Online Dating and my Bumble Experience

This was a post I promised way back when and I just honestly never got around to sharing it at the time and then with things and emotions changing in regards to my previous relationship, I wasn't in the right place to talk about it. Well, I'm finally getting around to writing up all about my brief period of dating life from back in September 2022. 

I've always hated the thought of online dating. I briefly downloaded Tinder in my third year of university and I think I had it for a grand total of 2 days before deleting it again. I didn't enjoy that everything was based off of looks and there was so little information on individual's profiles. I would always read what was on the profile and base it off of that, so if there wasn't any information, then I would decline and swipe no. The few people I did match with had no connection over conversation and in all honesty, I didn't particularly have a strong desire to be in a relationship so I quickly moved on. 

Fast forward a few years, June 2022 was the end of my three and a half year relationship and as much as I wanted us to get back together, he didn't and it was him that wanted me to date other people and get do some online dating. I don't know if I did it because I felt it was the only way to move on or because he asked me to do it and I still wanted to make him happy, but looking back as much as I thought I was ready to do just that, I probably wasn't. 

So I downloaded Bumble and got to work. I was a little fussy, but seemed to have a good experience with the people on the app. I knew what I wanted and I knew what I didn't. Big turn offs for me were: tattoos, smoking, motorbikes, over 35 and children. You wouldn't believe how many people that ruled out, but I still had success. I spoke to a lot of really nice people and was never once made to feel uncomfortable or taken advantage of. 

I defintely enjoyed Bumble more than Tinder and had a lot more success. I didn't love the time limit to send the first message or to reply. With shift work, I often missed the opportunity and sometimes I thought there would be really interesting connections, but they were lost and I wasn't going to pay for premium. I found that the profiles were more detailed and it was a different dynamic with the women having to message first. Initially, I made a real effort to try and send an interesting first message related to their profile, but after a few conversations, I changed my game plan. I decided saying a simple "hey" would give room for them to continue the conversation or not. If they made the effort and it flowed, they were interested. If they didn't reply, then I wasn't going to put in the effort either. 

I spoke to a lot of people over those few weeks and it was a nice distraction. I actually really enjoyed speaking to new people and learning about others. It was a good way to pass the time and I can't say I didn't like the attention. I got a lot of compliments and I hadn't heard those things about myself for a long time, so it defintely gave me more confidence. 

The first two dates were perhaps a little rushed. I went on walking dates, one to Wollaton Park and one along the canal, and whilst there was nothing wrong with the dates, there was nothing special. I think I probably just rushed into a little too quickly without getting to know them first, which for me is quite important. 

Then I went on a couple of dates with C. First of all we went to Attenborough Nature Reserve and it was absolutely perfect. It was peaceful and the conversation flowed. We didn't have any physical connection, but there was nothing bad that caused me to stop talking to him. The second date was the disaster part. We went for a meal at an Italian and it was the worst meal I've ever been on. I'm someone who usually goes for a three course meal. When we were first arranging a time, I brought it forward by 30 minutes as I didn't think we would have enough time. Turns out I shouldn't have. He said he didn't want a starter so we went straight for main courses. The pizza came and he didn't say a word the entire time he ate. He finished in minutes and I felt so awkward just eating in front of him, so I stopped about a quarter of the way through. When the waitress came back for the dessert order, he answered for us without a discussion and asked for the bill. I was shocked. 

We had so much time left before the cinema, we ended up doing a game of mini golf. He'd mentioned a couple of times he did golf lessons and was very good, so he decided a good goal was for him to get holes in ones and for me to get holes in four. Well, I ended up getting a couple of holes in one and he got a couple of holes in six plus so he wasn't very happy. His mood got worst and worse and whilst I was trying to have a bit of fun, he was not feeling it at all. We then went to the cinema and I'd just come of three nights and so slept for the majority of it. I kept my hand open waiting for a hand hold, and stared at him a couple of times, but nada. As we left, we had a semi-awkward hug and went different ways. He made a comment about next time and I smiled and glossed over it. Later that night, I messaged to say I honestly didn't feel a romantic connection and didn't see it going any further. He agreed, despite his previous comment and that was that. 

Somewhat around the same time, I was also speaking to J, who then became known as Derby man. I really liked him and thought he was lovely. Our first date was perfect. We had a meal in Nottingham and despite not being able to drive himself, he travelled to see me. He was waiting when I arrived and ended up paying for the meal. It's the first meal a guy has ever treated me to and it was perfect. He gave me the best hug as we left and it felt good. 

