Repeating Mistakes – will I ever learn?

In the middle of my first year dating online, I came to an abrupt halt. I’d had a string of appalling sex dates, I’d been messed around, cat-fished and scammed (fortunately I got wise to it and didn’t lose a cent. That story will be in my book.) I’d fallen for someone wholly unsuitable, I’d lurched from one guy to another and eventually, I had to ask myself these questions.

What am I doing wrong? Am I being true to my core values, to myself? Should I be pretending to be someone I am not? Am I making the wrong choices?

These questions on an endless roll of repeat are running through my head at all hours of the day and night; when I’m washing the dishes, doing housework, zoning out at work, driving my long commute. But rarely, it’s keeping me awake at night. I think this is because instinctively, I know the answers.

Memo to me:
No, you are not making the wrong choices. You are making the right choices to learn. This is all about offering up a platter of experiences for you to pick and choose – and experience life. Life doesn’t always go smoothly. Life doesn’t always have an easy answer. Life isn’t predictable. And life doesn’t always give you orgasms. Sometimes life promises up great oral sex and lets you down like a deflating erection.

And that’s a pertinent analogy because right now I need to consider my choices in men, specifically, young men. Men who should know what they’re doing, and should have it all worked out by now – but who obviously don’t, and who clearly, haven’t.

And yet, here I find myself again experiencing the confusion and frustration of yet another unsatisfying sexual experience, yet another guy who promised the world and who did not deliver.

By now you must be thinking I’m a complete loser of a cougar, but bear with me because you might learn something, as I did. (And cougars come in all shapes and patterns!)

I approached Philip on Plenty of Fish. He was a late-twenties, smooth-faced rarity in that domain of crusty-sunburnt tradie-blokeyness (remember, I’m in Australia after all!) and I made sure to tell him so in my light and friendly first message.

I also mentioned that I was outside of his age preference but I wondered if he’d consider chatting to a friendly cougar, since I found him very lovely. He responded enthusiastically! I soon found out that he invested a lot in the idea of me fairly quickly.

The idea of a cougar obviously held some appeal, although I’m not sure why, since beyond that first interaction, age was only mentioned once. We switched to kik after chatting for a while and before a couple of days had passed, we had somehow arrived at faux emotional intimacy. So far, familiar territory.

This time I kept myself under control – I didn’t over-invest too soon, I didn’t reveal too much of my inner life. Although I liked Philip more each day, a part of me knew that it was the thrill of the chase, and the excitement of new intimacy that was propelling me forward.

And gosh-darn, it IS exciting to be talking to a cute and sexy young man at all hours of the day and night, even if the common and recurring theme was how much we fancied each other to bits. It certainly contrasted with the rest of my life, which was predictable in its child- and work-based peaks and troughs.

I didn’t hold back on the compliments and though Philip was initially reserved, before too long, he’d dissolved into outright lust and fascination. Of course it was flattering, and even more so considering the 20-year age difference.

Like so many other experiences, the lead-up to first meeting was sweet and intense.

I tried to catch my imagination and nip it in the bud and on the whole, I did that well. On first impression, I quelled the tendrils of disappointment when I realised that he was shorter than he’d said and that his bad teeth kind of ruined his sexy, full mouth. But I adjusted quickly to the subtle realities of face-to-face, and we talked easily and smoothly considering we were, in truth, two strangers who’d become weirdly connected in a completely unnatural way.

But who’s to say what’s natural anymore? It had become natural for me to reach out and connect with total strangers online – the hard part was translating that to the everyday.

We talked and smiled and found ourselves huddled close together under my umbrella in the warm drizzle. It won’t come as a surprise that I took the initiative and asked him for a kiss. Soon we were kissing passionately and by that time, I’d awakened the beast and realised that he was no shrinking violet or nerdy shy boy.

He was a voracious animal who wanted to have his way then and there in the Botanic Gardens! My body seemed to naturally curve to his and it was the same sweet ache of denial that ran as an undercurrent the whole day.

After several hours of wandering – and wandering hands and mouths – my curfew arrived. I extricated myself from his determined embrace, and while I drove home, I decided that I needed to slow things down and not make the same mistakes I’d made in the past.

Go for the meaningful, genuine relationship (as defined by the two of us).

I put that to him later that night and he wholeheartedly agreed. I hadn’t mentioned polyamory yet because I wasn’t sure of his reaction after such a short period of getting to know each other. I wasn’t chatting to anyone else at that point though, so I was invested in the concept of it working between us in the short term. Everything with younger men was always in the short term. I didn’t want to look beyond the now. I wanted to live in the moment.

