebody to share all of life’s ups and downs. We are looking for an LTR.
  2. Girls (and guys!) Just Wanna Have Fun (Cyndi Lauper)
    On the other end of the spectrum, there’s a whole lot of people looking for something other than love. Many are looking for something casual, something with no strings attached. They just wanna have fun and see what happens. They aren’t looking for a relationship. They are looking for FWB.
  3. I’m In Love With My Car (Queen, again!)
    It’s common knowledge among the Bumble women users I know that the most posted photo in a guy’s profile involves his car. Sometimes he’s sitting in his car. Sometimes he’s standing next to his car. Sometimes it’s just a photo of his car. Tied for second are bathroom selfies, a photo of him holding a fish, or a shot of his reflection in the gym mirror. Since I don’t see women’s profiles, I’m curious to know if there’s a most posted photo for us as well and if so, do I have one?! Aside from all the predictable photos–if I can offer a pro tip to all the guys out there–no matter what photo you post, please take your sunglasses off. We want to see your eyes.
  4. Chemistry (Semisonic)
    Ah, it’s all about chemistry. We all seem to be looking for that essential, elusive and hard to define thing called chemistry. And what I’ve discovered is that you must meet in person right away to see if it’s present. I’ve messaged a few guys where the potential for some pretty amazing chemistry seemed strong. But when we met in person, it was obvious it wasn’t there. The energy between us was flat. This taught me that just because something works in messaging it doesn’t mean it will work in real life.
  5. Just My Imagination (The Temptations)
    Just as with chemistry, my imagination and the stories it creates is another reason to meet right away. When I spend too much time messaging, I create a story about who the guy is, what his voice sounds like, the way he smells, etc. My imagination runs away with me. And more often than not, my imagination is wrong. I know this happens for others, too. I met someone once who actually said, “I had an idea in my head about what your voice and laugh would sound like and it’s nothing like I imagined!” So there you go.
  6. Express Yourself (Madonna)
    Madonna got the sentiment right when she sang “Long stemmed roses are the way to your heart, but he needs to start with your head.” For me, romance starts with words. He may have some amazing photos, but there has to be something more to touch my heart. He needs to ask me questions. It needs to be clear he wants to get to know me. On this front, I’ve experienced a wide range, from guys who respond to my messages with paragraphs to ones whose only response is “Heyyy.” There are guys with detailed and cleverly written profiles to ones with no profile information at all. When I asked one guy why he didn’t write a bio, he said, “Do people actually read that stuff?!” My answer: “OMG! YES! I DO!”
  7. The Middle (Jimmy Eat World)
    If I had to pick just one song to sum up my Bumble experience, it would be this song. It has a number of lyrics that hit home, one of which is the line “It just takes some time, little girl you’re in the middle of the ride.” Bumble has certainly been an interesting and educational ride. And what I am learning most is that it’s going to take some time. I’m looking for that gem in the haystack and it may take a lot of swipes before I find somebody to love. I need to be patient. And as the song also says, I must remember:

Live right now, just be yourself.
It doesn’t matter if it’s good enough,
For someone else.

I’m learning to enjoy my life as it is right now. I’m learning to just be myself. And I’m learning I’m good enough even though someone else may not yet see it. Some guys unmatch for no apparent reason. Some guys I message never respond. And there are those guys who I swipe right on, hoping to see that BOOM! YOU’RE A MATCH!, and never do.

And whether I find somebody to love or not, this song ends with a good reminder:

Everything, everything will be alright.

Do you have a song that sums up your on-line dating experience? I’m sure there are many others. Please share them with me! I’d love to add them to the list.

Advice from a Recovering Benefit of the Doubt Giver

I’m a recovering benefit of the doubt giver. 
I’ve given someone the benefit of the doubt more often than I should have.
I’ve given someone the benefit of the doubt even after my spidey sense had perked up, made me pause and think–wait…what?
I’ve given someone the benefit of the doubt even when they clearly weren’t being kind or didn’t share my values. 
Because I’m also a recovering people pleaser. 
Let’s just say these two traits haven’t always been a winning combination for me.
So, I’m in recovery.
I was set on this recovery path by a quote I recently discovered from Maya Angelou:

When someone shows you who they are, believe them; the first time.”

