When I first started using Tinder, the whole point was for me to learn how to date by trading in my monogamous dating habits for a more modern, casual approach. I was taking control and listening to the dating experts who said that dating multiple people at the same time was the key in deciding the type of man I could see myself riding into the sunset with.
The first problem that I encountered during my experiment with online dating (aka my quest to be a “playa”) was my lack of free time.
Yes, I’m single, but I’m also a workaholic, busybody, coffee drinking, bookworm, music lover and writer who doesn’t let her singleness impede her ability to enjoy the things that she loves.
Sure I spend many nights alone where I think how nice it would be to have someone at home with me, but even then, I’m rarely bored. I always find something to do, even if that means curling up with a book at a hip coffee shop somewhere. I have a life to live and no cats to take care of.
However, I’m also of the mind that people will always make time for the things they want to do and the people they want to see. I’ve watched “He’s Just Not That In To You” too many times and have experienced it myself. If you or him or anyone wants to see someone, they WILL MAKE TIME, which I was willing to do.
I downloaded the app, messaged, chatted and finally decide that yes, I did want to meet some of these people. I was going to jiggle my schedule to make this work. But I soon realized that there is not an infinite amount of time to make. Making time only goes so far, especially when you meet ONE cool person.
We did see each other in 3 days, but within that three days, I didn’t have time to see anyone else. I was busy. I didn’t have the time to quo these men up like I planned to. But was I supposed to? Was I suppose to say I couldn’t see him, even though I did in order to see someone else? Is that how the game that I said I didn’t want to play works?
And I didn’t want to play, because it felt like I didn’t have to. It felt like WE didn’t have to. This was real. B* wasn’t playing around. B* was taking charge at planning one date after another, all within a very short period of time. No resistance, no “I can’t see you tonight,” no wishy-washy-ness that men often display in dating. HE pushed and I followed. He got back to my text and I got back to his. HE took the lead and HIS lead was fast.
The only problem with Saturday is, it’s too far away. Can I see you before Saturday?
The killer was, HE also looked at me like no man ever has. It was that look that would cause me to follow HIS lead with my heart instead of my head. Unfortunately, that look also blinded me to the fact that B* was an expert at dating.
B* was hustling on Tinder now for 6 months and was able to play the game of dating, because he had the most important thing that I did not.
B* had time.
In short, while I was working two jobs in the middle of all of my interests, B* was a “consultant” here in LA.
Now I’m sure there are many “consultants” who are entrepreneur in every sense of the word and who actually make a living “consulting,” however, in LA I have yet to meet one. In LA, all the “consultants” that I have met spend a few hours answering emails at Starbucks every morning and call it a day. I’m not sure who they ‘consult” and how they make a living, but they are obviously smarter than me, the person who works 40 hours a week as a desk jockey and supplements her income by slumming it in retail on the weekends.
So here I was, I met a great “first” guy who had all this time to see other people, but who took all my free time in the beginning that would prohibit me from doing the same. And he knew this. He knew this, because at the end, he told me.
That was his strategy.
Was it his fault? No.
Was it mine? Absolutely.
Because I wasn’t smart enough to realize that even though it didn’t feel like we were playing the game, we were.
We can sit here all night talking, but sometimes you just want to show someone how you feel by kissing them.
“I think holding hands with someone is the most intimate thing.”
“You’re like made for me, You’re bespoke…”
“We have such chemistry…”
Why do you have a scar above your eyebrow?” He’d ask.
“It’s a really sad story.”
“Is it? Tell me…..”
“I have a lot of sad stories….”
In the middle of dating B*, he jetted off to Mexico for a week that left me wondering if this great guy would come back, or if he would get abducted by the Mexican Mafia never to be seen again.
That could have happened. Great guys disappear all the time, but not this one. This one wasn’t playing around. This one came back, but not before quick-firing a few texts one night.
I miss you”
“I wish you were here,”
I asked, “When do you get back?”
“Let me know when I’ll see you.”
So I guess you can say I was surprised when he said he was also seeing someone else the whole time he was seeing me.
Now before you say, “Jen, what were you expecting? You can’t expect him to be exclusive after a few dates.”
That would make you right.
That is not the question here.
The question is:
How much do you push when you’re seeing multiple people, especially when you have a feeling that the other person is not? Do you hold back? Do you set some personal limits? Or not?