One evening during a dinner with some young male friends, you realized they did not listen to you anymore, but were all concentrating on their smartphone, doing something apparently more interesting than listening to you. You asked them: Hey guys, I am talking alone here. What is so cool on your phones? We are swiping on Tinder. Show me. Oh she is cute, ok then I swipe left. Don’t you have Tinder ? Nope, what’s that? And in one second, they installed the apps for you. That seemed to be a fun idea. You broke up three months ago. You were free. You were ready to date again. The last break up left you with no particular feelings or emotions. He was15 years old younger than you. He was a rebound. Then the whole eight months after that you just asked yourself how to stop the relationship without hurting him. Mainly because he was jobless. At least you did not meet him on Tinder.
Your friends started to swipe left a lot right after they installed for you an account on Tinder. They said it is good to give everyone a chance. The next day you received about 50 messages. Mostly a short “Hi, thanks for the like”. You did not answer. None of them was your style. The next day you received about 50 messages, a bit in an angrier tone “why did you like me and then you don’t answer” or “answer me! Now!”. You did not answer, frightened. They were still not your style. After that, most of them unmatched you. You were glad they simply disappeared without you doing anything.
Then you started to check for yourself. First minute you got bored. You only swiped right. No one was your style. You were on the train, commuting. You could not even know for sure their location as you were moving yourself from different locations. There were so many men out there. Just not your style. You remember your friends telling you about this: “that is because you are ugly yourself, so they only give you ugly men…this is your level of possibility”…Thanks guys, always good to be your friends.
Then came some first matches.
“Hi, how are you ? Are you in S & M sex ?
“Hi, how are you ? I saw that you live far. I am married. Want an affair. You are too far for that. Bye then.”
“You don’t want one night stand? Come on, everyone wants ONS and open relationship. You are so naïve. I have an open relationship with my wife. I tell her about my ONS, she is very happy about that. You are so naïve. I am sad for you.”
After a few matches like that, you decided to put more precisions on your profile. You do not want just a hook up plan or an ONS, you want a serious relationship with trust and respect and love. All of that, you put on your profile. You hope it would do the job and pre-select for you at least some matching profiles.
Then came more and more matches. Almost daily. When you got enough time to get into the apps.
You put the range of age +48, you hoped you would meet some more mature men. You still remember how painful it was the last time you dated a young man. Even though you were pretty sure it was not because of his young age that he was not able to think or articulate his thoughts. One bad experience with the young age should not discourage you that much. But for the safe side, you decided to only choose mature men this time.
You tried to remember them chronologically, hence the structured and numbered description from here on:
1) He is German, 60 years old, living in the south of France. His messages were very quickly too flirty. He got married twice. The first one lasted one day. Good to know. Thanks for your honesty. Two grown up daughters. He wrote to you daily. More and more flirty. But in the old style. Never sexual. He called you one evening. He called you but had nothing to say. Mainly you had to lead the conversation. You just wondered during the whole phone call why he has decided to call you if he had nothing to say to you. You did not understand what he told you anyway. He was trying to live in a house with some friends and tried to renovate his part or his room. He was so strange that you finally asked him if he were in a kind of religious sect. Why not living alone at 60 years old? Every day after that phone call, he said that he would call you in the evening but never called again. Then he wanted to come to visit you, 800 km apart and he was willing to make this trip. You said no. He insisted and then one day he officially asked you to marry him. Because he was so convinced you were the right woman for him. You said no. He insisted. You said no again. Then he disappeared for a week and came back sending you a picture of his mother on a dead bed. She was white. Like a corpse. You freaked out seriously. He said : “My mom is dying. It just feels so right to send you this picture because you would be the daughter-in-law whom she would love to have.” You never answered. One week after that he left you a voice message saying that his mother passed away. It was the last time he ever contacted you. You ended up deleting the picture of his dead mom. It was gross.
