Now that my grade A loins are off the market, I thought I’d share with everyone how David and I met. In the past I was averted by the thought of online dating because I felt it had a stigma (read: desperate quality to it.) But given my crazy work schedule, the fact that all my friends were either married or paired off, and the bar scene was getting really old really quick – I was up for anything. We live in an online and app age anyway. If you can order a ride through Uber and order food through Seamless, it should stand to reason that I could order a man, right?
It’s not to say this process was an easy one.
I first tried my hand at eHarmony. Those commercials are always so convincing, with blissfully happy couples that prompt you to “Try it Free today!” in between my Sex and the City marathons on Style channel and self-loathing on a Saturday night. So, sometime around the New Year when most people resolve to have a relationship (I don’t know how you resolve to find someone), they baited me with a bargain deal. They have you pay everything upfront, so that’s how they get you, and I believe I got the 6-month deal.
Of my time as an eHarmony member, I got 1 date. (I’m not sure if this is normal, but I will say that I’m very picky.) Donny was an interesting character. We had a couple exchanges via the platform and I gave my phone number through there prior to our meet to make arrangements easier. Note- he strictly kept to the EH platform, this should have been my first clue that he was a serial dater.
We met at Starbucks, had what I thought was a lovely time and even asked to hug me when we parted ways. He was athletic, driven, and seemed to be an all around nice guy. A week later I hadn’t heard from him and I decided to test the waters and drop him an EH note. He wrote back in an exasperated tone that said he sent me a note right after our date but it somehow it didn’t go through.
I call bullshit. Really, Donny? The internet broke?? I dropped this right away and knew I should stop wasting my time with this one. And I could never take anyone seriously who had a first name like that. I’d be thinking about New Kids on the Block too much. I think my favorite part about EH were the corny emails on dating advice, like how to pick someone up at church. “Hey baby, is this pew taken?”
There was another potential guy who seemed nice enough but he was all the way down in Orange County. He said that once a year he takes a trip to the Bay and maybe then we could meet. For a while we’d have these fun exchanges but now, I think it’s just awkward to have him as my Facebook friend. #oops.
I’d heard of a couple friends on Ok Cupid, but their stories were always so horrific that I just didn’t want to bother. One of my friends said one of her first dates was at Chipotle. Chipotle.
A co-worker of mine told me a about a group dating website called Grouper. Basically, you sign up and write down your generic interests and you get to bring along 2 of your other friends. When you show up to the venue, you meet up with 3 other guys, with whom you have no idea who was your actual “match.” It sorta takes off the pressure of one-on-one dating. From what I hear, the venue strikes a deal with Grouper so that the first round of drinks is paid for- not a bad gig. I signed up for it ages ago and forewarned some girlfriends about it, but I never got a match! Again- they must know how picky I am.
My co-worker told me that she had a good time with her group, but didn’t see any potential with the guys that were there. Her friends did though, so that was a good thing. However, there is potential for this sort of thing to go awry. She told me that she saw another group that was also doing Grouper and both guys and girls were deathly quiet. Neither the guys or girls were very social, so it was just awkward and uncomfortable. My co-worker even said that their group tried to buy them more drinks so that they’d loosen up. Ah well, I guess this platform is for the extroverts.
And now, we move on to Tinder. My co-worker walked in one day and made a beeline for my desk. She asked me if I’d heard of it and she immediately told me to download the app on my phone. Let’s just say that it was a good thing it was a Friday, because both our phones were buzzing with notifications throughout the whole day. I will use her words: “It’s exhausting being this pretty.” 😉
So, Tinder. You sign up through your Facebook profile and it pulls pictures, interests and your friends list. You manage your settings by indicating what gender you want, age range, and here’s the brilliant part – mile radius. And then you’re free to swipe away. You get a series of photos of guys in your area and you swipe right if you like, swipe left if you don’t. As you swipe to the right, the platform puts your profile at the top of those guy’s queues, so that you’ll be among the first people that he would review. If both of you swipe right, then you’re considered a match! That’s when you can actually initiate chat and voila – let the hot mess begin.
I was on Tinder for about 3 weeks before meeting David. But before that, I had an interesting time with ‘matches.’ I will say that if I shared a mutual friend with a guy, I’d do my due diligence and ask that friend if that guy was good material. I’ve actually stopped talking to a guy because of these reasons, “Um, I think he’s shorter than you, Virg” or “girl, you can do soo much better.” Well done, friends – good lookin’ out.
In early June, I swiped right on David and we became a virtual match, and not too long after a flesh and blood real match.
Now I have a handful of friends who are on Tinder and have their fair share of stories. I have one friend who doesn’t have Facebook, so she uses one of our mutual friend’s Facebook to get on Tinder. Now it’s just awkward because she’s a girl and he’s a guy, so I don’t even know how that works.
At any rate- this whole setup has its flaws. I had another friend who came across a straight up profile pic of his dick. What the heck man?? This isn’t SnapChat! Needless to say she swiped left. But on a for real note- this platform is a hookup device. It’s fast and simple to get set up and it’s geo-calibrated for crying out loud.
When Tinder first arrived on the scene, some students at the Brigham Young University ran an experiment. They set up a fake Facebook account and a profile pic of the Miss Teen USA. These students swiped right to every single guy it came across – and of course, because she was beautiful, every single guy swiped right as well. With 250 matches, the students sent each of the guys a note to meet her at 9pm at a local frozen yogurt place. Lo and behold, there was a sea of men waiting at that frozen yogurt place and even spilling out into the parking lot. When the jig was up and she didn’t show, they of course went back to Tinder to message her and they all got the same message: “Social media experiment.”
So why do they call it Tinder? Like a tinderbox, it’s all the materials you need to take a small flame and turn it into a big fire. And that’s exactly what it’s been for me and David. From what he tells me, he waited 10 minutes to message me so he wouldn’t sound too eager (because 10 minutes would be the real world guy equivalent of 3 days?) It was funny because I was messaging him while I was in a wedding, and he was photographing a wedding.
We made plans to meet up for brunch the next day after our respective weddings, but then I got a distraught text from him early the next morning, asking if he could call me. (Mind you, we had been tindering for less than 48 hours at this point.) I got my sexy morning voice ready and braced myself. He called, extremely apologetic, saying that he just got out of the emergency room. On his way home the night before, he had been mugged and got a gnarly gun butt to his right eye. While he lay in the ER, all he could think about was “Shit, I’m going to miss brunch with this girl.” Now, this is a pretty crazy story, so sure- I was going to pull the BS flag. But the fact that he called me and went through lengths to schedule our next meet, made me think otherwise.
The next day I was scheduled to leave for Orlando for a week for work and that whole time I was away, David and I were texting. I even called him drunkenly twice and we had 2+ hour-long conversations that made me feel like I was in high school again. We officially met a week later, at my house (cray, I know), where he showed up with a beautiful bouquet of lilies (my favorite flower), a bruised right eye, and a huge smile. The rest is history. 🙂
While online dating can be fun- I can tell you that I do not miss it! What are your online dating successes and pitfalls? As you swipe, please be equipped with this bible for Tindering, of which the first rule is: Be good looking.
Aside: From what I understand, this iteration is the straight version of Grindr. The gays are always quick and smarter about these things. Also, some cute Tinder taglines I came across:
“Love me, Tinder.”
“Looking for my Tinderella.” (eh?)