March 13, 2024

How Dating Apps failed me & being Straightforward led to Love.

I’ve written about this at length before—but after my engagement slowly crashed and ended, heartbreakingly, frustratingly, tearfully, and amicably, and after a month or two or three or let’s face it four of sitting on the couch feeling sorry for myself…I jumped into online dating with both feet.

I imagined it would be easy to self-sort for folks with similar values! What a great invention! I could find weirdos like me who care about composting! And secondhand! And climate crisis and being of benefit! I like to bike, I have a dog, I want children, I’m vegan

…instead, it was an endless sea of fake accounts, reaching out, time wasted, swiping, limited interactions (echo, echoooo) followed by nothing…

I gave up, and ended all subscriptions.

Shortly after, I put up a story on Instagram without even thinking about it…just saying a bit about how I was and what I was looking for. The response was huge, folks thought it was fun, vulnerable, inspiring, open…so I put it up as a post. I shared the same to Facebook, and here on Elephant.

“Maybe it’s tacky to be open in this way, but dating apps seem to be a tidal wave of fake bots trying to get me on telegram or WhatsApp or photoshopped pouty lips n’filters. Im looking for something simple, genuine, real. I would like to have children sooner than later, full disclosure. I don’t have drug habits or whatever. I work hard, am fun, can be boring and love to cuddle and travel both. I’m eco-inspired and don’t love plastic and do love animals. I’m a good communicator and no longer work wayyyy tooooo much. I like bike ?. I might move to Canada. I’m a romantic but I detest Hallmarky movies. My happy place is the farmers market or a big cocktail party or cozy at home or hot springs or on my bicycle. I don’t love lots of tats or chemically make up or perfume. I appreciate simple and active and humor when things go wrong and accountability and I’ll offer those too. I need a date for the Nutcracker.”



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The response was overwhelming. A dating coach interviewed me, delighted with my approach. But all I was doing was being straightforward.

And among all the DMs and excited comments, as the dust settled, a single mom in a similar situation reached out. Her best friend had sent my post to her. We DM’d a bit. Her aunt sent her an article of mine, six months later, and she reached out again. This time, the dust had settled, I’d lost my race for local office, and had some space in my life. We DM’d a bit. We started phoning, and facetiming. Soon, I invited her to the Nutcracker. Somewhat surprisingly, though I was 1,102 miles away, she said “yes.” And shortly thereafter, we started dating. Now, we’re in love.

Dating apps could serve a fundamental and helpful role in society. Instead, they’re a time suck.

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