I don’t understand Hinge, and other almost 30 confessions

Who has two thumbs and is mere weeks away from turning the big 3-0?

manny

Source: buzzfeed.com

This girl.

And who is also feeling less and less technologically savvy the older she gets?

no idea

Source: jezebel.com

Me again!

I am really feeling my age lately, especially in the world of online dating. New sites and apps pop up all the time and it seems like every five minutes there’s a new fad: taking it offline, group dating, matching based solely on (possibly lewd) pics, and now connecting through people you actually already know. Through all these trends I have continued to just kick it old school with my tried and true Okcupid, but then suddenly I looked around and all my single friends were on Tinder, Hinge, Coffee Meets Bagel and God knows what other hip new services that I don’t even know about. I can’t keep up! I’ve just been sitting in a lonely corner of the internet, sadly connecting to AOL via dial up and thinking about popping in a Blockbuster VHS tape later.

That may be a slight exaggeration, but I do feel totally late to the party on a lot of these sites, particularly the social media based dating apps like Coffee Meets Bagel and Hinge. They’ve always made me suspicious, and in case you haven’t already gleaned this from our paranoid blog musings, we’re a naturally suspicious group here at StuCu. I just don’t like the possibility of my dating life being broadcast on Facebook (clearly I prefer to voluntarily broadcast it to the entire internet) or some app mining all of my pictures, post history and personal info. And I know I know, that’s “not how it works”, but I don’t trust that douche Zuckerberg. Never have; never will.

However, after co-blogger D experienced mild success on Coffee Meets Bagel, I decided I had nothing to lose (besides my privacy. And my dignity. No wait, those are both long gone). And I liked the concept of the site:

cmb

Great! Amazing! I signed my single self up. And then… promptly rejected pretty much every single ‘bagel’ they sent me. Seriously, the pickins were slim. First of all, most of my bagels (naturally) lived in NYC. Second, most of them weren’t even friends of my Facebook friends, so basically it was REGULAR ONLINE DATING except with a much tinier pool of guys. Eventually I got tired of looking at a lame match from Brooklyn every day at noon, so I started to just ignore my daily bagels. This went on for weeks, until:

bagel1

bagel2

slow clap

Source: giphy.com

Bahahaha. You guys, I was kicked off of Coffee Meets Bagel. And honestly, I respect that. I was on their site but totally inactive, just annoyingly taking up space. Good for them for escorting me off the premises, because mama deserved it. Now, if Coffee Meets Bagel worked as aggressively on recruiting some actual eligible single dudes for their site as they did on getting rid of the dead weight like me, maybe people would be getting dates. Just a thought, CMB. I’m full of ’em.

The other sosh meeds connected site I joined was Hinge, which at first appeared to be slightly less useless than CMB. There were actual matches within 20 miles of me! Also, having a way to confirm that my matches weren’t going to allow me to use their girlfriend’s beauty products or you know, murder me, was a delightful bonus. I signed up, but immediately noticed that the typical demographic looked something like this:

hinge 24

hinge 24

youths

Source: giphy.com

Please note that I’m connected to the last guy through L. Um, here’s hoping he’s a friend of her younger sister’s.

Seriously though, I’m already feeling old as dirt with a milestone birthday around the corner, and now the average age of guys on this site is making me feel straight up like….

I don’t even like to date guys who are my age, because I personally feel that they need to have at least a few years on me to help combat the wild immaturity, funemployment, and lack of desire for an actual relationship that I’ve encountered time and again with the male species. Even significantly older guys I have no problem whatsoever with (remember the 40 year old who I comically went to see ‘This is 40’ with two years ago?) But when that age difference is in the other direction; yeah, no.

mrs-robinson-gif

Source: mattsko.wordpress.com

(RIP Mike Nichols.)

Back to my maiden Hinge voyage. I browsed through my alleged matches, swiped no on a handful of awful-looking/sounding youths before closing the app and ignoring it completely, for weeks, just like Coffee Meets Bagel. Then one day I was opening my Dunkin Donuts app to score free coffee after an Eagles win (the only thing football has ever done for me), and I thought huh, I guess I should get back in the ol’ Hinge saddle see what’s what. Lo and behold, I came across someone I was actually interested in. Which then made me realize that I had no idea how the app actually worked. So I Gchatted D for help.

