I haven’t had a real romantic relationship in about 12 years. I know, I know. What’s my problem, right? To be honest, I just really haven’t felt the need to have a boyfriend. Well, up until about now. Maybe it’s time. I’ve turned 40 recently, and I’m getting the impression that I might have been the grasshopper that sang all summer, if you know your Aesop. Essentially winter is coming and it’s just me. Not to be a sad sap, but the closest thing I have to a long-term relationship at the moment is the Meiwah delivery guy. He gets me, though.
Recently I’ve stuck my toe back in the D.C. dating water, murky as it may be. Usually, this is enough to have me running back to the safe confines of singledom, with all its awesome, seemingly endless perks — a house regulated to the temperature I want, no judgment on my fairly awful music choices, not really having to compromise on anything. But I’m resolved to throw my hat back in the dating ring after all these years. Plus, I’m convinced that while dating in D.C. is difficult, it’s got to be easier in your 40s. It has to be. That, and I have no other options. So.
Be it resolved here, I will be trying in Part I of this three-part series, to find a boyfriend. Part I — trying three newish dating apps. Part II — trying three new bars I wouldn’t typically go to on a given weekend. And then, if need be, Part III — non-bar things, volunteering and charity functions. God, I hope it doesn’t come to that.
For part one, I’ll be trying these three apps — Tinder, Hinge, and Mr. X, simultaneously. First up is Tinder. I’ve been playing with this app, on and off, for a while now. I’ve even met up with a few guys. Nothing really came of anything. I’m sure most are familiar with the app, but basically it’s a swipe-right-swipe-left sort of thing based on attraction. I’m guessing a lot of guys out there just use this for a quick ego boost, “oh. . .let’s see who finds me cute” sort of thing. I’ll give it a try, nonetheless.
Also I’m trying Hinge, which I have to say is probably the best and sleekest of the apps here. Instead of swiping past someone based just on their pic, Hinge allows you to ‘discover’ them, which sounds awfully pre-colonial but it seems to work. You get to discover things about a guy other than their picture, browsing their funny responses to silly questions and such, and the whole process makes you feel less like a shallow jerk.
Then there’s Mr. X, which was entirely new to me until last Sunday. My friend Paul, slightly older than I am, turned me on to it and he’s been in a good and steady relationship for a few months now, all thanks to Mr. X. Here you can be a ‘Daddy’ a ‘Hunter’ or a ‘Mister.’ I’m a ‘Mister,’ I was told. Too old for ‘Hunter,’ too young for ‘Daddy,’ this sort of sums up my whole dating conundrum at the moment. Mr. X is the clunkiest of the apps here, but like the others I’m willing to give it a try. Mr. X’s tag line is “Dirty, Sexy, Social” so I’m not really sure if I signed up for a dating app, a sex app, or both. But one of the best married couples I know met on Grindr, so you never know.
So, I’m officially on the market. And I will be providing follow up in the next few columns. So stay tuned and wish me luck!
Brock Thompson is a D.C.-based writer who contributes regularly to the Blade.