tumblr_nfiobpmM5W1qb6gqgo1_1280-800x400When I first turned 30, I knew I was entering a decade of high expectations. Sure, I knew it was a milestone age, and I had accomplished most of what I set out to do — except find love.

I still dated while fielding the occasional questions from my peers and elders about why I had to yet to find love.

They were curious about what I desired in a romantic partner. I told them I had no particular standards and just desired someone who would make me happy and who I would make happy in return. For me, it all came down to compatibility.

I had interesting encounters in the dating field that began to make me question the whole process and its intended purpose.

Dating started off as a hopeful adventure than began to deteriorate the more I pursed it, which eventually caused me to stop.

There was no major event that led to my decision to stop dating; rather, it was a long process that only grew as the experiences began to tally up.

I eventually stopped to think, and along the way, I had an epiphany: Dating was more trouble than it was worth. Here are some reasons why:

The gamesmanship

I remember once being at a friend’s for a guys’ night when a woman I was interested in became a topic of discussion. She was friendly and displayed an outgoing personality, which I found appealing.

It was easy to discuss my interest in her, as it was guys-only party; yet, there was a catch: Other guys knew her, too, and they also expressed interest in her. They plotted their strategies on how to court her.

They fed each other intel on their encounters with her and how they could, perhaps, win her over. To them, she was an elusive catch who would require a unique strategy in order to capture her heart.

I just wanted to get to know her to see if we were a match, but my peers saw her as a competition that ultimately turned me off.

It wasn’t peer pressure that led to the turn off, but rather, the fact I felt locked into a game I knew would only lead to more problems down the road.


The superficiality

I have never been one to place a strong belief in the power of first impressions to accurately gauge what kind of person one may turn out to be.

As I’ve learned in the past, looks are deceiving, but in the field of dating, that never turns out to be the case.

Those who win the so-called “genetic lottery” are said to have their pick of the dating field. They have the right height, zero body fat and, perhaps, a nice income.

Their potential partners want to be seen with such a catch in public to the point that personality is pretty much irrelevant.


The often overused, outdated rules

I understand we, as a society, need rules in order to function. However, the so-called rules of dating have become so astutely followed, one mistake means the end of what could be a meaningful relationship.

A person could have a great date only to follow up too soon, or maybe, too late, or perhaps, an innocent slip of the tongue ruins his or her chance for a second date.

When I was in the dating field, I could never crack the enigmatic code of what it took to score the second date. Heck, just getting to the first-date phase was challenging enough.

I was told there are rules to follow, but are they that important in today’s world?


Dating doesn’t always bring that much happiness

When I was in the dating field, I saw it as adventure filled with limitless opportunities. I was enticed by the possibility of finding “the one.”

Ultimately, I saw myself as a dog trying to chase a speeding Ferrari. I had a few dates that were wonderful experiences with women who truly impressed me and still do. Yet, for multiple reasons, most of which are unknown, relationships never developed.

During this process, I had multiple online dating profiles and messaged potential matches. I kept track of my progress and looked for areas of improvement, as if I was running a business, but it never made me happy, especially when I had dates that never panned out.

By the end of the process, the Ferrari was far away with the chasing dog extremely exhausted.


Men ruined dating

Yes, I’m a guy, and yes, I’m saying men ruined dating. Why? Well, for the most part, men are devoted players with phobias for commitment and settling down. They’re devoted to the method of being pick-up artists while tallying the number of times they scored along the way.

For many, mobile apps designed for hookups have become their hunting grounds. They scout the nightclubs in search of their latest one-night conquests. They study the field, armed with their well-crafted pick-up lines, designed to enchant their selected targets.

If successful, they achieve what they set out to do only to have no interest in seeing their selected targets ever again.

As a guy who has seen such men in action and heard them tell me of their one-night stand stories, I can’t help but agree that men did, in fact, ruin dating with their hook-up philosophies.

This isn’t to say all men are bad, as some are superb gentlemen; it’s just that the bad crowd polluted the dating world.


What I’m doing instead:

As a result of my newfound resolution to discontinue dating, I decided to try something different, to live my life by learning new life skills, which became easier when I stopped focusing on dating.

I made a list of the things that always interested me and I committed to them. I take Argentine Tango classes on Tuesday nights; I learn to salsa dance on Wednesdays and Friday evenings; I study for an upcoming exam for a new career.

I pursue my writing, and I plan to start stand-up classes. In my downtime, I enjoy a craft beer while watching my latest interest on Netflix.

I no longer feel awkward about dining alone, even in a restaurant filled with couples. I don’t feel obligated to date in order to be part of society’s “mainstream.” I take walks through my city in solitude and I enjoy every second of it.

I deleted my online dating profiles and mobile apps from my phone. Going forward, I intend to continue this while keeping dating in the past.

It’s not that I’m not interested in marriage and the prospects of having a family; I feel there’s a much bigger part of life I need to live and I’ve only been scratching the surface.

I’m also aware love may, someday, find me. Perhaps, Ms. Right and I will cross paths.

I just have no intention to pursue dating, as I’m disenchanted with the whole process. I don’t feel bitter toward or resentful of couples; I’m very happy for them and I hope their relationships flourish to everlasting love.

For those who continue to seek love, I hope you find it and value it once you do.

