Tinder or Tender: Choosing Emotional Connection Over Hookups

by Debra Moffitt

Photo by Debra Moffitt, Lakeside Couple
Photo by Debra Moffitt, Lakeside Couple

An acquaintance, a successful professional man I know, is all in for the Tinder, hookup, culture. When he found himself single, instead of healing his hurts, he got on Tinder and OKCupid, and he scheduled four meetups (yes, the number 4, ladies!) in one weekend. Now I’m not judging. Everyone is different. But for me, that’s not the way I roll. In fact, I believe, that despite pop culture’s emphasis on fast-food style sex, that many women prefer getting to know a mate and creating an emotional connection. This is where respect comes in. This is where we discover who’s really demanding to be let into our intimacy, into our bodies. For guys it’s just not the same. They’re not letting anything in.

And often this is exactly the way it feels after the connection ends. They took something away, but gave nothing of themselves. I’m not saying all men, I’m simply saying that for men it’s more often than not, “not a big deal.” They won’t go away thinking obsessively about the woman they just bedded. They’re off looking at the next one that presents herself on the mobile phone app. Human nature? A physical, genetic thing that pushes men to reproduce?

By the way, I know that the man I mentioned is not typical. My many men friends are mostly faithful partners and don’t find sex without emotional connection very satisfying either. So this is in no way man bashing as we’re all in this together. I prefer someone who’s not so impulsive and instinctual. Someone who moves with me, heart to heart, and opens up to experience and connects with me as a person, not an object to be consumed. I like tenderness — physical and emotional — and to cultivate it takes time.

So girls, check-in and reflect. Make conscious choices about who you allow into your life. Want to make a superficial connection or do you want something that goes deeper? Know what you want and what works for you. And don’t let society, media, or your girl groups dictate your code of conduct. By making a conscious choice and knowing what you’re okay with and what you’re not, you’ll have a happier and healthier emotional life! Enjoy!

Copyright, Debra Moffitt, July 2015. (Reproduction or recopying on sites must be authorized with express, written permission of the author.)Bio: Debra Moffitt is an award-winning author who believed in “the One” and in living “happily-ever-after” with one man, but life turned out differently. She has had two wonderful marriages and two okay divorces. And her last boyfriend was about fifteen years younger which her grandmother would probably find exciting and shocking at the same time! Debra observes human nature and loves and respects men. She aims to help women and men connect better in relationships — and also to bring a little humor to it. A laugh almost always soothes the heart.

A great summer read for lovers of the French Riviera.

Check out Riviera Stories for more love and adventure. Cover of Riviera Stories: Just Below the Surface


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