One very large deep breath in and possibly the most passive aggressive sigh out as I download Tinder…again.
I have only used Tinder one other time in my life, a very short lived season, cancelled after the fourth episode because no one was watching- moved to 11 a.m. on weekday TV kind of thing. I found the whole thing a little strange, judgey and impersonal, not to mention just kind of boring. Now, single at 28 I have dismounted from my very high horse, in fact… I think my horse is dead. I’ve downloaded Tinder, Bumble and I’m on the waiting list for Raya although I’ve been deemed ‘not famous enough’ to progress to the next round so I’ll just digress over here in the corner with my depleting ego…
Being single at 23 is different to being single at 28 for a plethora of reasons. At 23 a younger more vibrant and shiny version of myself went on walks, made proactive ‘to-do’ lists, went clubbing to make out with random faces. Woke up feeling a bit dusty, perhaps indulged in a dirty morning bang before preparing for travels back home, and shared stories with my tight pack of lady mates whilst sipping on Gatorade and smashing hot chips. Now, things have shifted ever so slightly. The walks are now to the closest bottle-o to get preservative free red wine because #headaches. The ‘to-do’ lists are bills you have avoided because #debt, the random faces are either reluctant Tinder matches or one of your mates at a house party after getting to the ‘drunk enough’ part of the evening. After a night of hard liquoring and terrible choices you wake up with an urge to create a will and put your affairs in order. You physically can’t get up to trek home because, cool story guys, hangovers are pretty much the apocalypse and they last at least two days. Also all the drinking starts to take its toll as your clothes appear to be shrinking even though you don’t own a dryer. You can’t hang out with your lady mates anymore because you only have, like, two friends left that you see on a regular basis because everyone is either married, babies, working because #mortgage or they’ve fucked off their personal life and are married to their job.
The other thing about dating people within the age range of 28 to 35 is that everyone is just a little bit messed up now. When you were 23 you could speak poetically about your baggage of that guy / girl who broke your heart, its totally fine, because you went on a Contiki tour and found yourself. But now you don’t talk about baggage because you’re basically one large walking, talking, drinking shipping containing full of failed relationship baggage.
The upside to becoming a jaded woman in her late twenties is that the heart and brain no longer make the dating decisions; the moral compass goes very, very south. As I’ve grown older my sex-drive has come out of hibernation- I’m no longer a snake sleeping on a warm rock in the middle of winter, who gets startled by a hiker passing by, no, not anymore. Now it’s like February tenth- its hot as fuck and I am the hiker and I’m revived by the sunshine as I know it brings out the snakes, and I’m ready for them. So lets look at this equation:
28 + single + sexual urges + jaded + haven’t been touched in six months + wine = someone who requires constant supervision.
With the sexual frustration of someone who enjoys bumping into a low-lying door handle way too much, you are at risk of terrible decisions because the requirements for a sexcapade have slide into the equation: male + warm blooded = you’ll do. For me, questions ‘are you straight?’ or ‘are you single?’ don’t seem to be necessary questions to ask. Thus attempts to grapple the plethora of stray snakes has (on occasion) been unsuccessful, as I’ve learnt some snakes are not single and some are gay- so they’re not totally sold on the bush, so to speak.
If all of this doesn’t paint a picture of how totally ‘fine’ I am after a break up at 28 then I don’t know what will. Possibly the glaring ‘maybe I need some me time’ moment, was when I was set the task to research India for a particular project at work. Somehow I ended up down a rabbit hole of Bollywood films, films made in India, Indian actors and after about two hours I found myself just flicking through photos of Dev Patel, circa Lion, when he was styled like a Melbourne hipster and spoke in the sexy version of an Australian accent that is sans North Queensland. I couldn’t stop thinking about Dev…Two days later, still in my Dev day dream, I thought to myself, ‘he has kind eyes, he’s attractive, he has a beautiful smooth and sexy British accent and Aaron Sorkin dialogue sounds really great when he says it, I could totally date him.’ I thought this, because I am crazy. I mean, he’s an Oscar nominated actor and I was having this apparition as I sat on my bed in Dulwich Hill drinking wine at a time of day that was definitely after 12 but also definitely before six. Having learnt from my previous mistakes I decided to research as to whether he was single or not- still on the train of thought that we could actually be together. What I found was devastating, not only is he NOT single but I found all these adorable pictures of him and his girlfriend on a pedal boat together being adorable and staring at each other lovingly. After a brief moment of thinking that I would never find love again I had the epiphany that this was perhaps THE rock bottom moment. This moment of me shedding a silent tear about the fact an attractive, famous, actor, was in a relationship and pedal boating on a placid lake sans me was the moment I woke up to myself.
I’ve stooped, very low. On the flipside, I’m closer to those low-lying door handles so you know- it’s not all bad…?