I have been in a long term relationship for the last six years. We met in college, he was my best friend, and then things slowly turned into a friendship rather than a romance. We tried to make it work for years but in the end we admitted defeat. It’s been a hard few months but at the end of the day we are both just looking for the right person.
When we started dating, everyone was getting on Tinder and as time went on our friends were downloading Bumble and Coffee Meets Bagel. We both loved to help them swipe but always said “Thank god we don’t have to deal with online dating.”
After our break up my friends encouraged me to download Tinder for a distraction. Talk about terrifying.. I am almost 26 years old and had no idea where to start, how to date, how to flirt with some random person on the internet, what apps to download, etc.
My first night on Tinder was one for the books. It’s 1:30am and I can’t sleep so I start swiping. A man goes “you are beautiful. Can I come over?” Naturally, I am horrified! It’s 1:30 in the morning!! I am in bed! The next morning I say to my sister “CAN you BELIEVE that GUY!!!” and she goes: “Welcome to Tinder lovebug.”
Navigating online dating has been hysterical and emotional and a whirlwind. I’ve had guys ask me “Is your friend in your photo single?” or “What is your sexual fantasy?” or “Nudes?” After talking to me for all of 2 minutes. I have had men send me their dicks after speaking with me for less than an hour. I have added men on Snapchat thinking its totally innocent and suddenly there’s some dick pics in my inbox at 9am! From married men hiding their sex addiction from their wives to chronic ghosters, it’s insane out there.
I know I sound naive, but it was all just so much to take in.
On the other hand, I’ve met some lovely individuals who like to chat about random shit, life and heartbreak. It’s nice to find companionship even if it’s just for a little distraction from my completely changed life.
Some days I wake up wanting to cry and delete the apps and never speak to another man again. I mean, how do you move on from six years? How do you store all those beautiful memories in the back of your mind and move on? How do you stop being in love with someone you thought you’d spend forever with? There are no perfect answers. There is no one size fits all answer to this pain. As I always say, “Healing is not linear.” There will be good and bad days and in-between days. There will be party all night days and go through my memory box and sob days.
Online dating has been empowering and degrading. It has made me hate some men a lot, I mean A LOT. It has made me believe that I am deserving of being called beautiful and gorgeous and smart and funny. It has reminded me that I am still a strong, attractive women even if I have been out of the dating world for over 6 years.
I am still trying to figure out what life after us looks like. Life after the life I thought was my happily ever after. Online dating has been a really fun and interesting distraction from my life. I can already say it will be a rollercoaster of emotions but I am ready to enjoy the highs and lows. Who knows what’s next! Stay tuned. -WM
Whitney Mooney is the Program Director for Popularly Positive. She works full time for YWCA Cambridge, a social justice non-profit organization in Cambridge, MA, as the Fund Development Manager. She is available via email and text any day of the week. She is an avid reader and political activist.