Question: Hi there. I’ve never written to a dating blog before (or any blog for that matter), but I’ve been reading your site a little lately and I like your “real to life – no-BS” answers to ridiculous dilemmas like mine…so lucky you! (I’ll try to be brief…)
First, my dating life in a nutshell…divorced about seven years ago. Was married for 10, raising my now teenage daughter on my own and that’s going pretty well. I had one LTR post-divorce that was probably with the right woman, but wrong time for both of us. My daughter has an active life and I have a busy career, so I stay pretty focused on those things. I have dated some very nice women over the last few years, but no one that I have made a real connection with. I’m not opposed to marrying again, but not until my daughter graduates (three years to go). My daughter doesn’t want or need a step mom at this point and I kind of like my solo gig with her as it is.
So, with all of the above in mind, I took a little time off from the dating scene. I decided to get back into it about a month ago. Meeting women IRL is a bit of challenge because just about everyone I know is either through my work or through my daughter’s activities, both very tricky areas for dating. I’m a decent looking man with a good career. I have a pleasant disposition and a wicked sense of humor that I am pretty skilled at using to my advantage in most parts of life. I decided to try Match (I’ve some past experience) and Tinder (first time…and yikes!!). (Side note…Match was a significantly different experience for me at 40 than it was a few years ago…not sure if that’s an age thing or part of the de-evolution of online dating). Surprisingly, I “met” two relative interesting women through Tinder pretty quickly. Match was mostly duds, but I did strike up a good conversation with someone there too.
Tinder #1 is very attractive, but definitely a little on the wild side. Fun but not LTR material. Tinder #2 is also attractive, not in a head-turner sort of way, but in the quirky artistic kind of way. The Match girl is attractive and very stable in her career and singleness. All have kids, but none younger than 13.
Tinder #1 was my first date of the bunch. After a brief meetup we jumped right into a fun night on the town resulting in great sex. Tinder #2 is special. The chemistry between us was instant and I am very attracted to her. After two dates, sparks really flew, but clothes stayed on. The Match girl was fine…due to busy schedules we’ve only been out one time.
So, here is where I am…
Tinder #1 is pretty fun, but not really my speed. I mean, I’m all for a good romp once in a while, but I’m a little old fashioned and casual hook ups just don’t feel right to me. Plus she texts constantly and that is starting to wear me out. Thus far, I’ve been polite, but I’m getting to a point to where I either need to tell her I’m not interested or just stop responding.
Tinder #2 has got my interest more than anyone else in a long time. I very much enjoy talking to her (and that appears to be mutual). We have many common interests and are senses of humor collide perfectly. The only downside with her is that her split from her husband of many years (like 17 or 18) is very recent (about 4 months ago) and divorce is still in progress. We’ve hit it off from the start, but I know what it’s like in her situation and I know that getting positive attention from someone for the first time in a long time can be misleading.
Match girl is a little tougher for me to figure out. I enjoyed her company and I believe that was mutual. She has a very serious career. She is well connected in our community and we know a lot of common people. She is attractive and is very appealing. While we had a nice time during our first date, I didn’t feel the instant connection I did with Tinder #2. However, I’m not sure I’m not a little intimidated by her.
Here’s what I’m trying to figure out…
I think it’s pretty obvious I need to move on from Tinder #1. She’s fun and all and I could probably play along for a while, but that seems very insincere so I should probably let it go. That being said, I’m not exactly sure how to do that without some catalyst.
No issues with Tinder #2. We chat an appropriate amount. Have lots of plans to hang out when we can and things seem to be moving at an appropriate pace and it’s just something to see where it goes at this point.
Match girl is the real challenge. She’s busy and I’m busy, so getting together is a bit of effort. I don’t want to miss a potential opportunity just because it seems like I’ve hit it off with Tinder #2. I’d like to stay in contact with her, but I do want to be respectful of her time. So if my interest is really with the Tinder #2 girl, is it fair to play the “backburner game with this Match girl?
So, I am very interested in your thoughts on what someone in my situation should do. I want to treat everyone with respect, but I don’t want to sell myself short of a keeping options open. Thanks for your input.
You’re suffering from toomanyoptionsitis. Right now, you’re like a kid in a candy store, swiping and clicking and matching away without any real foresight as to how this affects the other person.
Tinder #1 scares the pants off of you, what with her wild and slutty ways, so yeah, do both of yourselves a favor stop wasting each other’s time. You were more than happy to jump into bed with her on the first date, but of course you held that against her after the fact. Stay classy, dude. Unless you know you somehow misled her, then there shouldn’t be any implosions when you give her her walking papers.
Match girl is a challenge because you can’t figure her out and don’t know where you stand with her, so naturally you’re hesitant to cut her loose. You’ll probably lose interest in her once she actually starts making some effort, as that’s what people like you tend to do.
Tinder #2 matches your interest and investment level stroke for stroke and is the safe bet. Plus, she hasn’t put out yet so she must be “safe.” You know, not like that other woman from Tinder who put out right away because she’s so “wild.”
Oh, and good luck convincing all these women you meet to hold off on wanting to get married until you’re ready. Because it’s all about you, right?
You’ve met someone you really like and things appear to be going well, but oh my God what if Match Girl is The One?? Like, the solution to all of this should be crystal clear to you, but you can’t help but fret that there just might be someone better out there, better than the woman you already met and with whom you click. Do you see the problem you’re creating for yourself? Get the fuck out of here with this. You already failed at marriage once, dude. How many chances do you think you’re going to get to get it right?
No, it’s not fair to play the back burner game with any of these women. Make a choice. That or be upfront about not offering exclusivity and commitment and date both of them. Those are your options. I’m sorry that I’m not more sympathetic to your plight, but this is literally a non-problem that you’re making into a bigger one simply because you’re afraid you’ll be missing out on something. If you’re not willing to make a choice, then you’re not ready for a serious relationship. Period. Full stop.