2) He is Swiss. 49 years old. After one day of chatting, you decided to have dinner with him. He lives in the same city where you work. It is always good to shorten the chatting and rapidly meet the person. You waste less time. You thought it was a good way to do. It still is. The dinner was fine until the moment he started to tell you an “incredible” story about him. The first hour of the dinner, he told you about his very important job and position in a big well-known Swiss firm. He told you which strategies he adopted to manage a team of 25 persons. How he used teamwork, the synergy of dynamic at the workplace. His unbelievable story was about him having a metastasis cancer 15 years ago and he survived it thanks to a piece of stone given to him by a Filipinos guru met in Philippines. When he rubbed this stone, he could heal and bear all the chemotherapy sessions. Since then he became a healer, he works for the hospitals. He told you he could even talk to the dead people. Four hours of dinner. He told you everything existing in the world about healing, sickness, yoga, meditation, philosophy of life of Hawaii people, of Vanatu people, of anything. Four hours all about him. He has four kids with four different women. At least having a last stage of cancer did not stop him from having sex very frequently. You got out of the restaurant that evening knowing you would never see him again. You could not even communicate with living men, would you be insane enough to start dating a man who talks to dead people. Everything he pulled out was the first sentence of Wikipedia. You declined twice drinks with him again. After New Year’s Eve, he wrote you a text message telling you that he wants to be friend with you and he has met THE WOMAN OF HIS LIFE the day before New Year’s Eve. 49 years old. Four kids with four women and the guy still believed in “WOMAN OF HIS LIFE”. He was not a healer. He was a miracle.
3) He is Argentinian, 55 years old. Divorced. Two grown-up kids. Good-looking man. After some exchanges, you told him that you have been living in Argentina. He was extremely happy about that. You were too. You told him you could even come to his town (which is also your hometown) to have a coffee that following weekend. What bothered you during the chats was that he asked you so many questions but when you asked him back a few questions, somehow he always managed to not answer them. And when you delicately asked him again, he always answered: which question? So you ended up very quickly stop asking questions. You were about to organize your weekend to visit him, when, in the evening, Facebook suggested you to connect him as friend. You saw his last name. Fuck ! The first thing you scream out of your mouth. This family in your hometown well-known for some medical scandals and big scams. They were three brothers, known for being playboys and for having slept with all the escort girls of the city. They got bankrupt after having rent a huge sumptuous building by the lake and being sued for malpractice. In your hometown, usually when you hear their names, you run away, you do not want to have anything to do with them. They literally got thrown out of the city and had to run to the French border to buy another property, once again by the lake. They might have liked the view on the lake or maybe just because these kinds of property attract more girls or to be precise more gold diggers. They still threw parties after the bankruptcy. So, that evening, you asked your Tinder Argentinian good-looking match, is XXX your family ? Is he your brother ? First he ignored your question by asking you a 1000 of questions about your past. As usual, you insisted and asked again your question: hey is XXX your brother? No, we are a big family you know ? You asked again: So XXX is not your brother? No. Really ? No. (You thought: Jesus, your pictures with your brother were all over the web. And you still lied.). You did not say anything. You just never talked to him again. And he either. It is called: unmasking someone. Short operation. Too bad, he was good-looking.
