Lonely thoughts

The semester did not end on the best note, but maybe in the future I’ll learn from my mistakes and begin the final project more than 4 days before the due date.

I’m trying to think of what else has happened since I last wrote here- I don’t remember when that was, and I haven’t looked at this blog for a while, so I don’t remember offhand just how long it’s been.

Anyway, I decided to write because, as the title of this post says, I’ve been thinking about loneliness lately. When I went home for Thanksgiving a couple weeks ago I was feeling lonely at one point, which seemed ridiculous as I was sitting in bed in my family’s home, but this holiday season usually features a lot of talk about seeing family- cue the jokes about political discussion at Thanksgiving, or Christmas gift-giving, among others. This morning I went to bed about 5 AM and woke up about 8:30 AM, which is a bit earlier than I had expected, but my guess is that waking up early is related to the dream I had. I don’t remember many details now, but I do remember the dream including seeing several couples kissing and “making out”. I didn’t wake up feeling particularly lonely or otherwise negative, but I wondered if, on some subconscious level, I woke up because my brain was signaling “Wake up to make sure the family/tribe/pack hasn’t abandoned you.”

It may be a mistake, but I’ve also been thinking sporadically over the last few days about the impending 2nd anniversary of the end of my first relationship, which will be tomorrow. In a few months, assuming I don’t somehow find another girlfriend, I’ll have been single for as long as the length of that relationship. Last I heard from my ex (September, I think?), she and the guy she’s been dating since shortly after we broke up (i.e., for nearly 2 years) are going to get married in April.

I was watching some YouTube videos earlier today about loneliness, and at a certain point they didn’t seem especially helpful.

I’ve thought before, and was thinking again earlier, that there seem to be several stages. Of course, it’s not strictly an ordered list with a straightforward progression, since most people probably move through the stages multiple times in their life, but the way I’ve thought of it has been in several stages.

A: Singledom (where I currently reside)
B: “talking”/early dating (from first introduction to, say, the first date)
C: Dating (before “defining the relationship”)
D: New relationship
E: Established/comfortable/intimate relationship

I’ve thought before, and I’ve thought recently, that I’d like to simply skip from A to E (as jarring as that would be), so I would have someone to talk to, make plans with, etc. and not have to mess with, say, leaving my apartment to meet people or deal with all the effort and weeding out that is required to meet people. Sure, you can swipe on Tinder or your dating app of choice all day long, but fact remains, as a male, online dating is not exactly in my favor. Maybe it’s the general biological fact of women being selective and men usually pursuing, and I think I’ve read before about the user base of online dating apps and website being mostly male, but I bet if I made a profile as a cute girl I’d get a lot more interest than making a profile as yet another guy. In my admittedly limited online dating experience, there’s finding someone who’s interested (that is a real person and not, say, a camgirl or bot or other scammer), then making plans to meet up, and proceeding from there. It’s been over a year (nearly 2, come to think of it) since I’ve made any kind of plans to meet someone that I started talking to online. This past summer, I guess, I was talking to a girl for a while, but then she sent me a message at one point that she was interested in someone else and was getting off the app.

Historically, my issue with apps like Tinder and Bumble has been the fact that most people don’t write much in their bios. I’m somewhat aware that’s kind of the point, and it’s supposed to be superficial (they’re cute, swipe right! Not interested, swipe left!), but I’d like something with a similar level of effort but where they actually write something about themselves. Sure, originality and creativity is difficult (or so I’ve heard), but it’d be nice to see a profile that said something original (“I’m not a Star Wars fan, but we can watch them togther” or “Star Trek > Star Wars” or even “I’m a dog momma”) that isn’t something I’ve seen countless times.

Online dating may be like Facebook, in that nobody wants to appear boring and write something like “I usually only leave my apartment to go to work, so frankly I’m somewhat boring” rather than “I love to travel and drink! Let’s get coffee!”, but, as I’ve thought before, I also am probably not in the best position to be seriously dating. When I was with my ex, we were both undergraduate students, I was working, and so my situation may have been more understandable. Now, however, as a graduate student inching closer to my 3rd decade of life, I occasionally feel like I should be more impressive. It could be worse, though. Haha.

Still, I haven’t been using online dating apps much of late, since the constant sameness of either blank bios or unattractive people (and maybe I’m just bored, depressed, and negative) does not interest me. “Grab my butt and buy me tacos” was funny to see the first time, and fortunately it’s not super common, but I’ve seen it several times (as well as bios that reference being a “dog mom” or having “fur babies” or the even more direct ‘I’m just using you for your backyard for my puppy to run around in”).

Mostly, and again I’m probably not looking in the right place, but I’m also not sure that I’m interested in single mothers, cosmetologists, nurses, drug users or people who have tons of tattoos and piercings, and somehow Tinder (at least) seems to have tons of those people! I don’t think I’ve seen any profiles yet that check all of those boxes (being a 420-friendly cosmetologist nurse single mom with a lot of tattoos and piercings would be kind of impressive, though- how do you have any time in your day?), but seeing or finding more graduate students and/or people who are closer to what I’m looking for would be kind of nice.

I have thought before that Tinder probably has a lot of people who are more “open to experiences”, in the sense of the Big 5 personality trait theory, which probably explains the piercings and tattoos and drug users, or at least that’s what I’ve thought. Of course on a certain level there’s probably also people who are just there to try it out (hence the “just got out of a relationship and looking to make friends” or “wanting to meet new people”) or people who work odd hours and don’t get out much (like the profiles I’ve seen that mention working night shift, or working a lot, or the nurses/cosmetologists/others that may not have much opportunity to socialize outside of work).

Well, as usual I wrote more than intended, but oh well. Maybe in the near future I’ll write something that seems a little less pathetic and emotional.

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