- Thom Glick
With dating apps catering to every possible demographic, taste and fetish, there has never been a better time to be single and dating. Also, with dating apps catering to every possible demographic, taste and fetish, there has never been a worse time to be single and dating.
For all the problems technology solves for those looking for love, dating apps such as Tinder, Bumble, Hinge — and the 14 new ones invented in the time it took to write this sentence — create at least as many new obstacles and complications. Dating in the digital age is a catch-22 — which, come to think of it, would make a great name for a dating app.
To help us make sense of it all — or at least learn to laugh about it — we asked some of our favorite Vermont comedians and a few select expats to share their tales from the dating trenches. Here's what they told us.
One time, I was supposed to go on a date with a salon owner in the greater Burlington area. I was to meet him at his salon at the end of the day. I got there uncharacteristically early — only five minutes late! But one of his stylists was still working with someone, so we couldn't leave yet. While we waited, he asked me if I wanted a quick trim. I'm thinking, I didn't come here for a haircut, but fuck it. I was slightly offended, but then he starting shampooing me and massaging my scalp, and even though we were making somewhat terse small talk, it became hard not to relax.
Then I felt something hot on my brow.
My eyes were closed, so I assumed he had dripped water on my face. I kept them shut, waiting for him to wipe it off. Then he ripped off a portion of one of my eyebrows. He was waxing my brows without asking.
"Hey! It took me years to get them that close together!" I said, trying to make a joke to save face. He didn't get it.
"Oh ... really?"
"No. Keep going, please."
After he finished waxing my brows and trimming my hair, he told me he was too tired to hang out. I wasn't exactly blindsided.
In a way, I like to think we both failed that day. I failed because he had well-defined abs that I'd seen pictures of but never got to see in real life. But he failed as an artist, which is worse. He was obviously trying to turn me into something bangable, but, tragically for both of us, he fell short. I like to think that he went home that night and stared out a window, drinking and reflecting on how he's not the cosmetologist he thought he was.
It was hard to stay mad because, to be honest, he did a really good job. My brows looked amazing, so this story still has a happy ending.
— Kendall Farrell
There were so many OkCupid dates that went nowhere, but one sticks out. I met up with a woman at Vermont Pub & Brewery, and within a minute she was not only calling off the date but regretting all of the decisions that led to her being there in the first place. "I just am now realizing that this is not right for my mind, body and spirit," she said. Then, after a long, distant stare, she added, "Oh, it's not you. It's just this whole thing."
There is nothing quite like getting the "It's not you, it's me" line from a stranger who hasn't even once seen you naked.
On the other hand, another OkCupid date told me, "You should go do comedy already — everything you say is a joke." Thanks always, [initials redacted]. My life in comedy is owed to our incompatibility!
— Josh Star
A longtime Tinder-ite, I was getting sick of endless profiles with men holding dead fish. In the beginning, I swiped right on a few, only to discover in conversation that the photo was taken years ago and was one of the only times they'd ever gone fishing.
A native Vermonter and lifelong outdoorswoman, I added a photo of myself posing with a recently harvested deer to my profile to rival all the Neanderthal-ic "look-me-can-provide-for-you" fish profiles. A few weeks later ... I was notified that my account was banned.
I contacted Tinder, only to be informed that my content violated their terms of service and community guidelines and that they take violations "very seriously." But no additional explanation was provided. And, because they currently don't have an appeals process, the ban was, and is, permanent. Do a few Google searches for men on Tinder with deer — or better, fish — and you'll find plenty of male profiles that exist with similar photos.
But the same person who reported my profile took it one step further. He sent a harassing email to my employer with screenshots of my profile, calling me "a disaster" and "classless." Because I can no longer access the Tinder platform, I can't report the individual for harassment. I again contacted Tinder's support to ask about an alternative reporting process, receiving no response.
Thankfully, this was my employer's reaction to the situation: "We hired a chick who hunts. So what?"
If bagging a trophy buck means being banned from Tinder, I'll take it — and I'll wear it as a badge of honor while enjoying my venison and cleaning my hunting rifles.
Enjoy your fish, gentlemen.
