15 years of online dating…

I’m here to roast myself for being on dating apps before Tinder was founded. Periodically, I’ll get a note that there are no profiles left to match me with. I’ve seen where the subway turns around. And it’s not pretty.

I would estimate I have gone on 0–20 first dates per year. Last year, I went on 9 first dates. It’s the end of February and I just went on my first first date of 2023. Some of the best first dates turned into big loves in my life. Especially this one.

The zero years, I spent in exile due to some combination of depression, sexual shame, getting doxxed, and struggles within an open marriage. Even when they were the good years, I always felt like it was all going to end. Were they only good because we were effectively monogamous? And then during the bad years, it felt like I deserved less than nothing.

Then there was the year all first dates were virtual. I hated everything about it except one person whose words still stick with me. He told me that his favorite thing about polyamory is the feeling of falling in love with a new person every couple of years. It’s that feeling of discovering a new band that you love. That feeling of being truly yourself with someone and they see you for who you are and still love you for it. It helped me cope with my breakup and forced me to remember that this was part of the experience. This is what we do. This is what I tell people is so fucking great about polyamory. But it also made me so fucking bitter about every new connection. The best thing to happen would eventually be the worst thing to happen. I didn’t think I would ever want to go through that again. That being this.

“It always fascinates me how people go from loving you madly to nothing at all. Nothing. It hurts so much.”

In the last 15 years, so many love stories have began and ended for me. A few I am still fighting to not let go of. And some I’ve witnessed turn into something more substantial and beautiful. And some that I will always be salty about and will complain about them on the internet forever.

I don’t know if I’ll always be on dating apps. Despite all the experiences I’ve had, I’m more bitter towards people than I am towards the technology I’m using to find those people. Right now, things are really, really, really good for me.




navigating polyamory, bdsm, and community. More: http://zoeytrope.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store