"The person who was initiating these messages, the person with the witty comebacks, was nowhere to be seen the morning after."ILLUSTRATION BY EDEN KEILY-THURSTAIN. INSTAGRAM - @EE.DEN 

It was a couple of days after all the coffee shops and pubs opened. After what seemed like an infinite number of socially distant coffee walks around town in the previous months, I sipped my first Latte macchiato seated at an outside table. Basking in the sun, I proceeded with my people watching, when I felt a sudden giddiness wash over me, my stomach in knots. A sense of possibility, an energy running through my body.

That’s how I felt about the opening of restaurants, pubs and coffee shops. Knowing that we would have the possibility of meeting new people again was like a light at the end of this lockdown-induced tunnel. So, one night, while I was scrolling through my phone, I glanced at the little notification number popping up next to my dating app, and asked myself: now that pubs and coffee shops are opening up again, is it the end of the road for my Tinder account? Have dating apps become somewhat futile now that face-to-face interaction is legal again?

“Knowing that we would have the possibility of meeting new people again was like a light at the end of this lockdown-induced tunnel”

I wasn’t really a fan of dating platforms before the pandemic, but finally gave into the hype during my first term. I knew the popularity of sites like Bumble and Hinge had exponentially increased overnight since Covid. However, because I am, quite frankly, a somewhat “unreliable” texter (so I am told), connecting with someone in a bar or pub just made more sense for me. The dilemma I faced in the pandemic, due to my technological incompetence, is obvious. I guess it was time to adapt.

As you might have guessed by now, it was not always me doing the swiping and starting the conversations. Unlike me, my flatmates seemed to have been born with a natural wit which I seemed to lack, and so, naturally, they took the reins. I thus found myself sitting in my kitchen with my flatmates, aimlessly swiping away...that is, 99% of the time. Ricardo however, received a swipe to the right because he went to Trinity. And yes, you may judge our ulterior motive, but we were set on seeing Trinity from the inside before finishing our degrees. But this article isn’t about Ricardo. As you can probably guess, I got cold feet. I never met Ricardo in the flesh. Alas, Trinity remains as mysterious to me now as it was in Michaelmas.


READ MORE

Mountain View

AskVulture: How can I confess to my crush if I’m uncertain they feel the same?

To all those unfortunate souls who received initial “hellos” and then a torrent of unrelated comments to their pictures, I apologise on my flatmates’ behalf. You know, it was funny. At one o’clock in the morning. However, waking up the next day and reading the reply that came after falling asleep, it somehow didn’t resurrect the humorous enjoyment from the night before. The person who was initiating these messages, the person with the witty comebacks, was nowhere to be seen the morning after.

The conversations started in the hazy period of late-night swiping, were short lived. In my very romantic nature, I felt almost fraudulent, an identity thief. If it were to come to a date, my match wouldn’t be meeting me; instead, they would come face-to-face with a lovechild of my text-savvy roommates. I was not at all able to imitate the person from last night for a funny answer in the morning, even if I tried. My texting persona had very little in common with who I am in real-life, and for a person whose first language is not even English, the mismatch can feel even more extreme.

So, there I was, at night, my digital self — an endearing combination of my flatmates’ character traits, nationalities and backgrounds paired with a dash of my own personality, and I couldn’t help but wonder if others would find themselves in the same scenario. They too might sit with their friends with a bottle of wine as they wildly swipe left and right, only to wake up in the morning wondering: who was that funny, outgoing person last night? We know all too well that nauseous feeling after one too many glasses of red. Now we’re treated to an added extra the morning after: a dating app hangover.