You can’t find love on Tinder. I’m convinced. I remember when online dating was scary and then became a viable way to meet someone, you know, once you weed through the schools of catfish. But now, as if online dating wasn’t fast enough, this microwave generation needed something faster, something on our phones, something like an app…because there’s an app for everything. Everything.
Now, there’s plenty of apps for dating. But when you make something that easy, convenient and not an interruption to your life, the way that meeting, liking and courting used to be, you’re left with a cold and callused heart that believes your next chance at love or at least lust is a swipe to the right away. Well, at least most women I know still believe it’s possible to swipe to love, but let’s be honest–how many men out here are using apps like Tinder as a tool to locate love? It’s a hookup app, and I’ve tried to use it as a dating app. How foolish!
Two years ago, I met Jackson. Nothing from his short Tinder profile was a “match” for me, but his chiseled good looks were enough for me to swipe right. And just like that, we were a match.
Jackson wasted no time contacting me. And later that evening, we found ourselves on our first date, at a bar. I sighed when I approached the bar. It was your average Irish pub, complete with the smell of spilled beer and crushed hope. Michael was perched on a bar stool when I walked in, he hopped off, smiled that million dollar smile and stuck out his hand to me.
“Really Jackson? A handshake?” I asked grabbing his hand, pulling him into me.
Jackson laughed in the hug.
And then we drank and chatted and drank some more. Jackson is the youngest of three brothers, all who were blessed with the best parts of his parents’ genes. Jackson moved to New York City from Vermont (which sounded like, “I come from money” to me) to pursue acting. He worked full time as a theater manager in order to continue auditioning.
“I picked this bar because of two things,” Jackson grabbed my hand and pulled me from my stool. “Look!” He pointed to a photobooth in the back. “I know how much you like pictures.” He smiled.
“That’s sweet. I do love a good photobooth,” I said climbing in. “What was the second reason?”
Jackson climbed into the booth with me and planted a juicy kiss on my lips. This had to have been the first time in my life I was ever surprise-kissed and I liked it. I smiled into the kiss. It was clumsy, but intent and sensual. I let Jackson’s lips take over and minutes later, we were in a full out makeout session in the photobooth.
I broke away, “That was the other reason?” I asked, almost in a fog.
“It’s close to my house,” Jaclson cooed into my ear.
I couldn’t even be mad at Jackson’s crass honesty. It had been way too long, I knew I wasn’t going to marry him–I shut off all the justifications of why I shouldn’t go home with Jackson that night and decided to go home with Jackson that night. Even though this was before Beyonce’s, “Grown Woman” came out, I sang the lyrics: “I’m a grown woman. I can do whatever I wanna.”
Jackson’s apartment was in a location that screamed money–Midtown East–but it was set up like a frat house. His roommate was playing video games when we walked in. He grunted to say hello. I grunted back. Jackson led me to his room and immediately pushed me down on the bed. We pawed at each other for a couple of hours and after, I was ready to get home.
Jackson insisted on walking me to the train and asked when I planned on seeing him again. I didn’t, but I smiled and said, “Soon.”
Jackson never called, nor did he send a text, but that night would have made me think he would have done both. A few weeks later, I get a text from Jackson around 2am. “Hey you. Wanna come over?” I didn’t respond.
The next day, I open my Tinder app and see that I have a ton of new matches, however, no one has said anything to me to start a conversation. I decided to at least say, “hi” to some of the men who swiped right on me. Still, no response.
“I don’t get this app,” I complained to my friend, Chaz. “What’s the point of matching if you’re never going to speak to your match?”
“Well, some people don’t use the app like you. Some people might be swiping right all day, making it a numbers game. They’re bound to match someone they actually want…” he said.
“Of course, it’s a game.” I sighed, scrolling through my endless silent matches. I closed out my app and deleted it. “I’m not playing this game.”
Two years later, my phone lights up with a call from Jackson. I’m intrigued and I still remember the handsome actor, so I pick up, “Wow, how are you stranger?”
“I could ask you the same!” Jackson laughed at his own joke. “How are you?”