As for me, I feel liberated and enjoy the feeling and focus it allows me to have. I’ve left dating in the past and I look forward to what is to come.

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screen-shot-2015-03-24-at-11-03-25-amFacebook’s experimented with ways to surface old Memories since 2010. But after seeing Timehop hit 6 million daily users on mobile, Facebook is officially launching a competing nostalgia feature called “On This Day.” It shows users their Facebook posts from the current date in past years, like photos from exactly one year ago, or status updates from four years ago.

Rolling out globally over the next few days, On This Day will be accessible from https://www.facebook.com/onthisday, Facebook’s bookmarks menu, search, News Feed stories, or opt-in notifications on iOS, Android, mobile web and desktop.

While Timehop can dredge up memories from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Foursquare, Flickr, Dropbox, iPhoto or your camera roll, On This Day just sifts through Facebook. The social giant’s product manager on the feature, Jonathan Gheller, refused to cite Timehop by name, claiming the feature was inspired because “we see behaviors from our community and we try to build on top of them.”

But on my third attempt, when asked if he thought On This Day and Timehop’s features were similar, he said “Yeah, we look at what people do at Facebook. I don’t spend too much time looking at what other people are doing or not doing. I think that you just focus on doing things people want, and doing them as best you can.”

Facebook tells me it has no plans to monetize the feature directly. Still, getting people to tune in to On This Day and reshare posts they find drives engagement and lock-in with Facebook’s News Feed, where people see ads. The company likely hopes that many of its 890 million daily users have never tried or even heard of Timehop, but will enjoy revisiting their old Facebook memories.

Timehop CEO Jonathan Wegener didn’t seem too worried. After hearing about On This Day, he told me “My general feeling is that this is awesome validation that we’re doing something worth doing. One of our investors put it really nicely that if Facebook isn’t playing in your space, you’re probably not doing something worth doing.” He says the move confirms “Timehop is important and old [stuff] is important.”

However, Wegener says “Our mission is broader than just ‘replay your Facebook content.’ It’s to collect your digital history from everywhere.” He concluded “I’m not particularly scared of this feature. I think it’s a really nice nod to what we’re doing.”

Starting today and rolling out to everyone worldwide over the next week or so will be a bookmark in the Facebook web sidebar and the mobile site and apps’ navigation menu. Clicking it, the direct link, or Facebook searching “On This Day” will open a feed of status updates, photos and posts you’ve been tagged in from exactly one, two or several years ago. Only you will be able to see these resurfaced posts unless you choose to reshare them with friends.

From your On This Day page, you’ll also be able to subscribe to a (typically) daily notification reminding you to check out that date’s nostalgia feed.

 

Gheller gives the example of On This Day showing him photos of his 1.5-year-old child when she was just an infant a year ago, and status updates tagged with him by his pregnant wife two years ago. He says Facebook has “been playing with this idea for a couple of years,” referring back to Memories. It refined this incarnation of the product recently with lots of internal dogfooding and some external testing internationally.

After seeing the backlash people had to its Year In Review feature that sometimes surfaced painful memories of ex-lovers and deceased friends, Facebook built special rules into the On This Day algorithm to protect people’s feelings. If it knows you listed someone as your romantic partner, then removed them, it won’t show you posts including them. It will also avoid displaying memories of friends who’ve passed away.

Even as I insisted the product looks and acts just like Timehop, Gheller explained why it’s important. “What we realized is that consuming memories from the past and resharing them rewires our relationships…it really reconnects me in a profound and beautiful way.”

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grindr-torso-x400dIt was one thing for Patrick to catch Kevin using it in the riveting season finale of Looking this week, but in the forums of parenting resource MumsNet, a different sort of Grindr user was being outed.

And unlike Kevin, this loader of more guys chose to use a photo taken in the ‘ensuite bathroom’ he shares with his wife. She was understandably shaken to discover her tile countertop (not to mention her husband’s headless torso) on display for the neighborhood gays to tap on. That profile advertising his lust for ass didn’t help the situation.

User bonniescot123 wrote:

Hello. Hands shaking. Today I found my DH on Grindr.Without a doubt it is him. Posing in our ensuite bathroom. Confronted him. Says it is not him but refuses to let me see his phone. He is refusing to talk to me. Two children. 7 and 10. I am 43. Dont know what to do. Please some advice.

While Bonnie does seem to be in shock, it is initially unclear what made her download the app onto her phone in the first place. She says she “had doubts,” but that’s it.

She later wrote:

I don’t know for a fact if he has done the deed but his profile message indicated he has and was actively looking for a nice ass. There have been signs over the years and he has always denied and made me feel paranoid. We continued to have a physical relationship. I do feel sad for him. For us both and the kids. He is being a complete dick but I still love him.

Sadly, her husband doesn’t seem to budge and do the right thing — open up to his wife and tell the truth for the first time in his life.

But even amid her anger, Bonnie understands what is at stake:

Thank you everyone for the advice. He has been living with this huge burden and I have no intention of destroying him or his reputation so long as he plays fair. I dont know if I can face a solicitor and have no savings to pay for one. I am going to take tomorrow off work as sick leave. Just cant face going in. Cant help wishing I was still in the dark but that is no way to live. Why could he not face up to his sexuality. He has checked out though and I deserve better.

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