4) He is Swiss, 49 years old. He is a high-school teacher in economy and art. He looks like a well-known French actor but much shorter and skinnier. You spoke French to him. You both come from the same city. He was educated. You both shared the same French culture. You had the same jokes, same references of books, arts, TV shows, movies. You liked him. Really. This was someone you deeply cared about. He was leftist. You hated that. He was ecologist. Of course. Like all teachers in high-school. Leftist and ecologist. At this stage of the “relationship” you would not mind. There were subjects that you would never talk about with him. Other than that, he was more than fine. You saw him three times in one week. You never wanted to kiss him. You did not even know why you never wanted to kiss him. There was nothing wrong about him. Except maybe, after the first date, you went back to his place, it was on the 25th of December. He told you that he had baked two cakes and he forgot to bring them to the Xmas dinner. The next day he had to go skiing so it would be a pity to throw away the cakes. You accepted the cakes with pleasure but you had to go back with him to his place for that. It was a studio. With ugly furniture or with things that you use as furniture when you were a student. He had books. Which saved you from running away immediately. Everything else was ugly. You knew that you would never want to be back here every now and then to be with him during the weekends. You called yourself superficial or a bitch, it is just the way it is. You are too old to hang out with guys who sit on a piece of wood pretending it was a chair. The salary of a teacher in your city could allow him easily to furnish his apartment decently. You saw him again twice. Every time after the dates, he asked you why you did not kiss him and hesitate that much. You could not tell him that you could never sleep with him in that studio. His life did not make you dream. You wrote to him a long message telling him that you would not go further. He said he was sad but felt that you were too egocentric and selfish to be able to share with him his personal issues. His almost burn-out, his father’s illness, his brother’s breakup, his kids’ issues at school. He said it would be difficult knowing that you would never move back to that city for him. All of that was so true. You would never do that. You would never share any of his issues, not at this stage of your life, not at this stage of your relationship. No kiss was given. However, you kept an excellent memory of him. A kind of sweetness taste of your three meetings.
5) He is Swiss. 56 years old. More than good-looking. He had a face of someone who is intelligent, who has lived interesting experiences in life, positive and negative, every wrinkle on his face seemed to be at the right place. He was perfectly good-looking. He spoke a bad English. He looked more like a farmer than a professor. But at this point, who really cares. He had such an expression on his face that you could forgive him anything. Almost anything.
You met him for a first coffee on a rainy Sunday, pouring rain outside. The coffee session was not very interesting. But again, his face. What a beauty. After one hour of coffee, he asked you to change place and go for another coffee. You agreed and the two of you walked across the city under a heavy rain of January. One umbrella. He walked very close. You could feel his arms and body. You arrived at another café. The conversation was no more interesting than the first one. He told you he owns a bar in a trendy neighborhood of the city and has a share in another very trendy restaurant. He was never married; his longest relationship was four years. He has never lived with a woman. You saw red flags pulling out over your head by a dozen. 56 years old. Yet, you listened to him, or no, you looked at his pretty face with all the wrinkles falling under their perfect places. After another hour of coffee, it was 7pm, he asked if you had another plan and if you would like to have dinner with him. As it was not particularly interesting and in spite of his beautiful face, you declined by saying that you would like to go for groceries. He was quite surprised with your answer, yet, he proposed to bring you to the shopping mall. When you said goodbye, he insisted to meet you again. You said yes. At this point, who could resist such a beautiful face.
Ten days after the coffee, you agreed to meet him again for a dinner. He waited for you in front of a ramen restaurant but you ended up going to another restaurant. The dinner was nicer than the coffee though not more interesting either. Mainly, you talked about travelling. You told him that you want a serious, exclusive relationship. The fact that he has a bar and is handsome could be a problem for you. He told you that he is now old and he is not interested in sleeping around. He also wanted a serious, exclusive relationship. The only thing he asked you to understand him was that he did a lot of kitesurfing and he had to travel a few months a year in places with strong winds to practice that. You told him that it would not be a problem as long as there is enough trust. He talked a lot about trust and relationships with trust are essential to him. Freedom and space would not be a problem for both of you. He agreed with you like a student agree with his teacher. After the dinner, he took you to his bar. He was proud of his bar, which was a very cool place. You liked it. You told him about it. The evening got good vibes. The two of you left in an enjoyable mood. He brought you to the station where you should take your train home. You avoided kissing him on the lips though you thought you could. But, then you did not and instead kissed very close to his lips but yet not on his lips. It was a promising kiss for both of you.
Days after that, he wrote to you good morning and good night daily. Sometimes even more, he always wrote to you a lot. He seemed perfect to be with or at least to try. During the first dinner, he mentioned to you he lived in a big house quite far from the city because he has done drugs in the past and he had to move far away from temptations of the city. He also mentioned that he rented a small room to a woman 50 years old, divorced, jobless, depressed and lost custody of her kids. He said that he could not ask her to leave his house because she was too depressed and helpless. He pitied her. He mentioned her name and called her “roommate”. You listened to the story without paying really attention.
