Oct 26th, 2020, 03:47 PM

Becoming Un-Hinged

By Michael Gallagher
The Hinge Logo as it appears when the app is opened. Image Credit: Hinge
My experience Dating in the Covid-era

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When I told friends I was moving to Paris, they were excited for me and quickly began chatting about how I would meet a lover or two. However, their romantic expectations for me were much higher than any of my personal ambitions. In fact, falling in love in the city of lights was the last thing on my mind. Okay, not dead last, but hear me out. I am in graduate school, I lost my job due to the pandemic, and I am trying to find out what makes me truly happy. I know a relationship is not going to help in any of these categories. My time is limited so I’m not wasting it on anyone or anything that doesn’t spark joy. I love my independent spirit and hate small talk– please let’s just tell me about your high school trauma I don’t care about your pets.

Upon landing in the city known for love and public urination, otherwise known as Paris, France, I knew I would be in for an adventure. With my N-95 mask on and eyes wide open I was taking in the sights of a quiet and warm Paris, knowing this was the start of a new chapter. Shortly after unpacking my twenty plus masks and making myself at home, I began meeting people from my graduate program. We shared some interests, but nothing made my ears perk up more than when I heard about how they have had several dates since moving here. Several? I think it has been about four years since my last date, and they had multiple in the last two weeks. Was I missing something? I had to a how they met these people. They informed me about the dating app Hinge, this is where the story gets really interesting.

Hinge is an app for dating and their slogan is “designed to be deleted.” Well I am here to tell you friends that I’m happily deleting the app off my scratched iPhone 8. After a month of likes and swipes I am over it and getting off the app for good. But that does not mean I can’t tell you all about my experiences on Hinge. I think there worth sharing.

First, we have the fashion designer. He and I had some great conversations. By that I mean we messaged back and forth for about an hour. He asked me how long I have been in Paris, I told him just two-weeks, which at the time was accurate. He followed up with asking about my favorite part about the city. I enthusiastically told him how much I love it here and how every street is a sight to see… he ghosted to me after that. For those of you who don’t know the term ghosting is when you randomly stop talking to someone without an explanation. Many of us have done it and to his defense I don’t think ghosting is a bad thing, necessarily. Sometimes you just don’t feel like talking to someone and that is okay. I guess I would prefer a reason, but sometimes people forget to answer and also what if the reason is not good, wouldn’t you rather stay blissfully ignorant. I would!

This next person I’ll call, Spectacles. Okay so he is definitely not the worst person on the app I am sure. However, he asked me where I lived and of course when someone asks you this question, for the love of god be abstract. I then respond, by the Eiffel Tower, perhaps he's heard of it. I then ask him where he lives. He responded with Tours. I said… “what”? He says it is not far from Paris. Having never heard of it I did a quick Google search. Turns out Tours, France is an hour and forty-two-minute train ride from Paris. If he thinks that I am purchasing a train ticket to go almost two-hours one way, he’d be mistaken that is for sure. Never mind the fact that my preference was set to just 15 miles around the city of love. Not only would that be a waste of time, but also a waste of money. What would we do there anyway? Oh, and I forgot to mention my location on Hinge was Paris, France not Tours, France.

Speaking of location, this final guy I will be telling you about will be nicknamed The Tube. This one really gets me. We had a great initial conversation after we matched. He complimented my eyes, right off the bat. A smart move on his part. I own eight or so pairs of glasses, I love my eyebrows, and I think it is a great feature of mine. I respond to his compliment with one myself, I am kind person. I then ask him what he does in Paris? Student? Intern? Give me the tea. I was interested at this point. He then says… oh I am not in Paris. I was a little confused and surprised. I then ask “Oh, where are you from?” After already being disappointed by fellow Spectacles, I was wondering the next destination of this Hinge match. He follows up with “I’m in London.” London? That isn’t France. Technically speaking that isn’t even the European Union anymore. My annoyance with this app grew and The Tube then says to me “well outside of London.” Outside London? Are you in Liverpool? Manchester? Oxford? I wanted details but I spared myself. The Tube finally tells me that he set his Hinge location to Paris. I mentioned how random that was of him and that is how that ended.

So, there you have it. The last five weeks on Hinge summed up in three boring men all who I regrettably spent thirty minutes of conversation on. I am not pleased with my experience. I will no longer be a member of Hinge, as they say it was “designed to be deleted” and deleted it will remain. Am I hopeful? Not particularly. Have I grown from this experience? I hope so. Do I wish the pandemic was over so in-person events weren’t disease spreading anxiety inducing spaces? Absolutely.