Whether it’s a swipe right, a Like, or a wink, every time you show interest in another person, it creates an opportunity for someone else to judge you.
Vulnerability was one of many reasons that caused me to think twice before entering the realm of online dating. But my brother — who had been divorced and single far longer than me — threatened to set up my online profile if I didn’t attempt it myself.
Since then, I have stuck to a code of principled behavior with my interactions. I word responses so they don’t sound offensive, sexist, or threatening. I try not to mansplain. If I feel a woman is being dismissive or disinterested, I let her have the final word and unmatch, effectively ending our communication.
Occasionally, somebody doesn’t “take the hint.” That can be frustrating, but ultimately the scope of the Internet allows you to delete and block virtually anyone.
Proximity is one of my paramount concerns when browsing on a dating app. Due to a clause in my parenting agreement, I would lose custody if I moved outside of an agreed-upon radius (as would my ex-wife). As a result, I strictly enforce distance when I consider a person’s dating viability.
Due to where I’m located, expanding my radius for search purposes will show women living as far as New Jersey, which is at least 1 to 2 bridges or tunnels away. I have received requests from women in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Canada, who are evidently fine with a long-distance relationship.
In those instances, my boilerplate response is simply “Thanks for reaching out, but unfortunately we are not a match. I’m looking for someone within my stated distance. Best of luck in your search.”
Occasionally, that answer is met with incredulous disbelief. A woman living probably 150 miles away replied, “I am willing to relocate if this becomes a serious relationship.” A different lady commented, “So you believe true love is defined by travel limits?” Yet another gal snarked, “That’s not my loss, it’s yours.”
There have been times where I bent my own rules, due to extenuating circumstances. Prior to the pandemic, I messaged, then graduated to a phone call with Stef, a woman living in midtown Manhattan. The first wave of coronavirus hit the country and our first…