Asian food

We met again the following week in the city for lunch on one of my work days. It was a long train ride from the outer sticks for Philip and I appreciated the effort, although when I saw him in my domain, it brought home how unworldly he was. Growing up in the country until just a couple of years before, he’d never even tried Asian food, and that just blew my mind.

A week later, the tension was raised to fever-pitch as we messaged constantly. We shared our thoughts, stories and goals as well as the minutiae of daily life – what we’d eaten for dinner, how his takeaway shop shift had gone, whether my kids were giving me grief.

Because I was wiser and aware of my own predisposition for fantasy-absorption, I continued to restrain myself. But we both discussed wanting something ‘more’ with each other – yes to sex and yes to soon – but it would be the beginning of something deeper.

In the lead-up to the third date, the pressure was cranked. At my house for the first time, he was affectionate and tactile, but clearly nervous. I got the sense very early on that under the surface, Philip was a bubbling, boiling mess and that something in me, maybe something I didn’t even know about, was driving him crazy.

We were cuddling on my couch talking, looking into each other’s eyes when it first happened: a fleeting epileptic seizure.

He’d told me about his ailments – epilepsy and rheumatoid arthritis – both serious health conditions but he’d assured me that he had them under control. As I wasn’t planning marriage with him, I took that in my stride, but after that first quick seizure, I was surprised.

Then there was a second, third, a fourth – all in different locations in my house and each of varying duration but each no longer than a few seconds. During the fifth when we were standing up, kissing, in my bedroom and were just about to move to the bed, he almost broke my teeth with the intensity of the seizure. He was embarrassed but determined to move things forward. I sensed he wouldn’t appreciate me making a fuss.

It was a big turn on that he found me so desirable. He was fascinated by my breasts and when he told me that I definitely did not look my age, I gave a sly inward chuckle (considering I was almost a decade older than he thought I was). Time passed in a blur of kissing and caressing and by the time we had peeled and pushed each other’s clothes off, I almost decided against the condom discussion. My better judgement took over and we agreed that it was necessary.

Our fragmented conversation then turned to why I had a packet of condoms in my top drawer and how many times they’d been used since I’d been single.

I was uncomfortable with this line of questioning and, in hindsight, I should have steered the topic away. I dodged specifics and told him that it was around a dozen at that time. In truth, I couldn’t remember how many because the number was not important to me.

They were all individuals. Each had filled me with the promise of satisfaction and some sort of future beyond that. But every time they’d let me down.

Here I was, poised on the edge of great sex with a well-endowed man who seemed to have no trouble with his erection.

Until the point where he stopped playing with my bits and climbed on top of me.

I have to confess that I adore being penetrated. The first moments are blissful and fulfilling and even if I don’t reach orgasm, penetration-only sex can be amazing. However, the one prerequisite for satisfying penetrative sex is a good strong erection.

Everything was going swimmingly – we were working together, our bodies in harmony – and then, pfffft, nothing. It was all over and he rolled off me, ashamed.

I lay there utterly perplexed. It had lasted less than a few minutes. There didn’t seem to be a climax, just a slow deflation and a sudden end. I was shocked and confused. It had happened to me again! What the almighty fuck?!

There was no clear thought in my head; there was only a racing pulse of blood and a rising lust for satiation. We talked and kissed some more and soon he was ready to give it another go. I switched position, feeling the eye-closing ecstasy of penetration again as I straddled him. Philip rubbed his face between my breasts.

I won’t even describe what happened next – let’s just say a repeat performance – or a distinct lack of. Anti-climax is the word.

After that we talked and kissed some more and I tried to subdue the rising tide of injustice. He called me a randy school-girl and maybe I was. In some ways, I fitted that stereotype but in truth, I was a deeply unsatisfied mature woman who had every right to expect some level of mutual pleasure.

What about all his talk of pleasing me and how much he loved giving pleasure? Another guy who was all talk?

We did discuss it in a roundabout sort of way. Philip indicated that it was not the first time and that every man – if he’s honest – has some degree of performance anxiety. And then told me the story of his previous and only three liaisons since being single for the past two years.

After sex, they had refused to respond to his calls and had cut things dead with him. I didn’t ask whether he’d done the same to them but the implication was there. I couldn’t help myself from thinking, no wonder!

It was time for Philip to leave. Ever since the ‘deflation’ he’d been focused on getting to work on time. I stood in the front doorway in my Chinese silk dressing gown and waved him goodbye.

