I was in a monogamous relationship for four and a half months. It's true that it wasn't picturesque or close to perfection, but I truly did love and adore the person I was with.
Now, after four and a half months, I find myself single, alone and detached, with only memories of another failed relationship that was unable to reach the heights of a perfect, happily ever after.
So, what now?
Do I ashamedly walk that familiar and humiliating path back to online dating? Do I really want to return back there again, with all the other heartbroken, flawed, emotionally crippled and damaged people? With my defeated head held down in shame, it's like I've returned from the battlefield.
I'm bruised and battered, with my tail held in between my legs, ashamed of my failures and shortcomings. I was in a relationship, but now, I'm dishonored.
So here I am, downloading that app I swore I would never to return to again. I'm forced to stare idly at the pretentious profile photos gazing back at me through my phone screen.
''Back here again,'' I sigh to myself, as my thumb begins the tedious and soul-destroying process of swiping back and forth.
So, what exactly should my dating profile sound like? How do I temptingly sell myself like a prize, waiting to be won by the highest bidder, all while perfectly hiding all my nagging anxiety and flaws? I could easily copy and paste the generic and uninspiring sentences found on the array of profiles I view (all with the most filtered and aesthetically and physically photogenic angles, of course).
Most of the profiles read like the resume of a sales executive. They're all so very pleasing and pleasant. But you can tell that, behind those smiles, there is something darker: ''I'm an easygoing guy. I like to have a good time, and have a laugh with my mates. I just generally enjoy life. I'm looking to make some good friends and maybe more. Let's see what happens.''
So generic. Yet, beneath those wannabe personas, I can literally hear their longing cries for love and undivided romance through the cracks of social conformity.
We live in a society that keeps its cards close to its chest, through jaded smiles and deceptive relationships. We are the app generation: the illusive, the misleading, the ambiguous, the deceiving, the delusive and the distorted. How is it possible to find something so real when everyone around you is so fake?
So, by putting the social restrictions aside and pretending like I live in a world where we can display our quirks and flaws like a badge of honor, what would my dating profile actually look like without the physiological fear of not wanting to appear ridiculously desperate and single?
As I try to think of engaging, thought-provoking, witty and captivating words to try to attract and entice potential prospects and would-be dates in the confines of a blank and limited ''about me'' section, I can't help but wonder this: In the land of filtered profile photos and pouts, is it possible to find something worthwhile and meaningful, all while being completely and utterly honest?
Well, I guess I'm about to find out.
I could start by proclaiming, "Let's 'Netflix and chill,' which we all know is just euphemism for casual and meaningless sex. But what I really mean to say is, "Lets actually watch a serial killer documentary and chill." But of course, social conformists would be too afraid to write such an alarmingly bold statement.
Since I'm sick of the galley of shirtless, six-pack selfies, chiseled jaw lines and tedious tales of working out at the gym for five days a week, I start off by blazingly announcing that I have a lethal combination of food addiction, comfort eating and a high metabolism. I mention my highly unhealthy intake of five to six spoons of sugar with my tea and coffee.
I'm a big video game nerd. I've owned pretty much every console known to mankind, from the original NES to my current love, the Xbox One. The virtual world is much more fascinating than reality sometimes. I mean, the real world doesn't have Pokémon roaming around in its bushes, for example.
I nervously stutter. Sometimes, I can't make direct eye contact.
I get very jealous, needy and clingy. I need the constant reassurance that you love and desire me. I will ask constant questions about your former lovers, looking for the validation that I'm worth more than the others who stood before me.
I'm a hopeless romantic: "hopeless" being the most appropriate word. I'm pretty much the male version of Bridget Jones (minus the big granny panties, of course). But in all seriousness, I am ultimately looking for something monogamous, special, romantic, passionate, consuming, honest and enduring. Please don't message me if you're emotionally unavailable, a pervert or both.
If you're not amazed by the stars on a clear night sky, we won't work. I'm all about the sentimental things.
If you're the kind of person who lives and breathes your job to the point where you live to work, we simply won't connect.
So, there it is: This is my honestly etched onto the hallowed pages of a dating app. So I wait, wait and wait some more for a message from a suitable suitor who will take an instant attraction to my truthful and sincere post.
Confused, I find myself refreshing the page over and over again. Yet, my inbox still has a big fat zero staring back at me. Zero: This is how I feel right now.
I guess there is a price to pay for being so direct and frank. I don't think my inbox has ever been so lonely.
In a world of filtered profile pictures, pretentious people and phonies, maybe it's best if I just play along?