TINDER BREAKS AND BREAK-THROUGHS
A BLOG BY CARRIE JOYNER
Recently, I was at a friends birthday party.
As the kids were playing and having fun, the moms started to talk. There were a few women who stayed and opted to catch up with each other vs. doing the traditional drop and run (I do love me a pedicure, though, if I don’t know the parents that well!). These women who stayed are women that I know well on personal levels, most of whom I have known for a very, very long time. We just all happen to have kids that play together now.
Most of the women came to me one by one; some asking about the details of the demise of my marriage because they felt that they were in a similar situation (Ie. How did I know it was over?), some asking for a bit of hope as they were in the middle of fighting for their marriage, and one who told me something so beautiful and out of the blue that I felt compelled to write this.
She told me that she was getting a divorce after many, many years.
This is not the first time that divorce has been on the table for her, but this time it seems like it’s the real deal this time. She told me that she knew, as hard as everything was, (and I mean she is going through some things that nightmares are made of), she felt hopeful because she read my first blog and knew the details of what I had gone through. She knew that if I could do it...she could get through it.
“I saw your story and it made me feel hopeful, I am never going to give up and I know I can make it on my own”.
Never in my life has anyone said those words to me.
I was flattered and at the same time it was a violent call to self-reflection for myself. I looked back, as many of us do at the foothill of a new year, at all the things I had been through in the past few years and realized that I had undervalued and under- appreciated my own power of persistence, resilience and determination.
In 2011, my husband walked out on me very suddenly, but I kept going with my yoga/fitness business never the less. As I said in the initial blog, it was what kept me going and strong and healthy for my, at the time, 4 year old son. I built it up to a point where a random offer to purchase came in about 2 years ago and I/we took it. My ex was also my business partner at the time.
The sale dissolved my second to last partnership with him and took a lot of stress off both of us in the sense that it is pretty hard to dissolve a marriage and keep going as business partners.
The last bond will never be dissolved; our son. He is an amazing boy/budding man who is doing and will continue to do many amazing things. An athlete, a scholar and an overall good person.
His father and I are actually on very good terms, co-parent and split our time with him straight down the middle. He always bragged that we had “the perfect divorce”. We were civil and never got petty. We just both knew that whatever happened between us and our relationship, the most important thing was to stay level and positive for the sake of our son. It sure seems to be working.
This is not to toot my own horn or discredit actual nightmare break-ups, rather just a nod to the fact that regardless of what life throws at us, women are by nature; survivors, protectors, Goddesses and can turn lemons into the most delicious lemonade.
The conversation at the party then turned to my dating situation. What was it? Who was I seeing? Was I still online? “Give me a story, Carrie, because I have nothing going on here”.
Well, the story is that I got off Tinder a couple of weeks ago. The day they sent me a push notification around new years saying “Don’t change anything in 2018, over 3,000 people have liked your profile”, was the day I knew it was time for a change.
Let’s be clear- I didn’t MATCH with 3000 people, that was the number that I could have potentially matched with. You basically have to swipe left 30 times for one right.
The very definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting different results”. Why did I keep opening these messages and responding to ridiculous comments or requests? Maybe it’s the Canadian in me and I just didn’t want to be rude, but when a guy wrote to me “You are hot, but let’s be upfront about everything- I am 6 foot 2, brown hair, blue eyes, well built and 187 lbs...your turn...GO!” I was so freaked out! Did he want my bra size, too?! My blood type??
I had to take a Tinder break. If you know me, I am not a shy person and have no problem telling it like it is...but this was just rude. Um, sir, may I send you my headshot with my stats on the back instead? Oh, wait...I don’t have one. I forgot, I am not a mail order bride.
Then again, you actually have to pay for that service.
The actual problem with getting back into the online dating world, for me, anyway, are the issues that bubble up on the inside.
All those questions of “am I good enough, smart enough, pretty enough...”; they are real questions and SELF DOUBT bubbles up if you let it.
All the insecurities about why past relationship/s failed surface and it’s almost like a form of simultaneous therapy and torture.
For now, I am on a Tinder break. I just needed some time to date myself and fall in love with myself again instead of being so caught up with what EYEISDAONE thinks of me before even buying me a drink and having a face to face conversation. I know that women are strong.
I believe we just need to be strong together more often.
This party taught me that.
No matter how perfect someone can pull off appearing on the outside-they could be burning up on the inside. Be open to hearing their pain. The only way to get over it is to go through it sometimes.
I watched a movie last night where Rebel Wilson is trying to teach her new friend how to be single in NYC. The friend said she thought it would be more like Sex and the City on the single scene, and Rebel said the best line (and this is not a direct quote); the entire series was based on 4 single girls spending every single minute trying to find a boyfriend. It had nothing to do with being single and proud. It had to do with finding the next relationship, so they weren’t alone.
For now, I am just going to walk alone, and proud.