Love isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be, especially when you add technology and pheromones into the mix. For a well–rounded look at Valentine's Day, Street cut the Hallmark bullshit and spoke to Penn students about their worst experiences with a dating app. From fuckboys to fake profiles to full–on stalking, these are their stories.
“Was that actually a date, or was that market research?”
In December of last year, Grace* (C '17) she went on a Tinder date with a 26–year–old Swarthmore grad who listed himself on his profile as a Spanish tutor. They met up at Local 44 for drinks; she remembers thinking he was a little “awkward, but not necessarily creepy." (Ed. note: rave review.)
She remembers him nearly interrogating her about her thoughts on modern dating culture, what she had set as her Tinder preferences and other specifics that a normal date probably wouldn’t ask. He kept pausing, staring into her eyes for what she thought was too long.
The next day, she received a text from her date—an apology. “I’m sorry. I lied to you. It’s wrong.”
Irony weighing heavy on her voice, she explains, “It turns out people pay him to teach them how to date.” His eponymous workshop’s method, elucidated in a LinkedIn slideshow, features tips for men seeking women, including “Touch Escalation.”
To explain the lengthy pauses, he mentioned his philosophy that “awkward silences allow for sexual tension to grow.” Something, evidently, got lost in translation, since our long–suffering source basically had to converse for two while her dating workshopper stared intently into her eyes.
Not content to let it lie, the workshopper asked if Daily Pennsylvanian might be interested in writing about his workshop. (Ed. note: It would appear he got his wish, a few months later! Happy Valentine’s Day!)
“The goal is to educate men out of their fragile masculinity so they can have better relationships with women," the so–çalled dating master said. "There are very few straight men promoting this.”
Grace didn't respond. The next day, around 3 p.m., her phone chimed with another text from him:
“Want to get a coffee later today?”
She did not.
I Will Follow You Into the
When Thomas Calder (C '20) received intermittent messages from a guy he matched with on Grindr, he decided to ignore them. About a week after the latest message, Thomas was wandering around a local mall with his mom when he noticed somebody following him. Later that day, he whirled around and saw the person following him was—you guessed it—the boy he had matched with on Grindr. He hightailed the hell out of there.
A Cruel, Cruel Catfish
Brandon Texeira (C ’20) was browsing Grindr at 2 a.m. on Saturday, apathetically swiping in his high–rise dorm. He wasn't looking for a hook up, just trying to pass the time, but when a cute guy asked him to come over, Brandon called an Uber to meet his match. He stood waiting in the street for the mystery man to take him upstairs.
“Lo and behold,” Brandon bemoaned, “my ex walks around the corner.” He had been catfished by his own ex–boyfriend, who not only subjected him to a 2 a.m. Uber ride and the abject humiliation of Grindr catfishing, but also had the nerve to accuse Brandon of cheating on him. (They had broken up three months before.) Safe to say Brandon went to bed angry. He’s stayed clear of Grindr ever since.
*Name has been changed.