I need HELP with overcoming/owning a bit of an awkward Tinder situation.
Basically the backstory is I matched with this girl on tinder roughly 4 years ago, we started chatting, and it was going well until she abruptly stopped replying. I let it go as a “she’s probably just not interested.” Fast forward a year or two, we match again, hit it off well again with a brief chat, but then she pretty quickly stopped replying again… Never mind, I moved on and was sort of talking to someone else. Now fast forward another couple of years, and we’ve matched on tinder AGAIN. At this point I’m just confused as to why she keeps matching with me if she doesn’t want to continue conversation. But the awkward part of this all is that we’ve actually also been Facebook friends for 12+ years! I think we drunkenly met at a queer bar and added each other, and we’ve never communicated via Facebook or at all since but we have occasionally throughout the years liked a post of each others here and there. I feel like I know her really well because I’ve basically seen the last 12 years of her life through Facebook. I’ve always found her super attractive and we have a lot of common interests based on our FB posts, but because she keeps ghosting me on Tinder I’ve never really pursued anything. Now that we’ve matched on Tinder a third time, I want to reach out to her somehow but in a way that might woo her a bit more than our regular Tinder chat that hasn’t seemed to keep her interest in the past. Her Tinder is pretty explicit that she’s looking for a partner rather than anything more casual. Seeking ideas and advice on how to really own this and not make it more awkward than it already is!
This situation is indeed kind of awkward, and the fact that the two of you have basically been circling each other for over a decade sounds like something out of a romantic comedy. But unfortunately, this is real life, and I think you have to let go of this person for good. Her recurring appearance in your life is strange, but it’s not necessarily meaningful. Exploring more meaningful connections and relationships will make your romantic life much more satisfying!
If she were interested in dating you, there have been so many opportunities for her to follow through on pursuing that. Online dating isn’t new anymore, and yet it’s still hard to lock down what certain things mean when it comes to people’s behaviors on apps. Basically, everyone uses apps differently! It’s possible this person just swipes pretty casually. A match in and of itself does not mean a commitment to anything more. Recurring matching seems like it should mean something, but it might not at all. I want you to have a happy, fulfilling dating life, and I think you might be getting in your own way by focusing so much on this person. Even though she states she’s looking for a partner on Tinder, that also doesn’t really change the situation here. All the matching and then disappearing is hard to read, but she has a right to use Tinder however she wants. And I honestly don’t think it’s worth the effort to analyze and interpret the intentions of a stranger who has interacted with you somewhat inconsistently.
I know some people might disagree with me, but I don’t really think it’s “ghosting” if you haven’t met up/taken the connection beyond the app. You said yourself that the conversation ended pretty quickly in both instances. There are a million possible reasons she stopped replying. Some people are on multiple apps or also meeting people IRL. Some people just ebb and flow in the time and energy they give to Tinder. Sometimes, people’s capacity for online dating/chatting just changes. Ultimately, she doesn’t owe you an explanation. And ultimately, it’s a futile mission to try to read her mind. In fact, I’m avoiding any definitive statements about what her behavior means, because I think it could be any number of things, but more importantly, I think it doesn’t even really matter when it comes to you and your life. I really, truly think you’re better off letting go of her. Her pattern likely has to do with her own stuff and nothing to do with you.
You say you want help overcoming/owning an awkward situation, but there’s nothing really to own here. No one has done anything wrong. As for the overcoming part, you shouldn’t consider this situation a rejection. I think you should shift away from thinking your past conversations haven’t effectively wooed her into thinking this is just not the right person for you. You shouldn’t have to fight to keep someone’s interest ever in a relationship, but especially at the beginning.
I get she doesn’t feel like a stranger. You’ve talked. You’ve seen her life unfold on Facebook. I think those details coupled with her recurring appearance on the app have maybe intensified the way you feel toward her. This happens a lot! It’s easy to project onto people we barely know and romanticize our connection with them. It’s easy to fantasize about the potential of someone and the potential of a relationship. But this person isn’t the one that got away. Again, that concept is just rom-com fantasy. Social media and dating apps don’t paint a full picture of a person, and at the end of the day, what do you really know about her after a couple brief chats? I understand you want a chance to get to know her better, but if she wanted the same, it likely would have happened already. I think you should focus your energy on talking to people who want to talk to you. There are other people out there who will be thrilled to keep the conversation going.
You can chime in with your advice in the comments and submit your own questions any time.