Continue reading “Advice from a Recovering Benefit of the Doubt Giver”

Getting Still

I have a problem with getting still.

When I’m faced with a situation and not sure what to do or believe, a friend told me to get still and listen to my gut–that it knows.

But I have a problem with getting still. 

When I am still, the silence can be agony for me. When I wait for an answer to an important question, a text reply from someone, or a response from an on-line blog on a piece I submitted, and sit in silence, it can be agonizing. When I am still, my mind makes up all kinds of stories to fill the silent space. 

Maybe I’m not worth a response.

Maybe I’m too needy. 

Maybe I’m too pesky and ask too many questions. 

Maybe my writing is not good enough. 

“When we are in pain, we create a narrative to help make sense of it”, she states. 

The stories that bubble up are neither healthy nor helpful. They may also be inaccurate. Still they persist.

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A World Wide Timeout: Five Lessons the Coronavirus is Teaching Me

“Shelter-in-place” feels like a virus imposed timeout. The whole world is essentially being told “go to your room”. Although it has been implemented to help curb the spread of the virus, a timeout can be good for reflection. It gives us a moment to evaluate and take stock of the situation. It helps us slow down. It provides an opportunity for us to think about our behavior and maybe make some changes.

Since I am a curious person, I’ve decided to use this timeout to think about what the virus is teaching me. Here’s a few things I have learned:

Continue reading “A World Wide Timeout: Five Lessons the Coronavirus is Teaching Me”

Three Lessons From a Dog

One sunny, Sunday morning, I walked down to a local bakery for a muffin. It was a beautiful day and I decided to sit at a table outside of the store and enjoy my treat right there.

A middle aged man walked up with a long haired dachshund. The dog was adorable–with curly, reddish brown fur and one blue eye and one green eye. He tied the dog outside and went in for his own bakery treat. 

As the dog stood there waiting, he was alert and perky, looking up at everyone as they passed by. I watched as people pointed at the dog and smiled. Some stopped to bend down and pat his head. The dog wagged his tail in thanks, and generously smiled back in his own dog-like way. Everyone who interacted with him walked away smiling.

When the man returned, I said, “Cute dog”. 

He replied, “Yes, and he knows it”.

Continue reading “Three Lessons From a Dog”

When I Fight Reality, Reality Always Wins

In The Authority song, John Mellencamp sings,

When I fight authority, authority always wins.”

Although that may be true for him, what I know for sure is that when I fight reality, reality always wins.

When I fight the way my body looks
When I fight the truth about a relationship
When I fight the way people really are
When I fight what my situation looks like…it’s a losing battle.

When I fight reality, I suffer. Because when I fight reality, reality always wins.

So in this new year, my goal is to stop fighting reality and instead to see and accept things as they are without judgement. I cannot force people or situations into being anything different than they are at this point in time. Maya Angelou’s wise statement, “When people show you who they are you have to believe them,” can be applied to any situation. I have to believe and accept the reality of both who people are and the way things currently are.

Especially the Bed

Living alone has its perks. Having the whole place to myself, especially the bed can feel like a luxury. I can eat what I’d like when I’d like and play only the music I want to hear. I can be as tidy or as messy as I choose. And when it comes to the bed, I can stretch out across the entire space and the covers are never stolen. 

But living alone can also be a drag. My place can be too quiet and feel too spacious when it is just me. Sharing a home creates a strong connection with another person. There’s a give and take involved–and when done well–both parties become better people through the experience.

And when it comes to the bed, well, there’s nothing else quite like sharing that space. A intimate connection is created when you sleep with someone. By this I am not just referring to having sex, but also to the act of actually falling asleep with someone next to you. It is a private and personal experience that involves vulnerability and deep trust. There are certain intimate conversations that can only take place in the bed. It’s a very unique space.

Continue reading “Especially the Bed”