OK, OK, I know I said I’d never go there but I did. For some reason it seemed like a good idea the other night when my ex had asked for the kids overnight mid-week at the last minute. I got home from work thinking “Ooh six hours to myself with no plan – what will I do?” and instead of productively blogging or watching a movie on Netflix or reading a good book, I decided to set up a profile on Tinder.
Suffice to say I spent a significant period of time swiping left on the most unfortunate set of men you have ever laid eyes on. I mean I know I decided to stick with guys age mid forties and up because it seemed more realistic but good grief, it’s slim pickings!
Then eventually after swiping right about maybe five times I finally got a match! And he was attractive to me so I sent a message. I still haven’t heard back 48 hours later. Shelve that.
Then I got another match! And I messaged him (see I have read some stuff about Tinder since and apparently it’s not the done thing to be a woman rushing in to message a guy first but hey ho).
I said “I’m new to this and I feel a bit like a giddy puppy right now! I assume that feeling will wear off…”. His response? “Well I think you might only have that feeling because you matched with me 😉 ;-)”
So yes, the conversation started off a bit flirty. Then I started trying to get a genuine conversation going to get to know a bit more about him and his responses to my messages got fewer and further between – like first a 20 minute gap, then 30 until eventually I was waiting the best part of an hour for a reply and I just gave in and went to bed.
Frankly I see this as game-playing and mucking about. I deliberately swiped right on guys who, yes, I found at least marginally attractive, but they had to look a bit normal and seem a bit down to earth as well but apparently Tinder will take a normal guy and turn him into a player.
My sister says that’s the dating game offline as well from what she’s witnessed going out with her single friend.
It’s depressing and I’m thinking of deleting Tinder immediately because I just don’t have the time or the emotional strength right now to play those silly games – I’m too old and I have too much at stake.
I had an appointment with my solicitor today and she was good – she gave me reason to believe that I should probably be looking at getting the help of the system at this point as my ex is clearly not a suitable candidate for mediation. He has been using the fact that we have no formal child maintenance arrangement in place to start trying to control me, telling me that if I am letting him have the children for two weeks in October then he will halve his maintenance payment.
The solicitor told me to go straight to the Child Maintenance Service and get them to calculate and formalise the arrangement. I think I will get a bit less this way but its peace of mind.
The solicitor also advised me not to let him have the children for two weeks so soon – they are too little and it is not conducive to a routine during the school term – especially when my four year old is only a couple of weeks into school life and needs the security of being able to come home to his mummy at the end of the day.
I have tried so hard to keep things friendly and informal with him and given way to many of his last minute requests and let him get away with never giving me a list of his contact dates going forwards but that’s simply not fair on me. He doesn’t want to give up his flexibility but his flexibility comes at the cost of my lifestyle being completely inflexible.
Everything that is about to happen will make him even angrier than he is now. My solicitor thinks I should still be in our house and he should be out. She stressed the fact that the court will always put the needs of the children first and that he is not playing by those rules at this point.
I don’t particularly want to be back in that house but she also says he’s not offering me enough money for my share of the house given the fact that I am the one who has to take the responsibility for housing our children going forwards so if nothing else going back into the house is a bargaining chip.
I need to get a second phone which he can use if he wants to contact our children. I am not obliged to deal with him personally – that can be left to the lawyers.
In many ways the thought of solicitors fees and court costs scare the heck out of me but I am at the point where I just don’t care any more. The system is designed to protect the needs of the children and I am their primary carer so that means protecting me too.
I just hope the impending storm coming his way is not going to drag me in and in the meantime Tinder is off.