My Tinder journey actually began in July 2018. While I was home in Michigan for the summer, I got dumped by the guy I dated through my senior year of high school and into my freshman year of college. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise — all he did was sit in his basement, get high, and play Fortnite — but I digress. After my relationship ended, I downloaded Tinder and, right away, I started matching with guys from high school who never gave me the time of day before. I ended up in another relationship (yes, you might call this a rebound) by the end of the week. Following the demise of that whole long-distance situation, I took time to be with my girls. This will be my first week back on Tinder, and if I don’t match with DePaul graduate Joe Keeley from “Stranger Things,” I give up.
1:23 p.m. Feeling good. I already have five matches. City-school guys are a lot different than state-school guys — as a transfer student from Indiana University, I’ve seen that the former tend to think of themselves as grown-ass men instead of college students. Their bios consist of hobbies like “major foodie” instead of “Netflix and chill.” My feed is currently a mixture of guys from different schools and men with jobs who I assume use Tinder on their lunch breaks. Will I find a struggling art student or a man with a 401k? Only time will tell.
2:47 p.m. I match with Alec. He seems super sweet and not too forward. He reminds me of a dad rather than a daddy, if that makes sense. He looks very similar to the guys I grew up with, and I am feeling like maybe I should branch out. He’s a recent graduate from Michigan State University and is in Chicago for work. But, his family is from somewhere near my hometown and I do like that — it’s nice to think that we could travel back and forth together. Clearly I’m getting a little ahead of myself.
3:30 p.m. I have about 20 matches, 10 of whom are actively messaging me. There seems to be a huge divide: either men at least seem like they are looking for something real, or they are a little too forward for my taste.
5:30 p.m. Justin Super Likes™ me. He starts the conversation with “Hello, you are gorgeous,” which incidentally is exactly how I like to be greeted. As the conversation goes on, I learn that he works at an apartment complex next to the highway, and to get there, he walks past a group of homeless people on a daily basis. He continues to tell me that he thinks these people are out to get him and are breaking into the complex. His distrust of the homeless population doesn’t sit well with me right off the bat.
10:11 a.m. Alec asks how my morning is going. It’s nice to know that he thought of me when he woke up. We bond over our shared addiction to caffeine — his with coffee, mine with energy drinks. He seems genuine and willing to take things slow. There have been no “wanna chill?” messages, which makes me feel like he actually wants to get to know me.
2:30 p.m. It’s the weekend! Here at DePaul, every weekend is a three-day weekend, and it is definitely my favorite thing about college. I match with Tyler, and I am as obsessed as you can be with someone you just met online but haven’t actually met IRL. His profile includes pictures of his dog, which earns him lots of brownie points. The other shots are with his friends and of him dressed up for Halloween as Russel from the movie “Up” — he clearly has a great sense of humor. He plays college baseball, and I have to admit, I’ve always been a little bit of a cleat chaser.
Alec and I are still talking, but the conversation is fading. I can’t tell if he’s trying to be respectful by not asking too many questions or he’s just too busy to chat.
3:53 p.m. I have a date! Tyler was forward, but it comes off confident, not creepy. He wants to get to know me face-to-face, and I’m down. We exchange phone numbers, and I have a burning in my chest. It’s excitement and nerves all bundled up.
Meanwhile, Justin is out of the picture. His lack of empathy was a real turn-off. I have such a bleeding heart and can’t handle someone who doesn’t.
8:00 p.m. I’m supposed to meet Tyler at a local restaurant in 30 minutes but, as always, I’m running late. I still need to figure out what to wear. My roommates and I sit in the living room looking over his profile, gauging his height to see if I can wear heels or not.
8:15 p.m. We finally come to a decision and heels it is. I will pair them with jeans and a bodysuit. I’m trying to keep it cute but casual. This will be my first date since my breakup, and I’m excited to see what’s in store for me.
8:45 p.m. I meet Tyler. He offered to pick me up, but I don’t know him yet so I opted for the subway. I walk in and see he has a table saved. He smiles when he sees me, and I immediately and predictably melt. We talk about sports and our hometowns. Tyler is from the suburbs, so he can kind of relate to my small-town experience. When he laughs, he smiles with his mouth wide open and throws his head back. It’s honestly so hot and genuine.
12:00 a.m. The restaurant we’re at closes, but we’re not ready to call it a night. We find a place that stays open until 2 a.m. and then end the night at Steak ‘n Shake. I almost fall asleep in our booth, so he drives me home. He tells me he had a great time, and we hug. I’m glad that is all we do. I feel no need to rush into something that could last.
3:00 a.m. I’m home. Tyler will be a hard one to beat.
9:00 a.m. Welcome to St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago. It’s absolutely insane. I decide to take a day off from boys to celebrate with my roommates.
11:00 a.m. I get a “good morning” text from Alec. So much for taking a day off from boys. At this point, I wish he would make the first move. He has been sweet this entire time, but I’d like to get to know him a little more deeply. The conversation is getting boring, but I don’t want to give up on someone who might just be a little shy.
5:30 p.m. Tyler asks how my day has been. Finally. I thought he wasn’t interested after constant communication and then radio silence. He said he works in the mornings and naps after, but I think he might be playing hard to get.
6:00 p.m. The day is coming to an end, and we’re winding down. The place we’re at is supposed to have a cowboy theme, but the only thing that even slightly suggests that is large neon sign that reads, “giddy up.” Most of the people here are either students or recent graduates. Speaking of which, I feel a tug on my shoulder. It’s Alec. He’s taller than I imagined, but he’s kinda homely looking, like a sad puppy you find on the side of the street that just needs a little love. We dance and talk for a bit, and after 10 minutes, I decide I’m not feeling it so I walk out.
8:00 p.m. I am in bed and ready to sleep. Tyler and I have been Snapchatting all day, and he admits that he wishes he had gotten an invite to the crawl. I tell him it was a day for the girls, but it was nice to see him a little jealous. Alec texts me that he wants to go out properly. I’m not sure, since he was a little too aggressive in his pursuit. If I do give him that chance, it would be casual and during the day, maybe coffee.
10:00 a.m. I am taking the day off (this time for real) to nurse my massive hangover and catch up on schoolwork I neglected all weekend.
10:30 a.m. While making breakfast before class, I see I have messages waiting for me. Tyler asks how I’ve been. So far, he is the only one who has given me true butterflies. Alec sent another “hey,” but I really don’t think I’m interested. After Saturday, I know that he’s not somebody I want to be around. I am not great with rejection, especially if I’m the one doing it, so I ghost him. Sorry, not sorry.
4:25 p.m. I’m finished with class for the day, which means homework, meetings, and food. At DePaul, 80 percent of students are commuters, which means that when I get out of class at rush hour, I have a half-hour bus ride ahead of me. Luckily, I have my entertainment. Tyler and I have retired Snapchat and moved on to FaceTime, which makes my rides much more enjoyable. He’s so sweet, and he gives me enough space. I feel like I can still be my independent self but also that he will be there at the end of the day.
8:00 p.m. While I am stressing over an economics paper that I should have had done a week ago, Tyler asks if he can steal me away for a cup of coffee. I want to, but I can’t. My procrastination has swallowed too much time. He settles for Wednesday. The idea of getting coffee with someone seems so old-school. I am excited to spend time with him in that kind of space.
1:00 p.m. So, I narrowed 20 matches down to three and now to one. Tyler is someone who I could see myself pursuing a relationship with. He’s sporty and down to earth — he really just enjoys the simple things. That’s something I forget to do, and I think he will bring it out in me. I can’t wait for coffee with him tomorrow. Screw Joe Keeley.