Online Dating Is Better With My Burned Haystack Method | HuffPost UK Life

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Online Dating Is Better With My Burned Haystack Method | HuffPost UK Life

Night after night I grew more demoralised, flipping through my “matches” of all the cliched nonsense I hadn’t really believed was real prior to experiencing it myself: fish pics and leering bathroom mirror selfies, and married men who wanted to “ethically explore.”

We both shut down our dating app accounts after the first date (probably not advisable, but what can I say; we did)

Was this really all there was? I wanted an actual partner, not just to be someone’s “partner in crime” from the backseat of his Harley so we could “keep it casual and see what happens.”

All these attributes align perfectly with the process of burning the haystacks in dating apps

I also hadn’t realised how much my age would work against me. I thought I’d be okay because my married girlfriends told me I looked good for my age, but what we didn’t understand is that a lot of men my age don’t even want to date women my age. They want to date 30-year-olds.

Still, there had to be a few ous men out there who wanted the same things I did and who wanted them with a woman in their own age group. I was convinced I was missing something about how to make these apps work in my favour. None of the advice I read online made any difference in helping me to find my needle in the haystack.

Then late one night, bleary-eyed from scrolling and swiping, I googled “How do you find a needle in a haystack?” I was really just fooling around, but when I saw the answer, I got chills. The answer – the way you find an actual needle in an actual haystack – is to burn the haystack to the ground. What you’ll be left with is the needle, because metal doesn’t burn.

I knew this had to be the key. All this picking through pieces of hay to find one needle was too tedious and it took too damn long. I understood that younger women used Tinder almost like a sport or as a kind of video game, that they weren’t always using it to find “the one.” But at my age I didn’t feel like I had that kind of time. I wanted to burn the whole haystack down and find my needle.

I went back to the apps and started applying a few simple rules (more on that below). It changed everything. I got so strict about what and who I was willing to engage with that nearly 100% of my effort was now spent only on men whose values and goals aligned with mine.

Five days later, I found my needle. He was everything I wanted: kind, funny, stable, family-oriented, professionally successful, and inherently monogamous like me. We dated for two years and for reasons too complicated to get into here, it ultimately didn’t work out japonГЄs turnГЄs de esposa. He’s still one of my best friends, and I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.

But I still wanted a partner. When it was time for me to try again, I decided I was going to formalise my haystack-burning method and share it with others. This was going to be my feminist revolution – my own (decidedly less-lofty) version of Gandhi’s “being the change I wished to see in the world.”

It also occurred to me that, even though people are finally realising that older women are on the rise everywhere from corporate America to Hollywood, nobody had recruited us yet to work on the disaster that’s the dating apps.

Gen X women were made for this disaster. We’re a generation characterised by resourcefulness, self-sufficiency and creativity. We’re tech-savvy but not tech-dependent, which means that we’re perfectly capable of navigating the apps, but generationally less likely to scroll ourselves into spirals of depression. We bring a stick-to-it-ness possessed only by those who spent our latchkey years figuring out how to do things without the benefit of YouTube. We’ve also, at our age, honed incredibly sharp bullshit detectors and are in possession of a hormonal balance that renders us unwilling to suffer fools yet prepared to take no prisoners.

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