— Nichole Magoon
I was looking for a new dating app recently, and I came across one that was supposed to be the opposite of Tinder. Rather than inundating you with matches, you get one match a day — it's aptly named Once. So I installed the app and started using it. But something seemed wrong, because rather than one match a day, I was getting reminded once a month when my [menstrual] cycle came around. Apparently there is a different app by the same name. But the moral of the story is: I'm done with dating apps. Period.
— Ed Brady
At 28, I'd never had sex outside a relationship and was apprehensive about hooking up. After a year of anguish following a breakup, I was at my best friend's New Year's Eve party when he got fired up and insisted I get laid and move on. He's very persuasive, and within an hour I was walking out of a bar with a number.
Two days later, she had me over for dinner, and we ended up in bed. She was so attractive, but I second-guessed myself. Would this mean anything to her? Did she even like me? My anxiety killed the mood. I was embarrassed, but she wasn't upset and we fell asleep. When I woke up for work at 5 a.m., something felt funny. Turns out I had a wet dream. I apologized for the mess, and as soon as the door latched, I laughed my ass off.
— Richard Bowen
My worst date was when I broke up with the girl I was seeing on Valentine's Day. It may have been her worst date, too.
During dinner she had given me a framed photograph of Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson ... and so I ended things. To be clear, I didn't break up with her because I didn't like the gift. It was the perfect gift! But, as I looked into the eyes of (circa 2001) the Rock, I realized that this relationship was getting way too serious.
She clearly wanted to take things to the next level, but I couldn't play pretend any longer. So, with the greatest pro wrestler of all time as my witness, I ended it. She threw her wine at me and stormed out of the restaurant. But, worst of all, she took the Rock with her.
— Jeremy Rayburn
Last fall, I went on a date with a nice woman. Things were going well until I happened to mention pie. She then spent over an hour talking exclusively about pie: She loved pie, she baked pie in her spare time, her parents had pie on their first date, she owned socks that had pies on them, her life ambition is to own a house that has a pie drawer.
What is a pie drawer, you ask? I did. It is a drawer in your kitchen where you store pies.
She went in-depth, detailing the pros and cons of different types of pie. She didn't even laugh when I made a joke about needing a pie chart. And after I hung on for all this, she insisted that an apple pie — my favorite pie variety — was not appropriate for Thanksgiving. Instead she was all about the pecan pie, because for some reason a plate full of corn syrup covered with nuts is more "appropriate" than something so American as apple pie.
We didn't go on a second date, but every time I see a pie, I think about her.
— Owen Foley
People talk a lot about how online dating is so anonymous and impersonal. And all I can think is Wow, I guess those people have never had to do a Reactivation of Shame after a new relationship imploded. Because you always quit your dating apps with such unbridled confidence, right? Especially that last week before you make it official, when you're curving dudes left and right, talking about how you've just been sooooo busy falling in love that you forgot you even had this app anymore. It's like quitting your job by shitting on your boss' desk. Except then, on Monday morning, you have to go back into the office and explain to him that no one else would fuck you. Which feels pretty personal to me.
— Bryanna Doe
I consider myself an expert in relationships, probably because my first boyfriend was the pole of a swing set. Not my family's swing set — gross! My neighbor's swing set. He was tall, slim, cool to the touch.
Being an expert in relationships, I think the key to sexual happiness is batting way below your league. Because if you haven't found yourself grinding up on some hideous monster who makes you feel like a 10, you haven't lived. I took this to a whole new level when I dated a drifter and he actually murdered a girl that looked just like me, and I was like, "What does she have that I don't have?"
— Bitsy Biron
My one and only Tinder date was with a heavily bearded man whose profile boasted pictures of live, exotic African animals. We met at Drink. I got there first and ordered a cosmopolitan, because they were on sale and nothing says classy like a discount martini. He was late. Strike one.
He showed up wearing a white linen pantsuit with a matching beaded belt and necklace. Strike two. Also, he smelled like cooked food on fabric. I asked him if he worked in a kitchen. He said, "No, I am a grad student at UVM; I was just cooking curry at home." Gross. Shower. But ... not a deal breaker.
Then. He ordered. A Coke.
Turns out he didn't drink, which is OK. But the place is called Drink, and he invited me there. How were we supposed to build any trust? Strike three. What's next? Is he gonna invite me to a hotel called Fuck so we can cuddle all night?
We played Yahtzee, went our separate ways and only ran into each other at City Market once.
— Beth Norton