Is it natural? With every heartbreak, there’s a need to reflect? Maybe it’s just me.
A few years ago, I met this woman on an dating app.* We hit it off well. Our first conversation involved a case of mistaken identity. The perfect meetcute for the modern age. Of course, there was a problem. I wasn’t looking for anything serious. I wasn’t even looking for anything casual.
I exhausted myself by then. Even I had grown tired of my complaints about Jenny. I wanted to get into a new headspace. I need to talk to someone who I hadn’t tired out.
At that point, I had never considered using a dating app of any sort. But I was tired of the anonymous conversations Whisper provided. A longing for something of substance had taken over. Sure, Whisper provided some companionship. It had also provided problematic people. The girls who needed to fill the void. The bad marriages. The eventual divorces. The girl who perfected the vanishing act.
No, I wanted a face to the stranger on the screen. I downloaded the app and filled out the requirements. I didn’t want to mislead anyone, so I explicitly stated that nothing romantic would come from this encounter. I wasn’t looking for casual sex, but I wasn’t looking for a relationship, either.
The second or third swipe, I matched with her. Her profile held a humor that matched my own. And we got to talking. Later, we exchanged numbers. Of course, stupidly, I switched two digits in mine and her text went to the wrong person. Some poor schmuck got a text reading, “Hey, it’s Joanne** from Tinder.”
“To be the fly on that wall,” I joked. “Poor bastard.”
Our friendship lasted less than two months and ended in ultimatum. Because as much as I liked Joanne, the scar was still fresh. I asked her not to go down this road as it wouldn’t end well for either of us. Of course, when an unstoppable force and unmovable object meet, there’s only one ending.
“I like being your friend. And unfortunately that’s all I have to offer.”
“It’s your ex, isn’t it? You’re still in love with her. Why else are you still friends with her?”
I haven’t heard from her since.
We get careless, I suppose. It’s easy to mistaken platonic companionship for something more. Easy to fall into unrequited love. Especially when you connect so well with someone. When you mistake those stolen glances as something more.
I aimed to not fall for anyone. In the process, I plummeted. We’re great friends. Unfortunately, that’s all she can offer me.
I nodded. “It’s ok. I just needed to know.”
* Tinder. It was Tinder, ok? Tinder. ** Not really her name.