Maria and I have never met, or spoken really, but we’ve been dating for a little more than 72 hours. We matched on Hinge, which is a more business casual version of Tinder. She “liked” an answer I’d given on the app’s questionnaire, which is simultaneously flattering and a little insulting, since she didn’t like any of my photos.
She’s stunning. Like a Mexican Allison Williams. She owns an accessories and jewelry line with her best friend. She’s very busy, but she makes time for me, her loud, large American girlfriend.
Originally from Mexico City, Maria moved here when she was in her early twenties. I have no idea if this is true, it’s just the backstory I’ve assigned her. She and her friend, let’s call her Veronica, founded their line together in graduate school.
Maria wears designer clothes and things she bought secondhand that she makes look like designer clothes. She’s a little under 5’7, but appears taller because of her long neck. She has perfect skin, caterpillars for eyebrows, and cheekbones that could cut glass.
She matched with me late afternoon on a Friday. I thought she was drunk or maybe sat on her phone, but when I wrote to her, I got a response.
“Hey Maria,” I wrote. “How was your week?”
“Hi Lee,” she replied hours later, around midnight. I could hear her accent through the DMs. “It was good! How was yours?”
I got an exclamation point. As far as I was concerned, we were picking out glassware for our registry. We’d have one ceremony in Ohio, where I’m from, and one in Mexico City, where her family still lives. Her father is a famous painter with a gallery space in La Juárez. Her mother is a retired VP of one of the biggest banks in Mexico. They live in a beautiful villa in the suburbs, where we plan to go for Thanksgiving this year.
After celebrating the fact that she was not a bot, I went to bed. I decided I wouldn’t answer right away, so it looked like I actually had a life. The next day I responded.
“Mine was good,” I wrote. “I moved recently, so I’m working on my new place this weekend.”
(I was hiring someone to wallpaper my bathroom, but I wanted to imply I might in some way be handy, for when we fix up the house we’d eventually buy upstate).
“Are you doing anything fun?” I ask. (I know, I know, these messages are boring but you have to understand, I didn’t want to scare her.)
After hitting send, I take a shower and get ready for the day, periodically checking the app because I have the notifications turned off. She doesn’t respond. It’s okay, I think. She’s traveling to Europe or something else rich, attractive people do.
That night I go out for drinks and dinner for a friend’s birthday. I forget about Maria for most of the night and the next morning. The following day, Easter Sunday, I go grocery shopping and bake banana bread and FaceTime my family. I’ve forgotten almost completely about Maria by the end of the weekend, although I’m still vaguely aware we’re in love.
I return to the app late Sunday night and start swiping while watching Real Housewives of Atlanta. I check my messages. They’re blank. Maria either unmatched me, deleted the app all together, or (what I’m leaning toward) couldn’t come up with a response she felt was charming enough to woo me, so she killed herself.
Whatever her reasons, just like that, we were done. I’ll spend Thanksgiving in Minnesota with my aunt who drinks too much, not a villa in Mexico. I won’t need to re-learn all the Spanish I’d forgotten from high school. Fortunately, our break-up was quick and amicable. Well at least, she was okay with it. And just like that, I’m single again.
After deleting and re-downloading the app twenty minutes later, I start swiping and match with a girl named Claire. She’s so cute and a producer for a TV show I love. We’ve been dating since around 3:30 p.m. and so far things are getting pretty serious.