After transferring to Berkeley this year, I downloaded Tinder. It’s hard enough meeting people when you’re new as a freshman, let alone when you transfer during the latter half of college. Suddenly, I wasn’t limited to guys in my classes or ones I bumped into at random frat parties. Even if things went nowhere, I hardly knew anyone, so it was pretty low risk. Worst case: I’d have some entertaining conversations. Best case: I’d find a cool guy to eat some good food with.
7:00 p.m. I match with Luke*. Wow, this guy is actually pretty attractive — and he has a witty bio, too. Worst case, he’s douchey. It quickly comes to light that besides being hot, we have the same sense of humor and like sushi. What are the chances?
8:53 p.m. Luke asks for my number, which suggests he plans on following through and actually setting up a dinner date. The thing is, I’m kind of intimidated by the idea of sitting through an entire meal with somebody I don’t know, so there’s a good chance I’m not going to go.
9:16 p.m. He texts me! He’s talking about this sushi place he knows and asks if I’d be down to go sometime. I think he knows that he’s attractive, because it is pretty bold to start making a plan when we’ve only been talking for a few hours. Plus, he shares a screenshot of the menu for the restaurant he wants to go to, and it’s crazy expensive. I’m surprised he’s picking such an intense place for a first date.
9:50 p.m. It takes a whole two minutes, but my friends and I find Luke’s social media and start stalking him. He seems like a surprisingly normal person. Also, he graduated from Berkeley, and it turns out we follow some of the same people on Instagram. I definitely feel better.
1:00 p.m. I text Luke that I’m down to go to dinner this weekend but that I’m also down to go somewhere less intense for sushi. I never go on real dates with guys. It’s usually just casually hanging out, so I’m excited to try something new. Luke seems funny from his Instagram, but I have to remember to be careful not to let it slip that I went real deep into his feed (tagged and regular photos, gotta be thorough).
1:30 p.m. A new guy, Blake*, and I match. In his opening message, he asks, “Are you made of copper and tellurium?” Oh, god. This is going to be a periodic table joke. He looks like a nice guy who means well. But honestly, I’d rather have a douchey guy who’s funny than a nice guy whose humor I don’t like, especially since I usually don’t want things to be anything more than casual.
4:03 p.m. Luke suggests a new dinner spot that looks a little more low-key. I’m pleased. He seems easygoing — we’re joking about what it’s like living in a dorm on campus, and he wants to know about my weekend plans. He asks if I’m free tonight, but I have a girls night planned and there’s no way I’m shaving my entire body in the next four hours. I’ll deal with that later. I say tomorrow works better for me. He jokingly alludes to the fact that he’s going to be hungover tomorrow and will probably wake up late, but says that he’s down. I can tell he’s trying to say I shouldn’t expect a text from him before the afternoon, but I honestly wouldn’t have been bothered if he hadn’t said anything. I’m not a big texter. This way, there’s more catching up to do when you hang out in person.
9:32 p.m. I match with Paul*. He’s tall, strong, and tan, and his profile picture is of him snowboarding. I know this is designed to make people think he’s fun and athletic — and it works. He messages me, “Hey trouble.” Oh no. I feel bad for cringing so hard. These last two guys and their one-liners make me more confident that I should go on my date with Luke. I respond, “lol what?” I obviously know what Paul means, but I’m curious how he’s going to back it up.
3:06 p.m. Luke texts me that he just woke up and asks what time I want to get dinner and whether I want to meet at his place or the restaurant. I’m definitely not comfortable going to the house of someone I’ve never met before, so I tell him I’ll see him at the restaurant.
6:00 p.m. Or so I thought I told him. Sometimes, I’m terrible at responding to messages in a timely manner. I finally actually text Luke back, and he replies “Yeet see you there.” I look over at my friend and show her the message. We give each other the silent did-he-just-use-the-word-yeet look.
7:00 p.m. I’m waiting outside the restaurant. Luke should to be here any minute. I text him what I’m wearing and he texts back, “running over!” I feel good about this. Hopefully he’s cute in person.
8:19 p.m. Paul messages me after our not particularly engaging two-line conversation. He wants to know what I’m doing tonight. Even if I wasn’t on a date already, I wouldn’t be into you, Paul. I’m going to ghost him.
1:46 a.m. I’m in an Uber home after having such a good time with Luke. We laughed at each other’s jokes and our personalities meshed really well. I was so comfortable around him that even when I choked on my own spit for what felt like an hour, we both laughed it off. We were the last ones to leave the restaurant, and we went to his place for drinks after. It felt like we were never going to run out of things to talk about. But when the conversation lagged for a second and he smiled, I knew he was going to kiss me. I have to admit, he’s really smooth. I tend to be pretty cynical, so I don’t know if we’re going to talk again or not. Regardless, I had a really great time.
1:52 a.m I get home, and Luke texts me. We’re already talking about inside jokes from the night, and I can’t stop smiling.
2:11 a.m. We’ve spent the last 20 minutes ranking our favorite foods, and I mention how much I like a restaurant called Super Duper.
7:00 p.m. Luke texts me back after what I assume was another full day of sleeping. He writes, “I’ve actually never been there — date number 2?” He’s confident. I love that. I agree that it sounds like a plan for next weekend. I’m looking forward to it.
11:01 p.m. Luke texts to ask whether Super Duper is better than In-N-Out. “I’m a huge slut for In-N-Out so if it’s even close to that level…” He’s funny in such a douchey, California surfer boy way and, for some reason, that really works for me. I can’t lie to him: In-N-Out is the reigning champion, but Super Duper is right near his place. We can get it to-go and then watch a movie at his. Always have to plan ahead.
4:00 p.m. I’m having a great time with Luke, but this thing is still new. I match with Kyle*, who, thanks to the maple leaf in my Tinder bio, asks if I’m Canadian or just a big fan of maple trees. He and I both know I’m referencing that I’m 420-friendly, as people do since there’s no specific emoji for it. I joke that I am, in fact, a big fan of maple trees.
4:55 p.m. I message Blake the punchline to the chemistry joke he sent me the other day. I can’t help it. Some part of me needs to ruin the joke for him so that he sees how unoriginal it is. I’m honestly not sure why I thought to message him again after all this time, but the conversation was just sitting there in the app unfinished, so I figured why not?
5:45 pm Maple-leaf Kyle responds again. I see what he’s trying to do, but he’s really exhausted this joke. Just to see how far he’s willing to go with it, I play along. I feel a little bad, and he truly seems so sweet, but that’s just not my type. I’m not nice enough for guys like Kyle. I’m a serial ghoster, and my ideal scenario is some variation of friends with benefits. In a way, I’m doing Kyle a favor by not taking this any further. I know I’d hurt him. Luke is definitely a better match for me. We seem to have more in common. We haven’t talked today, which doesn’t surprise me — I don’t think this is headed anywhere past casual dates here and there. I like him so far, but since I’m not looking for anything serious, I’m happy to just play things by ear.
9:23 a.m. Blake hardly seems embarrassed by his chemistry humor. Yikes! Bye, Blake.
8:14 p.m. Luke texts to tell me that he’s sorry he hasn’t reached out lately. He wants to know if I’m still down for dinner on Saturday. Part of me is tempted to cut it off and run because this is really taking me out of my comfort zone, but he’s so cute and charming. I might just have to risk it and hope for the best.
*Names have been changed to protect innocent daters everywhere.