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I'm a bisexual woman who's primarily dated men, which is both a byproduct of living in a conservative small town for a good chunk of my adult life, and sheer shyness.
I didn't always live in a small town, though: I lived in a major city for four years, just before the recession. The internet was still an uncharted territory, compared to the vast virtual world it is now. Online dating was a nice alternative to bars (which have never been my thing for meeting people, even when I was drinking), but I was in my early twenties and too afraid to leave my preference as "men and women" on Match.com.
Then I was a serial monogamist of sorts, in a string of long-term relationships for about a decade—all with men. There were a couple of brief, delightful encounters with female friends, but they were somewhat alcohol-fueled, and they were one-time-only.
But I have always loved and been attracted to women.
Now I'm once again living in a (different) major city, recently out of a long term relationship with a man, and I need a break from dudes. I've been spending much-needed time working on self-care, self-awareness, and the ongoing relationship I have with myself, and honestly, that is enough. I am at an awesome, healthy place where I am great on my own, and I don't need a partner.
Part of a relationship with one's self, though, is a constant exploration of identity: who am I, what has shaped me, how do I interact with the world and those in it, what am I compelled by, how do I see myself, etc...
My identity is bisexual, yet it's been over seven years since I was with a woman in any way. I want to experience that again, whether it's just for a coffee date, or something more.
But how in the heck does a woman go about meeting another woman?
I'm away from home for 10-12 hours a day, and afterward, I have very little desire to go to clubs or bars or the like to try and meet someone. I don't necessarily want to meet someone where I work or study, because if it didn't work out, it could result in awkwardness.
So I downloaded some apps. Her, Bumble, Zoe, and OKCupid, to be precise. And I feel like I've swiped on all the women in the area. I've tried to start some conversations, and I've responded to a few women who started conversations with me. So far, nothing concrete has emerged. One almost date that was cancelled. A couple of conversations that seemed to build steam...and have since petered out.
Granted, I've only been on the apps for about six days or so, and I know this mild anxiety is a direct result of our instant-gratification-internet-culture. Still, the little negative Nelly voice within tells me it's hopeless, and that I'm never going to get to meet a nice girl to have coffee with and a long hug that maybe lasts longer than either of us could have dreamed.
But I'm going to keep hoping and keep swiping right.