I downloaded Bumble again, because it’s around that time. I use Bumble in brief cycles of optimism every three months, followed by a quick sensation that I was right, I hate Bumble (and all dating apps). Then I usually delete them quickly, relieved to not think about the matter for another three months when something (usually a horoscope, to be honest) comes up and makes me think if I ever want to not die alone then I’m going to have to change my efforts and get outside of my comfort zone and start swiping.
The thing is, the problem isn’t me. I’m super cute, first of all. One time a guy said, “you look like that girl from Girls” and I was like, “ugh, I know, Lena Dunham?” and then he said, “no, the British one.” And I was like, “wait, there’s a British one?” because despite how many times I’ve been compared to Lena Dunham, I’ve never seen the show. It turned out he meant Jemima Kirke. Woah, she’s pretty! That must mean I am too! Plus, what a relief to get a break from being compared to Lena Dunham!
In addition to my physical appearance which is great, I’m also smart. I went to Vassar College, that’s a fancy school where smart people go. Now sure, it’s no Harvard or Yale, and I know that normally you can’t know if someone is really smart unless they went to one of those, but I contend that Harvard and Yale are stuffy and boring and that Vassar is for people who are smart and weird, which makes me more well-rounded and interesting. I also know normally no one cares if women are smart, but I figure my perfect guy would probably want to hold a conversation with me. Anyway, I can string together a sentence, hold opposing ideas in my mind at the same time, and answer a lot of the questions on Jeopardy when it’s on except I always forget to shout it out in the form of a question.
I’ve been told I’m funny and sincere. Recently, I was watching BoJack Horseman, Season 4 and (SPOILERS!) BoJack said about his daughter who had just overdosed on weight loss pills, “She’s funny! But she isn’t mean, which is pretty remarkable, because a lot of [people] think you have to be mean to be funny, but Hollyhock is very sweet, even if she can be sarcastic.” I decided this could be about me, because I am currently single and so if no one else is going to be around to compliment me I might as well do it via my television programs.
Last but not least, the guy checking me out at Dick’s Sporting Goods the other day told me I had beautiful eyes. Woohoo! What a catch.
The point is, I’m incredible, and so the problem really couldn’t be me.
“What is it then?” I had to ask.
A few times I’ve used bumble, I’ve felt like I’m actually entering a hive of bees. For example, there was the hour long conversation on the phone with an Australian guy. We seemed to hit it off, mostly because I am charming and good at asking people questions. At the end of our getting to know each other session I said, “hey, well I really enjoyed this, would you like to get a coffee?” because I am a modern woman who isn’t afraid to ask a guy she just talked to for an hour and seemed to get along with if he’d like to drink a caffeinated beverage. He asked me to send more pictures, not convinced by my prettiness, apparently. Sting! Also, fuck off, asshole. I am pretty, and if your accent hadn’t been so hot I would have considered that an hour of my life wasted!
There’s something about meeting someone in the void of an app based on swiping through people’s appearances that seems to make genuine connection difficult.
This is why I like meeting people in the wild, as I like to call non-dating-app-related-introductions. There’s more there from the start, usually a mutual friend, or a mutual interest or cause. There’s no need to ask for more pictures to confirm whether someone is hotornot.com, because you can see them because you are in the same room as them. As a person who reads horoscopes, I also believe in the general concept of “vibes” and I appreciate being able to get to know a human being as a human being first rather than a digital image of what might be a human being.
Alas, no matter how full and complete my life is without a partner, and no matter how much I don’t want to want a boyfriend, it seems that being a woman also means being plagued by horomones that make me think I should surrender and download Bumble sometimes. Or maybe wanting companionship is normal and human. Ugh, fuck, who knows. Anyway I downloaded it again.
This time I realized I am definitely going to die alone, but I think at this point since the problem isn’t me, it’s LA.
I’ve been in LA my whole life, but I’ve been in it in a dating capacity since 2007. That’s ten years of dating, subtracting about three of those years for long term relationships in which I didn’t date, and so still a full seven years of dating. Most of the people on Bumble are wearing beanies and have judgmental bios about girls who take pictures with those angel wings you see painted around LA, or look like wealthy serial killers in suits who spend time at douchey bars before going home to kill their girlfriends. The mere process of having to swipe through all of this is exhausting in and of itself.
Then I realize, after you get through the 95% of people on dating apps who are just like, “fuck no,” people who you would normally just walk past and not think twice about in real life, you start seeing the people you’d maybe actually want to date. This leaves about 5% of the eligible dating population in LA.
Of this 5%, I seem to already know most of them. Funnily enough, I didn’t meet any of them on Bumble, because as I’ve made clear I’m not an avid “dating app” girl. I met them in real life, through friends and mutual interests! But things didn’t work out with them, or we were never interested in the first place, so here we both are, on Bumble!
This leaves like three guys in the entire app left. I actually like these three guys, I’ve met them in person. We’re not close by any means, but we’re acquaintances due to things like mutual friends and interests that connected us without any swiping involved. This creates a sort of new crisis like, “do I swipe right on this guy that I actually would date if he wanted to date me?” Because he probably didn’t swipe right on me, but if he did then what would I say? “Hey uh… why haven’t you asked me out yet?”
I figure this is because, as the classic Drew Barrymore film “He’s Just Not That Into You” based on some book advises, they must not be that into me, otherwise they probably would have asked me out and we would already be dating and not swiping through Bumble. There’s no point in trying to figure out why they aren’t that in to me, because at the very least I know I’m great. All I do know is there’s no accounting for taste.
This leaves me with my question, “What is it then?”
I’m astonished to learn that I’ve pretty much already met every eligible single man in Los Angeles who would fit the profile of someone I might be compatible with. If anything, Bumble proves it. I feel impressed with how well I’ve gotten to know Los Angeles over the years. The entire city feels like my Cheers, where everyone knows my name, or at least I know theirs. The realization also makes me feel like I’m in one of those movies where Bill Murray keeps waking up to the tune of “I’ve got you babe” by Sonny and Cher, or Jim Carrey sails in a boat only to hit a plastered wall that only looks like sky.
I am going to die alone because I’m in LA, and there’s just something about LA that’s going to cause me to die alone. I’m not the first person to come to this conclusion, and I can barely explain the phenomenon of why this is so. I’m okay with this for the moment, because as I mentioned I have a full and complete life and enjoy the solo lifestyle. It’s comfortable to only have to do what I want all the time and not open up or be vulnerable. I prefer it, in fact. And that’s the only reason I signed up for Bumble in the first place, was feeling that maybe I was getting too comfortable with my aloneness.
I think though that whatever is out there for me is probably not waiting for me here. Leaving my comfort zone might instead entail leaving LA entirely, past the door in the wall that looks like sky. Or who knows, maybe I’ll get lucky on Bumble after all and find the relationship equivalent of a needle in a haystack, but I don’t count on it. The odds are always with the house, and my house is still LA.