Tinder-Gate: A string of mistakes for dinner dates
How I used Tinder to remain alive for two weeks
This past August, I realized the dynamic of the world was way different when you’re single. I spent the summer swiping on Tinder, partially out of spite and partially out of boredom from the comfort of my childhood home. I was comforted by the wall of anonymity I had, knowing I would probably never meet my matches in person.
Things changed quickly.
My mom insisted that I lived on campus until junior year because she didn’t believe I could take care of myself and she was right. When I moved into my apartment in the beginning of August, I somehow managed to only eat about once a day. I didn’t have leftovers because I wouldn’t cook and I didn’t have snacks because I was broke.
At this point I was living alone. My roommates wouldn’t be moving in for another month.
Every day I would wake up late, make some coffee, lounge around for a few hours, and then go to work. At work I would fill up on the free bread. I would be so tired from work, I couldn’t bring myself to cook. This cycle repeated for about six days and I suddenly began to feel the effects of my nuanced bread diet. I went to the doctors and had lost 15 pounds.
A lot of people questioned where all of my money goes since I worked every single day. The restaurant I work at is only open from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and I have bills. I barely have a savings account and had to pay the UB bill almost immediately after paying rent. I maxed out my credit card and have spent the month slowly paying it off.
Throughout all of this, I was still casually using Tinder. I didn’t meet with anyone from the app but I maintained conversations throughout the day. Then one day, someone invited me to get dinner after work. I get out of work incredibly late and hadn’t even considered late-night restaurants. This invitation set off a series of events that I am absolutely not proud of, but also absolutely happened.
Tinder dates are always awkward, but the very first Tinder date you go on is probably especially bad. Maybe it was the guy I was with was also incredibly awkward. He was one of those weirdly entitled “Rick and Morty” guys. He bought me tacos though, which was the first meal I had eaten in a week.
I didn’t ghost this 25-year-old, unemployed man. I did, however, never speak to him again. He never messaged me again either though, so it can’t be that bad. He was probably intimidated by my sword purchase.
Coming out of this interaction, I realized that the emotional investment of meeting people was the bare minimum. I started agreeing to meet people whenever someone asked. I was also always prepared to pay for my own food but a majority of the time the other party would offer. I’d throw out the “Oh I don’t have any money right now” line and they would offer to pay.
This went on for about 10 days. I can sort of justify how transparently bad it is because I never expressed verbal interest in any of my dates. They weren’t led on and if finessing a $5 pancake meal out of them makes me the worst person in the world, I’ll own that title.
I went to Denny’s so often that the staff probably thought that I was a really cheap escort. I would go out almost every two days after work and then never talk to those guys again. I can’t even remember their names.
I slowly started integrating cooking into my schedule and invested in a crockpot. Everyone should get a crockpot. When my roommates finally moved in I deleted the Tinder app. My housemates are now planning on adopting a cat, so there is no foreseeable redownload in the future.
Sam Vargas is the assistant arts editor and can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.