A while back, I was admittedly, a user of dating apps and even more cringe-worthy to admit, Grindr specifically. Though the Grindr scene is more of a “hook-up esque” kind of deal, I stayed true to using it for dating purposes only. I’ve had my fair share of stories to tell about countless dates, good and not so good, but one stands out from the rest.
It was a summer Sunday and I found myself plan-less, money-less, and suffering from boredom. The same messages kept rolling in from the same accounts on my Grindr. The usual “pics for trade?” or “DTF?” I paid no attention but there was a certain persistence in one guy that wasn’t looking for a hookup, or so he made it seem that way.
His profile basically pinned him as a mid 20’s guy, not that attractive, looking for something “real.” I could respect that, and he, throughout that entire week, messaged me multiple times to go on semi romantic dates. In my stubbornness, to keep a standard of men I dated, replied no thank you, or not today. However, that sad Sunday, I said why not.
We agreed that he would pick me up and we would go to lunch, somewhere public and it was mid-day so it’s not like he could kidnap me and get away with it, right? I put on my Sunday best, and beat a face. I mean even though he wasn’t attractive I should still try because he deserved that.
I get the message, “here,” and walk outside to the man in the picture only a little more overweight from the pictures I glanced over, in a red pick-up truck, and dark sunglasses on like he had just finished bike marathon. I took a deep breath and got into the car. He had already decided on a restaurant, Bar Louie in station square, and that was a good choice and a good move on his part. On the ride over, we had an actually decent conversation and I found myself enjoying the car ride. When we parked the car, I smiled to myself and thought how much of a shallow, and judgmental person I had been. As we walked to the restaurant I was delighted to be able to sit down and hear more about this guy and felt accomplished with this new-found sense of acceptance. I made a personal vow to stop being so shallow and give guys who don’t look like they belong in an American Eagle catalog a try.
I sat down and as I did he said “I’m gonna go to the bathroom.” I smiled and replied okay, ordering water when the waiter came over. I sat there and five minutes went by… and then another five minutes. By this time, I started to go over the possibilities in my head. He might have gotten sick, or maybe he’s doing number two, or maybe he’s nervous so he’s calming himself down. Sadly, none of that was the real happening of what went on. So, I continued to sit there, at this point the waiter had come over 3 times to take my order and by the 3rd time she definitely was looking at me like I was a lost puppy. I just kept replying “I’ll wait until he comes back.” Twenty-five minutes went by and I got up and went into the bathroom only to find that the entire men’s bathroom was empty. I checked every corner and then it hit me. HE LEFT.
I walked out looking for cameras or Ashton Kutcher because there was no way that THIS man, this man who had asked me 4-5 times that week to go out, that looked the way he did, and that I said yes to, had left me at this restaurant with no transportation home. But no cameras, no Ashton Kutcher, just pure realization.
I stormed out, so angry, thinking HOW! How in the world did this happen to me? Like this kind of thing doesn’t happen in real life, let alone to me. I continued my aggressive walk home and halfway across the 10th street bridge I just started laughing uncontrollably. I called my closest friend to tell her the news and she laughed even harder than I did. It was then that I accepted that this is what I deserved for being such a shallow jerk, and using someone who showed genuine interest as a food bank. The only thing I could do from that point on was hold a small grudge, respect him for giving me that piece of mind, and laugh about the entire situation anytime I could.
This was such a positive experience for me, even though it didn’t seem like it at the time. This taught me that it’s not about looks, that dating apps hardly ever work and to be more cautious, and that when having someone you don’t know drive you somewhere, have a backup mode of transportation on standby.
Even though, my Grindr days are over, and I never got the results I wanted from it, I wanted to see what other people experienced. So, I took to Instagram and asked this, have you ever had a positive relationship come from a Grindr meetup? Because I know I can’t be the only one to have used this app for actual connection. The outcome was this, 35% yes and 65% no. So apparently, there is some hope out there after all but the majority of the time, sticking to another form of meeting someone romantically is probably your best bet. But a word of advice, don’t be too shallow, and drive yourself if possible.