Beware of Cupid—He’s a dude, too
I want to vomit in my mouth.
I’m at the market attempting to find Valentine’s Day cards for my kids—because Lord knows I won’t have a Valentine, and my kids deserve something nice for putting up with me and my shitty love life.
I sort through hundreds of lame-ass cards: “For My Wife,” “For My Other Half,” “For My Stab-My-Eyes-Out-Already.” Finally, I find two generic cards to give my children.
Armed with the four iced mochas it’s going to take for me to effectively stuff my feelings, I make my way home and go directly to Tinder. I refuse to experience another Valentine’s Day solo, dammit!
But then I stop.
Now, Charlotte, you have procreated with two crap-ass men. You must learn from your mistakes. Stop being impulsive. As your five therapists have told you many times, “Put a pause in it.”
And my voice-over me is right: V-Day Tindering can be dangerous, is not for the faint of heart, and definitely not for the novice. As a divorcée, widow, single mom, single woman . . . you are vulnerable, lonely, and perhaps even despairing on Valentine’s Day. Beginning at the final sweep of New Year’s confetti, you are bombarded by love cards at the car wash, cherubs at Target, and chocolate and flowers and lingerie, oh my! The radio plays a 24-hour loop of John Legend and Celine Dion. Groupon shoves romantic restaurants up your butt, and the mean mommies are booking spa weekends with their hubbies and asking you to babysit. After all, you won’t have anything to do.
Listen to me, Sisters. Now is not the time to Tinder. I know it’s hard, but put the phone down! Slowly . . . hands up . . . back away from the phone!!!
You pause and think about what your ex might be buying his new fiancée—the one he cheated on you with, who is 10 years younger and doesn’t have kids . . . or a muffin top. You want to vomit in your mouth a little bit more.
Then you jump for the phone again.
Stop! Do not Tinder on Valentine’s Day. It will only make things worse.
Stay with me . . . . If you are active on Tinder, you will notice a pattern: Fridays at around 3:00 p.m., you start getting a lot of action. Dudes message you like crazy: “We should grab a drink.” “What are you up to?” and my favorite, “Wazzup?” Just know that these dudes are sussing you out because they want to get laid. (Note: If that is what you want, then go ahead. But do so at your own peril. As I always say, watch Looking for Mr. Goodbar first.) If you are not looking to shaboink, resist the temptation to engage, make a plan, and go out with the guy. If you must get out of the house, grab that Friday martini with a girlfriend. Better yet, grab that Friday martini and put on Netflix—or, as I like to call it, my husband.
Men who Tinder on Friday afternoons are the dudes who have either been canceled on or kept their schedules open thinking someone better would come along. Jessica Alba didn’t come along, so now he is frantically swiping for some weekend action. Because, say it with me, Sisters, “Dudes who Tinder on Fridays are horny!” And they know that a gal would like a date on the weekend.
This phenomenon quadruples on a holiday. On Valentine’s Day, it’s Armageddon.
And there you are, fresh bait—the Solo Mom who imagines cutting off her ring finger to be a better plan than suffering through a lonely Valentine’s Day.
Be warned that the dudes on the other end of your Tinder are savvy to this. They know you are vulnerable, uncoupled, amorous, and you want a V-Day plus one. Conversely, they want your V-gina. Ergo, they will woo you—spend two full days of “checking in” with heart-emoticon texting—and then go in for the kill and ask you out for the big night. You, in turn, will start planning your wedding.
Let me tell you what is going to happen if you fall for this:
Valentine’s Day: You will meet at the stated location. He will be two inches shorter, 20 pounds heavier, and 10 years older (or younger) than his profile states. He will order a beer. You will split an appetizer. He will tell you how his ex is diagnosed as bipolar. You will notice he has stinky breath or crud in his ear. Your mojo will start to wilt as you become aware of real-life couples in the room. You watch his lips move but don’t hear what he is saying because you are focusing on his rogue eyebrow hair or the crud in his ear. You think about your littles at home. Your heart begins to ache. He starts talking sexual, leans in closer. Now his stinky breath is topped off by beer stank. He attempts to put his hand on yours or, worse, your thigh. A man across the room proposes to his lady love. Cheers, applause, the pop! of champagne. And then you do it: You actually vomit in your mouth.
You race from the restaurant, beat it home, delete him from your Tinder, and hug your confused and sleepy children to your padded breast. Then—it’s over. The clock strikes midnight. You survived.
So save yourself the time, heartache, and spew fest, and do what I do (not as I did): Give your son a credit card, and have him take you out to dinner on Valentine’s Day. He’s cuter, sweeter, and smells better than any Tinder dude you will ever meet. He’ll never stand you up, and you can be certain he won’t have crud in his ear.
P. Charlotte Lindsay is a middle-aged Solo Mom. She shares her newfound expertise as a user of a dating app that can help you meet guys, get laid, and maybe even find love. She is a real person, though her name has been changed to protect the innocent, namely her children and parents. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Please feel free to contact us with any comments or questions.