After a record in non-communication of two days, I texted him. I couldn’t bear being ghosted or ignored. He texted back straight away, explaining that he needed to think things through. After another four days of silence I sent him a longer message that voiced a fraction of my complicated feelings in the most gracious and forgiving way I could manage. He didn’t reply.

I moved onto the next experience, the next guy and the next disappointment. In truth, my hope sprung eternal that I would one day find a man or two who’d be a good fit for me, and be willing to consider me as a sexual equal and not as an object from which they could take their pleasure.

The lack of reciprocity was really starting to get me down, but I was resilient – and still addicted to the online dating game of endless new faces and new possibilities.

About six months later, Philip messaged me to say that he wanted to ‘rekindle’ our spark. Cue eye roll. Can this ever be a good thing?

He’d sorted out his life and wondered if it was too late to apologise. I said I didn’t know whether I was up for anything but I was prepared to be friendly. We chatted for a few days but I found it awkward and false. After only a short time I stopped responding and he disappeared – again.

Why Tinder Is Bad For Your Love Life

I found this post courtesy of I’ve Been Dating for You. It’s refreshing in many ways, not only because it’s from a young man’s point of view – but also because it talks such common sense. All the things we know about the addictive nature of social media – including online dating sites – are evident in this post. There are pro’s and cons of modern dating obviously, but at least try to be aware of the pitfalls discussed here. Read on if you dare! (or watch the You Tube link).

Tinder is a fun, convenient and entertaining way to meet new potential lovers, friends and maybe even partners…. You might think that you are having a good time on the dating app, but after reading my story you will understand why Tinder is actually bad for your love life!

via Why Tinder Is Bad For Your Love Life — Wellness of Health

Tinder is the most popular and convenient way to date these days, so why would it be bad for your love life? Check out my story and find out why Tinder is actually bad for your love life!

Ok so for those who haven’t read my blog before, I am a 29 year old, single (why else would I be talking about Tinder hah), male, living in Australia. It is crazy to think that it has been over 5 years since Tinder was introduced to the world, changing the dating game as we know it. I have wondered how did so many relationships come to blossom without the use of the iconic dating app in the years Before Tinder (BT).

During this time I have been known to have a frequent swipe on the app for different reasons depending on my mood and what I was looking for at the time. Yes I have had my fair share of funny stories and good times, but ultimately it hasn’t led to a long lasting relationship (which is the same for many of my friends). About 6 weeks ago I deleted tinder after I felt that I was wasting my time on there; and after my time on the sidelines I thought I would write about why I think Tinder is bad for your love life.

I even went speed dating with a mate recently (that’s a story for another time), and everyone that I met at the event said that they had been on Tinder recently and hated it. So why has Tinder taken over?!

PS – if you like this post and want to read more of my writing, check out my book, Redesign Your Mind – which is about living as a young person and overcoming challenges of anxiety, depression and negative thinking. It is my story, and includes some of my dating challenges and fails as well! Click here to check it out!

So what are the basics of Tinder?

Have you been living under a rock for the past five years? Haha okay Tinder is the dating app that allows people to meet and chat to members of the opposite (or same) sex in their area and catch up for friendship, for dates, sex, relationship or all of the above. Within minutes you can have your profile set up and be swiping away at potential new matches.

Oh yea – and you can only start chatting to someone if you both ‘swipe’ right / yes to each other. Seconds later you could start a chat and lead things wherever you like. Instantly you can have a series of dates or hook ups lined up. If the conversation isn’t up to scratch – it doesn’t matter because there are another 10 potential matches ready to chat whenever you are. Sound’s exciting doesn’t it? That’s part of the problem.. Now that I’ve removed you from under that rock, let’s take a look at why Tinder is bad for your love life.

Tinder is superficial

Now don’t tell me that it’s not superficial and it’s all about the conversation, because we all know that is a lie! The first thing we see is a picture, and without having to read anything about the person we usually swipe away. If we actually read their bio, in we might actually find that the hot, 25 year old blonde we just swiped right to might actually be crazy – but because she looks great in a bikini we instantly swipe right.

Ladies don’t laugh because you are just as bad.. how many times have you swiped right to a guy that you know is a jerk, but he has a cute dog so it’s all good right? Hah no wonder why we are back on Tinder hours after our first date.

Tinder makes us focus on the wrong areas

Ok so this is one for our mental health. When we see people’s profiles and they look great, have the right hair, the right clothes, maybe a profile pic in a cool location, a pretty smile and a nice body, this is what we personally focus our own goals and sought after features on. We look at ourselves and others and focus on the physical aspects. What we need to improve on with ourselves, maybe we need to hit the gym or get a makeover?

