So I am back to online dating. It’s an interesting topic to talk about, because when I mention it in a conversation, I can see people actually get embarrassed for me. I literally see them blush. Sometimes they even ask me to repeat myself, as if they can’t believe that I actually just confessed that not only am I looking for a (sexual) partner in crime but that I’m doing it using a social media app. People get squeamish when I bring it up as if I’m casually discussing how I like to fingerpaint with my terds or that I like to drink all fluids through my anus. I was unaware that online dating was supposed to be a taboo topic, and I don’t really understand why it would be. I mean, isn’t everyone secretly hoping to magically find a mate? Why is it wrong to talk about it? I’m the same as everyone else except that I’m not choosing to wait with bated breath and fingers crossed for someone to come into my life; I’m actively pursuing it. Plus it’s a great way to meet people that I wouldn’t encounter organically in the real world. My friends could all set me up with their other single pals, but then I’m inevitably dating somebody’s sloppy seconds. And do I really need to date another actor? ABSOLUTELY NOT. So this is a useful means for me to meet people outside of my social circle. I’m not the type of person who’s going to go out to a bar to meet someone, because I don’t really drink/ I hate bars. My friend asked me, “James, why don’t you just go to a bar, drink club soda and talk to people? That way you can meet someone in real life!” Well, I could do that, but then I couldn’t be upset later on when I discovered that this person was an alcoholic. Or if we became an item and they asked me to meet them at a bar for a night of heavy drinking, I would have to explain two things to them:
1) I shut down when I go to bars because I feel like a piece of meat, and as a result I stare at everyone with dead eyes a la Carrie right before she murders everyone at the prom.
2) I only was at that bar in the first place, because I was on the prowl, lurking for prey to snag.
But mostly… do lasting relationships start in bars? Or do you just take someone home to go buck wild for the night? #fuckbeingpolite
So online dating. I’ve done it a few times so I know how this goes. Clearly, I’ve never had a lasting relationship from Tinder, OKCupid, etc. but I’m willing to try it again. This time I’m trying something other than Tinder though, because that was a debacle for me. Let me explain Tinder really quickly to those that are unfamiliar: Tinder is a dating app. You upload like six pictures of you looking the BEST you’ve ever looked in your entire life, and you write a short blip about yourself that makes you sound casual, irresistible and clever with the LEAST amount of characters possible. The app then uses your GPS, and it shows you the profiles of people who are near you. It then presents you with a match, you look at their pictures, you read their info, and then you swipe “yes” or “no”. If you both swipe “yes”, the app allows you to message each other. Then a storybook romance ensues. Tada! Back to the story: The first time I had Tinder, I deleted it because it was giving me anxiety. A few months later I was convinced that I would be able to use Tinder while also keeping a tight-fisted grasp on my sanity, so I downloaded it for a second time. This time, I gave myself some guidelines. At first, I told myself, “James, hello, it’s James. How are you? Lonely? Perfect. So. Here are your rules: We will only do five swipes per day. Got it?” I did that for a while, but then I realized these guidelines were too strict to really yield me any viable options. So then I modified my rules and said, “James, you can swipe until you swipe ‘yes” to five different people.” Still, I found those rules to be too rigid so then I told myself that I could have unlimited swipes for five minutes per day. Well, friends, you can probably guess that it took a remarkably short period of time for this situation to escalate out of control. Eventually, I reached a point where I was waking up randomly in the middle of the night, grabbing my phone and swiping until I passed out again. But I really knew I had hit rock bottom when one night at 3:00 AM I was swiping deliriously with a blazing madness glowing in my half-open eyes, and all of a sudden Tinder told me, “You have no more available matches in your area.” Well that doesn’t sound so bad, does it? Or DOES IT?! Do you know what Tinder was actually saying to me?? “Hey, freak. You live in New York City, one of the most populated cities in the United States, and you have swiped through EVERY GAY MAN IN MANHATTAN. You should be ashamed of yourself, you psycho bastard! So put your phone away, cuddle up with your shame, flip over your drool-drenched pillow and go the fuck back to sleep. In the meantime, I’ll be…’refreshing matches in your area.”
I haven’t made up with Tinder since then. Instead I’m trying a different dating app now, but I can’t help replaying in my mind a certain situation that played out a few times while I was on Tinder. On multiple occasions, I met up with people who were 20 pounds heavier than they were in their pictures. Listen, I’m not upset at you for being heavy. Honestly, I’d rather date someone who has some meat on them than someone who is just a bag of bones; I’m a big guy, and I’d like to be with someone who is also of great physical substance. Seriously, dudes, if I look at you and there’s even the slightest inkling within me that if I lay on top of you that you will stop breathing and cease to exist, I’m not down. You’ve gotta be able to support my body weight without eking our your last wheezy breaths. Let me reiterate: I’m not mad at you for being a big boy; but I am upset that you felt like you needed to misrepresent yourself in order to be found desirable. I’m mad at you, bro! I’m mad that you felt like you needed to bamboozle me into thinking you were skinnier in order to get a date. Look, maybe I’ve never been overweight, but I know what it feels like to hustle for worthiness. I know what it feels like to conceal the undesirable and seemingly unlovable parts of myself in an effort to woo somebody. I know what it feels like to seek approval from others before giving myself permission to love me. I have my own shit of which I am ashamed, but if I make a big deal out of those things, I give them the power to become the Kim Jong-un of my life! If I allow shame to become my supreme leader I will always be thinking, ‘What will this dude think when he discovers this shameful thing about me that I’ve tried so hard to hide but still exists within me, making me unworthy of love?’ NO! NO NO NO NO NO! No! Let me speak to the weight issue specifically: skinny is NOT synonymous with “attractive and lovable” and fat is NOT synonymous with “unpretty and undesirable”. I think Kevin James is so fucking handsome. I have the biggest fucking crush on Zach Galifianakis AND Seth Rogen, just the way they are! You don’t have to be someone else in order for me to love you, and that is the root of the problem. The problem isn’t that you’re fat or that you’ve misrepresented yourself; the problem is that you aren’t confident that what you have to offer is plenty and that confidence alone would make you sexy as fuck. And that’s what frustrates me.
Everyone has body struggles. I know. But I also know that sometimes being overweight is genetic, and for some people it will be a lifetime struggle. But I THINK YOU’RE HOT RIGHT NOW. Not just cute. Not just adorable. BUT HOT. And I am WAY more likely to swipe “yes” to someone who is thick than someone who’s a stick. So please know that and just show me you. Show me the real you. Because YOU, just the way you are, ARE WORTHY OF LOVE AND BELONGING.
Big boy, you are beautiful.
“Yeah, this one is for my bitches with a fat ass in the fucking club.”
~”Anaconda” by Nicki Minaj