I weirdly can't remember for the life of me what our second date was, but for our third date, I headed to Derby where he lived. We went for a meal to Zizzi's and I was so excited for my favourite salted caramel brownie but alas it was sadly out of stock. Of course, I told him to go ahead an order a dessert still. Afterwards, we headed to golf and he was so nice and supportive, constantly rooting for me and building me up. 

It couldn't have gone better on the face of things but it was the some of the conversations that somewhat scared me away. He spoke about a future months down the line, he spoke about telling his family and showing them pictures, he spoke about moving in together. He had recently moved to the area and repeatedly said I was the only person he knew and wanted to spend time with. For me that was a lot of pressure. It was also that we were in completely different places in our life and the lack of maturing was a little off putting. He had no savings, didn't drive, lived in a share home and had never been in a relationship before. When I tried to broach the subject of intimacy, he didn't openly want to discuss it and I found that difficult as I am very much open to all conversations. 

The final push was the fact I was no longer excited to talk to him, but instead very much invested in another man that I did see a future with, and so I ended it. He asked for a reason which I gave but then he wanted a full explanation and run down of everything that happened. Obviously he felt a little hurt, but it was an extreme reaction in the end. 

The next and last man, was someone who changed my perspective on life and brought me so much hope and joy to begin with. Just as I was about the delete the app, B ended up matching with me after I hadn't swiped on anyone for weeks. He said he was on and off the app and I didn't question it. Our conversation came so naturally and I felt incredibly comfortable with him in every sense of the word. His profile didn't give much away, but I was immediately drawn by his eyes, how handsome he was, that family was a priority and how he was addicted to TikTok like me. 

He very quickly told me that he had two daughters and even though I had swiped no on every other father on the app, with him, it didn't matter to me. I loved that he was honest and upfront before we got involved on a deeper level. At first, I thought I can't suddenly block him and stop talking to him because he has children. Then, I heard the way he spoke about them and how much he cared about them. Ultimately, I decided that I've always wanted to be a mother and have children, so the remote possibility of having "bonus" children in my life, could never be a bad thing for me. 

We spoke for a long time before we met in person. We spoke about anything and everything. No subject was off limits and I loved it. I loved being able to be honest and share my heart without judgement. He was also the first person to constantly build me up. He gave me so many compliments and told me about all the things he wanted us to do, which made me feel incredibly wanted. By the end, I ended up starting to feel beautiful for the first time in a long time. 

It was very difficult getting him to commit to a date. We had originally agreed on a date and a place, and then he was offered tickets to a football game so cancelled. Then we agreed on another and he was invited to a family event. He asked me what he should do, and by that point I simply said if he was asking me, he was just looking for permission for me to not be upset at him cancelling again. Finally, third time lucky and over a month after talking constantly every day, we met up for a meal at Vivo in Stapleford. By this point, we'd both deleted the Bumble app. 

For the first time, I was incredibly nervous going on a date. For once, I really liked him and I was totally falling for him. He told me it was the first time he'd been on an official first date and so he'd repeatedly warned me, he was nervous. I wanted to do everything in my power to make him comfortable and try to hide my own nerves. He said I did, but I could barely look him. I kept making excuses to say I was reading the signs, but I just couldn't look at him for the majority, despite the conversation flowing easily. I was disappointed with the dessert selection because it meant that the date had to end, despite us both eating as slowly as possible. He walked me to the car and gave me a hug, even going in for a kiss, which I felt was moving a little too fast. 

A couple of weeks later, we went on a second date and it was even better. We went to Nando's for a meal, then did a couple games of bowling. It was so much fun and I felt such an intimate connection. We held hands, laughed and giggled, stole little touches here and there and teased each other constantly. I was so sad when he left to do the school run, but just as he left, he called me and we spoke for the entire journey. I just couldn't get enough of him.

Later that night, he drove back over and came to my house. We watched television, although I was very much distracted, then headed to bed. Things took an unexpected turn for the better, before switching directions and getting so much worse. 

I'll share a little more about how it came to an end next week, but with the end of that situationship, for lack of a better word, the feelings for my ex resurfaced and that was the end of the dating journey for me as the sadness and heartbreak resurfaced with a vengeance.