It was only after John was naked and tied to her bed that Samantha asked him where he’d been the previous night. He’d agreed to be her date to a glittering charity event, a seemingly appropriate venture for a couple that had been dating for several weeks. But John canceled on Friday, saying that his ex-wife wanted to talk about reconciliation.
Samantha understood. She didn’t want to get back together with her ex, but she’d have the discussion with him if he asked. “Part of being divorced and dating is accepting that you each had a life with someone else,” she says. “You can’t be jealous or insecure about that.”
But she did enable the geotracking option on Bumble, the dating app through which she met John. And when Samantha checked his location the night of the event, he wasn’t at his ex-wife’s house in Lower Merion—he was 20 miles away in Chester County.
The next night, John went to Samantha’s house to apologize for canceling. After luring him into a compromising situation, she demanded to know where he’d been. John stuck to his story, enraging Samantha. “I said, ‘You’re naked and tied to my bed. Do you really want to keep lying?’” she recalls.
Eventually, John confessed that he met another woman on Bumble. Samantha promptly untied John and kicked him out. Later, he texted: “You ruined what could’ve been a great night.”
“It was a great night,” she responded.
Samantha’s story encapsulates the reality of being 40-something, divorced and dating. Partnering apps, social- media stalking, ex-spouses, a scarcity of monogamy, and an abundance of casual sex create a modern mélange that can be fun, frustrating or a little of both.