But this doesn’t help us grow as a person. This means we put too much of our self worth in how good we look with our first impression before our potential lover swipes. If you are looking for a relationship, none of these things matter and what does matter is your personality and how you treat the other person; you know, like whether you are right for each other or not.

We all need to work on our mental health, positive attitude and setting goals that give us meaning, however Tinder trains our mind to think about a good booty and sexy profile pic. What we need to do is show gratitude to ourselves and be grateful for what we have got.

Tinder doesn’t allow time for a relationship to grow

So you had a first date, and it went okay, but you might as well go on Tinder and check out what else is out there right? Or you had a second date, and you are not sure if they are really interested, so sure I might as well go on Tinder and have another swipe.

I am so guilty at falling for this and it is one of the things that I personally am working on. We need to give things time to settle, to find out what we really think about the person. Love is not like in the movies where you fall in love and live happily ever after at the end of the 90 minute screenplay; it takes time. We need to give things time before we move on to the next one, but I know all too well that Tinder makes it hard to resist.

Even if you are faithful on Tinder, are they?

I have heard so many stories of people who have been hurt by someone that wasn’t on the same commitment level as them; or they thought they were exclusive when they were not. Tinder makes it so easy for people to have multiple relationships going. I am not saying that you have to be mutually exclusive, everyone wants to date and see what’s out there, but Tinder has made it harder for us to stay committed and faithful. If a relationship is on the rocks, a partner might just go for a swipe, when BT they would have to wait until the weekend before they could go out with friends, and hopefully by then things have sorted itself out.

This also sucks for those that are matching people that are just coming out of relationships and who are not sure what they want. I have heard of many stories (including some of my own), where people haven’t told the full story about when or how their last relationship ended, and whether they are still in contact with their ex-lover. Do you really want to be dating someone who is still talking to, or thinking about their ex? Not me thanks!

Tinder has stopped us from meeting people in social settings

Here’s another thing Tinder has killed. I’m not an old man (yet), but after 10 or so years of social events and nights out in bars and clubs, I have noticed the change in how people act when they are out. In the years BT (Before Tinder) people were way more likely to go and talk to a random person they liked, but now they would much rather meet in the safety of their phone and chat online instead of going up to someone.

I had a friend who saw a guy that she liked and said ‘Oh wow I hope he is on Tinder’. Why not just go up to him and say hi? The fear of rejection in a social setting is now just too much for everyone, when instead if we get rejected on Tinder, half the time we will never know about it.

This snowballs because now girls and guys don’t expect anyone to come up to them and start a chat, so when it happens their guard is up and they are less likely to go anywhere with the conversation (maybe because we don’t have the confidence or social skills to cope with a random conversation anymore hah).

Tinder trains your brain to seek instant gratification and not a lasting relationship

Now I know that I sound like I think that the creators of Tinder are evil and seeking to create havoc on the world haha but even though this isn’t their intention (I hope anyway), it is the result. Whenever you swipe right and get a match, you feel good. If it is someone you thought was cute, you are instantly gratified and get a sense of happiness. Your brain likes this feeling, and wants it again and again.

Unfortunately, if you aren’t on Tinder, or you are with someone and things aren’t going well, you want that high again. You want that feeling that someone wants you, and Tinder brings it to you right on time. Tinder trains your brain to want the short, quick, easy highs, and not the slow and ever lasting high of a long term relationship. Wow I never knew that I could make Tinder sound so philosophical haha.

And the biggest reason why Tinder is bad for your love life…

Even after everything I have said above, and all the timewasters, the cheats, the players, and even though I have been off the app for over a month; I know that it won’t be long before I am back on Tinder, swiping away in a frivolous session that will only end once my phone runs out of battery or my finger gets tired from swiping.

Maybe it’s too late for our generation and we must all succumb to the reality that Tinder and online dating is the way of the future. Times have changed and unfortunately, I feel that we will all have to fit into the online dating world, or fear being left behind.

Okay so it’s not that bad, but have some fun with it and be sensible!

So we all know that it won’t be long before I’m back on Tinder, but I hope that this time I go back on – that I can make changes to be more faithful and spend my time searching only for what I am actually looking for. If we are to get our love life back on track, I think we need to be sensible to ourselves with how we use Tinder.

Maybe we should have to pass a test to get a Tinder license before we can swipe away? Don’t be silly Stef, no one would pass that test. Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog – just fill in your email address into the form on this page and you will stay up to date each time I upload a post to improve our mental health (and hopefully our dating game!)

Watch the YouTube video of this.