Tinder Thoughts

For some reason there is still somewhat of a stigma around online dating. Whether you are just looking for something casual or like an actual husband there is an app for you from OK Cupid to Plenty of Fish and some other shit I saw on my Facebook timeline called “Farmers Only.” Any girlfriend of mine of mine has likely had me give them a blank stare and screamed “wait you’ve never used Tinder?!” at them at least once. This is because for the better half of a year, Tinder was my go-to way to meet guys. I simply could not resist the temptation of something so easy, fun (usually) and seemingly carefree.

When I first started exploring Tinder after moving back to New York as a post-grad, I was instantly hooked. While there are obviously worse things to be addicted to, there is nothing cute about checking a dating app during a spare moment, a tv commercial, or while your date is in the bathroom. It was difficult not to: I was presented with limitless options, laughs (I mean have you seen some profiles on there?) and dates. At some points I was averaging two-three dates a week like it was a damn extracurricular activity. At first it was fun – there is something incredibly satisfying about getting matched with someone, going on some dates within a few days of “meeting” them and writing them off just as easily. Its a quick ego stroke accompanied by instant gratification. I soon realized, however, that I was using it as a crutch to avoid the alternative: venturing out alone and actually putting myself out into the real, tumultuous dating world with actual emotional risk.

While many of us would like to think otherwise, the basis of Tinder is a shallow one: you see someone hot and decide if you “like” them. From there you may decide to meet up  and see if there’s something else there. Please note: 9/10 times “something else” is not anything serious. I do not care about your co-worker’s sister’s best friend that found bae using the app because this is as unlikely as finding me in church on a Sunday. Using Tinder becomes more about serial dating for the sake of doing so, and as a result the people you meet become disposable as you are constantly thinking there is someone better quite literally at your fingertips. The odds of finding a real connection are like finding a needle in a fucking haystack, and that’s exactly why you log on: to avoid the emotional roller coaster of a real relationship with someone we actually like beyond their physical appearance. I believe that this particular website is designed for emotionally unavailable people who are rebounding, scared of being vulnerable and are solely looking for no string attached fun. I can say this because I was one of them.

There is no doubt that Tinder provided me with some of the best, worst and most comical experiences of my life. I have met guys who I have actually vibed with on legitimate levels, made close friends and gotten out of my comfort zone. I have gotten to know a different types of men, ranging from total sweethearts to absolute narcissists. I have learned that I love artistic guys who are romantic and that full on “bad boys” are not worth the headaches. I learned know that what looks good is not necessarily good for you, and that models are fun to hook up with but not to date. I now know how I would like to be treated and that I am not everyone’s type, which is totally okay and nothing to get bummed about. Most importantly, I learned that I am emotionally ready to truly connect with someone, and that is worth the risk. This self-discovery was critical coming out of college into an entirely new phase of life.

In this digital age I think everyone should try online dating at least once. It is no longer just for your socially awkward friend who has no game or your recently divorced aunt. For Tinder, I recommend going on three dates with different people. I say three because unless you are lucky, the first one will be awkward as fuck, they will not look anything like their photos and you may have to cut the night short. The second and third ones will hopefully be with someone you think is actually attractive and interesting, which will help restore your faith in dating. You may only a good experience, a good meal or a good lay out of it. As Nas says, play on, playa.

Surprisingly enough, I do not have any regrets (and I’m still alive!) so I consider myself one of the fortunate Tinder users in this city. I am only half kidding about the about the not being murdered part. Clearly I watch too much SVU.

Dating Older Guys

I found a meme on Instagram, the all-knowing source of wisdom and knowledge, that read “Beyonce is married to Jay Z. Beyonce was in kindergarten when Jay was in middle school, so look past men your age and you might just find your husband!” After getting over the creepiness of this this analogy, I laughed. It got me thinking about one of the most frequently brought up topics between myself and my girlfriends since we before we even hit high school: dating older men.

There is something incredibly alluring an older guy (and before anyone jumps to conclusions I am not talking about someone’s dad or a 50 year old sugar daddy – I mean someone just a few years ahead of you.) There is an element of mystery to someone who has more experience than you in almost every area of life – even if its just a couple of years worth – especially when you are still figuring your shit out. College and your twenties are some of the most transformative years of your life, and those going through it know just significant these lessons and experiences are. Meeting a guy who has, for the most part, grown into himself and at least somewhat knows what he wants is extremely refreshing for girls who go crazy with the frequent indecision and unpredictability of guys their own age. And if the older bae in question has the ability to pass some of that wisdom onto you in a non-condescending way it is absolutely a bonus and hot as hell.

The appeal of older men is evident from early in a girl’s life: movie plots revolve around it, teenage rebellion thrives on it (sorry dad!), and the mystique of college boys fuels the imaginations of high school girls everywhere. When I was 13 I crushed on pretty much every 16 year old snowboarding instructor I saw. When I was a freshman in high school I had the absolute BIGGEST crush on a senior guy because my 15-year-old brain swooned at the thought of his maturity and sensitivity that freshman boys just did not possess (ha!) When I was a high school senior heading off to college I thought “wow I can’t wait to meet mature college boys!!!!” We are talking about almost a decade of this type of thinking, and I’m confident that I am not the only one.

