Let’s Get Ready to Bumbllllllllllle!!!
As I mentioned in a post a few weeks ago, I recently decided to try a dating app for the first time in my life. I’ve had brushes with online dating over the years, but I’ve never committed to it fully. For example, a few years ago I partnered with a pretty well-known dating site during the release of my first book, The Single Woman. The idea was to try online dating through their platform and write about my experiences, hopefully raising awareness about my book and the dating site in the process. I lasted on this site for all of 24 hours before logging off in a pretty solid state of depression. I was getting hit on by men twice my age, men who were posed in their profile pic with bloody turkey carcasses (and while hunting isn’t my thing, I don’t begrudge other people their hobbies. What I do side-eye is your decision to make your profile picture one in which I can’t distinguish you from roadkill), and men who thought posing in their underwear on a public dating site was a solid life choice. It was a really discouraging experience, and it seemed to hit home all the negative feedback I had heard about online dating.
Fast forward several years to the end of my self-imposed two-and-a-half year dating hiatus. I woke up one day about a month ago and just simply KNEW it was time to get back out there. People always ask me “How do you know when you’re ready to move on?” Well….you just KNOW. I looked around at my life and felt a little like I had been sleepwalking for the past few years. Or at least through the romantic side of life. And honestly, even through the social side of life a little bit. Working from home and being someone who tends to lean toward introversion (although a personality test tells me I’m an extrovert, which I still have trouble buying), can be very isolating. I’m just not out there a lot, pushing past my comfort zone and putting myself out there and meeting new people. So one warm September day, I just knew it was time to try something new.
A few months prior, a couple of different friends of mine who you met in my book, Beautiful Uncertainty (in the chapter called “The Real-Life Breakfast Club”) told me about a newer dating app called Bumble. Since I’ve known these people for literally my entire life, I trusted their opinions and plus, one is a man and one a woman…so I thought it really spoke volumes about the app that both ends of the spectrums were fans. I also heard about a feature that Bumble offers called “Bumble BFF” where it matches you with friends instead of relationships. Since everyone knows how difficult it is to make new friends in your 30’s and beyond, I was super stoked about this concept. I was actually almost more excited to make new friends than to meet guys…LOL! I think it was honestly the BFF feature that really gave me the final push I needed to sign up.
That was about a month ago, and y’all…my life is drastically different today than it was one month ago.
WHAT?! You might be asking yourself. A dating app changed your life????
And the answer is, quite simply…yes.
I’m out there again. I’m living my life to the fullest again. I remember what it feels like to get butterflies again. I’ve made two awesome friends whose paths I never would have crossed with without this app. I’m taking chances and being vulnerable and working on, albeit slowly, letting down the guard I’ve had up around myself and my heart for so many years now I lost count.
I kissed someone for the first time in two and a half years. Someone kinda amazing. Someone who made my heart beat fast.
And I’ve even experienced my first heartache in two and a half years. (More on that later).
Actually…more on ALL of this later. Because that’s what I’m so excited to share with you. At first I wasn’t sure if I wanted to make this journey of mine a public thing that I invited other people into…but then as the days went on and I started to see what an intense growing and learning process this whole thing has been and is going to be, I knew I couldn’t keep it to myself.
I knew I had to share it with all of you.
Yes, I’m ready for love again. But more than that…I’m ready to LIVE again. I’ve been in such a rut since my heart was shattered two and a half years ago, I couldn’t even see how much I was sheltering and guarding and protecting myself. I shut down…emotionally, physically, even spiritually. And it has definitely impacted my writing. I’ve been uncertain about what to say, what to tweet, what to post. I haven’t felt like I should be out there giving anyone instructions and advice on how to live their lives because I was essentially sitting on the sidelines of mine.
And now I’m back in the game…and it feels AMAZING.
I don’t know if I’ll find love though this process. But I DO know that I’m finding a new version of me…and that is enough for me. More than enough for me. I feel ALIVE again for the first time in years. And all of a sudden I have all these things to write about and share with all of you and IT IS SO EXCITING!!!!
This is Day One of my journey. And I’m planning to bring you along for the entire ride. I want to help dispel any fears you have about online dating/dating apps…share with you the life-changing lessons I’m learning about life and love…tell you about some of the people I’ve encountered…and even help guide you through the process in case you want to begin your own Bumble journey (ladies, let me just tell you…there are some truly quality men on there. And are some of them ever FINNNNNNNNE)
I even want to interview some of you who are already on Bumble or decide to sign up in the hopes of building a community of ladies sharing their experiences. It’s a brave new dating world out there and we need each other to lean on for support and encouragement and advice.
One of the biggest things I’ve learned so far is you truly do have to do something you’ve never done if you want to get something you’ve never gotten. What I want is love, eventually. And community. And new adventures. And new friends. So far I’ve already found three out of the four in just a month. I can hardly wait to see what else is in store.
Oh snaaaaaap! Mandy’s on a dating app!!! 🙂
One month ago I decided to start something new and trust in the magic of beginnings. And it’s been uncomfortable at times, scary at others, and utterly and completely exhilarating.
This is a new chapter for me, and there’s no one I’d ever have along for the journey than all of you. Join me?
To Be Continued… 🙂