Curiosity killed the cat…and my Tinder relationship

It was not my proudest moment, although I very much doubt it was my worst.  A couple of months ago I made the decision to stop seeing a guy I’d met on Tinder because of posts that he had made on Facebook about Brexit.  He had voted ‘Leave’ and those of you who have read my posts about Brexit (and this one) will know that I was struggling to come to terms with our Brexit decision.  My curiosity killed my Tinder relationship.

curiosity

I am not ashamed of my decision to stop seeing the guy.  I know from his ‘leave’ vote that we don’t share the same core values or identity and that a relationship would never have a future.

I am however ashamed of two things.  First, I am ashamed that I learned of his ‘leave’ vote not through a conversation with him, but rather through my daily snooping of his Facebook posts and his Tweets on Twitter.  Secondly, I am ashamed that I didn’t tell him that I didn’t want to see him again. I just went silent.  I stopped replying to his messages and eventually he stopped sending them.  I couldn’t explain that his ‘leave’ vote meant that we didn’t have a future, not even a casual one, because he hadn’t told me that he had voted ‘leave’.  I had learned this through my snooping on Facebook. 

I snooped daily and compulsively, knowing that his Facebook posts about Brexit would continue to anger me.  I knew that the mature option would have been to talk to him and to explore his reasons for voting ‘leave’.  But I couldn’t, I didn’t, I continued to snoop perhaps in some vain hope that it was all a nasty joke. 

I was relieved to discover a recent study by the University of Chicago and Wisconsin School of Business which reassured me that my curiosity, even when I knew that what I would find would hurt and anger me, is only human.  In a series of four experiments, behavioural scientists tested students’ willingness to expose themselves to small electric shocks to satisfy their curiosity.  Electric shocks abounded and they found that the drive to discover is deeply ingrained in humans.  As the review in Scientific American sums up: “The need to know is so strong that people will seek to slake their curiosity even when it is clear that the answer will hurt”.

So, while this study doesn’t absolve me of my snooping shame and it certainly doesn’t absolve me of the dishonourable way in which I ended the relationship, it does at least reassure me that curiosity is human and mine is probably not the only Tinder relationship to have been killed. 

Do you have any snooping stories you’d like to share?  I’d love to hear about them in the comments. 

P.S.  Want to read more about this single mom on Tinder ?  Read this and this.   You can also read more about my thoughts as a single mom on the dating scene in the dating category above.   

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25 Comments

  1. August 14, 2016 / 10:18 pm

    Better to find out now than later! I would feel the same way about a man who supports Trump or is xenophobic or racist or homophobic. That’s not someone whom I can relate to or choose to spend my time with.

    In the online dating world people unplug from each other. It’s a part of the gig and it goes both ways.

    I personally haven’t snooped but I should probably do so and look for those potential red flags. There was a woman in Oregon or Washington who recently went on an online date and he killed her and put her decapitated head in a trash can. From now on I’ll be getting all the info I can before meeting in person.

    • thesingleswan
      August 17, 2016 / 8:44 pm

      Ah well, Lori, now I feel obliged to snoop to ensure my own personal safety…not that facebook is ever going to warn me that I am going to be decapitated, but it might give me an indication that I am going to have a bad conversation. Pen x

  2. August 16, 2016 / 3:03 pm

    I am the worst snooper ever – I hoover up knowledge about men I’m seeing like a Dyson. While not always healthy, and though it would be good to learn more about men from their own mouths rather than my research, I like to think forewarned is forearmed!

    • thesingleswan
      August 17, 2016 / 8:42 pm

      Very wise Alice. And your words do help me to justify a load of snooping. Oh dear. Pen x

  3. August 24, 2016 / 1:32 am

    Knowledge is pwer, no matter how you found out. I think one day you will have the strength to tell him — or you may have in this post as he snoops back? #fartglitter #mg
    Lisa Pomerantz recently posted…You gotta have heartMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      August 24, 2016 / 9:05 pm

      Hi Lisa,

      thanks for your comment. fortunately this blog is entirely anonymous and there are only three people in the world who know who Pen really is. The fledgling Tinder date isn’t one of them. Pen x

  4. August 25, 2016 / 3:12 am

    haha this made me giggle, I think we all snoop a bit don’t we???? I think though that it’s good to have different interests and all that but when it comes to core values it helps to be on the same page as the person you call your partner in life, I know with Steve we have our on opinion son many things, but the things that really MATTER to us are the same and I think it helps us work. #mg
    Mackenzie Glanville recently posted…the thing about life is we can’t control it #mgMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      August 27, 2016 / 9:48 am

      Hi Mac,

      I agree, partnership doesn’t mean you have to have the same opinion on everything, but there are some key things that do matter. Politics and religion are top of the agenda to me. Having a similar outlook on life is really important even if you don’t agree on everything. thanks for your comment. Pen x

  5. August 25, 2016 / 4:14 am

    When I first started dating my husband he said that he hadn’t dated in a long time. I found this hard to be true since he is quite the looker, had a good job, and a house. One night while I was at his house he got called in to take care of something at work. I asked him if I could use his computer and he said sure go ahead…not realizing that he had left his yahoo chat open. Some girl that he had apparently been dating and dumped in not such a good way decided to message him. So I played along and needless to say I only lasted about a week before I finally had to tell him that I snooped. He was upset at first but then laughed. It wasn’t like I logged into his account and snooped it was right there in front of me and some girl wanting to chat. I am visiting from #fartglitter.

