It’s been six months since my breakup with my ex-boyfriend, and like any breakup, it sucks. Up until about two months ago, I was obsessed with doing all I could to win back him back, even though I was the one who cheated. When I finally accepted it was time to move on, I went from wanting to meet guys to escape my sadness to wanting to meet guys I found attractive and wanted to get to know. The only question was how.
I’m a sophomore at Brown, a school of about 6,700 undergraduates that feels much smaller than it actually is. I’m tired of seeing the same people at every party and over being with the classic Delta Phi frat boy — they are all just too similar to my ex. And while I’m nervous to go on Tinder, in part because I’m afraid of matching with people who I then see around campus, life’s no fun if you’re always doing what’s most comfortable.
4:50 p.m. I’m caught off guard whenever I see a familiar face pop up on my screen. I have to pause each time and ask myself if it would be totally weird for me to match with someone I recognize.
7:23 p.m. I match with 19 people! It’s only been two hours. Wow. Ego boosted. I filter through the matches that seem mediocre. Eli* and Jake* both send the first message, and each takes a different approach. Eli asks about the binoculars lying next to me on the couch in my first profile photo. He is only in Providence for one week, so I question if it’s even worth engaging, but I decide to give it a shot.
Jake, on the other hand, sends some kind of weird pickup line I don’t understand. I Google the word “quant,” and maybe I’m missing something, but I still have no idea what he’s talking about. Hm, rough start but we do continue to talk, and it flows into a more normal and easy-to-understand conversation.
8:10 p.m. I match with Logan*, who sends the generic “Hey 🙂 how are you.” He’s a senior at my school who used to be on the football and rugby teams, yet somehow, I have never once seen his face. I start believing my hypothesis that this school only feels small.
10:12 p.m. I talk a little with Jake about school, and he quickly asks for my Snapchat. Snapchatting with someone I don’t know doesn’t really do it for me, and I sort of lose interest. Doesn’t he want to get to know me a little before sending each other continuous photos of our unfamiliar faces back and forth? Still, I give him my username anyway to see where it will go. We Snap a little, but my enthusiasm continues to fade, as does our conversations. Bye, Jake.
10:45 p.m. From the start, my conversation with Logan is easy, fluid, and normal. He’s from Tennessee, and I’m from New York, so we bond over our cultural differences. It turns out we are studying similar things in school. He boldly asks for my number and, while I’d normally be hesitant, I give it to him, because why not? It’s a week of taking risks for me.
11:03 a.m. I feel my phone vibrating constantly in class. All I want to do is look at my messages, but I know I have to be patient. I think I need to turn push notifications off to ensure I am not completely distracted and can still do well in school. I sneak a quick peek at my phone and see that Eli wants to know about my musical tastes. They’re completely varied, so it is comforting to discover that we like similar bands. Having bad taste in music is truly a dealbreaker for me.
12:07 p.m. New match! Ian*, a Brown student on the hockey team, tells me he has spent the snow day binging “Gossip Girl.” Respect for the honesty. He has that rugged, sexy look that I’m into. He also has a good track record for prompt responses, which I think guys underestimate the importance of. If a guy takes hours to respond, it’s a sign you’ll face disappointment, and personally, I’d rather escape that sooner rather than later. Major tip for guys: Don’t be a shitty texter!
3:05 p.m. I procrastinate my schoolwork with a Tinder break. It is so addicting. Once I start, I can’t get myself to stop.
4:50 p.m. Logan asks me what I am doing tonight, and I tell him I have acapella rehearsal from 8 to 10 p.m. He says he does work in the building where the groups practice, so he has heard a lot of them sing. Not sure why he likes to do work there, because it’s extremely old and depressing, but you do you, Logan. He wants to make a plan to meet and watch a movie, so I agree to hang out with him on Thursday. I’m terrified of hanging with someone I don’t know, but given the adrenaline I feel, why not continue with the ballsy moves?
4:20 p.m. I match with Jason*, a student at Providence College just down the road who works at a liquor store. His profile doesn’t offer much, but from the one clear picture he has, he looks pretty cute.
5:13 p.m. I take it back. Not into Jason at all. He starts getting a little too comfortable a little too soon, which makes me uncomfortable. He is saying things like “I’m watching ‘Breaking Bad’ at home right now. Only thing that would make it better would be cuddles :).” I’m just really not into guys who say that kind of stuff after talking for an hour, not to mention that he is responding with essays to my short questions. I was tired of giving short responses to his novels, so I stopped replying.
11:13 a.m. Ian asks me if I am going to Whiskey’s, the college bar that a lot of people go to on Wednesdays. I am not planning on it, because I need to study, which I tell him. I decide to remind myself what Ian looks like. Do you ever think someone is really cute, but then looking back at them later you don’t anymore? Well, that happens with Ian and with others throughout the week. I ghost him.
Meanwhile, Logan (still) seems really cute. He’s flirty, and even though I don’t know him, he seems like someone I could get along with. He loves country music and says that if I don’t, he “might have to cancel Thursday.” Luckily, I do, so the plan is still on.
1:13 p.m. Eli asks me if I’ve ever heard of Excision (a singer/band?). I notice that his bio now reads, “Only here for a week. Going to an Excision concert on Saturday and I have 2 tickets. Looking for someone to bring.” I assume he was asking so he could possibly invite me. When I research the music, I learn it is so far from what I like — heavy metal and screaming, a major turn-off. This, coupled with the fact that he’s leaving in one week, makes me decide Eli is a no-go. I tell him the music is not really my style, and the conversation ends there.
