A semi-turnaround in dating

Needless to say, throughout my life I have had a very unlucky time navigating the dating world. Whether it be a result of my asexuality, of my social awkwardness, or of my lack of experience nothing can prepare me for what may happen or what one may find around a new corner.


Photo courtesy of Time Out Abu Dhabi 

I recently travelled to the United Arab Emirates to visit a dear friend and spend Christmas. I was unwilling to spend another Christmas alone, so I ventured to a foreign desert land. While the trip was filled with going here and there, what struck me most was a complete turnaround in my dating life. I’ve been living in Sweden for 3 years and I’ve been on two dates, so as you can imagine that sounds pretty dismal and only one of them was a positive experience.

What might explain this is unknown to me, but I can do nothing else but surmise that what I offer here, is just not wanted. In three years I manage about twenty or so matches on Tinder, a few of which chat to me. I set foot in the UAE and for shits and giggles I load up Tinder. In the span of a few hours, I’m getting matches left right and centre. After two days of swiping, I garnered about 50 matches, most of which were actually talking to me.  I was confused, surprised, and speechless.

I decided to take it somewhere and meet up with a few people for dinner or to hang out at local spots. In 5 days I managed to fit in 6 dates in two cities, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. I can say with positive reflection that while they were a bit nerve wracking to start for fear of police or similar traps, they were all positive experiences. How could this be? How could my luck change so dramatically and my match rate increase to 95 in the span of a few days?

I reflect on it, and possible explanations come to mind. Is it because I’m foreign? Is it because I’m white? Is it because I’m an amazing person? All are possibilities, but I’m lost as for how or why this can be. How can I have more success in dates in a country so repressed and restricted, while living in a free society of Sweden I am a complete lemon? Thinking about it confuses me and makes me very emotional because of the situational irony.

Here I can marry, have children, and live an authentic life and I can’t find a partner, barely even dates. I go to a place where I can’t get married, can’t have kids, and can’t live an authentic and open life and I get several people really interested in me, even for marriage. It just feels like a huge slap in the face, and leads me to question whether it’s something wrong with me, or something wrong with everybody else.

All I can say is I’m thankful, but now even more confused than before.

Summer fling

A summer fling is something that you could describe as some type of relationship that exists only within the confines of the summer; often ending at the end before going back to school. They are fun, and free feeling, and from what I’ve read quite enjoyable and fleeting. And so dear reader, if you’re expecting me to describe a summer fling I had in 2018, I’m sorry to disappoint you, but no such thing existed. I will, however, delve into an experience I had about 10 years ago in the summer of 2009.

I was visiting a friend in Uppsala and while staying with him I met someone out while dancing. He said something poignant to me that piqued my interest and caused me to contact him via Facebook. His name, was Jonas, and with that message began what I would consider to be a short summer fling. We agreed to meet a few days later, a Tuesday, at The Heated Man which may or may not still exist in Uppsala. It was a bench that was heated somehow that I do not remember. I accepted the invitation and we met.

It was during this meeting, which I suppose could be called a date, that we flirted and discussed many a thing. We progressed to hang out at the park, and then I was bid adieu. What followed was what I consider to be the only time, ever in my life, that I was pursued by another person. Jonas would show up at my friend’s dorm room looking for me, he wanted to take me out for a drink, and a bit drunk one night came over in full white tie to find me on a cot and proceeded to cuddle me for a little bit. I didn’t know what was going on, I didn’t understand why this guy was into me, but I in my heart I loved it.

What followed was me going to visit a friend in Finland, and returning home, to still find him pursuing me. I was so flattered, I was so confused, I was so smitten that I simply didn’t know what to do other than to accept and show the same amount of interest. I didn’t know where he lived until one day that he walked me over, as we were out for a walk, and we had a chat as he was (if I remember correctly) moving out of that flat, or someone was moving. I remember being teased, in a good way, and feeling helpless at one point. I remember and to this day I can feel the intellectual connection that we shared.

