For the third year in a row, I decided to spend my spring and summer in Barcelona. Even before my trip to South America was over, I had already put my Tinder account in Barcelona, thanks to Tinder Passport™, in the hopes of getting some chats going before I arrived. Which I did, but those fizzled. It wasn’t until I stepped foot in Spain that things really got going.
Friday, 11:00 a.m.
I wake up to a message from Corentin. He’s from northern France originally and we matched a month ago, but we can’t seem to meet up. Or, rather, he can’t seem to meet up. Like clockwork, I receive this Friday morning message of him telling me how he wants to see me and he’ll message me later in the weekend. After a month of this, I’ve realized that I won’t be hearing from him or that he’ll have an inexplicable personal issue that keeps him from contacting me.
Friday, 4:55 p.m.
What I love about Barcelona is that it’s the most diverse city I’ve ever been to — and I say that as both a New Yorker and someone who’s been to well over 40 countries. Whether it’s the proximity to other countries or the lifestyle, which is laid-back and rather carefree, Barcelona is a hub for people from all over the world. So I’m not particularly surprised that my first match isn’t Spanish; Giuseppe is from Sicily and is here for the summer.
While I know from experience that Sicilians and I don’t mix — I’m way too feminist for many of them — I engage in a little banter. My profile says that I’m looking for someone to compete in a battle of wits with me and help me with my Spanish. Giuseppe says he can’t help me with Spanish, as he doesn’t speak it either. He also says that he isn’t very witty. In my experience, when someone thinks they aren’t funny, everyone else actually thinks they are. The chat drops off because I work NYC hours, which means it’s almost 11:00 a.m. back home and I need to reach some deadlines.
Friday, 9:00 p.m.
I finally hear from Jose. We matched a couple days before and my “Hola, Jose! What are you studying?” went unanswered. But I decided I’d give him until Saturday to respond. Jose comes on strong — in a good way. He’s from Galicia where, according to him, they speak the “real” Spanish. (Fun fact: no matter where I am or who I meet, if Spanish is their first language, they claim they speak the “real” Spanish.) Jose suggests that we meet for a drink and some mutual language lessons, telling me we can make a game out of it: “When one of us messes up, we have to kiss.” Based on his photos, his good grasp of grammar, and the fact that he’s about a month away from getting his Ph.D., I agree to meet him. I, little miss artsty-fartsy over here, try to look past the fact that his Ph.D. is in economics.
Saturday, sometime after midnight
On Friday night, I had friends over for dinner, and the last friend left at 8 a.m. But just after 2 a.m., I get a message from Joao. He’s Brazilian, which is a huge selling point for me. He’s cute, his English is adorably broken, and shortly before we matched, a friend told me I need to date, or at least have sex with, a Brazilian before I die. I figure this might be my chance. But the fact that I usually only hear from him after midnight makes me realize that he’s not looking to date. I mean, it’s 2019 and this guy is literally booty-calling me. I had thought that went out of style in like 2010. Or maybe not? I choose not to respond.
Saturday, 7:20 p.m.
Jose messages to say that although he needs to wrap up his dissertation by the coming Wednesday and he’s a little stressed, he’s free for a few hours. He tells me he’s at Sant Antoni Market; the market two minutes from my flat that’s better and far less touristy than Mercado de La Boqueria on La Rambla. We meet on Carrer de Joaquín Costa, which has a slew of really great, cheap, non-posh bars. We end up at Nevermind, around the corner from Carrer de Joaquín Costa, which is a fantastic dive bar that I frequent with my friends. We’re not more than two drinks in when the kissing over wrong answers in English and Spanish starts — the wrong answers are mostly from my side, because his English is perfect. In fact, the little conniver is writing his dissertation in English. So, I do what any red-blooded New Yorker does when faced with a conniving Spanish guy: I take him home.
Sunday, 2 p.m.
I hear from Corentin, who tells me he wants to go out later. I already know he will cancel, but agree. I spend the day procrastinating as the weather allows for it. At 10 p.m., I get a message from him that says he had to deal with a personal issue. This is the fourth week in a row he’s said this. At least when I come up with excuses, I vary them. Corentin does not.
