Dating After Loss: Is this really happening?

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Photo credit @huffpost

For this week’s lighter note, it’s not exactly where I planned my life at 43. By the time I was ready to start dating, dating apps were apparently the only way to get a date. So, not wanting to be alone, I went with the lotto slogan: “You’ve got to be in it to win it!” Nothing could have prepared me for the experience (insert the starry eyed/shocked emoji here.)  

How does one, in my circumstances, even create a profile?

 Divorced woman, with two young kids in tow, who has lost her entire family, at the ripe age of 43, currently navigating grief after suddenly losing her new life partner, (who writes, talks and is basically entrenched in grief), seeks anyone willing to walk next to her.

Sounds hot(insert fire emoji.) Start swiping! The action of swiping is a game changer because the swiper forever feels like something better is just a right-swipe away. It dehumanizes the entire dating experience and is the driving force behind “ghosting.” The fact that I have been in the midst of a fully-engaged conversation and the guy suddenly disappears (poof) is beyond me.  It’s equivalent to hanging up for no reason or walking away while someone is mid-sentence. How is this acceptable human behavior?

Interestingly, the ghosts often return. I guess, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of a swipe. Weeks or months after a dropped conversation the person messages as if they never left.  It’s so common, they call it “zombieing.”  Get it?- a ghost that returns from the dead. As if those aren’t bad enough, the all time worst catch might be the “catfish.”   I have caught three catfish in my online dating life. Each time I was left stunned, amazed and perplexed.  These men actually stole images of someone else, pretended it was them, and engaged in conversations under that false premise. Nowhere in my profile have I indicated that I cannot see. Therefore, it’s pretty clear at meetup that I recognized they didn’t remotely resemble their online photos. Ummm…redflag!  Deception at the start of a relationship is a deal breaker.

As if it isn’t awkward enough starting a conversation with someone online that you’ve never met. Apparently, there is a population that believes an introduction involves sending a personal pic of their private parts.  It’s such a common occurrence that I now clearly state:” Please do NOT send me photos of your ‘JUNK’, my album is currently full. Thank you.”  

The struggle is real.  Dating life has been reduced to sifting through profiles with the hope of striking “Tinder GOLD” or finding the diamond in the rough. For those of you not there yet, or unwilling to enter this realm, feel free to live vicariously through me.  I’m providing enough entertainment for us all. If you are there, please know, as you navigate this online dating world, these interactions are NOT reflective of who you are or who have become after loss. It is NOT you. We ALL are experiencing the same thing. You are NOT alone.

*****

Kim Libertini is all too familiar with grief and the Co-Founder of Goodgrief App, the social network for loss available for less than a latte,  for download in the App Store, Google Play and www.goodgriefapp.com. You can follow Goodgrief App on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

 

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