After a number of lackluster meet-ups over tea with guys I’d expected to be worldly and well-spoken (they were not), I finally realized things weren’t going so hot on the dating front in this neck of the woods. So, many subpar dates and one hiatus later, I decided to take matters out of my own hands.
Enter my roommates: three very different personality types with three VERY different tastes and approaches to dating, all of which happen to be pretty far removed from my own straight-edge preferences. Lexi is always on the go and has a penchant for sharp lawyers and trust-fund babies. Barbie is an eccentric but old soul that’s all in with the quirky artistic types. And Gabby? Well, her guys are kind of normal. Bless her.
The aim of this experiment was to let my roomies go wild. Each one of them got to roam free on my Tinder profile and Like anyone who caught their eye. And boy, did they. Watching Barbie-like a man with symmetrical eyelid tattoos and a pretty explicit bio, I could not help but gasp. (Nothing against eyelid tattoos, fam. Just a matter of personal preference.)
To make sure things didn’t get too out of hand, I asked each roomie to stop after they’d generated about 10 matches for me. At that point, I patiently waited for every match to say hello. No matter my initial thoughts on their profiles, I responded to everyone who did so, and let the guys take control on date logistics. Ultimately, the goal was to get myself out and about with three matches I wouldn’t have picked on my own and on dates that were representative of their interests.
Date #1: The Nerdy Fry Guy
That’s how I found myself on a warm Friday night roaming around Downtown Los Angeles next to Lexi’s pick for me, Ian*, a tall and nerdy engineering student who’s lived in more countries than I’ve visited. “Let’s explore each other’s minds,” his bio read. Upon meeting at a bar of his choice, I was relieved to realize that he was a few steps removed from the overconfident corporate types Lexi is generally into. Sure, there was a bit of first-date awkwardness, but after one delicious cocktail, we found ourselves deep in laughter and walking animatedly down the streets in search of quieter, more conversation-friendly pastures.
The date ended with us munching on Flamin’ Hot Cheeto fries in a state of pleasant drunkenness. And, to be completely honest, I ain’t even mad. Chemistry? Zero percent. But the opportunity to meet someone new in a relaxed environment while eating Flamin’ Hot Cheeto fries definitely earned this date a thumbs-up in my book.
Date #2: The Culture Kid
Once date number one proved to be pretty painless, I was ready to tackle the hard stuff: my eyelid tat-loving roommate Barbie’s picks. While that particular guy never ended up interacting with me (tragic, I know), a few conversations in with other matches and I was already feeling pretty skeptical. Finally, during one last matching session, Barbie overenthusiastically shoved the phone in my face, and declared, “this one!”
And, well, she wasn’t wrong. David*, a very stylish creative, caught my attention enough that I didn’t even wait for him to say hi. We instantly clicked as we discussed hypothetical date ideas and agreed to meet up in an ambitious perfect date hybrid: an art gallery (his choice), another art gallery (my choice), and a meal with drinks (his idea, my location). Heading over, I was second-guessing committing to so many activities on a first date, but lo and behold, the moment I met this guy, I felt like I’d already known him for ages.
This had to be the least awkward extended conversation I’ve ever had with a stranger, not to mention the longest stretch of time I’ve spent with one. On my way home, I was in complete shock. The roommate whose choices were giving me the most anxiety ended up being one for the books. Go figure.
David and I left things with an ambiguous “see you later!” and some back-and-forth texts with information we promised we would share with each other post-date. There is no follow-up planned as of yet, but if I’m ever thinking of checking out an artsy new spot, he’ll be my first ping.
Date #3: The No-Show
If there’s one roommate whose taste I find non-threatening, it’s Gabby. I predicted a put-together, level-headed, and career-oriented gentleman. Enter Michael*, a cute degree-seeking international student who seemed pretty excited to meet up and explore LA together. Since we were both out of town for a few days, we constantly checked in and planned for a daytime rooftop bar extravaganza on a sunny weekend day upon our return. This one I was most excited about. Good venue, check. Communicative man, check. Open to exploring, check. With 30 minutes to spare, I was ready to be outdoors and take in the views and vitamin C. One small glitch though: Michael never responded to my confirmation text. Either he’s not a confirmer (been there, done that) or I was getting stood up.
Since I was all dressed up and ready to go, I decided to make my way over to the meeting spot and brought along my favorite book just in case. After about 30 minutes, it became clear that this guy was a no-show, and I did something a wee bit out of my comfort zone: settled myself at the bar and read. One hundred pages of “The Woman in the Window” and one delicious sangria later, Michael texted me. “Good thing you didn’t leave the house without confirming. I fell asleep. Just woke up.” Moving on.
I thought that handing the wheel to someone else would make the dating experience more fun (not to mention keep Tinder fingers at bay), but being able to correctly predict exactly zero percent of how things would go definitely knocked me off my game. I would have never guessed that I would spend more than four hours with David and actually have a grand ol’ time, nor that I’d spend my Saturday afternoon dating myself after being stood up by Michael. But hey, one Flamin’ Hot Cheeto fry-munching session, two art galleries, and one book and sangria combo later, I’m happy to have trusted the process. And who knows? Down the line, I might even trust my ladies to play matchmaker again.