To Love Is To Suffer

No one ever talks about how painful it is to always be left hanging. Imagine what it must feel like when every person you’re interested in just leaves you. While a few might open up about the excruciating pain caused, majority just choose to hurt in silence as their their hearts bleed.
Granted, it’s tough out there on the streets of love. Painful a journey as it has been even for me, I have never given up on love. Thankfully, now more than ever, we have never had such unlimited options to find love!

Last year in November 2022, I decided to join the hundreds in our era; trying to find true love by just a scroll, swipe and tap of the finger. Whatever my reasons at the time, being desperate was not one of them. However, I somehow found myself on a Dating App.

Prior to all this, I had landed on a tweet in which a lady claimed to have found the love of her life through a dating app. I had also watched a YouTube video in which a Kenyan lady met her German husband online, 25 years ago. It’s obvious that their love was real and genuine. She spoke so highly of him. All these stories gave me the push I needed to get out of my comfort zone. “Perhaps I am meant to meet my husband online,” I pondered.

Ethan, the first guy I told, just looked me dead in the eyes and just burst out laughing.
“You can’t be serious!” He said after recovering from the shock.
“I am actually very serious,” I assured him.

Ethan thought my reason for trying online dating was because I had failed to find a man. True, I had been unlucky thus far in love, _and I was sick and tired of landing on the wrong men. Yes, I was exhausted from continually getting tossed aside by all the guys I liked; but perhaps I just wanted to try out something different. Lately I had vowed to get out of my comfort zone and be bold with my decisions. Nonetheless, Ethan dedicated the weeks after that to the sole purpose of connecting me to potential suitors.

My online dating experience started on an ecstatic note. Bony hit my inbox almost immediately. We exchanged Whatsapp numbers and the jazz flowed effortlessly. Bony was 31 years old, an IT technician and a Ugandan from Entebbe. Wonderful, all was great so far! I wasn’t expecting a Ugandan but I was happy with the results so far. Maybe things would be different with him. The more we texted, the more I realized that we had several interests in common.

Before I knew it, I was smiling at Bony’s texts and checking my phone often. After sending me his, Bony asked for my pictures. I sent him one of myself in my default settings: without makeup or filters. In as much as it was online dating, I didn’t want the foundation built on white lies. Regrettably, that was the last time I heard from him. I believe he blocked me. In just 4 hours, I met someone, got to know him and got blocked. Unbelievable!

“Maybe he’s just busy,” I convinced myself.
I endured the torture for two extra hours until 7pm. When I still didn’t hear from him, I angrily deleted and blocked his contact.
Just when I thought Online dating was all about smiles, flirting and laughter!
I woke up depressed the following day and in an awful mood. I stayed in bed all day after breakfast. To pass the time, I tried watching a movie, writing and sleeping. Predictably, none of it helped. No matter the distractions, I still couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that I had been dumped within hours by a stranger I had just met online!

Never give up without a fight, right? The following day I tried again. My next suitor, Stephen was 45 years old. Dating someone 18 years older than me was new to me, but all I had gotten from people with the ‘right’ age was nothing but pain and disappointments.

Steph was a polite and wonderful man. However, there were challenges with him too. Given the age difference, I felt like I couldn’t be my joking and casual self with him. As a result, I found myself second guessing every text message that I typed. Furthermore, I couldn’t tease or kid with him because at the back of my mind, he was my elder. As a Ugandan, it was drummed in my head to respect my elders.

The deal breaker was when Steph sent me a shirtless picture. His lower body was in a towel; thank God, but it was still a very unsettling image. It was more like entering your dad’s room and finding him half-dressed. I told Stephen I was uncomfortable with receiving such images and he apologized about it.

I knew it was the end when Steph asked for a picture from my hind view. He said he loved African ladies because they are well-endowed behind. Again, I apologized saying that I don’t take such pictures and therefore had none of that nature in my gallery. He was very understanding, but from his interests, I don’t think I was what he was looking for. For starters, he priotized a big butt and mine was, well, relatively non-existent.

A few days after that, the App makers decided that it was not free anymore. We had to pay to view and send texts.

Luckily, Stephen and I had already shared our Whatsapp contacts. I told him that the app was nolonger free for me and asked if that was the case for him as well. Instead, he thought I was asking him to pay for me and quarrelled about all of us women being interested in only money.
What an insult! Who said anything about his money?
That was it for it for me. I had had enough. I blocked Stephen as well. Next, I uninstalled the dating app from my phone. This was one week after downloading it. I purposed to be single ever since.

The End.

Disclaimer: The names that feature in this story are fictitious. They were made up to protect the identity and privacy of those involved.

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  1. Tukamushaba Godfrey

    August 11, 2023 at 7:38 am

    Indeed it’s tough out there on the streets of love. It’s a hard paper. As much as I have never tried online dating, I truly understand the pain that comes with love or finding love most of the times. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Echoes Over Coffee

      August 11, 2023 at 11:47 am

      Yes, love is a very complicated concept. One trick I have learnt is that the less you look for it, the less you want or need it; the more likely for one to find true love.

  2. Julius Natuhwera

    August 12, 2023 at 8:24 pm

    One day when you’ll be doing your own things and minding your own business, probably taking a long break like you said and land on the right guy.
    Sometimes we just need to stop trying hard. Just live your simple life. Everyone’s gat a rib out there.

    1. Echoes Over Coffee

      August 12, 2023 at 8:49 pm

      You have called it trying so hard…. haha.
      But you’re right, for the most part. The best kind of love is that which finds you when you were not even looking.

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