My iPhone buzzed with three separate text notifications.
Luke: Hey beautiful…how did you sleep last night? :)
Gio: I miss you!!! Are you free later tonight? Movie? Dinner?
Micky: u left your earrings at my place. i’m thinkin’ u might want them back x
I glanced at each message and contemplated who to text back first. Didn’t I leave my earrings at Gio’s house on Monday? Oh no, maybe that was after the four gin and tonics with Micky.
Within the past three days, I went on three different Tinder dates, with three different men. And after spending three nights in three different beds, I was starting to get things a little mixed up.
And in no way was this my first rodeo with this dating app.
My Tinder usage had, to put it simply, gotten way out of hand.
But the truth was — why did I need to choose between Luke or Gio? Gio or Micky? Micky or Matt?
I wanted both my cinnamon Snickerdoodle and my melted Chocolate Chip. In fact, why couldn’t I have every delicious flavor of cookie whenever I wanted? Each one sitting there, smiling, packaged and waiting for me to eat.
Or at least waiting for a text back.
Tinder has turned me from a well-behaved private school flirt to a viciously unsatisfied calorie-starved sex monster. I didn’t want to settle down on one boy. I wanted each one for a different reason.
Of course, that’s until I get bored or find someone new.
What is Cookie Jarring?
To put it simply, cooking jarring is the act of pursuing someone without the intention of having an honest or serious relationship with them.
There are many other ways to describe this act. Putting them on the back burner, using someone as a security blanket, stringing them along, keeping someone warm, etc. The list goes on but the depressing situation remains the same.
Whether it’s the fear of loneliness or commitment, people seek the words or embrace of others purely to make themselves feel better. And these people always have their hand, and often get stuck, in the proverbial cookie jar.
Why Do We Cookie Jar Men (or Women)?
Believe me, I’m in no way qualified to explain the dark, deepest psyche of the human subconscious mind. But after spending a fair amount of my life being both the cookie monster and the crumbling cookie, I’ve figured out why many of us treat others, well, like shit.
Because don’t most relationship issues stem from insecurity? The fear of being alone. The anxiety that you like Bob more than he likes you. The desire to be more attractive than Bob’s ex.
And when you have dozens of suitors knocking on your door, you can’t help but feel pretty damn desirable.
Essentially, this is the same reason why we’re obsessed with social media. From the likes to the comments, we need the praise of others to make us feel like we’re worth…anything. And we don’t just need it, we crave it.
As Lou Bega’s notorious one-hit-wonder taught us, people want a little bit of everything. We want both Monica and Erica in our life. And if Rita is really all we need, how come sometimes it’s just Tina that we see?
Because with a seemingly endless supply of fish in the pond, we simply can’t decide who or what we want. And when we’re starting a new relationship, we have one eye on what’s in front of us, our other eye is constantly wandering.
We’re always on the lookout for someone new, exciting, and better.
And to be fair, we’re also a little scared of being rejected. If it’s so easy for us to find potential partners in the dating world, isn’t it also easy for the person we’re trying to pursue? So, if they aren’t settling down, why should we?
Let’s face it. People like to fuck. And some people like to fuck a lot.
*slowly raises hand* Including yours truly.
And with Tinder, we’ve unlocked an entire world of tits, dicks, and pussies. A world that was once only accessible through expensive cocktails, boring dinners, and neverending conversation.
That’s of course if you were lucky enough to have to key.
But now, we have an endless supply of men and women at our fingertips. It’s never been easier to have a one night stand or to check off a few more people from your sexual bucket list.
And before we know it, we’re hooked.
Simply addicted to the idea that we could bed a different person each night without even lifting a finger (except to swipe right, of course).
And while I’ll be the first person here to advocate casual, spontaneous, whats-your-name-again, please-leave-my-apartment-in-the-morning sex, we’ve lost a sense of what it could mean to others.
We’re so absorbed in our own desires that we believe — no assume — that our sexual companion will simply go along for the ride.
Then somewhere down the line, humans simply decided that it was okay to be mean. We lost our emotions, our empathy, and even our basic human compassion for others. We decided that it was in our God-given right to be selfish and to fight for what we want, even at the cost of hurting another person.
