Dear Single Ladies who Tinder,
I hope your heart has healed from the last encounter with that amazing guy who rocked your world for one night and never texted back.
Yes, I know. I have been there too. The text-him-text-him-not moments between meetings and lunch hour. The self-doubt (“I thought I looked hot in that dress”), the self-hate (“He must be disgusted with my love handle”), the insecurity (“I bet he’s seeing a sexier girl”), and most of all, the confusion (“But, I thought we made a connection last night”). Oh, darling. Trust me, I know.
Dating can be so painful. But, it can be fun too. It can be an exploration, a way of knowing what you like or what you don’t like in a man. It can be a ground to test your instinct as a woman.
Here is what I have learned so far about this whole circus of swipe:
First, you have to know what you want. Are you looking for a good romp or a boyfriend material? I know, the skeptics will say ‘Tinder is just for hook-ups,” but I have heard of some success stories of Tinder-made relationships.
Secondly, swipe cleverly. Will a guy with too many gym selfies and a puckered lip be available for commitment? Please. Is a thirty-something male with pictures of his children really looking for just a friendship in Tinder? Right. Don’t get me started with ones that clearly stated that he’s looking for an Indonesian girlfriend and will only be in Asia for two weeks. Damn, woman! Don’t even think about swiping him right if you plan to introduce him to your family next month.
Third, use Tinder and don’t play victim. Don’t victimize yourself and feel that the guy owes you something. You had fun, he gave you a mind-blowing orgasm and that’s it. Don’t use your heart. Never cuddle, because that’s where we women get attached and where things get messy. Just let him give you a good head and leave immediately or make him leave, pronto. Do not expect an invitation to stay or an early morning omelets. Do not expect the man to call you the next day. If he’s a gentleman, he’ll text and say thank you for the lovely time. If he’s a prick, well, he’ll just disappear.
It is easy to get laid but you have to toughen up, don’t wear your heart on your sleeve, and instantly expect it to be more. You are lucky if it turns out to be more and I’ll be so happy for you. I know a girl who met his boyfriend on Tinder and now they are happily roaming the world together, hand-in-hand. I want that. I know you want it too.
The first step is to be brave enough and just do it. It is only a date. You have nothing to lose. Use your instinct. That’s the most reliable thing there is. Does the guy make you comfortable? Does he make you laugh? Are you enjoying your time together? There’s a bigger chance that you’ll be enjoying his company if he can make you laugh. If he’s a drunk twat who performs a monologue of his life to you, forget about it. If he’s asking you to go to his place before you even finish your first glass of mojito, dump him. Unmatch him right away if he is sending you a phallic picture at 2 a.m. in the morning just because he needs to put that thing somewhere. They should only be swiped right into the dustbin, if only Tinder has that feature.
I don’t think there’s any rule anymore. There’s no rule that states that you must go on at least three dates before you can sleep with a guy or he’ll think that you’re a slut. There’s no rule that says one-night stands can’t lead to a committed relationship (as a dear friend recently confided to me). I am a firm believer that when it happens, it will happen at the right time, in the right place, and that you both want it to happen. It takes two to tango.
Ladies, some years ago, I saw a French film called Les Poupées russes (Russian Dolls). There was a dialogue in that movie that stays with me until now. The main lead says that in life perhaps what someone must do is to keep opening the Russian dolls, until what remains is the last one tiny doll, hidden inside all the others.
You can’t get to him right away. The key is not about finding him. It is about the journey that we make to find him. There may be heartbreaks, unread text, encounters with weird stranger, walk of shame, and dating disaster. But, there will also be a shared laugh, that first hair-rising touch that makes you tremble with fire; the dressing up and feeling every inch a woman before you go out; and other small moments that make you feel fortunate that you are a woman, that you are single, and that you are capable of this feeling of being desirable, of being wanton, of being alive.
So, swipe right, by all means. Swipe right, take your chance, be brave, practice safe sex, and have fun. Don’t be sad if he doesn’t text you the next day. You had fun, he had fun. There’s nothing wrong with you. You never know what will happen until you give it a try. Believe in magic, even on Tinder. Then, if we’re lucky, we might just find that one last doll.
Eve Tedja has been writing for food, lifestyle, and travel magazines for five years. Words and stories are her passion. She loves exploring the different mediums of storytelling. When she is not at home, the Bali-based journalist loves to explore new places and asking a lot of question to the unfortunate locals she meets in coffee shops.