By now, dear reader, you too are probably more than ready to leave the Walking Red Flag behind. However, before we say goodbye to this virile man-child once and for all, it’s worth rereading his Tinder profile as a lesson in decoding.
Not looking for one night stands. Been there, done that. (Read: am looking for a sexual partner I will fuck more than once.) I’ve worked hard to become the charming bastard I’ve become. (Read: operative word “bastard,” because you’ll discover how charming I am immediately, but it will take a while to discover I’m actually a bastard when I disappear on you.) If you don’t mind genuine and a little eccentricity, then bring your sense of adventure and humor because you’re going to need it. (Read: “genuine” means I’m on my third divorce and will tell you about it on the first date. You’re going to need a sense of humor to deal with me and the fact that I’m living with my parents and unemployed. And to convince yourself that you aren’t making a massive mistake after I’ve told you on the first date that I’m “undateable,” but you choose to date me anyway after I’ve charmed my way into your pants, bed and life, in that order.)
They say hindsight is 20-20. Reading between the lines now, it seems so obvious. He put it all out there. Even his profile is a warning. But I didn’t read it that way when I swiped right. It didn’t occur to me that it was weird his first line was about sex; it was Tinder after all, and many people – including me after a few days on the app – wrote “No hookups” to differentiate ourselves from those wanting simply to get laid. I thought “not looking for one-night stands” (correct hyphenation mine) meant he wanted a relationship. I thought “charming bastard” was a colloquial expression, emphasis on the charming, not the bastard.
I thought, I’m genuine, I’m adventurous, I have a great sense of humor, and other people think I’m eccentric (though I don’t know what they’re talking about).
I managed to turn his warning into a mirror I was looking into and seeing the male me reflected back. Because isn’t that what we’re all looking for, ultimately? To date a better version of ourselves, with all the the qualities we love about ourselves and none of the ones we hate?