Bumbles, Selfies, and Ghosting Oh MY!
Dating apps for the single mom are a new and different reality in and of themselves. The purpose of this particular post is to understand the norms and best practices to navigate dating apps. You may not want to try a dating app; you might be nervous or uncomfortable. A dating app is the equivalent to a singles bar, and remember the bar scene? People are all there for different reasons. The same goes for a dating app; this is very important to remember because your intentions may not match who you match with, literally!
A singles bar would attract a man on the rebound, a man who wants just sex, a man who would like a relationship, a man who wants to get over his ex-girlfriend, a man who is going through a divorce … and everything in-between. The same goes for a dating app!
Stay conscious going in to not draw any premature conclusions about any of the men you see or even begin to chat.
And where to begin?
Before you dive into a dating app, be sure to read Dating and the Single Mom Part 1.
The two most common, very popular dating apps are Tinder and Bumble. There is also the very popular web and mobile app based, Match. Tinder and Bumble are similar — you first select a geographic range that gives you results within the, for example, 45 mile radius around you. Any one in that geographic range at the time of the swipe option will show up. If someone is at the airport, in town for a conference, or even getting gas … he will show up. And those in-town visitors would gladly accept a swipe right from a pretty gal like yourself while in town for his industry conference.
You also select the gender and age range you wish to see results. You can change that age range at any time.
Once you set your parameters, one by one, you swipe through the deck of faces. Swipe left if you don’t want to see if you match, swipe right if you do. If you both swipe right, it’s a match! On Bumble, the woman must initiate the first message. On Tinder, either can.
On Tinder, I found one feature extremely helpful. You can pay a very nominal fee to see who swiped right on you, delivered to your inbox, because swiping can get fatiguing, and I just as soon see my options of already vetted “yes” candidates.
Swipe Right Disclaimers
Someone’s account may still be on the site, but they may not be using it. If you swipe right on someone and you don’t get them as a match, it could be because they are not even using the app anymore. They could have met someone and did not realize how to disable their account.
A lot of guys swipe right and have no intention of chatting with you. They may just like to see all the matches. Do not take it personally if they do not chat with you. Dating apps are highly impersonal.
Many men fall off the radar. They will chat with you and then suddenly stop replying. This is not personal to you; they do not know you … you must remember this important fact!
Even if you do hear from one man, he still may not be interested in chatting to get to know you more. Again, do not take it personal. This dude could not be able to continue to chat you up for a dozen reasons, and none of them are because you are not interesting enough!
What to do after you chat in the app?
Here is where Match also comes in to explanation. Match is basically a directory of men: you can narrow down your search filters to many detailed aspects. No one swipes or matches; you search and then send a message. This means you will get messages from men that do not match your parameters. He could be 10 years older or younger than your range. He could live farther away. He may still message you. You can totally ignore the message; you do not have to entertain every Chad, Mick, and Gary in your inbox.
Messaging red flags:
If he mentions sex, your body, back rubs, dinner at either one’s house, seeing you that evening … all of this indicates one-night-stands. Unless you are down for that, then disengage from the conversation. It is perfectly acceptable to simply not reply. You do not know these men, and you do not owe them an explanation.
Once that does not happen, you continue to banter, and it’s perfectly fine to exchange numbers. You can always block a man if needed.
Now you are enjoying the messaging back and forth banter. What next? Always a phone call before meeting. You will want to see how you two can carry on a conversation in advance. This serves as another good vetting step, as I have had a guy urinate, another tell me I curse too much, and the oh so fun, be drunk on the first phone call.
If you enjoyed how the call went, it is perfectly fine to agree to meet. I have met for lunch, coffee, drinks, dinners … there are no rules, whatever is comfortable for you.
Before you meet or even agree to meet, it is perfectly acceptable to friend request on Facebook or follow on other outlets to learn more. Again, you can always unfriend or block. But a good Facebook stalking is very insightful!
Ghosting, Oh My!
Ghosting is no fun, and it is an absolute norm in dating today. It is when you are talking to or seeing a guy who literally stops contacting you one day. Mid text. Mid planning for a date. After he tells you he wants to be exclusive with you. And you literally never hear from him again. POOF. Dones-o. What to do?
Do NOT over text him: “Are you okay, I haven’t heard from you in a few days.” OR demand a “break up” text: “If this is over, please tell me so I can move on.” He is showing you where he stands with you by his actions.
NO he’s not waiting to hear from you. Men will reach out when they want to see you. Or when they are busy and will get back in touch with you. Period. Just be grateful he showed you who he is now before you invested any more of your beautiful energy!
So, what do I do with all this information?
You will need to get yourself centered before you can be in a relationship. Identify your intentions before getting on a dating app. Is it to just meet some new faces and get out every once in a while or are you ready to start dating? Please be aware that if you start meeting men too soon, meaning before you have processed your new life, then you will likely just get too attached too soon OR you will rush into a relationship you have no place being in and burying some really important stuff that is going to ultimately crop up and be destructive once again.