Ever since I discovered Sex in the City in ninth grade, I have made it my life goal to become Carrie Bradshaw. For the most part, I think I've gotten there. I'm a writer, city-dweller, fashionista, and have a solid group of just-as-driven girlfriends. The only thing missing is my Mr. Big. I think I might have found a solution to this, however.
Though I didn't bump into a Chris Noth-type on the street picking up the contents of my purse, you could say that I stumbled upon someone in the virtual world, through dating app Tinder. After expressing my annoyance with the college hook up culture, my friend and I decided to download the app to outsource men outside of Emerson. I was unsure about using an online dating app because I consider myself to be a personable, charismatic person who doesn't need to rely on the Internet to make friends. I really had nothing to lose, though, so I giddily made an account.
The photos, which are arguably the most important part of a Tinder profile, were so easy to choose it was almost comical. Tinder links to your Facebook account to access photos and basic information like first name and age. Being the overly analytical person that I am, I created a science behind the 5 photos that showed off both my physical traits and also my personality. I opened up with one of me at the beach (not a bikini picture), a simple selfie, one of me walking in Boston, another one posing at a music festival, and the last one was of me doing a handstand by a lake. The last one is technically a bikini picture, but I thought I might as well give the poor guy a treat if he took the time to scroll through the first four photos.
Creating a bio--that is, describing the depths and quirks of my personality in as few words as possible-- was probably the hardest aspect. I wasn't sure what the balance of information was. I wanted a person to get the gist of who I was without revealing myself too much. Ultimately I decided on "Yoga. Journalism. Wine Enthusiast." Yoga, to let potential matches know what I did in my free time and give a little insight into my active lifestyle. Journalism, to let them know what I was studying and show that reading, writing, and the news are important to me. And finally, Wine Enthusiast to show that I like to have good, classy fun, and show off a bit of my humor. I added the question, "Can we tell my parents that we met at Whole Foods?" to offer a conversation starting point. The combination of the bio, pictures, location, and age must have worked because in a matter of minutes, my inbox filled up with matches.
My phone buzzed, informing of a new message from Sutton*. The conversation follows:
G: "Surely you can be more creative then 'Hello'"
S: "I swiped right because you are fine and you like wine."
S: "As I proceed to be, although my cleverness is constrained by what you put in your profile and picture. They're well suited to stimulating discussion, but I had a hard time finding a handhold for a witty opener."
Sutton is a 21-year-old student in Boston, and his heightened vocabulary and tenacious messaging to my salty response reveals his maturity. We proceed to talk and give a little background on each other, and after a two weeks of texting, the silver fox suggests we meet up for coffee.
As I sit in the back of Boston Common Coffee Company pretending to do homework, I rack my mind with small talk conversation openers. So far, I have a list of neutral topics like final exams, plans for winter break, and basic career aspirations. I realize that I have no idea what the Tinder date protocol is. Do I hug him? Shake his hand? Does he pay for my latte? I slightly panic as I rummage through my bag for cash, mainly to avoid the embarrassment of having to use my bank card as a means of paying for coffee. Carrying cash is something that all mature adults do, and I'm sure my Mr. Big will whip out bills to pay for his drink.
My breakdown is cut short when I see Sutton walk through the door. Immediately, I sigh a breath of relief because he looks exactly like he does in his Tinder pictures. We get the initial awkwardness out of the way and jump right into a natural conversation.
We cover everything from school and work to travels and literature. Sutton is an amazing storyteller and keeps me completely captivated, even when he uses investment banking terms. His vocabulary and worldliness had me practically drooling; he killed any chance that the silly boys in my grade had of being my suitor. Our conversation didn't skip a beat, even when we were in line getting drinks. And yes, he paid in cash for both of them.
Two coffees and an hour and a half later, we parted ways with another hug. He tells me he'll be in the New York City area for most of break and to just give him a text when I want to meet up again.
The entire experience from the initial Tinder messaging to meeting in real life was exciting and invigorating. I was giddy whenever my phone buzzed and hopped around my room doing a ridiculous happy dance when he asked me out. I'm a self-proclaimed serial crusher and Tinder feeds that mild addiction. I love the beginning stage of a relationship and for the most part, my Tinder matches stay in that blind, infatuating universe. After about a week of talking, things naturally become a bit stagnant and I dramatically announce to everyone that I'm ready to move on. I convince myself that pursuing a relationship is far too much risk, and not enough reward. I'm always looking for something new and fresh, and Tinder can usually provide that. I'm sure there will be a time when I grow out of this habit, and my guess is that it will happen simultaneously with my abandonment of Tinder. For now, I'm going to keep swiping right to hopefully find Mr. Right. Besides, Carrie didn't meet Big until she was in her mid-twenties, so I still have time.