Mind The (Age) Gap

While chatting with a friend back on the East Coast today, we got onto the topic of age. The old adage “age is nothing but a number” may ring true in some situations, but in dating? Age is actually a lot more than a number. At least in my experience.

I am 23 years old. I have been 23 years old since December. And I already feel so much older than 21 and 22-year-olds. So much so, that I told Ok Cupid and Tinder not to pair me with anyone younger than 23. Here’s why:

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Chin Win

I decided to try a little experiment on my Ok Cupid profile this month. While the majority of ladies use their most flattering selfies or head shots as their primary photo, I decided to go against the grain. I wanted to dive deep into the trenches and see what would happen if I put up a picture that defines myself more from the inside than the outside. I wanted a photo that depicted how I really feel and act, rather than how I look with some great makeup and a flattering pose. I wanted to be real (ish). So I made this my new profile picture:

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Found in my email’s junk folder. THEY KNOW.

Today Is My Birthday

This time last year, I was celebrating my 22nd birthday at college in Philadelphia. I was taking too many tequila shots, spitting brownie pieces at bouncers, and making out with more than one of my gay male friends. Today I am sitting on my bed in LA with little desire to do any of those things. In fact, I barely even feel like getting up to pee. And unlike taking 22 shots of tequila, that’s actually something I kind of biologically am required to do. But alas, I’m here instead.

I’ve been thinking too much lately. This blog has run my brain ragged. I am already an obsessive compulsive person, but this experience has made me so much worse.

I’ve been thinking about what I want for my birthday and naturally, as this blog is on my mind more than it should be, I am thinking in context to this here internet thing.

Today is my 23rd birthday and all I want (other than many cakes and a pair of jeans that make me look super hot) is to know exactly what I enjoy. In online dating, and perhaps real life dating, and even friendship-making, it’s always about what the other person would like. To me, it seems we (or at least my crazy self) are far too worried about liking things that will be accepted by the kind of person I’m trying to attract. I feel like I have to enjoy bands like Radiohead and Arcade Fire to become appealing to the guys who are into music. But the truth is, I saw Arcade Fire last night and far preferred openers Capital Cities and Fitz and the Tantrums. If I feel that I want to attract the nature-y type, I have to say that I enjoy climbing mountains and touching rugged beards. I can enjoy a hike and a climb every now and then, but truth be told it just isn’t my lifestyle. I grew up in a city. I live in a city now. I was raised taking “urban hikes” around center city Philadelphia with my mom rather than going out and camping in the wilderness. And beards are disgusting.

Looking back, both at my online dating life and my actual young life, I feel that I’ve been doing many activities for others. I feel the need to meld into what certain men and friends want me to be. I enjoy many things, but what’s “my” thing? If someone were to create an online profile to attract me and only me, I have no idea what they would put on it, other than an abnormal affinity for chocolate cake (and food in general). Or a disgustingly weird obsession with Dave Grohl. I really don’t know what else defines me in the context of me and only me with no one else involved.

For my 23rd today, I’ve decided to gift myself the opportunity to find out who “me” is and what I really, truly like. Other than food. And Dave Grohl. I need to find out what makes me tick, and I need to remind myself that animal fries don’t count as an answer.

I think it’s a great but scary gift. Plus, it’s the only gift I can give myself because designer jeans are simply too expensive.

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