I’m Ruined!

After that last bit of disappointment from the Bartender, which we have since discussed and I feel a little bit better about it now, I did get back on Tinder. Well… I’d re-downloaded the app a couple of weeks ago, but I hadn’t been particularly active. I hadn’t changed anything on my profile, hadn’t swiped right, or left for that matter. Hadn’t been on it yet at all, other than to see if any of the people I’d matched before were still on there.

I’m horrible about clearing out my matched list.

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That was one of the suggestions the Bartender had for his friend who recently got on Tinder. If a guy doesn’t contact you within 24 hours of matching, delete him or unmatch him or whatever. Actually, he said an hour. I’m modifying that because I think that is really, really extreme.

Then again, as I’ve just commented, I’m horrible about not cleaning that out. I’ve got guys on there from months ago because I thought deleting the app from my phone would clear out everything. Turns out it didn’t.

Probably a good thing. It might not be so great for me if I were to run into Mr. Nice Guy or the Boy again. It was kind of rough when I ran across the Boy the first time on Tinder.

At the time, running across the Boy was a reminder that I was so unlovable. Here was this man who I had been willing to give everything to, and for whatever reason, he couldn’t see that I was worthy of basic kindness. Not even a smidge of respectful conversation. Not even enough to answer a simple question. In fact, the asking of questions was considered, by him, to be intrusive and unwelcome. He would prefer to keep people, maybe not all people but definitely me and the other women he liked to screw over, at arms’ length.

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Now, and this is where I really wanted to go with this post, I realize that I really do deserve better. A friend of mine, well, the daughter of a friend of mine really, told me once that when I found a guy who treated me the way I deserved to be treated, I’d understand. And thanks to the Bartender, I do.

At the time, though, I thought she was crazy, because every guy had always treated me the same: Flirt, tell me how wonderful I was, try to get me into bed, and then their attitude changed. Sex was all they ever wanted, and whether they got it or not they would treat me differently afterwards. They would assume that somehow my behavior, whether they got sex from me or not, was indicative of wanting something serious, when in reality, I just wanted to feel wanted. To feel like they wanted me as much as I wanted them. Not necessarily to keep forever, but just that they desired me, if even just for a short while.

I wanted to feel worthy of their attention.

And now I have a man who treats me like I am worthy. He thanks me for the small acts of kindness that I do for him, like bringing him lunch on his break, or cooking for him. He tells me how amazing I am just for taking a nap with him and spending time with him. He thanks me for honoring him with my presence when we go on a date. And when I drive, which happens a lot (my car is newer, and I know the area better), he wants to hold my hand… which is not always the easiest thing to do since I drive a standard and have to shift pretty regularly.

He legitimately wants me around, and lets me know every chance he gets that I’m worth it.

Part of our discussion we had due to the other day’s frustration was that I would keep looking for someone with a little less baggage than he has (his words, not mine), because who knows if he’s ready to actually take that plunge that he sort of led me to believe he had already taken… you know, the divorce plunge.

So, he knows about Goodreads Guy (who is still campaigning for my attention), and yesterday, when I was bored because the new meds that the doc gave me to help with my anxiety had turned me into a bit of a zombie for longer than I care to admit, I told him I was on Tinder again.

The problem is that he’s ruined me for these other guys.

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And I told him as much! He’s raised the bar so high that I now know when a guy is not worth my time in a fraction of the time it took me before. It’s getting easier to spot the ones who are really just in it for the sex, and I’m getting a lot faster with that unmatch button.

The latest guy was a bit insistent about asking questions. Felt like an interview, and you know how I feel about that: it’s not cute. Questions should be organic, like one question leads to a short conversation that leads to the next question and so on and so forth. But this guy would fire them at me in rapid succession, and when he answered my questions, he would skip right over my reactions to what he’d said in order to continue his own thought.

I got the impression that he was one of those guys who didn’t really care about women having an opinion, so he wouldn’t have made it too far anyway, but when he flat out asked me what I wanted on Tinder and I told him I was looking for a relationship, and his response was, “I’m not looking for anything serious, does that work for you?” it took me back a little bit.

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I mean, you asked. I told you. Your response is to basically tell me that you don’t want what I want, but is that okay anyway? And I considered it, and for a brief moment, I thought, “yeah sure, why not?” After all, that’s how all the guys before have been, and some of them have turned into something serious. Albeit very briefly.

Then again, it’s that settling that has always led to me feeling like some sort of novelty. You know, that moment when all of a sudden I realize that I think this person has potential, but they basically just wanted to add me as a notch in their bedpost: “Oh I’ve had a Native American chick, check.”

I let the conversation go on a little bit to see if he had anything to offer me that would excite me, even a fraction as much as the Bartender does, and when he started asking me about what kind of figure I had, I realized I was settling. I didn’t even respond. Just unmatched.

I told the Bartender that he’d ruined me because he had raised the bar so much. His response: “As it should be. You deserve it.”

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Actually, that was when I decided to unmatch the aforementioned asshole.

There had been a few others. One I unmatched because he sent a frownie face when I told him I didn’t smoke. Not cigarettes, mind you; he was asking if I was “420 friendly,” as they say. And no, I don’t smoke marijuana.

He worked in my old district, so I asked, twice, what he taught, and both times he ignored the question. I even told him what I taught, and I tried to make a joke about not judging him on his grammar (it’s only half a joke because I really, really do judge men on their grammar!). He still didn’t tell me what he taught or what he did in the district, though his pics showed him in a classroom setting. The desks seemed a little low, so either he teaches the young ones, or he’s a giant. Both are possible.

Another one, when we matched, the only word he sent back was “sexy.”

Not, “hello, sexy,” or “Wow, you’re sexy.” Just “sexy.”

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How in the world does one start a conversation with that? So I said, “thanks.” There’s been no response. He lacks the necessary intelligence to keep my company.

Unmatch and move on.

Which leaves us with Goodreads Guy. He is still talking to me. He’s read my story, although it’s unfinished (and still needs votes, btw), and is supposedly writing a review complete with constructive criticism.

He has actually intrigued my intellect, but every communication he feels the need to add a little bit of a sexual element to it. Like when he asked if I wanted an honest critique, or did I want him to stroke my ego, he added that he really didn’t want to ruin his chances to see my tits, but that he preferred to be honest with me.

Points added for being honest. Points deducted for telling me his prime motivation was to see my tits.

I’m beginning to think that every man in the world is only motivated by sex. Except my Bartender, and even he has trouble keeping his hands off of me, but then again, he can (and will) wait if I tell him to. He’s actually a gentleman. One of a rare and dying breed, and I really hope to keep him around for a very, very long time.

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