The third time you saw him, you went to see a movie. You liked him. That you knew. You picked a romantic movie but you entered the wrong room. You ended up seeing with him a historical movie about the queen of Scotland where there was no sex scenes but just dry scenes of battle of war. He enjoyed it without complaining. During the movie, he made lots of comments in-between, which usually annoys you a lot. That time you tolerated but you knew that in a few months, you would be horrified by the idea of going to the movie with him. He had a pretty face so even the annoying noises he made during the movie seemed acceptable. After the movie, you went for dinner. In a nice place. Everything went perfectly fine. You went for another drink. He was fun. He repeated again that he wanted something serious with you. You agreed. When you entered his car on the way back to the station, you noticed on the screen of his car the most dialed phone number was the one with the name of his roommate. Another red flag above your head. He kissed you to say goodbye. The kiss was natural as if you were already together. The kiss was like a natural outcome of the evening. No more no less. It was not passionate. It was just fine. It was a Friday evening. He asked to see you the next day. You said you could not as you had two birthdays. He said that he would be very happy if you could make time for him even if it was just for a short coffee in between your parties. You said yes. You liked him. Then he said that he would meet you on Sunday too if it was possible. At 3pm, we just needed to fix the place where to meet. You went home, got his thank you message. Thanking you for being you, for being there with him, etc. and etc. Promising, you said to yourself and fell asleep.
The next day, you received a message of him, all nice as usual saying that it would be better to meet on Sunday at 3pm for a coffee than on Saturday as he was very busy with the bar. You answered him that there would be no problem. He thanked you for being so understanding and kind to him. That Saturday was the first time you did not hear from him anymore. No more news. No more good night messages. First time ever. You went home exhausted after your two parties. You were not friend with him on Facebook but you could see his pictures. For some reasons, all the red flags were flying in front of your face. You decided to check his Facebook profile. All of his pictures were “loved” by this woman whose name was the same as his roommate. Red flag. Another one. You decided to go on the page of this woman. Lucky you. She had a public profile. Semi-artist, semi-photographer. She let everything open for everyone. You knew that it was her the roommate he mentioned as the picture of the house was his house. You saw some short videos in black and white she made and called “our home”. You even saw a short video filmed from a car called “A day with D. “…The reason he did not text you the whole day. He was out of town. You were even luckier when you saw that she works in the same company as your best friend. Bingo.
Sunday, you woke up and called your best friend. You asked her about this woman. Lucky you once again. Your best friend knew everything about her. But the most important thing was that she lives with a guy who owns a bar. This guy was so in love with her that he offered her five years ago his home, his heart and everything else. She was/is a drug addict and accepted the offer. They were/are together and she got fired from the company a few years ago because of the drugs problems. Bingo. The guy who wanted to be clean from drugs still lives with a drug-addict. You did not even feel hurt. Somehow you have predicted it. You had left him with so many opportunities to tell you that she was not just a roommate. You have decided differently. Maybe just sleep with him with no expectations. He had a pretty face, remember ? But hiding the whole story. We were still on Sunday and by 3pm, you still did not hear from him. You knew that there would be no coffee. At 10 pm he wrote you a message saying that he had a big long story to tell you very soon and he needed to go to sleep as he was exhausted. Not a “sorry” about the coffee at 3pm. You wrote to him a message telling him that for some reason you got to know about his roommate and it was over not because of him but because of you, you would be too weak to be with a man with a bar, and a woman at home, and absent four months a year for kitesurfing. The next day he sent you a text message with a rose saying that he would tell you the whole truth when he got some inspiration. You laughed about that. He really needs some good inspirations to sell another lie. He had a fucking pretty face but it was not enough.
6) He is Swiss, 53 years old. Two daughters of 12 and 13. Excellent exchanges of mails. A good decent man. You live 34km away from him. In the 3rd mail he asked you if you would move in with him right away as he had to take care of his kids a lot and you live a bit too far away. You never answered. 34km apart had cost you this good decent man. You wish him to find quickly someone in the same town, or even better in the same building.
