The importance of not coming off “desperate” or “clingy” cannot be overstated, it would seem, when it comes to dating. And for good reason. It can be off-putting, alarming even, for someone to respond instantaneously to every message you send them and to be perpetually agreeable and pliable. Also, venting your off-base frustrations with them early is on probably a no-no.
But what if you do, in spite of yourself, find yourself feeling a bit needy? I don’t think I’ve ever felt this way while I’ve been single; but alas, here I am. Discussing it with a friend the other night, she said: “The only reason I don’t have Tinder is because I can’t download it on my phone – and I’m so glad!” The lure of these apps can be irresistible. The addiction-inducing push notifications, the initial flutter of excitement when you get a “match” – the initial potential that awaits you like a glowing flame; but all too often, it fizzles out to nothing.
However, I’ve started to see this self-induced emotional rollercoaster as a learning experience. All the times someone has appeared genuinely interested and then ghosted me without warning, all the times someone has invited me to start a chat and never replied – the guy that said we should “get together sometime” then didn’t follow through. Oh, and there’s the girl who agreed to go to a bar with me then only informed me she’d forgotten when I was already on my way there…yeah. It’s been a lot! I also won’t completely play the victim – there has been a few people who have expressed interest when it’s not been reciprocated on my part.
I’ve been trying to honour my feelings instead of being embarrassed about them. Everyone feels a bit needy and put-out every now and then. As long as we’re not putting ourselves into toxic situations with unsafe people, it’s totally fine to crave and seek out connection.
The best way for me to deal with these feelings was to write a poem, which came pouring out of me last week. I’ve not felt that inspired in a long time. It was like being struck by a bolt of creative lightning, or like I was channeling source energy. It’s as if all the emotions had accumulated to a critical degree and had morphed in my subconscious into this cathartic mass just begging to be released. I stayed up ’til 3 in the morning trying to finish it, trying to take full advantage of the creative flow. Then, on a whim, I performed it at an open mic the next day. I’ve now performed it twice and it’s been a bit exhilarating allowing myself to be even more vulnerable than usual and really stand strong in what is my emotional truth at the moment. Take it or leave, this is my emotional landscape right now. Can you hold this space with me?
I am casting out hooks, soaring through the air at breakneck speed
With a whining arc which reaches a crescendo upon contact with the freezing water.
I pick out a lure and I have my favourites:
A pink, shimmery one
A black, sexy one
A red, seductive one
An orange, happy one.
The shuddering impact on the surface sends vibrations which echo down through the gloom of the murky water.
There is activity:
An aquatic traffic jam, a commotion which — quickly dispels and dissipates
See, fish have a short attention span
– My memory stretches two lonely decades.
I sing a siren song, sound waves briefly piercing through the barrier between air and water, and receive strange projections in return
– How can you be moved to tears underwater?
I am only a fragment of something to be desired, I cannot be integrated or actualised
– I am a blurry, shimmering mass; obscured by the ceiling of the pool.
A fateful bite causes ripples – further confusing my already misconfigured image and presence.
My lure is working! My lure is working!
My knees tremble under the power struggle and the strength required to bring my twitching, marine find to light.
The tug of war which ensues brings me dangerously close to the edge of the surface which contains my perceived reflection.
Becoming distracted by the swaying pixels, I rush to reconstitute the sum of my parts like a Picasso painting – just desperate to find the animas muddied by the dingy water.
Exhausted, I have a dream of sinking into my own deep blue
And reconciling the other half of my 8-limbed body.
I become entangled in a subconscious riddle – seduced by the draw of completion.
Awoken sharply by a tug on my arm, blinking in the light, I realise I am losing
– But now too enmeshed to let go.
A final yank and I am plummeting towards what was once a body of water.
Once the lure, I am now the lured – misled by the false pretence of connection.
Expecting at least to drift silkily into the aquatic murk, I am instead met by a thick sheet of ice
– The impact of which makes a hollow, eye-watering thud.
Wincing at my mangled limbs, I strain to see through the frosted glass to any sign of the life which has caused so much chaos in my soul
But there is nothing to see; not even my own reflection.
My soft flesh adhering to the ice like velcro, I look around the barren landscape, with a dry mouth
And there is no way to quench my thirst.
Thanks for reading 🙂
– SMUT. ❤ xxxx
1 thought on “Thoughts On…Dating Apps + A Poem”
Love this, so vivid and original, and perfectly written.