Some say dating can feel like a full-time job. We think it’s a lot more fun than most jobs, but like real work, it is better when shared with friends and colleagues. In this series, Tinder users give us VIP access to one week of their swipes, first lines, and in-person meetings. You’re in good company, don’t you think?
Monday, 10:26 a.m.
Let’s be honest: Some days I swipe hoping for The One, and some days I’m more looking for someone.
Currently, there are five guys in my chat cue: Kenny “open-minded and playful,” Trent “looking for my best friend on fire,” Gabe “recently single, looking for friends,” Brian “seeking a connection,” and Jeff “wants something real.”
It’s anyone’s guess as to which of my chats will make it to an actual face-to-face meeting by the end of the week. Right now, my money’s on Trent. He’s coming in hot with paragraphs and questions. You can tell he puts effort into dating. He asks me to tell him one thing that makes me happy no matter how bad my day has been. I begin my reply with a strong “atta boy” for setting himself apart from the pack. I follow up with several things that rarely fail to make me happy: football, an evening watching “Blacklist,” Indian food (always order the kadhi pakora), and writing.
Monday, 3:49 p.m.
I open my app. Since I last checked in, Kenny has offered up a weak, “What’s the story?” Maybe he’s referring to “The Director” episode in “Blacklist?” I’m choosing not to reply, hoping it will encourage Kenny to bring his A-game.
He’s a far cry from Trent, who continues to surprise me with well-thought-out questions. I feel like Goldilocks longing for a new chat that’s just right.
Trent asks another singular question. “If there was one song that best described your personality, what would it be?” Unfortunately, answering this question feels more like a writing prompt than flirting, so I’m off to do my homework, a.k.a. to scrutinize my iTunes library for something that encompasses my entire being. I land on Beck’s “Up All Night.”
Monday, 7:46 p.m.
Gabe rounds the bend with speed and intention by commenting on my profile. Bonus points for reading my words: “If you’re a fitness trainer, swipe left. I don’t need that kind of pressure.” He asks how my Monday is coming along and I give a brief reply, ending with “you?”
Tuesday, 9:43 a.m.
It’s only Tuesday? Can we throw a dating holiday into the calendar somehow? Personally, I think we deserve a day when single people across the land enjoy pub crawls in broad daylight. All couples would be forced to work overtime and watch Insta stories of our debauchery so they know exactly what they’re missing out on.
Jeff tells me I’m far too beautiful for him not to meet in person. I’m more than my looks, but, hell, I have no problem with a man who throws in a beautiful from time to time. I re-scroll through his profile, and I find shots of him hugging an older woman (his beloved mom or a cougar?) and blowing bubbles with a four-year-old (his kid or his nephew?).
Men, please think about your audience, and try to be at least somewhat clear. Oh, and that prof pic featuring two conventionally hot girls kissing you on either cheek? You, sir, have confused what grabs my attention with what impresses your frat bros.
Meanwhile, Brian, who started our conversation with the swoon-filled line, “You made my heart stop,” has yet to acknowledge my witty response: “Help! I’m holding my breath until you assure me it’s beating again.”
The highly coveted Saturday night slot is still up for grabs, fellas.
Tuesday, 8:32 p.m.
Brian has now responded and informed me that he swiped right because I’m funny. I ask him if he’s funny, too or just pretty?
I respond to another one of Trent’s writing exercises — this one about what my favorite vacation spot is and why. He reciprocates with a lengthy reply. It’s refreshing to see a man go all in. Shortly thereafter, he asks if we can talk on the phone this weekend.
This reminds me that dating apps have divided people into two categories: phone people and non-phone people. I’m a classic non-phone. I’d rather meet in person and see all 360 degrees. Maybe things work out. Maybe we go on several dates. Maybe we fall madly in love and begin discussing marriage. At that point, after I’ve met your parents, we can discuss speaking on the phone.
I tell him that I’ll give him my number in person.
Tuesday, 4:50 p.m.
