Love in a time of social distancing

By Brittnee Talley, Staff Reporter

Perfect lighting, great smile, not too many group photos, just the right amount of side eye and a killer bio: these are the things we keep in mind when making an online dating profile. A myriad of ingredients that if properly played out can snatch you the hottest guy or girl out there. But if played (the same way apparently) you also get some really strange creatures.

When I realized that Tinder had opened its passport setting to the public for free during this time of quarantine and despair, I knew that I had to hop on and utilize this to its full potential. After all, when else am I going to get the opportunity to travel like this for free while simultaneously stuck in my house?

So you had better believe that I changed my location from Amarillo, Texas to London, England about as fast as I could. Just about every male there was a swipe right in my book. I spent 24 glorious hours perusing the catalog of men that Europe had to offer. Maybe I was being a little superficial, but can you blame a girl when most of the men looked like they belonged in a magazine? Football players, men with style, taste and great hair. And not a single one wore a hat backwards.

Just like American men however, most don’t tend to send very original messages outside of “Hey” or “Hello:).” However, they did send some of the most original and interesting pick-up lines I have ever seen in my life like, “I have all the toilet paper you could ever need. Might as well call me your Prince Charmin” and “Your smile is like COVID-19. Extremely contagious!” And even, “How many hearts have you broken with that gorgeous smile?” and “Your eyes glow like the twin suns.”

But no matter how attached I may have been to the gorgeous men of the UK, it was time to move on as none of them had the intellectual skills I, deep down, didn’t know I was truly seeking.

Next, I decided for a change of scenery, but kept it to Europe for the moment as I wasn’t quite ready to let go of the fantasy. And so, my fingers found my next stop as none other than Amsterdam. I found myself swiping at 1 a.m. through hundreds of potential matches, each more attractive than the next. Glorious golden hair, perfect style, unique names and, unfortunately, bios in a language that I just could not read. Maybe it was for the best as conversation with these men just seemed to fall short, and lacked what I would call “substance.” One such male messaged me asking “Why so pretty?” I was not quite in the mood for banter so I replied, “Luck?” His only response was, “I guess?” I knew in that moment that Amsterdam, no matter how beautiful and vast the choices, was just not for me.

I circled through a couple more cities, like Paris and Cape Town, but no matter how many perfectly chiseled abs, sharp jawlines, glowing tans or blue eyes like the sea I came across, none seemed to stick out as a keeper. Not even when they gave me their snapchats.

I decided to give this one last chance. After all, what else is there to do in quarantine? This time, I chose a spot where I had actually been. One of my all time favorite cities, Edinburgh, Scotland.

I spent 48 glorious hours touring the city and all the men they had to offer. I have actually been in person so it wasn’t too hard to imagine myself being there: walking down Victoria street, eating at O’Oliviero, stopping by a local bakery and getting a sourdough pretzel, all while perusing the local selection of men.

After nearly giving up hope and packing my virtual bags I received two notifications. The first one I opened informed me that he was gay and was looking for a best friend. Well, I was looking for best friends too, not because I happened to be lonely, but because I happened to be extremely lonely. So of course we started sending each other snapchats every day and getting to know each other.

It was great at first, I’ve always wanted a guy friend or just friends in general. Then, things started taking a weird turn, he surely must be mistaking me for someone else, right? These photos weren’t meant for me. Why is he in the bath? Where is his shirt? What is going on? What is he doing? Goodbye, sir.

I decided to check the other message I had missed. At this point my faith in men was gone, but I opened it to find an offering of emoji flowers.

This surely was too good to be true, this man was being kind, and not weird or sexual. And knowing that I would not likely get a response back, I sent him a balloon as a counter offer to the flowers.

But he did respond, and we actually hit it off. I found myself quickly entranced by this man and his charming personality and kind demeanor. Not once did he ask for an inappropriate picture, he even told me I was pretty, and we talked for weeks every single day about every topic you could think of. Hopes, dreams, future families, love, relationships, favorite books, movies, jobs, you name it we talked about it.

Crazy thoughts ran through my head as I imagined, this is it, he’s amazing and wonderful and handsome and kind and way better than my ex ever was. Sure, he’s 4,500 miles away, but what does that have to do with anything, right?

And then, he friend-zoned me.

So moral of the story, don’t go looking for love in places you don’t live, you’ll just play yourself.

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