3:05 p.m. Hot take: Why do people think it’s a good idea to put a picture of their cat or dog as their first picture on their profile? Liking and Noping is a rapid process, so I’m not going to stop and look into someone whose face I can’t even see. It’s just not a smart move, boys.
4:12 p.m. I match with Carter*, a good-looking guy with gorgeous eyes who seems to have it all. He went to Yale and now plays pro for the Providence Bruins. I have quite the history with the team — I was hanging out with one of the players all of first semester until he got transferred to a team in Florida. I tell Carter that my sister and I have hung out with all of the players in downtown Providence but think it best not to tell him about my past with one of his old teammates.
5:22 p.m. Oops. Apparently I walk right past Logan in the gym. In my defense, I was looking at my phone and blasting music. I get a text that says, “Yeah don’t say hey… you good :’-(.” Shoot. I definitely seem like an asshole. I also haven’t met him yet and am sweaty and gross after running on the treadmill for 40 minutes. Ugh, that’s a great first impression. I think about how weird it is that I’ve never seen him before and then the day after we start talking, he sees me. It’s crazy how the world works.
10:34 p.m. I’ve been studying for hours, and my brain literally can’t work anymore. Should I go to Whiskey’s? All of my friends are calling and begging me to go, and I’m easily persuaded. Within 10 minutes, I manage to do my hair, makeup, slip on my roommate’s red, spandex crop top and make it to the pregame. I’m surprised when I look in the mirror and see I didn’t do such a bad job, considering it usually takes me so long to get ready. One of my proudest moments.
11:35 p.m. I’m having a great time dancing with my friends at Whiskey’s, when I look up and I spot Logan across the bar. I’m not shy at all, but I do get really nervous in situations like these. Thank god I have a few drinks in me. I quickly enlighten my friends on the situation, and we make a plan for them to come rescue me if I look miserable. But that isn’t necessary. Logan walks over to me, and I notice he’s even more muscular and sexy than he looks in his pictures. I introduce him to my friends, and he takes me to the bar and buys me a drink. Truthfully, I didn’t expect to have such a normal and nice conversation with him. We talk until everyone is heading out, and I am forced to leave my untouched drink at the bar. I guess I was so into the conversation that I completely forgot I was holding a vodka soda for an hour. Thankfully, Logan doesn’t harbor any bitter resentment toward me for not drinking the drink, and we go home together.
2:01 p.m. I’m scrolling through my newest matches, but no one really sparks my interest. I’m still talking to Carter and texting Logan. Logan’s convinced I’m going to bail on watching a movie at his place tonight, but I reassure him I’m not one to back out of plans.
10:05 p.m. I go over to Logan’s place after acapella rehearsal, and we watch five consecutive episodes of “You.” We have a lot of fun together, and it feels crazy that we only started talking a few days ago. It definitely feels like I’ve known him for longer.
11:05 a.m. I wake up to a new match, Brody*, a sophomore at Brown. His first picture is him crouched down with an adorable little girl, which I think is the cutest. We talk about our backgrounds and what we’re studying at school. Meanwhile, Logan and I continue texting and agree we both had fun last night. We’ve been texting since we woke up and have some good banter going.
6:30 p.m. Carter and I talk about the annual Harvard-Yale tailgate. I tell him that when I went last year, I got lost and had no cell service. I had to walk around for an hour until I found service so I could get an Uber to go back to school alone. Quite a time. He then goes on to brag about how much more fun Yale is than Brown. Eh, I’d say that’s debatable.
1:30 p.m. I am so extremely tired and hungover. I decide to go to the gym in hopes of feeling better. But when Logan tells me that he’s at the gym, I get nervous. I shake off the butterflies and make my way to the fitness center. I’m doing my regular 25 minutes of running, and Logan startles me by stepping onto the treadmill next to me. I look like a gross, sweaty tomato, and I turn even redder when he catches me off-guard. I look at him, lose my balance, and try really hard to catch myself, but I take the wrong step onto the side of the treadmill and trip. I just barely save myself from a disastrous fall. “Wow. I legit almost just died,” I say. So embarrassing. He starts laughing and tells me he will leave and stop embarrassing me. Yikes.
4:00 p.m. After just a bit of nice conversation, Brody asks for my Snapchat. Ugh. I give it to him as a way to continue talking to him, and we go back and forth for a little, but this doesn’t seem to be making progress. He also calls me out for not following him back on Insta. Oops. Not really feeling the vibe with Brody.
4:13 p.m. I have a moment of reflection about the week. It’s so wild how a person can be so normal and cool, but one wrong phrase or sentence can turn them into an instant “no.” I try not to be so judgmental, but I can’t really help it.
5:30 p.m. I’m still chatting with Carter, the hockey player. He seems really normal and nice. Our conversations are moving a little slowly, but I am definitely in part to blame with my slow responses. The only con is that he doesn’t go to Brown, which makes everything more annoying and complicated. But I am open to the possibility.
In the meantime, I make a plan to hang out with Logan again tonight. I have no exams this week and nothing to do, so why not take advantage of the free time?
This week was something new and exciting for me. I was able to see what else is out there and, at the very least, I have reassured myself that there are many fish in the pond that is Providence. I’m down to continue seeing Logan, and I’m open to meeting Carter. I’m not looking for anything serious at all, but I am excited about the unpredictability of my future.
*Names have been changed to protect innocent daters everywhere.