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.