Can we please have a moment of silence for Kenny, who is no longer in my chat queue? Apparently, he has unmatched me. When this happens, I try to imagine a reason that doesn’t involve personal rejection, such as:
- He reconnected with a former flame, who may or may not have been living with him.
- He was seized by an overwhelming urge to join “Disney On Ice.”
- There was a power outage and he’s realized he’ll never charge his phone again.
And then there were four.
Wednesday, 6:37 a.m.
Usually, I like to meditate before scrolling through my chats, but it’s Wednesday and as my Southern grandma used to say, “If a girl hasn’t been asked out by Wednesday, she better dry-clean her pajamas.” Or maybe she said “press her pajamas?” Either way, I feel like Grandma was trying to convey, If he doesn’t have the oomph to ask you out mid-week, savor in the deliciousness of a solo Saturday night in.
That, complete with loungewear, Netflix, and Indian food (see: what continues to make me happy), is starting to sound truly inspirational. But still, I’ve done my prep work — gone to the gym all week (took my dog for walks), colored my hair (washed it), and got a spray-tan (I really did that) — and it seems silly to let all that go to waste.
Brian texts that he had a dream about me last night.
“Was I helping children in war-torn countries find acceptance within themselves?” I reply.
“Is that your dream?” he asks.
“My dream involves a Porsche 911 S Turbo,” I reply.
Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.
Work was grueling today. I barely had time to keep up with my dating possibilities, but after checking in, I see that all four prospects have inquired about my weekend availability.
Grandma would be proud.
Thursday, 10:26 a.m.
Jeff and Gabe have asked me out for Friday while Brian and Trent have suggested Saturday. The Friday guys are at a disadvantage since I’ve already committed to a friend’s karaoke birthday party.
Gabe, whose pics are far cuter than the other three’s, lazily texts “What are you up for?” I’m up for not planning my own date, Gabe.
Jeff says it will have to be next Friday because he has custody on Saturday. Apparently, the kid in the profile pic was his.
I let Brian and Trent know, “Saturday sounds great!”
Thursday, 2:45 p.m.
I just swiped right. I know I have my hands full, but Barik is so cute that he could ask for a Friday date on Friday. Sorry, Grandma.
“Make me fall in love with you.” That’s his opening line.
“Easy, don’t ever fall in love with me,” I reply. That should do the trick.
Friday, 9:48 a.m.
I’ve made Saturday night plans with all three men. I’ve stacked my plans because I live in LA, and this is how we roll.
Jeff, being the romantic he supposedly is, suggests we have dinner by the pier followed by a walk along the beach and a ride of the ferris wheel.
Trent, the inquisitive, asks if I’ve ever been to Inn of the Seventh Ray, a restaurant in Topanga Canyon.
Barik asks if I want to come to his place.
And then there were two.
Friday, 5:32 p.m.
While drinking hot tea, as one does to prepare for a long night of karaoke, I see Trent has suggested we have dinner at eight tomorrow night. I usually prefer a meet and greet before committing to a two-hour dinner an hour drive from my house, but I’m throwing caution to the dating Gods and going all in.
Oh, lucky me: Jeff suggests seven o’clock.
Nothing could go wrong.
Saturday – 11:21 a.m.
Yes! Jeff has a herniated disc.
Therefore, he will be unable to escort me on our dining excursion. Does he really have back problems? It’s anyone’s guess. Who cares? The important thing is that my streak double-booking and having it all pan out is still alive. Let’s do this, Trent!
Saturday, 9:57 p.m.
Turns out, Trent wasn’t for me. He was, however, very nice and very easy on the eyes. I can’t put my finger on it, but I know we’re not headed for coupledom. he took me to a lovely restaurant with beautiful decor and fresh oysters on the half-shell. I told him I didn’t feel up to a walk on the beach but thanked him for splitting an appetizer with me and a fun conversation.
It’s almost 10 p.m. and I’m back home in my PJs, watching Blacklist with leftover Indian food.. Life is good.