#bumble | #tinder | #pof The Novelist Getting Stood Up by the DJ She Met Online

Photo-Illustration: by James Gallagher

This week, a single woman still processing her recent breakup and having sex with new guys on her lunch break: 27, single, Manhattan. 

DAY ONE

10:40 a.m. Logan, a guy I met on Hinge who lives in my neighborhood, texts me to come over for midday sex. I recently ended a long-term relationship and have been swiping on the apps just for fun, to meet some new people. Logan is a perfect rebound: He’s extremely hot, he knows his way around my body, and we have nothing in common.

1:00 p.m. On my lunch break, I walk over to Logan’s place. I pass a couple holding hands and think about my ex, Andy. We broke up because he was ready to take our relationship to the next level and I wasn’t. I still don’t know if it was that I wasn’t ready with him, or if I wasn’t ready in general. Growing up, I always fantasized about living with a boyfriend, getting married, having kids — the works — but now that I’m older and that’s become more of a real possibility, I can’t help but question that path. Or maybe Andy just wasn’t the one. When I get over to Logan’s place, we head straight to his bedroom. I don’t orgasm but I don’t mind, because it feels amazing regardless.

6:30 p.m. I have dinner with my childhood friend Paige. On our way home later that night, she goes, “I can’t believe how many hot guys there are here …” She’s right. As happy as I was with Andy, sometimes I wondered if there was someone else out there for me. Or maybe something. I’ve been boy-crazy since I was 13. Always either in a relationship or obsessing over a guy. Now, for the first time in my life, I’m craving something new. I don’t know exactly what yet, but I want the freedom to explore.

DAY TWO

9:00 a.m. I wake up with the most intense pain in my hip flexors. I’ve never had this kind of pain from sex. Wow.

11:00 a.m. Swiping like crazy on the apps to see what’s out there. I’m very impressed with the crop on Hinge and Bumble. I’ve met every guy I’ve dated in NYC on a dating app, including Andy. I never listen to anyone who says the apps are shit. They’re wrong.

11:30 a.m. Yesterday I matched on Hinge with a guy named Greg. We exchanged numbers and now he’s texting me. We have a lot in common and are having good conversations — a stark contrast to Logan, with whom I have to work very hard to find things to talk about. I’ve always dated with the intent to find love, so actively keeping things casual is very new for me. I’m still navigating the details of it. Like: Is it good that me and Logan don’t have anything in common? Does the fact that Greg seems like boyfriend material mean that I shouldn’t meet him? I don’t really know what I’m doing but it’s fun.

2:00 p.m. My friend is attending an outdoor hang downtown that Stephen, my ex before Andy, was supposed to attend, but then he couldn’t go because he’s not feeling well. I wish Stephen were still going so my friend could spy on him a little. I never thought about Stephen while I was with Andy. But my newfound singledom is giving me this attitude of “why not?” so I texted Stephen out of the blue a couple weeks ago, and we ended up talking for two days straight. He led a lot of the conversation, too, which was a pleasant surprise. If he ever expressed romantic interest in me again, I think I would pursue it. He was whip-smart and very, very loving, and we had an amazing sex life. I was crushed when he broke up with me; he said he was just “unsure” about me. I never got any reason beyond that.

6:00 p.m. I’m having a texting catchup session with my friend Marie, who lives in another state. I show her pictures of Logan and tell her that the sex is great, but he and I are “not very compatible.”

10:00 p.m. I am sitting on the couch with two ice packs pressed into my hips, as the pain has become unbearable.

DAY THREE

10:00 a.m. Hip pain is better. Thank God.

1:00 p.m. Logan sends me a Snapchat inviting me over for pizza and football. It’s a sweet gesture but it feels very relationship-y and makes me question whether we’re on the same page. I can’t go anyway though, because I have a date with a hot DJ I met on Bumble.

2:30 p.m. I text the DJ to see if he’s still good to meet today. Our plans were a reschedule from a cancellation earlier in the week; we’d tentatively agreed on today. He immediately replies to my text with a yes, and we plan to meet at a bar in the East Village later.

5:30 p.m. I am suddenly no longer able to view the DJ’s Instagram. Odd. But we never exchanged Instagrams, so I chalk it up to a weird technical fluke.

7:09 p.m. I text him that I’m on my way but trains are running slow so I might be late. I feel very safe on the subway. Everyone’s in masks and keeping their distance. It’s nice.

7:15 p.m. My text never gets delivered. I figure he’s coming from Brooklyn, so maybe he’s underground on the L and has no service.

7:41 p.m. I arrive at the bar about ten minutes after we’re supposed to meet, and he’s not there. I find a table outside and text him again that I’m here, but that text doesn’t go through either. I had a bad feeling when I first realized I couldn’t see his Instagram, and now that feeling is getting worse.

8:10 p.m. The bad feeling is confirmed: He never comes. I’ve been stood up. This has never once happened to me. I didn’t even know people still did this!

8:15 p.m. I feel like some people would take personal offense to being blocked and stood up, but I don’t at all. This would be true even if I were looking for a relationship. If a guy doesn’t like me or want to meet me, that is truly his loss. I know that’s kind of lame and cliché but I genuinely think this! I wish more women did. Plus, if nothing else, a dating disaster can become a funny story. I laugh the whole subway ride home.