7) He is half German, half Swiss. 50 years old. One daughter, young. He wrote to you more than you wrote to him. He never gave up. He wrote even when you did not answer for weeks because you were busy dating other persons. His messages were always polite and very decent. Always a touch of someone who is not stupid, who is intelligent enough to not make a fuss out of silence. So, one time, knowing that he was back from a business trip and would transit the airport of your city, you told him that you would be pleased to meet him at the arrival and have a quick coffee with him before he headed back to his home. It sounds romantic and a cool idea. You went to pick up at the arrival. Not nervous. He was fat. None of his pictures showed how he could be that fat. You sat down for a coffee. He was interesting. The conversation flew. He asked you to go for a dinner right after the coffee. You declined. He asked you if you would see him again, but then told you not to answer him right away. You knew by then you would never see him again. Just because he was fat. Tough life of dating for those who are fat. What could one do? You said goodbye, he wrote you a text message asking how you felt about meeting him again. It took you six hours to write a draft message to answer him. He was a good guy and very interesting person. You would not want to hurt him. You would not want him to think that the meeting was not cool. Yet, you still need to tell him the truth and the truth is that you was not attracted to him at all. After your message, you did not hear from him again. But two weeks after that, he wrote to you a message on Tinder, telling you that he was sad. He had your Whatsapp. He wrote to you on Tinder as if he wanted to start all over again and you would forget by now, after two weeks, how he looks.
8) He is Swiss. Unknown age. You guess around 48 to 50. The first time you started to chat, you asked him if he were divorced or separated. There was a long silence. You lost him there. You thought he would un-match you right away with this question. He came back saying that he is married but he would totally understand if you want to stop chatting with him. You said: why stopping? There is no commitment so far. It will be just a chat and a discovery. Let’s see. You very quickly connected in a great way with him. You could share and discuss with him about everything. It was like you have known him for ever since. He was like a good friend, an old friend. He is handsome, polite and gentleman. When you started to write to each other, his wife was looking for an apartment and was about to move out of the house. He would be the one who stays and takes care of the kids. All grown up too. His wife works with him in the same dental practice. You two wrote to each other not only every day but for hours. For two months. He told you most of the time that it would be a shame to start with you a relationship after 18 years of marriage and then it would not work out between the two of you because he would not know what he really wants. He never once called you to hear your voice. He was not curious about that. He did not even envisage coming to visit you even when his wife actually moved out and had a boyfriend on her side. You suggested to him several times. Every time you hear the same answer from him. After two months, your relationship started to lose its momentum. You could feel that he was tired to listen to your stories and you were tired to listen to his excuses. You did not know what to expect anymore. You just wanted to meet him because you felt so close to him and it was the moment that putting a face or a voice on words could help. But there was nothing. He knew you were dating other persons. He warned when someone sucks. He behaved like a good old friend. But you felt that you both made the first error. The friend zone was now larger than the seduction. You know he was still looking around. You know he might have kept on talking to you because he could not find better matches on the apps and because you worth more than the other profiles, mostly escort girls or Eastern women looking for a husband and a residence permit. When you told him that he was handsome, you felt like he was scared that you would ask him to date you right away. You felt that he was scared to own you an explanation of what he might want for himself right now or in the future. You felt that you were going nowhere with him. Your mom could say several times that he was the best one and he is a keeper and he is decent. His recent separation from his wife is a no-go. You wish you could keep him as a friend. He explained to you the notion of sex friend that is totally not yours. You wish you could see him in flesh and bone one day. As a friend.
So, should we criminalize Tinder for killing love? For sure, no. For hell, no. Let people live, let people love, the way they want, the way they decide, the way they feel. Sometimes they will be disappointed, sometimes they will be sad. And then sometimes they will be happy, finding a match, the one, if the one exists. In the end, it is just life with all the inconveniences and the beauties.