30 Days of Online Dating: Wherein I Explore the Art of the Third-Night Stand

06/17/2015 05:14 pm ET | Updated Jun 17, 2016
Julia Wheeler and Veronika Laws via Getty Images

This is a modern dating experiment. One girl. Five dating sites. Hundreds of chats. Thirty days. Thirty dates. Eighteen guys. (?) boyfriend. To start at the beginning, click here -- or jump right in at date twenty-five below.

Date 25/30: Tinder James*

TJ: Would you be up for doing something in Manhattan Beach Friday night?

Translation: Would you be up for doing me in Manhattan Beach Friday night. Heyo. Reading right between those well-spaced lines, Tinder James.

AHERHEROIESJRSEJJKAWHEJKAH. I'm not really the one-night stand kind of girl. (Not that I think there's anything wrong with being the one-night stand kind of's juuust not really my MO.) Granted, this is our third date, but it still sort of feels like the same thing. With TJ's half-baked plans and could-be-(much)(much)-better conversation, I don't really see a date four in our future. Alas, this whole experiment was about opening myself up to new experiences**, sooooo South Bay here I come! (Sorry, Mom.)

I tell TJ to expect me around 8p.

TJ: Okay. I'm going to get cleaned up. You can park at my place and we can head out from here. Cool?

Absolutely. Not even pretending to meet somewhere else. Really digging the efficiency here.


8:03p: I arrive in Manhattan Beach.

8:07p: I circle the block for the third time, still searching for the address. My GPS continues its campaign for most useless navigation device of the year.


If I could use the map to navigate to this destination, I wouldn't be asking you, now would I. UGH.

8:10p: TJ is guiding me into the incredibly tiny driveway from his vantage point in the window above. No, really, don't come down.

8:14p: I am met in the entryway, already itching for a spirited beverage of some sort. Fun fact: Long distance drives do not make anything grow fonder.

TJ: Are you hungry?

I mean, I haven't eaten yet, if that's what you're asking.


Please see fun fact above regarding distance/general attitude on life.


We walk down to Pisces Sushi on Highland, where we have an almost average conversation over sushi, sake, and Sapporos.

Might need something a little stronger to make this happen.

We stroll down to a little dive bar. Well, I should specify, we stroll down the street and stand on the corner for a solid six minutes, debating where to go. This is your hood, TJ -- call an audible. Please make something audible. (His voice hasn't gotten any louder since our last date. I still don't understand how a voice can be so consistently soundless.)

He settles on OB's Pub & Grill. Sawdust on the floor, peanuts on the table, and remarkably stiff cocktails a mere order away. Divine. And somehow perfectly appropriate for the evening at hand.

Two loaded cocktails later, TJ finally starts to open up -- about his anger management issues and penchant for bar fights. Ho-kay. Maybe we should go back to that less conversation thing. He also hates his roommate, so I have that to look forward to when we get back to his place. Thank you, Jesus, for bolding and italicizing the expiration date on this one.

We stop at a liquor store on the way back to grab, well, more liquor. Because, you know, our souls are so compatible and stuff.

Everything goes pretty much as expected from here on out -- except for the part where he insists on carrying all 118*** lbs of me from the couch to the boudoir. Thirty feet away. Seriously, man, I can walk. This is so awkward. (Currently regretting every peanut.)

The next morning, he's fixing me a cup of tea, I'm fixing to leave, and my BlackBerry has found itself in a fix. It's dead. In all the excitement over my one-way trip to Ho-ville, I neglected to charge my precious phone/I'm supposed to be meeting up with friends and sort of need the address of where that meeting spot is. Cue: One of the more excruciating hours of my life. LINGER LINGER LINGER.

Later that evening, I'm at dinner with one of my guy friends:

Me: Dude. My ABS. So much pain. WTF did I do to them.
GF: Hahahaha. From all the SEX you had last night. You've got to get yourself in sex shape, girl.

He then theorizes logistics, landing on what he believes to be the exact play-by-play of my ab-ripping rumble in the heyyyy. Really happy he's finding so much pleasure in my pain. Really happy all of our mutual friends are finding so much pleasure in my pain. (GF thought this landmark event was 100 percent deserving of a group text announcement.) (I need new friends.)

Tinder James would text weather nonsensicals for a couple days and send a status check one week later.

TJ: Hey, how was your week and weekend?


And scene.

*Not his real name
**Is that what this experiment was all about? I can barely remember anymore. (Also, heyo.)
***Not my real weight