Online dating and married men

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And also, he’d really like me to bring a beautiful married friend along.

My husband and I met at a party on a quiet street in a college town.

One woman with whom he had a pleasant text exchange for a day or two before fully revealing his status told him that he’d hurt her badly, that he was the first educated person she’d met on Tinder in months, and that he’d given her the push she needed to permanently swear off internet dating. I told him it wasn’t that they hated him, they just wanted things he didn’t have to offer — commitment of time, resources, and exclusivity.

They wanted the things I used to want, and I in turn wanted what they had — freedom, excitement, interesting conversations that didn’t center on styles of child-rearing or real estate, the experience of moving through the world not exclusively as a wife or mother but as a sexual being, a full and complicated and multifaceted person, the experience of being wooed, wanted, admired, acknowledged, and seen.

For the first time in 16 years, men who were not my husband looked at me (or at least at pictures of me), and told me they liked what they saw.

As a single woman, I might have rolled my eyes at their ogling. It reminded me of how tipsy I got from the first beer I drank after nine months of pregnancy abstention.

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