“Write them a lovely message”

This is the last weekend for the next 1 – 2 months that I will be kid-free. My ex goes to Thailand for major surgery in about a week and will be gone for a month. When she returns, it is very uncertain just how soon she will be recovered enough to help with childcare.

I knew this was coming. It was not a not a big deal because I love the toddler, but it is a sad thing to be losing all my free nights. There are so many things aside from parenting that I want to do. Meet friends and develop new friendships. Have dates. Study for my teaching exams. The time crunch of life is very real when you have a young child. At least I can be thankful that my ex is a part of the picture with our kiddo. I know people who don’t have that.

Speaking of dating… I have been using OkCupid for some time now, but I also signed up for Tinder recently, and it has been interesting to compare the apps. There is more activity and more people on Tinder, but I feel a little more overwhelmed by message volume there. To be clear, I do not have a ton of matches (I stopped swiping), but of the 5 or so I have maybe 4 sent me a short “hi.” Sometimes even a more thoughtful note. But between that app and OKC it is just too many potentially interesting people to communicate with, and I can see why lots of people are flaky messagers: it is too much work to make small talk introductions with a never-ending influx of new people when you are talking to more than one or two at a time. I prefer to keep my convos limited to just a couple guys at once tops, or better yet, only one at a time. It gives me the space to feel interested in the conversation and allows me to make a judgement without falling prey to the Grass is Greener sickness. Maybe my method will change over time. Right now I am establishing basic practices…. Like, I will start or attempt to jumpstart a convo with somebody new (even if they sent a lazy “hey” my direction — as long as their profile has something interesting that I think might make them worth knowing). If, after the first few exchanges, they don’t seem to be holding their end of the conversation and really engaging, I break contact. They can message me more if they are really interested, and then maybe we will talk. But I have had some choppy conversations because of this pervasive distractedness that exists online. 

Thus far the really interesting conversations I have had have come from OKC. There is a guy I am interested in right now who I have been communicating with for maybe half a week now. I noticed him first because his profile photo was a pair of boots by a campfire by a river. No face, just scenery. And next to the endless abs pics on the site, I really appreciated that notion. It was in fact the kind of photo I tried to post when I first joined OKC, but I think somebody reported me and my picture got blocked for not including my face. Anyway. I figured here was a guy who was outdoorsy, had a decent chance of being fit, and any other concerns regarding his looks seemed less important. He had a decent profile with no red flags. I sent him a message asking him what river he was camped by in the photo, and I shared a random misadventure story from one of my previous river trips. He responded, and we really seemed to click. The one thing I have to say about Coffee Guy (see previous posts) is that he was athletic, but he was not a dedicated hiker. This new guy, let’s call him The Backpacker, is just that. And he packrafts, something I also have experience in. Talking to The Backpacker made me realize just how much more fluid conversation can be when you can share similar stories with another person. Bushwhacking, gear talk, getting lost… He gets all that. The Backpacker said he took his actual picture off OKC because he got lots of messages from people but that they had nothing in common with him. After he and I had been talking for a day or so he changed his profile photo to show his face… And it was a nice face. The only problem I see right now with The Backpacker is that he seems in no hurry to meet. He has mentioned things we might do when we meet (not sexual, just to clarify), but when I suggested he come on a hike I was hosting through a local Meetup group he couldn’t come, and he has not suggested an alternative. I have zero problem asking a guy out online, but this is one I think I need to wait a little on. Not super long… But I need to sit back and watch for another day or two. If he doesn’t make a move I will likely say, “Hey, I’ve enjoyed our convos and you seem like somebody I would want to meet in real life. Do you wanna get a beer or coffee sometime?” And based on that response, it will either move forward or it won’t. I hope it does.

The final thing I wanted to say was how surprised I have been to discover that it is easy to feel attracted to different guys within a short span of time. I have always been a slow (think glacial) mover with romance related stuff, not the kind of girl to have my eyes looking in more than one direction at once. This newfound flexibility, if you will, is really thrilling. And maybe a little dangerous. So far I like it.

Update:

Hey, look at that! A little progress.

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