I have about a handful of people I consider to be friends, and I see them maybe twice year. It’s completely understandable. We all work different schedules. We have our own grown up things to attend to. But understanding life’s demands doesn’t stop me from wanting to be social in some capacity.
I want parent friends. And friends for my son, other than his three girl cousins.
I’ve never been the greatest at making friends. I have a strong personality (read: stubborn, blunt, harsh, sarcastic, and a little bit crude) and the term “resting bitch face” is a common descriptor for…well, my face. I’m awkward and have no conversational skills — unless I’ve been drinking, and I don’t drink too often. Plus, I don’t need drunk friends. I need family friends. People who understand the demands and responsibilities of parenthood, who want to do family-friendly activities.
Enter: Peanut. Tinder for moms.
Now, my husband and I shacked up just before those swipe-left-swipe-right dating apps launched into popularity. Sure I got to experience the excitement that was OkCupid for a short while, but those high tech dating apps? They came after my time as a single lady (thank the heavens!).
When I first discovered the app, I was altogether pretty intrigued, even if it took me a few days to start using it. I set up my profile, and in the quiet and dark hours of the night — you know the ones after baby and husband are asleep — I set off on my swiping adventure!
I was off to a pretty good start. I was getting a decent amount of matches, but being the introvert that I am, was hesitant to send any messages initiating conversation — and it seemed that other moms weren’t too eager to send the first message, either. So there I lay, swiping up, swiping down, but not getting any closer to my goal of meeting a like-minded momma who might want to set up a chat and a play date for our little tykes.
Time to get proactive. I started “waving” at people through the app and occasionally even sent a worded salutation. We had to get somewhere now, right?! Out of all the people I matched with and messaged, less than half responded. Perhaps these ladies just wanted to participate in the swiping sensation that they too missed out on by finding their partners too early. Maybe they swiped up on my profile by accident, not meaning to match with me. Or maybe they just got busy and forgot about the app altogether. Who’s to say? Who’s to judge?!
Eventually, I did manage to have a decent conversation with one momma. We’re even friends on Facebook now! (If that’s not official, I dunno what is!) It took months of sporadic messaging, making missed plans and small talk about life, but we did eventually meet up. Husbands and kids in tow. Remember earlier when I said I have no conversational skills? Yeah, that didn’t make for the greatest first impression. I genuinely tried not to be so awkward, but there we were, walking along the zoo path…in silence. Maybe it was the setting (constant walking/toddler chasing) that made it hard to connect as friends or acquaintances, or maybe they thought my husband and I were a pair of weirdos…again, who’s to say?
At the very least, my son got to spend a nice day at the zoo and even fearlessly (to our surprise) fed a giraffe.
Dating moms is just as hard, if not harder, than dating a romantic partner.
As for a budding friendship between me and this particular momma? TBD. In the meantime, I’ll keep swiping.