Pretty much immediately after my last girlfriend and I broke up, I downloaded my favorite dating app, OKCupid. I remembered that moping around and listening to breakup songs didn’t really help anything when my marriage ended, so I decided to try something different. I updated my pics and my profile because I was living as a woman now. I listed myself as “Queer” instead of “Lesbian” because I didn’t want a woman who likes tacos to realize after a few dates that she would get stuck with hot dogs for the foreseeable future.
Anyway, I started swiping and soon matched with a handful of ladies. Which led to a question I never had considered before: Who begins the conversation when you’re both women? I decided to jump in with both feet and initiate conversations with the cis-women that had swiped right on me… I mean, I’m already a big ask so I might as well meet them in the middle.
I was soon confronted with a reality that I had wished to forget- ghosting. One woman only gave me one word replies to any questions I threw out in attempts to engage with her. I was clearly not Choice #1 for her. She was replying to string me along as a backup plan. Other women would never reply to my questions. These people never unmatched with me. They just let me sit in the Waiting Room of their lives. I remembered my old guideline: after a few days without a response from the other person, I would unmatch and move on. I did that with all the hotties that didn’t really dig me.
That left me with one woman. She was a couple of inches taller than me (yay!) and seemed outgoing. We bantered back-an-forth until one night when she asked me a question while I was working. When I got off of work I apologized for the delay and explained that I was super busy that evening, “apparently the entire world lost its goddamn mind today” was the exact phrase I used. The next day she didn’t reply. To be fair, I didn’t either. We were both too worried about the first cases of community spread Covid-19. Then the lockdowns happened. All the first date places closed. I picked up my kids for their extended Spring Break and deleted my app a couple of days later. Love would have to wait.
When my kids went back to my Baby Momma, I downloaded the app again. I matched with a couple of more women.
One woman was stunningly beautiful. I took a screenshot of her profile pic and sent it to my friend, who responded that “she has a really long neck.” I couldn’t unsee it. I was so intimidated by Giraffe Neck’s looks that I let her sit in my match queue without messaging her for a couple of days. Eventually I led with a question and was met with an unmatch or her deleting her app. She was looking for short-term dating and hookups, so I like to imagine that she met her one-night regret and then deleted the app.
Another woman had a podcast. About butts. She was your stereotypical lesbian in comfortable shoes… not that there’s anything wrong with that… it’s just an easy way for you to imagine her general appearance. I liked her vibe. I listened to the latest edition of her podcast and cracked up laughing the entire time. She was totally someone I would love to spend a couple of hours with so I followed my old tried-and-true practice of jumping to the front of the line and asking her on a date. Since we’re locked down with the ka-rhona-VAI-russ (said in a Cardi B voice) the only date option was walking in a park six feet apart. Butt Podcast never got back to me. I unmatched with her a couple of days later.
My last match sat in the match queue the entire time. I thought, “why do I have to be the one to initiate the conversations. We’re both women and if there’s anyone who doesn’t want to fit the masculine stereotypes in a relationship, it’s me.” I would log on to message with Butts Podcast or be intimidated by Giraffe Neck’s profile pics and see that the woman with blonde hair and green eyes was on, too. (There’s a little green dot that notified you when someone is online.) I eventually gave up and just unmatched with her.
The entire time that I was in the middle of my second attempt at Online Dating, I was rewatching Sense8. The show is in the Sci-Fi genre but it feels much more like a romance series exploring the different shapes, sizes, and combinations in which people can fall in love. I cried all the fucking time watching that show. I mean all the time.
When I finished the Sense8 rewatch, I took stock of my life. Why was I crying so much? Why did I feel so much lonelier? Granted, no one has touched me in almost a month as of writing this but I realized that the dating app wasn’t adding value to my life. If anything it was making me more miserable. My loneliness was amplified with each ghosting and unmatching. My happiness was diminished in the time I waited for a response from the women I was chatting with.
I deleted the app. Again. I mean, it was foolish of me to even try while I can’t MEET A PERSON, right?
I’m currently watching The Good Place to fill the space between working and sleeping. I find myself rooting for love in every episode. I smile with every kiss between the characters. One time I even clapped and cheered out loud when a couple matched again after a memory wipe.
I’ve made peace with the fact that this just isn’t my time. Like all of you, my life is on hold. I crave physical touch and emotional intimacy. A lot. I let myself be lonely but it isn’t as bad as it was while I had the app activated. A weird twist is that I’ve started dreaming about straight girls that are friends with me… but the dreams are informed with reality and end up being so. fucking. awkward. I wake up confused but then remember that my subconscious is crying out for companionship, laugh with my friends about the awkwardness of my dreams, and move on.
For now, I’ll just keep smiling like an idiot when there’s a love story on tv, revel in bubble baths, and caress the pillows that I cuddle with in bed and imagine they’re my next partner.
My time will eventually come. I’ll be ready when it does.