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Hinge game

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FEBRUARY 16, 2023

While I’ve just begun my single and ready-to-mingle arc, I’m already ready to never open Tinder again. Not because I wanna “find the love of my life, so other guys stop piping her,” as one profile suggested, but because I never want to read another shitty pickup line again. 

Instead of a Bridgerton-style debutante ball, my coming out to society consisted of a text from a kid from home with a screenshot of my Tinder profile captioned “what the.” 

What the what, Michael? What the- she’s so hot and cool, and I’m in love with her? What the- I didn’t know she was single, and I know we literally never talk, but I’m shocked nonetheless? Or maybe just a simple, what the fuck, in which case, I am in complete agreement. 

What the actual fuck is this. I’m not bold enough sober to meet up with a stranger, and I have zero desire to go on a date with a random person, so I guess I’m resolute to half-celibacy. 

Dating apps always raise the age-old questions: Is there anyone normal and attractive at this school? Are Berkeley goggles winning? Are my dreams of becoming a trophy wife failing before they even begin because I dress like a toddler and am not in Kappa? And is life even worth continuing if my profile will never live in someone’s Hinge standouts? 

Every “we should go drunk bowling” takes a year off my life, and the only people I’m excited to match with are female friends who I know won’t get the wrong idea. But what about the people I do know IRL and wouldn’t mind if intentions were less than pure?

Do I swipe right as a “joke” and hope they did the same and try to segue into lowkey flirting? Do I close the app every time I see their profile because I’m too nervous about making a decision and I’m scared of rejection? Clearly, the second option is doing my sex life no favors, but having a crush is quite literally crushing my soul. 

Faces on screens with vague interests listed below aren’t actually real despite their one-mile-away icon. That is until you sit behind them in Jewish Studies 100 and subsequently realize you did, in fact, match on Hinge. But unsurprisingly, this class crush story does not end with fireworks, and instead, I was blatantly ignored when we were paired together in a discussion group. I guess I’m intriguing enough to message a lame pickup line but not worth Mr. Unaffiliated Frat’s intellectual time. 

This theme seems to carry throughout my dating app escapades; one time, I post-hookup asked a guy about his tattoo, and he literally responded, “no.” I’d like to say I had a clever line after that zinger, but instead, I asked if it was meaningful, to which I absolutely clowned with a “No, I just got three random letters tattooed on my arm for no reason.” And yet, after this god-awful interaction and freezing cold Vespa ride down Channing Way, the icing on the cake is how I later ran into the same dude leaving the Raleigh’s bathroom. He called out my name and texted me just to say, “sorry, I have class early tomorrow, maybe another time,” when I innocently inquired about his post-taco Tuesday plans.              

My friends argue that I’m out of tattoo guy and Jewish Studies boy’s league, and yet I’m still struggling to make a homerun or, more realistically, get to first base. While being extremely single is kind of boring post-serial-monogamy, I think it’s safe to say dating apps are not my cup of tea. 

I remember once overhearing an upperclassman talk about how she hated flirting with guys at parties. She said she just wanted to skip all the pleasantries and get on with some meaningless sex. But I realize now that flirting is half the fun, and I hate doing that online. 

Dating apps are a silly game I play with my friends when we’re bored, and I’m content keeping it that way. Hinge game is fun, but taking Hinge seriously is a headache I don’t have the desire to actually invest in. I know if I gave people a chance, the random faces on the screen could become real people I’m interested in talking to. But for now, I’m happy putting my search for my dad’s dream son-in-law (Jewish and from the east coast) on hold.

Contact Julianna Goldfarb at [email protected].

FEBRUARY 17, 2023