In the six years of having my autoimmune disease, I've learned what I need from a person in order to view them as a potential long-term partner.
So I deleted my Tinder profile.
I felt like I was being too sex-addict-y about the whole thing. I filmed Neal Brennan's new show "The Approval Matrix" on the Sundance Channel a few weeks ago, which was a lot of fun, but it also gave me that pent-up adrenaline high that doing TV and especially doing TV in front of a packed studio audience for an hour straight gives you. To work out the stress, I texted my regular Tinder guy to F the adrenaline out of me -- but he couldn't get away from the office. So I went on Tinder. And I swiped, and I swiped. And then I did some quick math:
The chance of me meeting someone I actually liked? Not so good. The chance that the person I was meeting up with would be someone I wanted to get physical with? Not so good. The chance that if I did get physical with this person that the experience would then be satisfying? Definitely not so good.
Recently, I argued with a male friend who was telling me that "even bad sex can be pretty good." I told him it just isn't the same for women. Bad sex is simply bad sex.
So in the throes of my Tinder swiping frenzy, I realized that I didn't like how I was feeling -- and that my whole bottom line sexually is to make sure I am not acting compulsively -- so I decided that it would be smart to get off the app for a while.
Instead of just deleting the icon on my phone, though, I decided to delete my entire profile. Poof, every conversation gone. My match with George Lopez erased, forever.
Soon after, I had a long chat with my "When Harry Met Sally" guy -- the one who lives in LA -- who I told everyone about, and I really thought that it was going to happen. It was like I had almost bullied him into realizing we were meant to be together. We decided I would fly out there. I gushed about it to someone at work. Then to my mom. Then to my sister. Then to the manager at my doggy daycare. One of my friends teased me, doing an impression of a Starbucks barista having to take my order, interrupting me to say, "Ma'am I really hope it works out with this guy but would you like whipped cream or not?"
After the high of this planning-a-trip to LA conversation with Harry, I decided that I would "put it out there" that I was really ready for an actual relationship. So I officially broke things off with the F-buddy who blew me off after the TV taping. I deleted his contact -- which was handily entered into my phone as "Jon Tinder."
Not his real name.
Then I deleted anyone entered into my phone who I met off these dating sites. Clean slate. You know, "act as if." Attract what you want.
Besides, I was still pretty blissful from my take-a-trip-out-to-LA conversation with Harry who was talking more long-term logistics: dogs, cars... God, logistics are hot.
But fairly soon after, I had a humiliating wake-up call -- after I sent Harry an idiotic sext.
There really is no greater embarrassment: the sext, unreturned.
"I just orgasmed to you," I texted Harry -- since, you know, we had talked sexy stuff before. In return I got back...
And more crickets.
"I'm at the movies," he texted back finally several hours later.
I died inside. This was never going to work. I was kidding myself. Someone either wants you or they don't. You don't talk them into wanting you. It wasn't that he didn't answer. It was how he answered. You throw a girl a bone. A freaking less-than sign with the number 3. A smiley. A winky. Anything but what he wrote. Which was so clinical and unresponsive.
(And before you say anything, I know you probably think I self-sabotaged by texting him that, but I see it as I was protecting myself. My gut told me he wasn't feeling me enough and this confirmed it. And yes -- I realize you guys already told me He's Just Not That Into You Mandy, Wake the Hell Up, Dude. But he had assured me when we spoke: "Don't believe commenters, Mandy." "Really?" I squealed. "Really," he said.)
So I deleted my text thread with Harry in my phone. Then I deleted Harry's number. I knew I could find it if I looked through my emails. But I just needed a bootstrap version of that app that makes Marnie's boyfriend rich on "Girls" (before he peaced out) -- the one where you can't contact someone, even if you want to in a moment of weakness.
Which left me with: No Tinder. No soulmate. No friend with benefits.
What was I going to do now? What am I going to do now?
I'm stressed as hell, haven't had sex in weeks (I can't bring myself to re-engage with the old Tinder guy after he asked me if I had any hot friends I could hook him up with. I mean seriously), and I feel like the only thing left to do in this situation is to force myself to date -- like really properly date. What do I have to lose? Besides hours of time I actually need to decompress and unwind instead of handing it over to someone who I am too kind to tell I am not interested in about 5 minutes after meeting him?
So a week ago, I decided to activate this free trial membership someone gave me at Match.com, because I've had success there in the past -- as have some of my friends -- so I figure I'll give the site another try. But I can't bring myself to fill out the profile. It looks so empty.
Then I got the idea: How about I brainstorm some sample About Me's for you all to critique. You can tell me what you like best -- or edit however you like or tell me if I need to go walk the desert until I find my truth. (Yes, I realize I am begging to be trolled, but I'll take my chances.)
Here we go:
About Me #1
Headline: Kind, funny, intelligent person seeks same
I'm a 38-year-old exceptionally tall writer and sometimes performer living in Manhattan. I work a lot, but I love having a relationship when the fit is right. I'm Northwestern-educated, divorced with no kids and I have one rescue pitbull I adopted two years ago who can be a pain in the ass but who I love very much. My favorite thing in the world is to spend time with intelligent and funny people. (I'm 6'2" if you are wondering. I have no height requirements myself and have dated men both taller than me and shorter than me.) Tell me about you!
About Me #2
Headline: One-in-a-million woman seeks one-in-a-million man
Sorry for the spam-sounding headline but I met a nice lawyer when I used that headline a year ago so why not repurpose, right? I'm Mandy. If you Google me you might be freaked out because I've written about my dating life in the New York Post and a few other places, but at my core, I care most about personal relationships and am a loving person. I don't have any plans to stop doing personal memoir anytime soon, though, so if you are extremely private we might not be a match. I'm divorced. I have a dog. I have no kids. I'm 6'2". I don't care how tall you are. I do care about your personality. Tell me about you.
About Me #3
Headline: Online dating makes me die a little inside but alas here I am
Hi. I just deleted my Tinder profile. I think I'm ready for a serious relationship with a great guy. I'm 38, a writer and sometimes performer and I have a dog. I'm smart, sometimes funny, kind and positive. Although that sounds a bit saccharine and earnest so I will add that I love viciously cutting comedy if it's done well. Hmm. This isn't going very well is it? Anyway, I get along great with ambitious, social, authentic people so if this might be you, drop me a line. I'm 6'2" but don't have any height requirements. I'm divorced with no kids. I live in Manhattan.
...OK so, those are all fairly horrible. I think the second one might even win an award for how horrible and stern and aggressive it sounds. It's almost like I've started a fight with my imaginary boyfriend in my About Me section. Maybe I'll just put:
Headline: Mandy Stadtmiller
About me: Mandy Stadtmiller
Anyway, if you have any thoughts, let me know.
How does the headline "Forever alone" strike you?
Find Mandy long-form at http://tinyurl.com/stadtmiller.