This brings me to a comical display of my confusion/general cluelessness.

hinge

Jesus, now I know what my mom must feel like when she calls me to help her format an Excel spreadsheet (love you mom, but Microsoft Office is not your strong suit).

Then it hit me: I never even filled out a profile on Hinge, nor did I choose profile pics. What had this guy been going off of when he ‘liked’ me?

I clicked on my profile. The main pic was my Facebook profile pic, which was to be expected. Then I realized there were more pics of me, like at least 15 more, which again I did NOT pick. To my horror, I began scrolling through a gallery of vintage ph0tos (I’m talking almost a decade old) featuring yours truly at various stages of college pregaming, day drunk and red in the face.

Why, Hinge? Whyyyyy. I flagged poor D down again.

hinge pics

hinge sarasota

Never mind that ‘love your pictures’ is the tried and true pick up line of killers the world over, but why had this stupid app chosen such old pics anyway?? Even if some were my profile pics wayyyy back in the day, like any narcissistic millennial I have dozens of newer ones. And it’s my personal opinion that it should be a FEDERAL OFFENSE to post dating profile pics that are a decade old, let alone more than two years old. In fact, I should speak to L about hiring her vigilante task force to police this law. 

Okay, I thought. Some dude messaged me, and he possibly thinks I look 10 years younger than I actually do, so even though I personally believe I look 900 times better than I did in college (seriously, it’s all about the eyebrow shaping, people), I should probably still address that. So I sent my Hinge match a message to the tune of ‘haha thanks, I’m new to this app and it totally chose weird outdated pics of me drinking in college/switching them up now/isn’t the internet a WHACKY place?’

Minutes later, he responded:

hinge liver

Thaaaanks…? Damn it, was this another tea totaler? Grouchketeer, is that you?

And while I’m on the subject of things I don’t understand, feast your eyes on Hinge’s collection of inexplicable pre-written profile tags:

 

hinge tagshinge tags 2

So, they provide users with this list of jokey categories to use on our profiles and I guess help us appear cool…?. Is this something the kids are doing now?

out of touch

Source: knowyourmeme.com

Really though, goody two-shoes? Sailor? After partier? Midnight toker (cool it, Steve Miller Band)? LEISURE DIVER? Who would self report as any of these things with a straight face? Then I realized that everyone, literally everyone, was doing just that and putting these things on their profiles. So I figured, WHEN IN ROME, do as the youths do, and picked a few of the less douchey ones, figuring no one would care about which ones I chose, anyway. And then…

hinge road tripper

  1. Witty little opening line, Hinge. Well played. Except it took me approximately 4 messages to realize that Hinge was writing these and not my matches. (In my defense, every opening line is different, so it wasn’t clear at first! I know. God, I’m old.)
  2. Oh my God, these stupid tags. Here’s the problem, though: are we actually supposed to talk about being “r0ad trippers”? With a straight face? Because what does that even mean? Obviously I enjoy a good road trip every now and then, but who doesn’t? It’s like making a ‘pizza lover’ tag: unless you have some weird dietary restriction, it’s just assumed that you enjoy pizza, because only a serial killer wouldn’t. So thanks, Hinge, for creating the most useless faux-conversation starters ever.
  3. That last comment. I….’ve got nothing.

So I know what you’re thinking: “it’s Friday, S, and I’m ready for happy hour. Get to the damn point. Have you actually gone out with anyone from Hinge?”

Fair question! The answer is a big fat resounding:

nope

Source: www.reactiongifs.com

Literally what I’ve shared in this post is the furthest I’ve gotten with any dude since I joined. No dates, and almost no actual real conversations. I’ve gotta say, at this point I’m just going to take that as a sign that I should stick with what works. True, I haven’t actually gone on more than two Okcupid dates with the same person since…April (yikes), so whether that’s actually “working” is debatable. But here’s hoping that changes in my 30th year, and here’s hoping you all stick around to find out.