Tuesday, 1:30 p.m.
I match with Juan. Juan and I actually first matched in the fall of 2017. We had a lot of really great chats, because he’s smart and witty and a music snob. I Liked him this time around because I was hoping to pick up where we left off… although we’ve never met. Once again, he doesn’t disappoint. But we don’t plan to meet. Yet.
Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.
I match with Adria and get a message less than two seconds later: “Foil, épée, or sabre?” Naturally, I notice the Oxford comma, so that scores him oodles of points with me, but unsure of what he means and thinking, literally, “OMG THIS IS TOTALLY A ‘GAME OF THRONES’ THING,” I ask if it’s a GOT reference. I don’t get an answer.
Wednesday, 11:20 p.m.
I match with Jordi! I’ve been eyeing him for a couple weeks, waiting for him to match with me. Based on his name, he’s probably Catalan, but more importantly, he’s really cute, with floppy brown hair. His anthem is a Mogwai song — like me! I don’t hear back and when I check the next morning after my, “Hola! Mucho gusto!” I’ve been unmatched. Ah, life… it can be so cruel. Floppy-haired Jordi has no interest in me. I decide I need to be more original in my opening lines.
Thursday, 3 p.m.
I get a message from Adria telling me he’s done with Tinder and he’s moving away. It’s quite dramatic. I’m not sure if he wants me to plead with him to stay on the app AND not move away or what. But as my mother always says, “not my circus, not my monkey.” While I debate about answering him, he sends one more message that reads, “All the best.” Then he’s gone; vanished. Best of luck, Adria.
Thursday, 7:15 p.m.
I match with Dustin, who is… Canadian! He’s a tattooed bartender which means… totally my type. He’s in Barcelona for a week and is looking for friends while he’s in town, which, as a woman who writes about sex and relationships professionally, I know is code for friends with benefits. Canadians’ reputation for being good people and the fact that they have a sane president encourages me to suggest we meet Friday after my friend’s pizza party birthday extravaganza. (Very important hot tip: In 2014, I went to L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele in Napoli and had the best pizza of my life. In fact, this is the pizza place in “Eat, Pray, Love.” They’ve since opened one in Rome, and just last year, here in Barcelona.) Dustin agrees and seems really excited to meet. Or I’m projecting, as usual.
Saturday, 12:50 a.m.
Although the birthday girl and I are still hanging out, having lost the rest of the party, I ask Dustin to join us in El Raval. We go to Foxy, a place with a fantastic selection of local beers. So far my chats with Dustin, which have moved from Tinder to WhatsApp, have been completely one-sided. I ask how he is, what he does, where he’s going… yadda, yadda, yadda. And although I get proper, thought-out responses, he never once asks about me. I hope this means he’s just a bad texter. When he shows up, although painfully gorgeous, it’s the same thing. Him, him, him, him, him. While I try to offer up information about myself, it’s abundantly clear that he prefers the sound of his own voice to anything else. Although it’s a fact that everyone’s favorite subject is themselves, this is just ridiculous. But still, the dude is so damn cute.
Somewhere around 3 a.m., Dustin says he’s tired. My friend and I take that as our cue to bail and head to Bar Olimpic which, ironically, is the first place our ex took us to — we have the same ex, whom I met on Tinder in 2016, which is a story unto itself — but don’t realize this until we arrive.
Saturday, 8 a.m.
I hear from Corentin, who wants to meet before the weekend is over. Again. I agree, knowing the outcome. Then I turn my phone off and go back to bed.
Sunday, 8:25 p.m.
To no one’s surprise, Corentin has another personal issue which results in him going MIA. Again. But I’m OK with that. Jose messages me to tell me he’s at Sant Antoni Market again… which is closed because it’s Sunday. When I point this out, he replies that we still have yet to finish our Spanish lessons. I toss on a dress and meet him at my favorite Mexican restaurant in town, El Pachuco, knowing full well that, like last time, our language lesson will be very short-lived.