*Warning: Naughty language ahead.
If you know what you want, why are you using Tinder to get it?
Don’t feel ashamed. I understand.
When people meet me they normally ask, “What do you do?” It has become the nomenclature of establishing rapport. I am blessed to be able to answer this in several different ways. “I am an author.”, “I am a columnist.”, “I am clairvoyant.” And the title that most frequently fits is, “I am a relationship counselor.”
There is an implied perfection that comes with being a counselor. I am not perfect. I’m not married with two cats, a dog, a home, two kids and all the things that reflect perfection.
And what I’m about to say makes me feel like I am in some weird catholic movie where I have to confess to Jeremy Irons:
I, as a relationship counselor, and mostly-single but sometimes dating woman, have used Tinder.
What the f*ck has the world come to?
It seems dating apps and websites imply that we simply will not find our match by living our life. In fact, there are plenty of sub-par digital relationships with machines that have insidiously filled the ever-emerging void.
How many of us get up, go to work, check our phone throughout the day, load new apps on it, chat with random strangers who most likely won’t become a life partner and then go home to our TV?
There is no room to breathe. Especially when Tinder conversations turn into what I like to call “house fires.”
Swipe. Match. “Hi beautiful.”
Text me if you’re not shy.”
“I’m not shy. I do standup comedy.”
“Oh, well I think I would rather see you on your knees.”
Ya, I am aggressive. Especially with anal.”
“This is not coming across well.”
“It is not supposed to.”
And what do I do? Here’s the part where everyone can judge me as “should know better.” I don’t tell the guy to go f*ck himself, which would be the right response. No, instead, I get nicer, send a cute picture, try to laugh it off and then after the shock has worn off, freak out that this person has my phone number.
It is literally shocking how people treat each other. When someone asks me, “Do you suck dick on the weekend?” It is a verbal assault. It is abuse.
And I am regretful that this has become the topography of dating. Or maybe it always was like this. Rape, casual sex and domestic violence are not new.
However, the ways we meet each other are.
Texting may start the conversation and it can also be a platform for delinquent expressions. So, if even the slightest hint of disrespect comes across when first connecting with someone over Tinder, it is the spark that will light the house on fire.
Further, if words like whore, bitch, cunt, or dick-picks come your way, the house is burning down—get out of there fast.
Women, you cannot out-nice assholes. Your shining personality or credentials as a human don’t matter.
Desperation plus Tinder often equates to free prostitution. After years of hooking up (it’s called college) or getting in relationships with men who were not providers and protectors, I am of the mindset that it is harmful to “hookup just for fun.”
Are there exceptions to this? Sure. Just like there are the mythical success stories of happily married couples who met on Tinder.
So, how can I be a relationship counselor and guide people through the shit-storm that is the dating world if I am not a living success story?
Well, I am a success story because everything I have set out to do or experience, everything that has stirred my soul and beckoned my heart to open wider, I’ve done. Everything.
The latest in the string of getting what I asked for is that I now live in California by the ocean. In the five months I’ve been here, I have started 20 new beautifully budding friendships. And by the grace of God go I.
I am a counselor because through the shit-storm, through the darkness, through the struggle, I know how to find the light.
I have learned to run from the house fires and not try to put them out. The simple truth is, we teach people how to treat us. We all need to learn this for ourselves.
Men, you should be angry at those of you who are so perverse. They are ruining it for you. If you combined the articles and the years of questioning on what women want, dare I say what women need, it is this—protect and provide.
Do this and we will blossom. If rejected in the trying, know the wound that woman carries, for that moment in time, has become bigger than her capacity to receive love. That is not to say she is flawed or wrong. It is to say, you sir are being called to a greater challenge.
Spark her fire through the steadiness of your devotion. Let yourself be unwavering in her reproach. But, do not be unwavering in order to manipulate. Rather, come from your truth. Let the gravity of your moral convictions guide you if it is a lady you seek.
Women, be this lady.
Hold your most precious jewel—your heart—close to your chest. Let no man enter your temple who has not fought the good fight. Say no and mean it.
I’ve been there and I am doing this. I am learning along the way.
The journey is long and my father always told me, “Rebekah, remember you are standing on the rung of a ladder. Always remember to reach up to those who have gone before you and extend a hand to those behind you.”
Let us not forget our humanity in the vain pursuit of perfection. We are here to love one another and to stand as an example to those who have not yet learned how.
So, stand up. Go outside. Take in the life you are living.
Spark your fire.
Author: Rebekah McClaskey
Editor; Ashleigh Hitchcock