PS do any of you single readers out there use CMB or Hinge? If yes, leave a comment and tell us about your experience. Am I missing something? Am I doing it wrong? #old

Have a great weekend, readers!

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Message Monday – Unemployed

Happy Independence Week (American) readers!! I have a 3 day week this week, which is glorious, but also means I have a ton to get done in the next few days, so that I can properly enjoy my long weekend lakeside. So this’ll be a short Message Monday.

Last Monday, my “bagel” of the day and I matched. Meaning, we had both liked each other, and now had a message chat room open through the app. Typically, Coffee Meets Bagel opens the chat room and provides a ice breaker question to get the conversation off to a more interesting start than “Hey.” This was no exception, and the app asked us “What would you rather be doing right this second?” I was busy with something at work, so I didn’t reply right away. 2 hours later, my bagel responded:

message monday - unemployed

Well. That’s a huge debbie downer. Nothing says “hey, I like you and we should get to know each other” like unemployment.

debbie downer

I mean, it’s probably a very accurate answer to the question asked, and kudos to him for his honesty, I guess, but couldn’t he just say something like “spending the day at the beach.” I suppose it’s possible that, in his current predicament, spending the day at the beach was actually precisely what he was doing, so wasn’t a viable answer. But come up with something positive to say. Or at least some innocuous activity. Because, although I won’t immediately judge/fault someone for being unemployed, I’d like any potential relationship to at least start off in a positive place. And that answer is just depressing.

Coffee Meets Bagel and The story of the Woodpecker

Remember that groove I was talking about getting back into? It continues to slowly right its course. I’ve progressed from just messaging before things turn sour, to actually going on dates again. Yay for progress!

A few months back, I joined Coffee Meets Bagel. A newer free dating site that I read about. Here’s the gist: profiles are pretty bare bones, and each day at noon the site sends me a new “bagel.” I can only view the profile they send me that day, which consists of a couple pictures and some basic info. I choose like or pass. If we both like each other, we’re “connected” and the site sends us an email, and sends us both a text that we can communicate through for 5 days. This sounded awesome, it’s free, and requires MINIMAL effort on my part. Dating, and online dating especially, is time consuming. And it can sometimes be exhausting perusing profile after profile. This site wasn’t going to make me do a thing. I could just sit back and wait for a match to be sent to me each day! Sign me up!

Cut to a few weeks ago. I had gone into my office on a Saturday to try to catch up on the disaster that was my desk after vacation. I get my bagel, check him out, and click “like.” A couple hours later, I get a notification that we’ve connected! We start chatting via text and plan a date for Tuesday night. But a little while later, he says “why wait until Tuesday, want to grab a drink tonight?” The old me would have scoffed at that suggestion, while righteously screaming “who is he to assume I’m free on a Saturday night?!” But really – who cares? In reality, I had no plans for that night, and this actually took a lot of pressure off the night. No awkward texting for a few days, no nervous build up the day of the date. I was in, with the caveat that since I had spent the whole day at my office, I was wearing jeans and a hoodie (and going home to the ‘burbs to change would have taken 2 hours). He said he wouldn’t judge, and we made plans to meet at a bar out by BC (gross) at around 6.

We met at the bar, and after an awkward hug (ugh – why do strangers love to hug so much? We don’t know each other!), we proceeded to have a pleasant couple of beers. L was a grad student who was easy to talk to. Conversation was interesting and covered a variety of topics. I was having a nice time! After two beers he asked if I’d like to go back to his apartment for another drink.

Now, normally I would have said no to this, as it involved breaking two of the safety rules that I adhere pretty strictly to because I’m a total square. But I figured – hey, I’m doing everything different tonight, and I like him, so why not?! We hopped in his car and he drove into one of the adorable little neighborhoods of Brookline where he rented the top floor of a house. This is where the evening went downhill.