And then summer ended and I went away, and left Sweden, unbeknownst to me not to return for another 9 years. What I left behind was something, to me so special and unique. What’s sad about it, is that 10 years later it hit me how important it was and how heartbroken I am over it. I never expected it to be this way, but it is to this day, the single only time that someone ever accepted me as I am, showed interest in a profound way, and pursued me.

It’s heartbreaking to think about it and wonder what has happened since, or rather what hasn’t happened since. What haven’t I done right over the last decade? What has been missing? What are my shortcomings, if any? I’m conflicted because I’ve lived my life trying to accept who I am, as I am, but this acceptance seems to completely contradict what others either see, or want.

As the memories and feelings grow more and more blurred and colourless, it leaves a thick clump in my throat and tears in my eyes.

In need of protection

Courtesy of Tumblr’s @lionguard

While the title of this post could often be misconstrued by the overly sexualised humans that roam the Earth and peruse the internet, I am not in fact writing about contraceptives such as condoms. I’m talking about the protection of people; let me elaborate.

I was reading some things on reddit, as one does, and a situation that someone presented made me think of something and it led me to a reflection upon the needs of a person. User u/Independent_Year describes how he, as a straight man, seems to be falling in love with a gay friend of his:

I have tried to rationalize my attraction – he’s a delicate looking guy – so I must have been thinking of him as a ”substitute girl” of sorts, and putting myself in the role of ”badass” protector. But rationalizing haven’t lessened my feelings at all. At first I though hey – you feel like a big brother from another mother for him, that’s why your so protective. At least that’s what it might have been at beginning. But seeing other guys in the LGBT club hit on him .. makes me feel angry and quite possessive…. Not quite fraternal .

And it’s these comments that led me to imagining this protection that he wants to provide, and that I would imagine a lot of people in the history of humanity yearn to find. It is something that we want; we want to know that we are safe, we want to know that we have someone or something that can protect us, and we want to know that someone will be on our side when the goings get tough.

It’s a valid thing want, what with the world being in such a whirling wreck and so much hate all around. And even if you can’t empathise with me, at the very least we wall want to feel safe. I know it’s something that I’ve always imagined, always pined for, and it never appearing. I’ve had it in dreams, so many dreams since a young age, where there is a faceless defender and protector being there to support.

Now I will also clarify that this doesn’t fall the damsel in distress archetype, but more of the moral and physical reinforcement. In my dreams, will the face reveal itself an identity? Will this person ever encounter me, or feel the need or want to protect my wellbeing? Or will it just stay a figment of intangible imagination that will forever linger in my mind?

Too ninja for Nigerian catfishing… what?

I’m willing to bet that nearly everyone that’s ever had an email address, ever, has at least at one time received an email from charming Nigerian Prince asking for marriage, money, or some other scam. I had always laughed about it, but never really made any sense to me. Like how do people actually send them money, or don’t they suspect, or what kind of ratchet street smarts do these people not have?

Anyways, how does this connect to me? Well since I lived in China, I’ve been connected on Chinese social media accounts that I check up on here and there. I sometimes get messages from people and I ignore it, but recently I’ve gotten a slew of really attractive guys chatting me up.

Cue to alarm bells ringing, red flags waving, and self doubts flying around like vultures in heat. While in China, I would get tons of people contacting me for no other reason that they want a foreign or white friend. Smooth. But never in my entire life have I been outwardly contacted or pursued by someone attractive.

Cause I, Cause do it better 😛

A post shared by Edson Santos (@edsonnsantos) on

So naturally, as you can probably imagine, receiving a photo like this is both surprising and raises suspicions right from the get go; like look at him, right?! Anyways, he’s chatting me up and I’m keeping it pretty vague and whatever, and then he’s like “Hey let’s move to Google Hangouts” and my immediate reaction is like, I haven’t used that in years but sure yeah whatever.

Then the ratchet mess starts asking me for photos, and I think. Hell to the no, I’m not born yesterday. I already suspected I was being catfished, so naturally I used my internet street smarts to say: I ain’t sending any photos until we video chat and I can see who you are. Seconds later, Video Call incoming. I tilted my phone upwards, and the video came in, pixelated and dark. I saw some faint lights in the background but then they disappeared.

