“The Tinder Generation
Alana Hope Levinson

My First, Best Tinder Match

I last downloaded tinder at 8 a.m. the morning after a season finale-worthy breakup. Already having ruled out getting out of bed or going for a walk, browsing through an inexhaustible gallery of nearby (sometimes) DTF (who can tell) singles (lol not always) felt like the laziest–and only–way to reclaim some agency.

Tinder referred to using it as “playing”, which seemed gross. Over time, though, I used it just like I would any other phone game: furtively checking in at work on a slow moment, comparing notes with friends. Tinder’s use was fluid. Sometimes it was a texting app. Sometimes it was where the girl I had a crush on lived. Sometimes it was a jokebook.

One day I matched with Annie (her name has been changed because enough people are in love with her already). I liked Annie, and for the first time I had fun probing beyond the membrane of resigned irony every Tinder user establishes. I asked her out, and we set a date.

As far as first dates can go, it was pretty good. We met early and stayed until late. We got slowly, quietly drunk. We moved to another bar and did more of the same. We kissed stiffly on the street in thirty degree weather. I went back to her apartment and we spent the night next to each other in entirely sexless half-sleep.

The second time I saw Annie, she texted me at midnight asking if I wanted to come over. We met at a bad karaoke joint in the East Village and took a cab back to her place. On the ride over, she ordered forty dollars worth of Moroccan food for delivery, told me she changed her mind and wanted me to go home, and fell asleep. Once my bruised ego healed I realized it was the most baller thing I’d ever seen.

On our third date, we sat in the backyard of my favorite nearby dive bar. We shivered through our coats and smoked and drank and gently agreed we weren’t going to make it to a fourth date. We decided to be friends: the universal death knell for any relationship that begins with a mutual attraction.

A month later Annie moved from Manhattan to an apartment four blocks from mine. She didn’t know anyone or anything good in the area, and wanted to catch up.

I see Annie about once a week now. More often than not we’ll end up back in that garden, sharing shots and poorly-lit cigarettes, analyzing texts from our crushes. Grateful we met, however it might have happened.

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