    • thesingleswan
      August 27, 2016 / 9:46 am

      Ah, that’s good to hear. I am really pleased that your husband laughed. It is quite a funny story really. Thanks for your comment. Pen x

  6. August 25, 2016 / 2:36 pm

    I don’t consider it snooping – I consider it research 😉 It’s all information that he was willingly displaying on his social media and so I think you were perfectly entitled to have a read. Sometimes people can reveal a side which you didn’t know existed, and if that side is fundamentally not compatible with you and your views well then you just know don’t you? Thanks for sharing with #fartglitter x
    Rhyming with Wine recently posted…#toddlertranslations 2: “Dinner Time”My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      August 27, 2016 / 9:42 am

      Hi,

      thanks for your comment. You are right, it was willingly on his social media account and in open, but we weren’t friends on Facebook. Anyway, I appreciate your comment and I’m glad you think it is normal. Pen x

  7. August 28, 2016 / 4:24 pm

    I totally get what you mean! You have to snoop these days because you just don’t know a person and it’s better to find out early than let it continue. I must admit, the Brexit thing upset me too and I’ve found myself questioning friendships. Most of my family and friends voted leave – thankfully my husband and I are on the same page. I do think the whole campaign was poor and people voted leave under false pretences – and for what they thought were good reasons. Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes
    Janet recently posted…What’s Happening at RRW This Week?My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      August 29, 2016 / 8:33 pm

      Hi Janet,

      Thanks for your comment. It is tough isn’t it. Brexit has been so divisive. I am really relieved that my nearest and dearest voted Remain and that it was never any question for them. A couple of my friends have had to hold family meetings at which they have agreed to an amnesty because their parents voted Leave. It is really tough. Anyway, thanks for your comment. Pen x

  8. September 10, 2016 / 11:51 pm

    I think it’s better that you found out early that he wasn’t the right person for you. Imagine if you’d have become seriously involved with him and then found out that some of your key values didn’t match… I also don’t think there’s anything wrong with being curious. He was putting his opinion out there on social media so it wasn’t a secret at all. Just my two cents 😉 #KCACOLS
    Nicole | The Professional Mom Project recently posted…Thyroid Cancer Awareness: Check your NeckMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      September 12, 2016 / 8:42 pm

      Having read all of these comments and found out that you would have done exactly the same I don’t feel nearly so bad. thanks ladies. I appreciate it. Pen x

  9. September 11, 2016 / 8:59 am

    Oh what an interesting study? Our desire to snoop almost condoned. I completely understand your reasons and have to say I think would have done the same – unless of course he was Ryan Reynolds or Ed Westwick! #KCACOLS

    • thesingleswan
      September 12, 2016 / 8:41 pm

      Ah, yes, now Ryan Reynolds or Ed Westwick can chose whatever politics they fancy. Pen x

  10. September 11, 2016 / 9:08 am

    I admire your honesty here and I found the study an interesting one. Sharing the same core values are vital to a health relationship and with the Brexit vote being such an important issue for you I can see why it would be a stumbling block!

    Thanks for sharing #KCACOLS
    Jane Taylor recently posted…Window film: a thrifty alternative to blinds & curtains.My Profile

  11. September 12, 2016 / 9:00 am

    The Brexit thing would have totally been a deal breaker for me too. Obviously it’s fine to have differing opinions on some things, but think some differences are too big to overcome. It’s useful that a bit of snooping let you figure that out early on. Personally I love a bit of ‘research’ on people! Have to admit, being someone who would do anything to avoid confrontation, I probably would have ended things in a similar way too, if it was early days and nothing serious I wouldn’t even feel that bad about it. Maybe I’m just horrid. Ha. #KCACOLS

    • thesingleswan
      September 12, 2016 / 8:37 pm

      Good, i am glad it not just me. If you are horrid, the we most definitely both are. Pen x

    • thesingleswan
      September 13, 2016 / 9:43 pm

      Yay, it’s not just me. Pen x

  12. September 14, 2016 / 4:42 pm

    I can’t help it, I love snooping too. I’m just very nosey!! I think most people are (I hope). I completely understand your decision though, core values are important and you need to have the same ones when they are important to you. They build the foundations for your relationship #kcacols

    • thesingleswan
      September 15, 2016 / 7:49 pm

      Hi Sara,

      Having read the various comments in response to this post I would say that all of us are very nosey. I now feel a bit more normal. Phew. Pen x

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