“Where are you, where is your face?” blah blah blah. And then this person says “Oh sorry my webcam doesn’t work” and my immediate reaction was like who the hell uses a webcam anymore? Don’t we all just use our phones? Red flag again. I knew for a fact that the video worked because I saw light movements and if it didn’t work then it would have been all black or the profile picture shows. Luckily for me I didn’t display myself on video.

So flash forward 4 more call attempts and me keeping to deny it; I’m playing hard ball. So few days later this person is still hitting me up and whatever, and I’m out for some drinks with some friends. I tell them that I’m being chatted up by this person, show them a picture, and they are like wow. I say, I ain’t fooling I’m being catfished. So we drunkenly devise a plan to catch this catfisher. I reluctantly give my phone to a friend Alex and she proceeds to start a conversation, initiate some video calls. She’s talking to this guy, he’s not saying anything, and then the call drops. Here’s how the conversation proceeded:

We are laughing at this point, and as the 22:31 call starts, sure enough we find a Nigerian Prince on the screen and the jig is up. The girls tease a little bit, and I’m a bit irritated that I was correct. A sliver of hope existed that maybe this is real and there was some really hot guy into me, but alas it was not to be.

We wrapped up that mess for awhile, and then I went home. I felt invigorated to press this guy on why he’s catfishing and what the fuck basically. I’m able to find the original Instagram account of the guy he’s taken photos of, and then I screenshot some photos and DM the original guy to let him know his photos are being used. He laughs and thanks me, and I go back on my way doing a good thing.

But I’m getting this sap story from a guy in Lagos about how he poses to be hot gay guys in order to get money so he can get educated. I lecture him about if he’s got an internet connection he can educate himself instead of pretending to be other people. And he feels guilty; in other words I’m scamming a scammer.

According to what he’s saying, he feels really bad about what he’s done, discloses all the social media counts of his actual identity (pretty dumb eh?) and then tells me that he lives in a house of 5 other guys that are all scammers. They manage to get $5’000 from some people and this is what they use to support their families. It’s hilarious, but then I realise it’s really sad. Sad that these people have to go to such desperate lengths to scam people. Sure their living conditions are pretty bad, but from what Is saw, they were doing pretty well for themselves.

Thinking back, of course I got the scammer that revealed himself to me, the true empath inside gave me the power to set his spirit free. What’s the message of this storytime? Don’t get catfished and don’t send your photos online to strangers; you never know who could be behind that picture!

Breaking the Tinder Algorithm

The struggle is real; real like the extremely intense hunger for cake of a cake lover

It was unknown to me up until about five minutes ago that there actually is a Tinder Algorithm, or at least to online reports it seems to be legit. There is ELO scores and positive and negative affecters, and even a noob value. Up until that moment I just was making a joke when I said that I broke Tinder, but what do I mean?

Well, despite not being the most polished glass in the cabinet, so to speak, I figured I’d dabble in meeting some people and much as expected it has been a tragic tale. Firstly, in Sweden seemingly nobody actually replies to you when you get matched. It’s bizarre, and seemingly pointless.

Secondly, after a certain point you start to wonder if these people actually exist. Are these fake profiles of people that are being casual flirters, or are they legit human beings (sometimes you have to wonder…)

And thirdly, when you spend four months and get no more than 5 matches, you start to wonder about stuff. Am I too this, or too that, not enough this or not enough that, or simply undesirable? No matter, more fish in the sea, or so I’m told is the case.

It was all hunky dory until one moment that rocked the experience. I noticed in a profile that someone said they were looking for “the girl of their dreams” and I full stopped. The immediate thought that came to my mind is that this guy is heterosexual and why then is he showing up for me to swipe?

Then it extended into more thoughts and I wondered how many of the people that I swiped over the last 4 months were actually heterosexual as well? Given what I know about how things are here, I wouldn’t be surprised.

And that’s how I broke Tinder and its algorithm, and I think it now thinks that I’m a female. This might explain no matches in 3 months.

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