This Valentine's Day DONT WHIP IT OUT
I’m a little late in the game but after living in New York City for the past seven years and moving to LA this past fall, Tinder seemed like the perfect quick fix to meeting people. Call me naïve, because we all know what the app is “really” for, but I basically used it as a social experiment to have guys take me out to cool new spots by my apartment with high hopes of potentially finding a concert buddy or local hang.
Cue: My first date otherwise known as the worst date I’ve been on in my entire life.
This guy was an accountant, disguised as a hipster and within the first 5 minutes I was convinced he was a time traveler. His views on women’s roles in society were SO archaic that he had to have been from 1912. He wasted no time telling me about his intense religious and political views; he then went on to say that he can’t stand opinionated women and threw in a few “The bible says…” I think just for good measure. He was rude to our waiter, oh and my absolute favorite part was when he let me know that it was “cool” that “you guys” (women) go to college because “you guys” should be educated, but no wife of his should be doing anything more than working as a nanny post-college because her only role after that is to pop out a few kids and be a mom. He kept referring to himself as “traditional”.
When he would take a sip of his beer, thus allowing me to speak, I would chime in with things like “Yeahhh, who are these women and their rights?” and “What the fuck is feminism anyways?” Sarcasm oozing from my pores, he was too busy talking about his wants and himself to acknowledge my jabs.
At the end of the 20-minute date too long, I finished my single glass of wine and politely told him that this would NEVER work (for a multiplicity of reasons) but chalked it up to me not having a subservient bone in my body. I wished him luck and secretly gave him kudos for having ZERO shame and knowing exactly what he wanted in life even if I couldn’t stomach his views and believed he was living in the wrong era.
I spoke too soon.
We went our separate ways. Not long after I received a text “well if we’re not gonna work we might as well hook up” accompanied by a dick pic. WELCOME TO TINDER, YOU GUYS. I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.
I laughed and obviously blasted said pic to all of my friends to let them know that I was alive and how swimmingly my date went.
Nothing could beat the hilarity of that first date, but the others honestly just seemed like a waste of time. I would have total chemistry via text with random tinder babes – put in the time to virtually get to know these people, feel little fuzzies when I engaged in witty banter, then meet them and there would be NOTHING there.
I went on a Tinder bender…and ALL of my dates were subpar. On the date I decided to wear heels the next guy was 5’5”. (I’m 5’9”.) The others were either sober (totally respectable but worth mentioning before I suggested we go to a whiskey bar), 30-something and living at home with their parents, newly separated but still married…the list goes on.
Usually everyone lied about something – height, their job, their marital status, age, what their face actually looks like – and the one honest person who actually told me he was a deliveryman, I was convinced was famous. (He was not and now I’m nervous to have pizza delivered to my apartment from any Santa Monica pizza place.)
The one thing all of these tinder dates had in common was that each time I went on a date with someone new, I had more of a connection with the bartender or random person I struck up conversation with while waiting for my date to show. (I like to be early to these things so I can scope out the place and devise an exit strategy.) I found myself talking to someone while waiting for my date and secretly not wanting my date to show so I could continue on with this person I just met IN REAL LIFE.
Maybe people have Tinder success stories and maybe I’ve just had a few (seven) horrible dates and am giving up too soon. Either way, I truly think it’s time to put the phone down and go approach someone whose flesh, blood, and bones. You know, the old fashioned way.
As convenient as shopping for people from the comfort of your own home in pajamas may be, when you are attracted to someone, you just know. With filters and apps and angles and all of that tech savvy BS that makes everyone look like a model, you never know what you’re actually going to get.
Looks aside, chemistry is something you feel. You could look like Channing freaking Tatum and you could woo my pants off via text but if you don’t click in-person then BYE CHANNING.
Looking back, the person I’ve been most attracted to on this earth was not my type at all. I know for a fact I 100% would not have swiped right for him, but within the first few minutes of hearing him speak he I was hooked. To this day, he one of the most attractive people I’ve ever met.
I get it. The one thing everyone always says about Tinder is that they use it because they don’t have enough time to meet new people. Next time, instead of swiping through options at the bar or at your local coffee shop, or even at work, make a conscious effort to put your phone away and be present. Go out of your way to talk to someone in real life. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the time it actually saves you and who you might meet.
Seriously, when did everyone become so emo? (I’d actually like to thank Craigslist’s Missed Connections for that one but that’s a whole different thing) Instead of striking up a convo at the subway station or walking down the street, let me just creepily stare at you and go home and write about how I was standing next to you and I wish I would’ve talked to you but didn’t have the balls to do it and hope that you are super self-involved and check this site daily and somehow find me and think I’m romantic.
Such. A. Waste. Of. Time.
DON'T WHIP THE PHONE OUT. Stop swiping right. Stop hiding behind your computer. You are not Mindy Kaling. Your life is not a rom-com.
It’s time to return to dating IRL. Talk to the barista you have been crushing on every morning. If you are walking down the street and see someone you want to talk to, what’s stopping you? Got in the elevator at work with someone who made your heart skip a beat and your palms sweat? SAY HI. It’s that simple.
Chivalry is not dead but the effort we are put into meeting others IRL is nearly extinct. We need to bring it back. So put your phone away. Say bye to Tinder and hello to the next person that you want to.