Don’t complain about your Ex!

I recently joined Tinder, the free dating app. It seems to have taken the world by storm, or at least I’m hearing about it more and more and in a more positive light. The rumour is that it’s no longer the sleazy pick up joint that it once was, and there may be actually be some distinguished gentlemen out there looking for a sophisticated woman like me! Could I really meet my next soul mate on Tinder? It was worth a try! So I tentatively uploaded my profile and began swiping! Basically, you either like or reject a person based on looks. Superficial it is to some, but I think how a person chooses to represent themselves in these photographs can be more insightful than first meets the eye. 

So we have “John 45” who is wearing sunglasses and is shirtless. He proudly displays his “sexy” torso and flexes his “awesome” biceps. Wow, I gasp! This guy loves himself more than he could ever love me. Reject! Next, “Reg 43”, sitting on his beloved, shiny motorbike. Yawn! Definitely not my kind of thing. Onwards, “Ivan 43″, photo is cropped to remove someone, but strands of long, blond hair are just visible. Tacky beyond belief! How difficult is it to take a photo of yourself these days? It’s called a feckin selfie! Moving swiftly on to ” Mr Serial Killer”, no, of course that’s not his real name. I actually can’t remember his name, only his horrible, staring eyes and cold, icy gaze. Maybe he thinks this is somehow sexy or attractive? Or maybe he really is a psychopath! Yikes, no thanks, I’d rather be forever single. But then, Hello! “Hans 45” has a warm, kindly smile, and he has even written a few lines about finding his soul mate. This is definitely a step in the right direction, so I ‘like’ Hans 45 and lo and behold we’re a match! Hooray! A fleeting moment of euphoria arises in me and Hans and I begin chatting. So far so good, no sleaziness, just the usual getting-to-know-each-other questions. I establish that he is separated, a loving father, has a job, seems interested in getting to know me and not interested in one night stands. I think this guy may just be worthy of meeting in person, so off I go on a Tinder-arranged date to meet him. Hans passes the first test, which is that he actually closely resembles his profile photo, and is therefore instantly recognisable. No nightmare scenario of meeting someone who turns out to be twenty years older than I’m expecting.  We meet in a nice cosy, Irish-type bar and I notice that he is much shorter than I like, but I try to stay open-minded because he has that warm smile and he puts me at ease by ordering and paying for the drinks. Call me old-fashioned, but a girl likes to feel that she’s worthy of being bought a drink and it’s really NOTHING to do with money. It communicates a feeling of being special and valued. Well done, Hans! We chat happily about lots of topics easily, but he keeps staring and gazing at me, and it makes me feel a little uncomfortable, so I awkwardly look away, and then he comments on my shyness and facial expressions. Now that’s a little irritating. Just stop staring at me!

So as always, I’m curious to know why this guy is single. Why did his marriage breakdown? It’s important to me to know if he’s done some self-reflecting because I know my soul mate will have done his inner work on HIMSELF. At my stage in life, I certainly want and expect someone with baggage, lots of it in fact. But, I expect that baggage to have shaped him into something wise, and that he’s become the best version of himself. If he’s made mistakes, I want him to admit to them, at least to himself and not repeat these mistakes with me! I want him to show vulnerability, compassion and understanding for others.  It’s very endearing when you look in someone’s eyes and see their authentic self and not feeling the need to hide behind a mask.

I smile understandingly as he begins to tell me that his wife just announced one day that she no longer loved him, and wanted out. Really? I thought. I said there must have been some clues along the way, surely. No, he says, but later admitted that they had done couple therapy for three years. So not totally out of the blue then after all. He boasted that he had the family home now and that I might come by one time to enjoy the romantic log fire. But any fire that was burning in me was definitely put out when he admitted that he put his ex out of the family home, because she couldn’t afford it on her part-time salary. She had been bringing up the kids, he said, but she deserved this treatment, as it was her decision to end the marriage. In other words it was all her fault. Alarm bells were ringing and as much as I tried to be on his side, I just couldn’t. The final straw came when he announced that he was looking for an au pair to take care of his kids whilst he was at work, as he no longer wanted his ex, the children’s mother, to do this when it was his “time” to be with the kids (they had adopted a 50:50 model) and I assume that he did not want the mother of his children having more time than he did.  He would rather trust a stranger. He was frustrated that she cried when he told her this. Of course, I have no idea where the “truth” lies between this couple, but I left the date not feeling good. I didn’t comment, but wondered how the children would feel about having their own mother sidelined for a nanny or au pair. At the end of the date, Hans made it clear that he really wanted to see me again. However, early that morning I felt very uneasy about this situation and decided that I definitely could not meet him again.  It was clear that this woman whom I did not know had hurt him, dented his ego and now he was getting his revenge by wielding his financial power, and removing the children from her care. Horrific. I declined the second date with Hans and wished him well, but didn’t tell him the real reason. Maybe I should have, but I doubt he would have listened anyway. Meanwhile back to swiping on Tinder again…

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