Confession time: I've never been on a real date for Valentine's Day. My past boyfriends and flings were always out of town, anti-Hallmark holidays, or considered drive-thru fried chicken to be the pinnacle of a romantic evening, which is only partially true. (And OK, there was the year I turned a balloon-toting fellow down at my door because, and I quote, "I'm too busy with these tacos." I'm so sorry, Allan!) But on the cusp of my 25th birthday, this felt like the perfect year to break that tradition. So I asked people out for Valentine's Day (on Tinder, of course), in an attempt to get a taste of that "roses are red" breed of romance before closing out my first quarter of a century.
In total, I asked 15 men to join me on a Valentine's Day date, and pretty much all of them were down. But, as you'll soon see, their quick agreement came with strings attached, and my wish for a romantic evening hasn't exactly been granted.
Do you think my affinity for ALL CAPS messages is to blame? Or my demands to be wooed? Should we just chock all of these failed attempts up to the patriarchy at large? I'll let you be the judge. Here are the greatest (or worst, depending on your outlook) hits from my Tinderella-style hunt for a Valentine's Day date.
Memz was one of the first fellows I asked out for Valentine's Day, and things seemed to be off to a good start. He was "hoping" his lack of V-Day plans would change... with the expectant eyes emoji. Excellent!
But, like all men, Memz let me down on the execution. His ideal date involved going to "a nice place to eat" (is this code for drive-thru chicken again?) and then back to one of our homes, which is not what I had in mind. Thanks for the memz, Memz.
Next up was Raphael, who quickly became my nemesis. For starters, I'm kind of over this "American accents are sexy" opener on dating apps in London. When I moved here last fall, I was flattered — it felt like I had a secret weapon. But now it seems like men are swiping right to fulfill some weird fetish, and I'm not about that.
Now, I could have gotten past the accent obsession had Raphael not been a fountain of patriarchal nonsense. But, woefully, that's exactly what he was.
#TimesUp on that backwards, sexist thinking, Raphael. No cleavage or heels for you this V-Day. Or ever.
Ali's bio read "I'll kill spiders for you," which is really all I needed to see (there's currently a spider living in my shower and I've been toying with the idea of burning my building to the ground to escape it). His very formal, almost Valentine-like intro only sweetened the deal. I was sure Ali would be the perfect V-Day date.
Unfortunately, Ali and I have very different ideas of romance. Like, sweating it out at a dodgeball game and heading to a pub? No, sir. Do I look like Vince Vaughn? (I really hope the answer to that question is no.)
For reference, my current spread of Tinder photos includes a picture of me eating pasta and another with my dog. Carbohydrates and pups are my greatest passions, and I was hoping Blake might be down to incorporate both into a Valentine's Day date. Apparently not.
Once again, my demands were too much. It's fine, Blake. Excuse me while I make myself some pasta and FaceTime Puff. I don't need you.
My convo with Prateek is a pretty accurate depiction of most of my chats: A lack-luster 'Sure' followed by radio silence. I'm just going to go ahead and say that this has everything to do with men's poor planning skills and nothing to do with me... Right?
Everyone, meet Vikesh — the shining star of this Tinder experiment!
He may or may not have been a bit overwhelmed by my aggressive appreciation for CAPS LOCK (thus far, theme of 2018 is Caffeine!), and he may or may not have thought my name was Jenna. But ice-skating and alcohol?! That's exactly the kind of Valentine's Day I'm looking for. Fingers crossed this one plays out — I'm counting on you, Vikesh.
My conversation with Jay started out simply enough. Describing any evening as "empty" sounds kind of sad to me, but we could easily fill that void with chocolates and flowers and heart-shaped candies! Or so I thought.
Admittedly, I don't give people's dating app bios the attention they deserve. And by that, I mean I often don't read them at all. Lesson learned. Because it turns out Jay is actually two people? Looking for a third? And power to you, Jay(s)! But, like nearly everyone else I spoke with, that didn't exactly align with my V-Day expectations.
Sadly, my Valentine's Day prospects are fairly bleak, unless Vikesh comes through for me. But hey, there's still plenty of time and fish in the Tinder sea! Wish me luck?
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