When you cookie jar someone, you’re telling them that they’re just your back-up. The second option. The less important option.
I know exactly what you’re thinking: I don’t want to hurt them! I want to spare their delicately frail and feeble feelings!
But in reality, these thoughts actually translate into: I don’t want to face this situation! I want to spare myself from the discomfort of sharing my own feelings!
Why Cooking Jarring isn’t so Delicious
Sure, casually dating or seeing multiple people at one time isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The issue with cookie jarring arises when the cookie monster hides their true intentions — and when the cookie finds out.
For many people who fall victim to cookie jarring, the experience can leave them feeling betrayed. This is especially true if they developed any feelings or attachment to the other person. And if they under the impression that they were the priority, this can make the experience even more traumatic.
Cookie jarring doesn’t just make you question the relationship, it makes you question your own self-worth. Why couldn’t I see this coming? Why did I give them the benefit of the doubt? Why am I not important enough? Why? Why? Why?
It’s not all fun and games for the cookie monster either. When you constantly keep people as back-ups, you yourself become dependent. And if there’s one thing I know about healthy relationships, it’s that they usually don’t begin out of desperation for loneliness.
It may be easier said than done, but you’ll earn a gold star when you’re upfront and honest about what you expect from the relationship.
If you’re looking for a something serious, say that. If you only want sex, then hey, that’s okay too.
People you are casually dating should be treated with respect, the same as you would with any short or long term relationship. Or any personal relationship for that matter.
Are You a Cookie?
If you are being cookie jarred, chances are high that you probably have no idea it’s happening.
Yep — you heard that right. Your Tinderello or Tinderella could be tongue-deep into another person as we speak.
Not a good feeling, right? Especially if you’ve invested any time or energy into building a relationship with this said person.
But what are some of the signs that your prince charming is actually a cookie monster in disguise?
They Avoid Contact
Ah — the age ole’ dating tactic of avoidance. When your calls only reach voicemail. When your text message is left on read for hours, or even for a few days.
Yes, it’s definitely possible that your beloved is simply busy. Or, they could be blowing you off or ghosting you for someone else.
They Have Two Personalities
We all know the story.
An attractive, charming man or women woos you on a date. Picks you up at your house, buys you dinner and fancy drinks, asks all the right questions about your shitty childhood and your shitty job.
They make you feel as if you’re the most important thing in the world. Until you try to get ahold of them the next day. And the day after.
But then they finally get in contact and take you on another fabulous date. They slowly convince you to fall deeper, and deeper, and deeper in love with them until one day…poof! They seem to disappear from the face of the planet.
I can’t begin to tell you how many of my friends have misread the signs.
Everything was going so well! I really thought we were going somewhere! He treated me nicely when we were together!
But while Dr. Jeykll was entertaining you in person, Mr. Hide was texting dozens of others behind your back. And quite possibly sweeping them all off their feet too.
They Don’t Make Plans
Spontaneous dates are fun. But if your beau only seems to be available last-minute, it could be because you’re the backup plan. If his other date fell through, then he’ll come running to you like a knight in shining armor.
In a similar fashion, he may be non-committal when it comes to your future. If he avoids conversations about meeting friends and family, going on vacation, or even scheduling a date next week, then think seriously about his priorities. Because, my dear sweet friend, it’s probably not you.
Is There a Solution for Cookie Jarring?
The easy answer is: yes.
If you feel as if you’re being mistreated, or not getting the love and respect that you deserve, then there’s a simple solution. Call it off. Light the beacons, send the carrier pigeons and end that shit immediately.
Because at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you’re being cookie jarred or not.
If you’re not happy with the relationship, then it’s time to leave. Period.
But if you’re trying to test the waters, then you should feel comfortable confronting your significant other. Of course, you may not receive an honest answer, especially if that other person was caught off guard.
Use your best judgment. If you let the cookie monster get away with being destructive, chances are, he’ll continue doing it.
If your date won’t settle for you, then you have every right not to settle for them. Then let’s see how they like the way that cookie crumbles.