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Dating while old
(No. 124) I flunked the vocabulary test, and everything else
How Well Do You Know Modern Dating Terms? That’s the title of a quiz in The New York Times. Eight questions about terms such as rizz, breadcrumbing, saging the space, orbiting and Lucky Charms. I answered only two of them correctly, and the article told me I needed to brush up on my terminology.
But I don’t need to, because I officially become a senior citizen in 4 days, when I turn 65. Dating is different for us. We can use the old words, such as “I like her, she doesn’t like me.” We can be alone, without too much angst, because our psychic and philosophical explorations have taught us that everyone is alone in the end. (Ha ha, easier said than believed.)
Though I flunked the quiz, I have experienced all the situations it describes. I myself have continued to view another person’s social media after we’ve stopped seeing each other (called “orbiting”). I’ve been captivated by someone’s extraordinary charm (or “rizz,” short for charisma), to no avail. I’ve gotten rid of everything having to do with someone that I was involved with (called “cobwebbing,” though I prefer “Maria Kondoing”). Several times I’ve been interested in a woman who reaches out occasionally with flirty texts and then disappears (called “breadcrumbing”). Most recently, I was ghosted by a woman I liked very much after I told her I was allergic to cats (she has one; I’ll call her behavior “use any excuse to get away from Stephen”). Take the quiz yourself, here (gift link — no paywall).
I’ve come to believe that if someone doesn’t want you, then you shouldn’t worry about wanting them. I’ve been married twice, for a total of 25 years. I’ve had other relationships since my last divorce, 12 years ago, sometimes very good, and always with really interesting people. And yet, here I am, single. With Valentine’s Day in the air, I’m thinking about that.
What am I thinking? I’m thinking I’m glad not to be on any dating apps at the moment, though my guess is that I will try them again in the future, even though I don’t think they work. Land of the Giants, season 7 is a great podcast about dating algorithms, and how they manipulate us. Barring any unforeseen romance in the next two days, I will be dining by myself on Valentines Day, which isn’t so bad. Especially because there have been other Valentine’s Days in the past when even though I was dining with someone — a wife, a lover — I felt very much alone. And let me tell you, being alone is a lot nicer than feeling alone.
Happy Valentines day to everyone!
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