As a post-grad, this concept of dating “up” is more relevant than ever. I cannot speak on all men just like I cannot speak for all women, but the men my age I have met since graduating school are the exact same beer pong playing, keg-chugging, dick -slinging college boys they were 4 months ago, except now they have more money and more freedom – a recipe for disaster.  This is particularly true in a city like New York, which many call Disney Land for adults and statistics show is the home of George Clooney types who refuse to settle down until they are pretty much forced to at gunpoint. Despite the literal millions of people out there the dating can sometimes seem particularly sad, just as it may seem in a small town or college setting. Now before someone comes at me with “NOT ALL GUYS ARE _____”, let me just say there are obviously younger guys out here who are open to relationships, are more mature for their age, know how to treat the ladies etc. They are unicorns.

Girls admire older guys for the same reasons guys lust after older women: confidence, wisdom, security and attractiveness. I mean, a guy who knows EXACTLY what he wants, is direct, and is straight up with his feelings about me? Sign me up.  These days, my friends seem to exclusively date older, citing 26 and up as the best fit for them on an emotional and physical standpoint. The first relatively older guy I went out with this summer planned almost every date in full, picked me up, asked me actual questions about myself, openly answered my own and held conversation outside of trying to pass go and collect $200 (a Netflix and chill session.) He opened his car door for me, walked me to my door followed up after he got home. I was borderline mindfucked, because so much of the basic treatment that women appreciate is so often overlooked by men our age. I realized that concern and thoughtfulness is what I want and need in a potential partner, and it is not being someone’s fuck buddy, blunt roller, or alcohol supplier.

I really hope nobody takes this article as shitting on twenty-something year old guys. I’m also not saying that dating an older guy will always be sunshine and rainbows cause we’ve all heard of some older guys who use jedi-mind tricks to fuck up your life. But I truly believe that every girl should try an older guy at least once. If you never try you’ll never know.

The Struggle

In a city where there’s always something to do at any given moment, you can never say you’re bored. Nor should you ever be, as if you live in the most expensive US city you’d better be making it worth every penny (I’m convinced the high cost of living is due to the fact that everyone wants to be in close proximity to the action, and that’s what we are playing for). The lovely thing about NYC is that there is so much to do, and luckily some of these things are free. Most, however, are not. There are concerts to see, bars to try, festivals and showcases to attend, and most importantly food to eat…and lots of it. Unless you have the hook up, which I can sometimes get by turning on the charm, there will be money involved and its not for the faint of heart.

Though my mom suggests “finding nice men to take you out” (she is an OG, I have not really jumped on this advice just yet). is the best Whilst in the throws of job searching, I have been doing everything I can to explore what summer in the city has to offer, and I refuse to turn down an opportunity or a good meal (even if my bank account hates me afterwards…which it does often). I spend the hours that I am not working at my restaurant gig exploring various neighborhoods and enjoying the simple adventures and stimulation this city supplies. Also, happy hours.

Harlem Tavern, where I spend all my money.
Harlem Tavern, where I spend all my money.

Going from a highly structured environment (college) to a completely structureless one has been somewhat of a struggle. I feel like I am on an endless vacation and find myself exhausted at the end of the day even though all I really did was make breakfast, workout, apply to jobs, read, make dinner, and go out. It’s odd but fun waking up in the morning and not knowing what to expect and acting on a complete whim. I know I can’t live like this forever, but there is something luxurious about this lifestyle. I often wonder how I am going to adjust to a real job where I have to be somewhere ON TIME at 9 am 5 days a week. It is completely different from going to school, holding an internship, or any other work-related obligation that most people my age have needed to do, as its no longer “part time” it is essentially every day for the next 30-40, possibly more, years of life.

 I want to build a future for myself and put in the work necessary but also focus on thriving in the present. In that sense, my struggle lies in enjoying my life right now but also wanting/not wanting to work. Luckily after talking to my friends, I know I’m not alone in this and not completely insane (just extremely optimistic). Everyone wants to make their passions their career, but this is even more the case for me as I cannot work in a place I hate or that does not inspire me/motivate me to be at my best every day. Though I do not expect my first job to be my last, nor do I want it do, I am holding out for a job that is the absolute right fit, as I want to give it my all. Until then, I’ll be reading for fun, drinking on Sundays, and having a great damn time.

Living alone and being unemployed affords me an incredible amount of flexibility to do various things, such eat candy for breakfast or go to out on Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays (aka the weekend for New Yorkers). It is freeing, scary, unpredictable, and it tests my willpower and strength daily. It also tests my wallet, as I am the absolute worst when it comes to budgeting (which has to change). I certainly can’t say that I’m struggling, but I can say that I’m having the time of my life. I do need to start cooking more though. This going out to eat every night shit is not going to fly forever.