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Posted on November 6th, 2018

The Geography of My Mind – Superlikes

The ongoing struggles of dating in a town that I wasn’t made to date in; apparently that’s where I’m at these days. I’ve been blessed to live in a few places that were more receptive to my quirks and personality; unfortunately, I’ve also lived in a few places where I didn’t quite jive with the norms of the dating scene. Which is where I find myself these days… And while this is in part due to my former “dating style” that I no longer ascribe to for numerous reasons (i.e., I no longer go out ‘til 2am chugging beers and searching for low-hanging fruit), I never learned to do anything else. My bad. Because of this, over the years as I’ve aged (certainly not matured), I’ve given into the new norms of dating culture, those dang dating sites. Usually I’ll try one out every 12-18 months or so, you know, when I get “thirsty” and am having trouble finding a “drink.” The thing is, those are geography specific as well. Some sites work better in some places and less so in others. Or maybe I just need to admit that maybe I’m less desirable in certain places…

Anyhow, I’ve stumbled through OKCupid and Match, and only recently, to the “advice” of a friend did I try Tinder. One thing about OKCupid and Match, first: the former is free and subject to trolls. And while in certain places it led to “success” (yes, exactly how you think I’d describe it), more recently it has become quite played out. There are few attractive “candidates,” but most, I’m certain, are catfish hunters. Match has its own set of problems. Sure, by paying for it you can weed out a lot of the trolls (though there are still bot accounts there), but there is an increased desperate nature of its inhabitants that is off-putting. (Maybe I’m equally guilty of that since I’ve been on there as well.) And as I’ve written elsewhere in these pages, I’m equally turned off by the split-second decision and commodification of people in this forum. All online dating sites reduce people to the potential of easily judged, and easily discarded, products. Not good for society. And Tinder is obviously the worst.

While it has refined its purpose in the last few years, likely only because other options came along, it is both overrun with trolls and further expedites the throwaway culture our society loves so much. If I could “swipe left” in my regular life, I would be a lot more efficient. I would also be a lot more isolated than I already am. Thing is, I gave into it just as much as anybody could. There were quite a few “Ooohs” and “Yucks” uttered as I made my split-second decisions in others’ worth, all the while looking for a “warm place” to reinvigorate. Yea, I went there… You see, these apps make us far worse people than we need to be. Case in point, “superlikes.”

On Tinder, “superlikes” are, I guess, a way to make sure you know the person you swipe right on (i.e., like) knows you really like them. I assume it goes right to them and probably has some glitter and whistles attached to it. Well, actually it almost literally does. How do I know this, you might ask? Because, believe it or not, gals have superliked me. And each and every time my self-esteem plummeted. These were no beauty pageant contestants, no healthy girls next door, no cheerleaders, not even bar-light sevens. These were some of the ugliest girls I’ve ever seen. Now, don’t go all #MeToo on me here, we’re all entitled to our preferences. I never did or said anything harsh or negative to these ladies – ever. I simply held back the vomit that creeped up my throat. Kidding, kidding. Honestly though, I began to think that maybe I’m not the average looking dude that I thought I was. Maybe I am ugly. That is tough to stomach, so perhaps a little vomit in the throat is appropriate…

When I look at myself in the mirror, I think to myself, “You’re not a bad looking guy. No Ryan Gosling, but who is?” I’m not even the equivalent to a past-their-prime, former heartthrob like Matthew McConaughey. I’m average like a Johnny Galecki of The Big Bang Theory. He’s no ladies’ man, but he ain’t ugly. I’m that kind of normal. I thought. At least until I got so many superlikes from so many, umm, less-than-desirable women. See, I’m getting better in my criticism!

In case you’re wondering, I did go out on a few dates with decent looking women, many far more attractive than I (which frankly, isn’t that hard even though I consider myself “average”), but none were to be matches. Too many causeheads and PC acolytes. I need someone rational. That, too, is getting harder and harder to find. But I go back to the superlikes and why I left Tinder after two weeks (amongst other reasons). Just as much as I don’t like the commodification of the individual in these platforms, I don’t like that I give into it, either. It makes me a harder shell in the “real world.”

I really do try to be a good person, and I really do try to be good to everyone I meet; if for no other reason than I’d want the same respect in return. But all social media doesn’t allow for that. Sure, there are exceptions, but those are the ones to prove the rule. But when it comes to dating, I’m left scratching my head (that wasn’t a pun or meant to be a sexual innuendo, though it should be!). I simply don’t know how to go about it here where I live now. But plop me down in a few other areas, and it’s like I’m renewed and invigorated; in certain places love is in the air quite easily for me. Why is that? Can I import whatever it is from afar? Maybe I just need to sit down and analyze what works elsewhere and what doesn’t work here and try to make a plan of action. Just what I need: a scientific approach to trying to get laid… Though, if it were proven to work, I guess I’d buy it!

Sometimes I wonder how some people have it so easy in the dating world, especially when they’re objectively ugly. I’ve seen many a broke dude do quite well, and it boggles the mind. I guess it really does come down to attitude and drive. A friend once undertook a challenge to approach 100 women in a month (I think I’ve mentioned this here before, too), and while he got a lot of “rejections,” he got a lot of numbers, dates, and eventually, a wife. So in all reality, I just need to actually try. It likely is that I want things to come easy (again, no pun intended), and if that’s true, then you have to take what comes easy: superlikes. Otherwise I guess I’ll have to put in some super-work and risk some super-rejection. In the end, if it pays off, at least I’ll get some super-booty. J

Marco Esquandoles
Table for One

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