I recently joined Tinder. At the age of 40 and after a disappointing conversation with my ex-boyfriend because that is how I start all my dating endeavors—as a late bloomer and as a form of revenge. What I like best about Tinder is that people can only message me if I have liked them, and it is based completely on looks. You just look at pictures of people and decide if you like them or not. It is similar to ordering off the menu at Denny’s.

I like to drink a few glasses of wine and then start swiping through photos. The more drinks I have, the more people I seem to like, just rapid fire swiping right. It says you are 42, but you look like Hugh Hefner’s grandfather? Swipe right! Your profile picture is just a tub of ice cream? Swipe right! Grown-ass man wearing a Boy Scout uniform? Swipe right! Wearing a McCain/Palin shirt while sitting on a horse? No. Swipe left. I have to draw the line somewhere, and that line starts anywhere in the vicinity of Sarah Palin.

I have not actually been on a date through Tinder yet, but I talk to people occasionally. Before I joined, I heard that Tinder was really just about hooking up, but maybe I am not doing it right. I have my age limit set between 35 and 50, and perhaps that demographic is too tired and broken. Also, they are all divorced, so they are afraid that women will just take all their stuff. Dating guys who are fresh out of divorce is sort of like dating someone who is clinging to a Styrofoam cooler after he has just watched his boat sink into the abyss. If we worked together, we could probably build a raft and make it to safety, but he is going to have to let go first.

In my new post-divorce dating life, the conversation goes rapidly from “What’s your name?” to “How long have you been divorced?” That question is the new “What do you do?” which was previously the new “What’s your major?” I guess my next question will be “What hurts?” and then hopefully, “How long have you been a widow?”

I am always surprised by how quickly people will ask me about divorce, and even after they do I am still cautious with returning the question, allowing for the possibility that maybe he is not divorced. He could still be married, was never married, or his wife could have died (call me!). However, they usually are actually divorced or divorcing (call me in six months!), and then we talk about how our exes are unreasonable assholes and how we, in contrast, are delightful loving people just trying to get on with our lives.

At least I have settled into a pattern. I pick from the menu, then I receive a message, and we chat about how divorce is simultaneously the worst and best thing that has happened to us, and then we decide to exchange phone numbers to talk as one guy put it “The old fashioned way.” He meant texting. Then we text for a few days about how Mondays suck or about how I would be perfectly happy to just go sit in a port-o-let and drink a gallon of wine, and then we never actually meet or speak to each other again.

I am probably not going to find a life partner or even a dinner date on Tinder, but I can’t seem to resist opening up the app and just swiping. And swiping. And swiping. It is sort of like playing a slot machine. Based on what I have already seen, odds are in my favor to keep going.

I have actually finished Tinder a few times. Eventually I get to a screen that says, “There is no one new around you.” It usually appears unexpectedly, as I am frantically swiping and thinking there must be some reasonable person who is not wearing camouflage or holding a baby (how long have you been separated?) that is on this completely free dating app that requires almost no effort—you don’t even have to know how to read. Then BOOM. I reach the edge and think life is hopeless, and I am going to be alone forever until I am humanely euthanized by my cats.

Then the next day I check Tinder and somehow there are all new men. Swipe right!



  1. Candy McMillan · October 6, 2015

    I love everything you write! Going to share this one with a dear 45 year old friend that just got on😍

  2. strawberrypostman · October 6, 2015

    I feel the same way about Sarah Palin. And, thanks for the laugh and great insight.

  3. currentlylovingsimplicity · October 6, 2015

    Thanks for the entertaining post! Makes me even more wary of Tinder though…

  4. Harbour Admin · October 6, 2015

    People say that you find a life partner when you’re looking. I’m not sure I would count on that though…

    Great post!

    • Harbour Admin · October 6, 2015

      *Not looking

  5. ringhillary · October 6, 2015

    Ha ha. Yes, I think my Tinder experience supports that concept.

  6. heathergalloway02 · October 6, 2015

    I laughed out loud a few times, my favorite was the styrofoam ice chest imagery. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  7. Mark · October 7, 2015

    “I have to draw the line somewhere, and that line starts anywhere in the vicinity of Sarah Palin.”
    Best. Blog Quote. Ever. 😀

  8. kelly welsh · October 7, 2015

    Good stuff. Look forward to reading more!

  9. T to the Kizzle · October 7, 2015

    Awesome as usual Hil! Boy scout uniform was not a line?? Maybe we need to revisit the sangria slushie bucket and chat…

  10. sujidee · October 12, 2015

    “Dating guys who are fresh out of divorce is sort of like dating someone who is clinging to a Styrofoam cooler after he has just watched his boat sink into the abyss. If we worked together, we could probably build a raft and make it to safety, but he is going to have to let go first.” Very true! Great post!

  11. Badrakh · October 13, 2015

    My age demographic is 18-30 as a 23 year old male. And all your points still rings true because they are valid across all of us. The point, hilariously enough, has turned into just swiping and occasional chat instead of meeting face to face. I wonder how we eventually came to this.

  12. Honey · October 14, 2015

    I completely laughed out loud at the 4th paragraph. It’s absolute gold. Add my vote of great quotes to your imagery of the Styrofoam cooler scenario. I’m sorry to be laughing at such a topic (divorce), but you made it so damn funny.

  13. abrahymaljntl540 · October 18, 2015


  14. abrahymaljntl540 · October 21, 2015

    Please Continued Blog abrahymaljntl54

  15. misslilthe · October 30, 2015

    Just made my day….. Hilarious!

  16. jennyslittlewritings · November 24, 2015

    Those 2 last paragraphs made my night

  17. AlimentTime7 · December 1, 2015

    just incredible!! Get a look to our blog too 😉

  18. Pavan Medheramitla · December 15, 2015

    Very thoughful 🙂

  19. verdantwoods · December 18, 2015

    It’s good stuff you write. I liked you really. But yeah you’re looking older guys on tinder and I’m not there.
    Good read for the day to start.

    • ringhillary · December 28, 2015

      Thank you! You aren’t there because you are not old or because Tinder sucks ass? 😉

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