Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Grindr

Three weeks ago my wife Gabbie decided she wanted to move out and leave me to raise our three kids.

For the two weeks following that decision she flip-flopped, on a daily basis, about whether to leave or not. Some days she appeared to be planning a future alone and some days she talked about our future together.

I became emotionally exhausted from that roller coaster ride so one week ago I resolved to press her for a final answer. I decided that I would initiate a conversation on Sunday night, at the very end of Thanksgiving weekend.

By Wednesday, I had changed my mind.

I did NOT chicken out.

Well, I did a little.

In anticipation that I might soon be dating men I have been exploring various dating sites. I've had empty profiles on a few sites for a while but a friend recently urged me to check out Grindr. For those who may not know, it's a free smart-phone app for "gay, bi and curious men." It uses GPS information to provide profile info and a picture for all the men on-the-make near you. It's gaydar using real technology.

My impression of Grindr has been that it is used to arrange hook-ups. (Goodbye Craigslist flakes, now there's an easier way to get laid.) My friend told me, yes, it is mostly about hook-ups but like other sites there are a variety of men on Grindr and some may be interested in more than an anonymous fuck. He encouraged me to check it out for myself.

Before I even downloaded the app and installed it I decided I'd better take a shirtless torso photo. I'm 5'8 and 155lbs. I'm not overweight but I'm not much of an athlete either. When I look in the mirror I think: I'd be about perfect if I was somewhat more toned and lost about 10 pounds. For the purpose of browsing Grindr, I assumed a decent photo would suffice.

I took several pictures using a low-end camera with a timer. The first few pictures were not very flattering so I tried to change things up - change the camera height, my position, etc. The second set of pictures were not any more flattering.

More changes. More unflattering pictures.

Do you notice a trend?

As much as I would love to blame the camera and the lighting, the truth is that a dozen pictures don't lie.

I decided right then that I'm not going to put myself on the market until I'm happy with how I look. I'm hoping that after 4-6 weeks of consistent work outs I will have a respectable, toned look. Is that a reasonable expectation?

Once I postponed all thoughts of dating until next year I asked myself whether it would be better to push Gabbie for a decision on Sunday, as planned, or wait until January.

I've decided to wait.

There's no reason to push her to make a decision soon if I'm not going to try to date for a while. Also, I have this idea that it would be best if she makes up her mind without any outside pressure. The very last thing I want is for her to make a hasty decision that she later wants to change. I want to be done with the emotional roller coaster.

Not long after I made peace with my less than perfect body, I turned my attention back to Grindr. It turns out that you can use it without entering any information, much less a picture. If I had known that I wouldn't have bothered with shirtless torso pictures.

Because I'm not looking to meet anyone now all I have done with Grindr is see who pops up. I haven't chatted with anyone but I'd say the prospects are at least as promising as anything I've seen on any other dating site. And yes, there are quite a few guys who say they are looking for more than a hook-up.

Because the app is free and can be used anonymously, every guy looking to date (or hook-up) should probably use it. But beware: it only works in 162 different countries.

9 comments:

  1. Excellent! I must email you at once.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey Buddy. I just had to pipe up. You're emotional roller coaster won't end when (if) your wife, or any other person makes up their mind.

    It will end when YOU make up your mind.

    ReplyDelete
  3. 4-6 weeks is a little fast for losing 10 pounds unless you're well into the "overweight" category: in general, you should plan on a pound a week, safely. You'll likely shed a lot the first week or so, but that's mostly water weight and doesn't really count since it will come back.

    Believe me, I went from 196 lbs down to 147 and then back to about 160, where I am today. Now, I'm 6'2" but a small build, so 160 is about the right place. No, I'm not perfect - or even really toned - but I can live with my current state.

    At some point, you can't let Gabby make all the decisions: you *will* have to decide, for yourself, what you want out of life. Now, what you really want may not be realistic, so you should start thinking now about what compromises you're willing to make, what means the most for you, and what you expect from others.

    The primary aspect of "coming out" isn't telling people: it's taking control of your own life and making decisions. It's giving up on the pleasant excuse of "it's not my fault/decision" and taking responsibility. In that respect, "Anonymous" is right: someone else can start and stop the ride, but the rollder coaster only ends when *you* decide to get off it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Cameron, I think you are just too self-concious but then so am I and can relate to this. I don't dare do Grindr as sometimes I share cell phones with the wife and kids. But I have found Adam4Adam does work as well as anything can in this tiny rural county I am in. You should sign up for that or some other free site and just look at the wide range of men and pictures and word profiles to get a sense of what is out there. You are in such a prime area to meet men of all kinds, and you have so much going for you. Don't wait for this, just do it. My issue is now one of compulsive use but this beats total isolation and lonliness. First dates are about conversation only, make that clear and only meet men who can live with that and you will find some nice guys out there- even if the attracto-meter does not always go up there, I feel so much better just being who I am and meeting other gay/bi men and talking.

    Sure I write about not finding that one special fuck buddy or friend after several months, but this is just a process that takes some time and you might as well start soon - it will get you out of your funk if nothing else, and I am sure you will find the reaction you get will boost your self-confidence and hone your dating skills and get you focused on your own needs.

    Now Grindr does sound like a great app too, but try something else as well to just get going if you can.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hey Cameron,
    Sorry to hear about the "talk" a while ago. I didn't try to talk to you about it (as you asked) but it's great to see that you are getting used, to the idea anyway,of dating again. I am about to get droid, so I hope that Grindr is available for it. I need to investigate ways to hide it (or at least the icon) even though I won't share my phone much. I have heard good things about it though. Craigslist has been good to me and I am looking at adam2adam now also.

    The other guys are right about the roller coaster; you are in charge of your feelings, not her. You may be the gay one, but she is the villian (that you love).

    Roger

    ReplyDelete
  6. If you are looking for 'more than a hookup', then maybe you shouldn't post a shirtless pic. Doesn't that kind of pic send a message?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for the comments, men.

    Anonymous, Austin & Dodger - I guess I have not clearly articulated my preferences. I know what I want. Rather than write a long comment I'll write a post about it in the near future. As always, thanks for your concern and support!

    Austin - A pound a week seems both reasonable and realistic. That will be my target. Thanks for speaking up and making the suggestion.

    Jayson - You said, "Don't wait for this, just do it." December is pretty much a lost month anyway, plus, confidence when dating is essential. I don't mind waiting; I know I'll have a better attitude later.

    RB - The reason I decided to take a torso picture was because I thought (incorrectly) that a picture was required and there was no way I was going to post a face picture. I didn't (& don't) want to meet anyone at this time; the only purpose of the picture was so I could browser. But as I learned, no picture is required.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Interesting...so...if you are putting a picture of your chest..what are you advertising? what does that say? are you after something physical? or a relationship? shouldnt you be happy with yourself so others will accept you? just saying!

    ReplyDelete
  9. SG - Thanks for stopping by and for taking the time to comment. As I mentioned in the comment above, I only included a torso picture was because I thought (incorrectly) that a picture was required and there was no way I was going to post a face picture. I didn't (& don't) want to meet anyone at this time; the only purpose of the picture was so I could browse. But as I learned, no picture is required.

    ReplyDelete