DAY FOUR

9:30 a.m. I have off from work today, but I am incapable of sleeping in. Time to wake up.

10:30 a.m. Logan Snaps me. I want to respond but I don’t look cute! I consider asking him to hang, but yesterday I had plans (or thought I had plans) and tomorrow I have a date with a new guy from Bumble. I need a night to myself tonight.

12:00 p.m. I run an errand while texting my friend Ryan about when he wants to have a writing session over Zoom. We did this once before and it was a blast. Right now I’m powering through the first draft of a novel that my agent is excited about. If I can get some good words in today, I will be thrilled.

3:00 p.m. My writing session with Ryan begins. Ryan and I spend the first ten minutes talking, the next hour-ish furiously working on our projects, and then the next hour talking again. In the middle of our conversation, I start crying over Andy. I have no idea what triggered me. Maybe it’s because me and Greg have been vibing so much via text, and it’s reminding me of the comfort and connection I had with my ex. I don’t know. I’m grateful Ryan is there to comfort me.

8:00 p.m. Greg asks me on a date. I’m elated; I have built up the most elaborate fantasy of him in my head. Though I have been telling all my friends that I sort of hope we don’t vibe IRL like we do via text, because I really don’t want a relationship. I know this makes no sense because I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do. But what happens if you meet someone special during a period like this? Does that mean they aren’t your person because you didn’t meet at the right time? Does the timing not matter if the person is right? So many questions.

DAY FIVE

7:45 a.m. Roll out of bed, brew some coffee, hop on my laptop for weekly therapy at 8 a.m. My therapist is the best. I started because I wanted some help navigating my breakup with Andy, to talk through why I ended things with someone I loved. I know people scoff at “it’s not you it’s me,” but I really think that was the case here.

9:00 a.m. I switch gears emotionally to sign on for work. I work in media, and I joined a new team just before COVID hit. I love my co-workers, even though we’ve only ever connected digitally.

9:30 a.m. I cancel tonight’s date with the Bumble guy. He was cute and had intrigued me because he had read one of my favorite books, but I’m not into it enough to go downtown to meet him. I’m feeling a little overwhelmed by dating, to be honest. Chatting with matches, Snapping with Logan, nonstop texting with Greg — it’s a lot. I ended my relationship in part because I didn’t want to be tied down by men, yet here I am again.

5:45 p.m. I start writing the next chapter in my novel. It’s a big one! It’s the chapter where the “crisis” is going to happen. I am obsessed with this story. Writing brings me so much joy.

9:30 p.m. Jen, my friend from high school, texts me that she found me a guy to date. I’m not in a position to add new men to my rotation but I humor her. She sends me a picture of a guy who’s cute, but also 23. That sounds so young. I know 23 is only four years younger than me, but early 20s and late 20s feel like totally different universes.

DAY SIX

1:00 p.m. Logan Snaps me a selfie of his haircut that totally turns me on. I tell him he looks sexy, then invite myself over to his place to hook up later that night.

5:30 p.m. Logan informs me that he’s going out for dinner. This is his way of saying he might cancel on our plans later if he gets tied up. Believe it or not, this is not the first time he has done this. Still, I’m optimistic, or maybe stupid, and we message back and forth on Snapchat to figure out logistics of when I should come over. The conversation ends with him asking me to wait to see how he feels before we make any concrete plans. I know what’s coming.

7:00 p.m. I cancel on Logan because I don’t feel like waiting around for him to inevitably cancel on me. I also don’t want to hang with him as much as I thought I did. I was only horny for five minutes when he Snapped me this afternoon, and now I’m over it. I think I need some kind of emotional connection to keep things interesting with guys, and I just don’t have that with Logan. Not that I actually want that with him. Or with anyone.

8:00 p.m. I write more of my novel. Time to reveal a detail about my main character that will (hopefully) shock future readers! Writing fulfills me so much more than dating right now.

DAY SEVEN

2:30 p.m. Logan texts me to inform me that a certain celebrity’s nudes got leaked, then proceeds to make fun of her body and call her trash. I’m extremely turned off by this. I don’t answer.

6:00 p.m. Greg and I have been texting nonstop. Part of me likes it because our conversations are fun, but part of me thinks it’s coming on too strong. We haven’t even met yet! I know I should put some space between our texts. “Set a new texting rhythm,” as Ryan has advised me. But Greg follows up with another text if I don’t answer, and then I feel bad. Tonight, he ends our text conversation by reacting with (!!) to my last message and saying nothing else. I don’t care too much, though, because I’m getting drinks with my college friend David, whom I haven’t seen in a while. I kind of want to just focus on my friends right now.

10:00 pm. On my way home, I check my texts and see none from Greg, still. I did tell him that I had plans tonight, so maybe he didn’t want to bother me while I was out. I appreciate this. In the past, I would’ve been so disappointed every time I peeked at my phone and saw no text from a crush. But now I very much cherish my space. Maybe I should take all the space and be alone.

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