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Category: Dating

Tinder Ambiguity

A couple nights ago, I went to dinner with one of my closest friends in the city. Over a couple of amazing cocktails, we swapped stories of our current dating highs and lows. I shared my most recent dilemma with her: when meeting people through apps (especially on Tinder), it is really hard to know what someone is looking for. Rarely is it ever explicitly stated in a person’s profile, which makes every first date feel like some sort of psychological study; while chatting about our backgrounds, interests and lives in New York, I am constantly pulling for subtext. If he mentions an old girlfriend, does that mean he wants something more serious? If he picks a spot three blocks from his apartment, does that mean he’s only interested in the Netflix and chill part of the evening?

To be clear, I’m not looking for any sort of serious relationship right now, but I’m also not interested in a casual, one-time fling. I want to get to know someone to the point where I feel like I can trust them before anything physical happens; that’s just how I roll.

Sharing these thoughts with my friend, we realized we were in the same boat and came up with an interesting experiment. Rather than continuing to navigate this grey area, we decided to cut to the chase and see what happened. We each pulled out our phones, logged onto our respective apps (Bumble for her, Tinder for me), and typed the following to our most recent connections:

“Out of curiosity, what are you looking for on [name of app]?”

I blindly swiped right on at least twenty guys and asked them all the same question (maybe this will affect my Tinder karma… can someone tell me if Tinder karma exists and, if so, will I lose Super Likes because of this?)

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Confessions of a Closeted Romantic

I spent last weekend in Colorado attending a celebration of my late grandma’s life. One of the best parts about this weekend-long event was being able to discover even more about my grandparents through stories and memorabilia. One particular instance that stands out in my mind: my grandpa used to write my grandma beautiful love letters over the years (many of which were saved and I had the great fortune of reading). These weren’t your average “u complete me” high school love notes; they were “The Notebook” level confessions of love.

Now a lot of my close friends probably read the title of this post and thought in an exasperated voice “Closeted romantic? YEAH, OKAY.” *insert eye roll here*. My friend Hallie always jokes that I’m going to meet my soulmate while carrying bags of groceries; the bottoms of the bags will give out all at once, and as I frantically try to pick up the contents, a dashing man will come to my aid. The rest is history *cue wedding bells*.

Whenever I hear her talk about this scenario, I give a laugh, respond with a wistful “yeah, wouldn’t that be nice?” and then we move on. The truth is, that thought lingers in my head much longer than I am ever willing to admit — that is, until now.

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Untitled, Undefined

“Where are you from?”

A common question we get asked that I often have a hard time answering. My response is always pretty long winded: I grew up in Texas, my family resides in Las Vegas now, I went to school in DC, and now I live in New York City. Sometimes this will lead to a follow up question of “so where is home for you?” And to be honest, I still haven’t figured it out. New York feels like the obvious choice, but I usually resort to an open-ended “Well home for me isn’t linked so much to places, but more to feelings, emotions and memories. Home is my mom’s cooking. It’s my herb garden. It’s my best friends from college. It’s breakfast tacos.” It can’t be defined in a clear cut, obvious way.

In a similar sense, another hard-to-answer question we often face: “So what’s the deal with you and [insert fling/hook up buddy/romantic interests name here]?”

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Timelines

Sunday afternoon, I sat in my bed trying to finish several blog posts I’d started earlier in the week. As excited as I had been initially to write these posts, not a drop of inspiration was helping me to finish them. Part of the reason I love writing for Island & Hills is because everything that gets published are ideas that inspire me, feel timely and relevant. So sitting around with a bad case of writer’s block, I was forced to do some soul searching; if planned parenthood, career advice, or dating trends weren’t getting me in the mood, what would?

Over the past several months, I have observed a pattern that I’ve been wanting to write about. I, along with some of my close friends, have gone through different life-altering events: falling out of love with a romantic partner, losing a friend or family member, etc. As a way of dealing with these significant, difficult milestones, we often rely on timelines. In the days and weeks following, these sorts of statements become all too common:

“In a month, I’d like to be able to start dating again.”

“In two months, I won’t let myself cry about it anymore.”

“In three weeks, I want to be able to see them and be fine.”

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Just Have Fun

I have a pretty active imagination. Working in a creative field, this often works to my advantage. I love being a storyteller, someone who can dream up the crazy ideas and then make them happen. Unfortunately, this active imagination, paired with the Type-A side of my personality that loves to list and plan, does not do me any favors when it comes to dating.

Whether going out with someone I met IRL or online, if the first date goes well (e.g. an attraction, an initial curiosity, a “spark”), it’s at this point that my imagination/Type A combo starts to run amok. The rational part of me tries to keep my cool, keep my distance, keep my shit together; the insidious irrational part of me creeps in, making pro/con lists, trying to answer the “What ifs?”, making up stories when my mind least expects it. One minute I’m on the subway, figuring out what I’m going to make for dinner; the next, I’ve caught myself thinking about when/if I’m gonna see Justin Long again, and where we could go if we do see each other, and whether we should go to that new whiskey bar because he said he liked whiskey, but maybe it’ll be too loud and crowded…. You see where I’m going with this.

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Vetted

Picture this: you are sitting at dinner with a guy you met on Tinder a couple days prior. On the app he introduced himself as Matt, gave you his number to text him, and his profile links out to his Instagram page. In the few days spent texting and making plans to meet up, you have also done a little bit of background research. It first started with a brief scroll through his recent Insta photos, then a quick Google search (just to make sure he’s not an escaped convict). Before you know it, you’ve got Matt figured out: you know he likes a good IPA from his photos (caption: “Grabbing a beer at Brooklyn Brewery!”), that he has questionable political leanings from his Twitter (RT @ScottWalker: “The founders did not declare their independence from one big government only to create another” http://sw.gop/z -STAFF #FourthofJuly”) and that he has decent (but not entirely groundbreaking) taste in music from his Spotify (Mumford & Sons new album most recently played, really!?). Now, you’re sitting across from him; it’s at this point you’re supposed to start getting to know Matt, but your perception is clouded.

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