Hi, I’m Lisa and this is the Machine, Love, Us podcast. Here my cohost Allison and I will talk artificial intelligence and how it’s affecting our lives, particularly our relationships. Please forgive my voice, I’m working to make it better all the time. What was dating and love like in the early part of the 21st century? That’s a topic we’ll be discussing a lot here. This week we have two stories about how apps have helped individuals experience strong emotional connections with people they may never have met otherwise Please note these stories contain references to sex and describe graphic situations. Here’s Allison for the story.
Here’s an excerpt from Reddit that I think captures an aspirational idea of love and lust. Posted on Reddit in December 2016:
Met this guy off tinder for drinks. He ended up exceeding my expectations tenfold. He was so ridiculously cute and charming in person. Not in the sweet talking way though. Super intelligent, interesting, kind of shy but witty too. I suggested we head back to his place after and he seemed a bit reluctant about it – said he likes to take things slow. I figured he just wasn’t vibing me the way I was him. So we went to a different spot and had a few more drinks and he decided we could go to his place after all. Things led to sex and it felt so natural and intimate even though we had just met each other. Slow, hand holding, lots of eye contact, super passionate. Afterwards we snuggled and chatted until we fell asleep. Woke up to him pulling me closer and playing with my hair and caressing me really softly. He made me coffee and we snuggled some more and when I went to call a taxi he insisted he drive me home instead. I’m just so conflicted about these emotions right now – it was the kind of sex you have with a long term partner. I’ve had a fair amount of hookups in the past year of being single and never caught any feels, but here I am all day not being able to stop thinking about last night after only a few hours of knowing this person. Its a weird/scary feeling – I don’t think I’ve connected this well right off the bat with anyone in my entire life.
Thank you for that Allison.
Most of the comments responding to that story encouraged the young lady to go for it. To follow up with the man she met and not be too subtle There were a few with dissenting opinions on the matter though. I’ll read one:
I have a differing opinion on this matter as a guy who has had women profess love to him after having sex only once or twice. It’s better to take it slow and pursue the relationship without any unnecessary confessions. There is no need to label anything, the second you put a name to these feelings this cadence that you both have could become restricted. Also he said he wants to take it slow. Maybe try to learn about his past. He could have come out of a relationship not long ago, and trying to be someone’s girlfriend when they have fresh wounds can kill your chances of doing so. Honestly just food for thought. If I were you I would keep contact, tell him that you had a great time and would like to hang out again, and make a confession of these feelings when you’re overwhelmingly sure and feel that it’s obvious that you should tell him. There’s no need to tell him now, it doesn’t seem like it would add a lot of value to the already great situation you have.
Meanwhile another commenter was on the other end of the spectrum:
I married a guy from a similar situation to yours. Except things were much more stacked against us: I had recently left an abusive lengthy relationship, we lived in two different states (I was on business in California and a coworker hooked me up with someone who would literally “just show up to my hotel room and then leave shortly after”). We connected so incredibly well, talked for hours that night. Then every night that week. We flew to visit one another every few weeks. Then I sold all of my belongs, quit my job, packed my puppy and kitty up, and moved to the Golden State. We both said “not looking for a relationship” when we initially exchanged texts and now we are married and expecting our first child. I would say we are the exception, not the rule, but it absolutely happens. Cheers and good luck! My advice would be to try to get a feel for where he’s at before you start letting your mind wander.
So now we’re going to switch it up a bit. Instead of finding a deep connection on Tinder this next poster is having trouble finding someone who will physically connect with her. Here’s the story:
So here’s my deal. I’m female and on Tinder, and it’s reasonably clear from my profile that I’m just looking for something casual. As a result, I find that I match with a lot of guys who are looking for a sexting partner and are wasting my time. Basically, it’s been my experience that guys who want to endlessly sext don’t want to meet, and guys who are eager to meet don’t want to endlessly sext. So I prefer to just get off the app and meet. Nothing elaborate or time consuming, let’s get coffee or a beer in person and see if the attraction is there. It’s impossible to gauge chemistry over text, plus I feel like it creates a lot of pressure if we click while chatting but I don’t feel the magic in person. Let’s just get off the app and meet! But I’ve found that as soon as the conversation turns to making plans, they frequently drop off. I have a few possible explanations:
One: They have a wife or girlfriend and are looking for naughty flirtation without ever actually meeting up (not that I’d want to meet up with a cheater, just saying that it explains the situation)
Two: They’re just looking for a sexting partner or otherwise looking for validation
Three: If they lead with really overt sexual texts they feel awkward about actually meeting up
Four: They’re just shitty about making plans and can only function with spur-of-the-moment invitations (I’m a planner)
Five: I’m being unreasonable in my expectation and guys need to chat for weeks before they’re comfortable meeting up
I’m trying to determine if I’m being unreasonable. The thing is, I hate having my time wasted and chatting with guys who have no intention of ever actually meeting. My thinking is, if they’re serious about meeting wouldn’t they jump at the opportunity? But maybe I’m completely off-base here.
And the top comment in response to that story was the following:
Basically right away. If they aren’t available to meetup for coffee or a drink at their ‘earliest convenience’ then I pass. Too many people are scared or looking for a pen pal thing. I use it as a filter to filter out the ‘boring’ ones.
So, taken together these two stories offer us the tiniest of glimpses into the possibilities and complexities of dating on Tinder and really on any other app. It’s difficult to imagine other eras having these kinds of problems arise when trying to meet and connect with someone. We will continue to explore these complexities in future episodes. We very much appreciate you listening, liking and subscribing to this podcast.
We will release as early and as often as we can. Also visit Machine Love Us Dot Com to read more stories and learn about artificial intelligence, technology, and love in the 21st century.
Have a great week!