We walked up the private back stairs to his apartment, and the first thing I saw when we entered was a giant piece of plywood and a white sheet covering what he claimed was interior stairs from the house below, while I silently panicked that I was going to be murdered and hidden below the floorboards. The rest of the apartment wasn’t that comforting either. It was sparse. Mismatched furniture that was probably acquired on Allston Christmas. Multiple floor lamps, with cords everywhere. Dirty dishes overflowing out of the sink. Nothing on the walls. A giant leather couch across from a big screen tv. An area rug that was just slightly too big to fit between the couch and the TV stand, so rather than being tucked under one or the other, was just flipped up in front of the tv stand. That bothered me disproportionally more than anything else. I wanted to just get up and fix it. I couldn’t decide if the decor was more junior-in-college or serial-killer.

From a bookshelf, he grabbed a bottle of wine and told me to pick out some glasses. There were six to choose from. A set of rocks glasses, and two sets of highball glasses. Baffled by why these things were on a bookshelf by the front door, rather than in his kitchen on the other side of the apartment, I selected the taller highball glasses and sat down at the end of the couch. He grabbed a corkscrew, and sat down basically as close to being in my lap as he could, without actually sitting in my lap. He followed this up by fumbling around with the corkscrew before putting his arm around me and asking me if I could open the wine.

This was really off-putting to me for a variety of reasons. It is well documented that I do not like to be touched. But more than that, take your time dude. You don’t need to accost me the moment we sit down. I mean, I came back to your apartment, so I’m clearly not totally averse to things progressing that way. But handing me a wine bottle and sitting on top of me like I’m Santa is not the way to make that happen.

After I poured us each a glass, and with him still pressing the entire right side of his body into me, he rested his chin on my left shoulder and said sensually “tell me everything about you.” Oh Jesus. HAHAHA. Is that really your game?

At some point, he noticed the tattoo on my forearm and asked if that was my only tattoo. No, I replied, I actually have 4. “Ohh. Where are your other ones?” I explained where the others were, and mentioned that I’d like to get another one soon. To which he replied “would you ever be willing to get them removed?”

michael jordan dismayed

Look, I know a lot of people don’t like tattoos. And that’s fine. There are lots of things in this world that I don’t like that other people do. And although it’s annoying when people ask if I think I’ll ever regret getting them (I don’t think so, but sadly I can’t predict the future, so I guess it’s possible), his question was kind of insulting. Not “do you think you’ll ever want to get them removed?” But rather, “would you be willing to get them removed?” No. No I would not. I don’t care how much a future partner dislikes them, the only way these tattoos are coming off is if I want them to come off. Because a) word on the street is that it’s more painful to get them removed than it was to get them, and I cry when I stub my toe, and b) if you don’t like them that’s on you, not me.

I didn’t say any of that, I just politely explained no, not unless I decided I wanted them gone, and shifted the topic to something else. And that’s when he made his move.

What’s his move, you ask? His move involved a very brief, limp kiss on the lips, followed by covering my entire face with quick little kisses. And not in a sweet or romantic or hot way. Not just my neck or my cheek or something. Everywhere on my face. Like a chapped-lipped woodpecker. 

There are people out there who claim that “people generally aren’t bad kissers.” This tale is proof that that’s simply not true. 

I did not understand what was happening, so I just sat there like a statue waiting for it to end. When his facial assault continued seemingly without an end in sight, I had to awkwardly speak up. He stopped kissing me, but stayed all up in my business while explaining the secret to being successful at fantasy football until I indicated I was ready to call it a night. After that, any attraction that I had was gone.

Unfortunately, I needed him to drive me back to Cleveland Circle where my car was parked. It was surprisingly not that awkward. He talked animatedly about the details of the research he was doing for grad school, which I engaged in because it was admittedly very interesting. At least, it wasn’t awkward until it was time for me to get out of the car. Because he still thought it went well, and I … did not.

Date Rating: 2/10. I got a couple free beers and specific evidence to rebut the absurd claim that bad kissers don’t exist.

Lessons Learned: Despite the way this particular date ended, I actually really liked the vibe of the impromptu date. I should do that more often!