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I’ve had my air- conditioner stolen, inherited an Eames chair, expanded my music library a hundredfold, and made a dear friend, who, now that our fledging romance has failed, will be with me for life.I have learned about spearfishing and Oceanic art, about life in the merchant marines and urbanism in late antiquity.Worse still are the car selfies and nephew pics; the weird proliferation of taco and pizza emojis; the men who take it upon themselves to tell you who You’d think that I’d be used to it by now, for I’ve been ghosted again and again, first by Marc after a spontaneous road trip to Montreal; then by Alex after what I thought was a fruitful 12th date; then by Chris after I had nursed him through an LSD trip; then by Ben after he had introduced me to his 10-year-old son.
Now, over three years and seven dating apps later, I’ve gone out with 86 men and counting; I know because I keep a list that reads like free verse (“David the orphan … Yes, online dating can be deeply demoralizing, a parade of indignities that throws into relief not just our self-absorption and banality, but our nihilism too.
If I stumble upon one more man who seeks a “partner in crime,” one more “sapiosexual” or “entrepreneur,” I fear I will stomp on my phone.
But I would think that who finds herself confronted by such baffling cowardice must suffer from them.
(And I should acknowledge, too, that I have also behaved badly at times, failing to write someone back once real life takes hold or sending squirmy messages in lieu of a clean break.)But for all this, what I’ve gained from online dating far exceeds what I have lost.
And I could tell you so many stories, stories of poverty and privilege, of divorce and infidelity, of fatherhood, forgiveness and the foolhardiness of studying philosophy when you are the great-great-nephew of the great Ludwig Wittgenstein.
I would hardly suggest I lead a life to rival Cendrars’ own (my two cats have seen to that), but I had adventures.I hadn’t been single in nearly a decade; I didn’t even have Facebook, let alone a stockpile of profile pictures or an irrepressible texting game.But I was also a writer who worked from home, one whose closest friends were married with children.Later we decamped to his apartment, a flimsy, spartan place that nevertheless held the most exquisite furniture, tables he had inlaid with ash and birch and varnished till they gleamed.The heat failed in the middle of the night, and we clung to each other for warmth as his dog, Bruce, a German Shepherd, curled and recurled at our feet.That spectral ex-spouse of mine used to complain of what he called our “heteronormative” lifestyle, a term that made me roll my eyes though I knew just what he meant: Our lives had lost their capacity to surprise.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating