What brings you to Tinder/Hinge?
I’m not a fan of the job interview format.
So I have been meaning to write about this question and answer ritual that sucks the romance out of meet-cutes.
You have just about managed to break the ice and start a conversation and it’s all fun till the other wants to know: What are you doing on a dating app?
I mean, what are YOU doing?
Some feel the need to clarify: I mean, you are good looking and successful, why would you need a dating app? How are you still single?
And there are some who will decide on the basis of this question and answer based interview if they want to meet you. That’s fine except that most of the questions aren’t text conversation material. I am sorry I am not discussing relationship histories, my plans to get married or to settle down with someone I haven’t even met. For all I know, I’m being Catfished.
To be absolutely honest, I don’t even know if dating today makes much sense because nobody wants to be an option and the very basis of dating apps is that everyone is an option.
If I were an extrovert, I would walk up to chat with random strangers at pubs but personally, I would come across as damn creepy if I tried though I’m kind (of nice), pretty (smart), quite funny (funny-looking at least), very sexy (inner beauty… mentally, if not physically) and super at exaggerating.
I don’t date people I work with and am not in school or college or an office space to have a circle.
Since I’m still an outsider to this city, I don’t have many avenues to meet new and interesting people, let alone date them. The last time someone walked up to me in a bar and complimented me on my jawline, I played it too cool to take her number. And now I don’t even remember her face.
That’s how much of an introvert I am.
So I’m on dating apps out of hope to meet someone who is as romantic as I am, someone who isn’t a product of a systemic need to settle down but someone who I can grow (and maybe grow old – not a deal breaker) with, explore the world without a care about stability or societal approval.
Someone who isn’t thinking or overthinking what’s the appropriate amount or kind or frequency of conversation, someone who doesn’t understand the modern culture of gaming or keeping score, someone who knows that life and love isn’t about choosing someone because there’s no one else available who checks out all the boxes but choosing to be with someone even if the person isn’t perfect when you have all the options in the world. Someone who values love and art over materialistic pursuits.
Because being with his person makes you so happy that you don’t want anything else in life. Your purpose is her and her’s you. I believe that kind of love is possible to find even if rare.
I’m on dating apps to find this person who gets my idea of madness and romance and sees the connection between the two. You can’t be crazy in love without a bit of madness.
I want to find the person who can understand the whimsy of a love letter written to a person you have never met.
I want an open mind and a clean slate to be able to say:
Dear love of my life,
I can’t say I come with zero baggage. Nor am I expecting you to. We are not kids to walk away carefree from relationships, after all. We have not been kids in a while.
But we deserve to be young again. We deserve to do stupid things together. We deserve to laugh a lot, make out like teens do and fall in love like it’s for the first time ever. We deserve another chance.
Every time we get our hearts broken, we end up carrying a box full of pieces of our heart.
It’s not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of our strength. To love fearlessly, recklessly. A sign that we valued something, no matter how bad it ended, no matter how short it was.
It is a sign of our faith and belief in something. Faith that broke. Which is why it hurt. And every reminder would bring back small shoots of pain.
But let’s not be afraid of this pain. Pain is good. Because that’s how we know we love.
The ability to love today is a superpower. A lot of us are afraid to fall in love again because of the weight of these boxes of broken pieces we end up carrying along.
I say, let’s not fear each other’s boxes.
We’ll find a place for them. I’ll keep a closet, you keep yours. They are a treasure we will cherish for life because they are who we were. They are everything that led us to each other.
I heard barefoot running actually makes feet tougher. I’m sure the heart gets tougher too, with time. Every now and then, when we hang with someone we like, the heart starts pumping extra blood and life into our bodies. It makes us feel young again. And a lot less jaded. We lose a few years. It makes us want to hide the boxes we are carrying. At least, it makes me want to keep my hands free. So, even if you have just one hand free, we can make a start.
May I hold your hand? For a while or a longer while.