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A letter to all the app boys I’ve dated

(Illustration: Giphy)

Well, hello there, guy I’ve probably been on only two dates with.

The first date, when you introduced yourself as a kind, caring guy who “is not like the other liars out there and will always be honest and kind to you”, but didn’t even insist we split the bill when I took my credit card to pay for it all, and the second one, where the sex was awkward enough that every time I remember it now I think “why do I sleep with so many weirdos?”.

For the boys I have dated, I’ve been (and all of this is true): a fan of raves and dark techno music, a hippie that loves fishing and camping, a photography lover, a nerd, a YouTuber, a fan of poetry, a lover of chemistry, a fancy businesswoman

You swiped right and I swiped right, and I greeted you with a phrase I got online after Googling “cool things to say to guys on Tinder”, then I told you about my most impressive things, of course, all exaggerated – my trips around the world, the time I got almost famous after writing an article online, or how I used to have my own stand-up comedy show when I was 15. All in a big effort to show myself as an interesting, smart, independent lady – omitting the many times I cry at night because I believe I will be rich but lonely, so if I die no one will inherit my stuff, or how badly I need people to tell me I’m pretty when I say I’m hideous.

I’ll even pretend I like things that you love for no reason. For the boys I have dated, I’ve been (and all of this is true): a fan of raves and dark techno music, a hippie that loves fishing and camping, a photography lover, a nerd, a YouTuber, a fan of poetry, a lover of chemistry, a fancy businesswoman. There isn’t anything that you can throw at me and I won’t say “Wow, how interesting!”

And I know you aren’t looking for anything serious. Firstly, because every time I tried to talk about something more meaningful than what I like to do in my free time or the positions I like in bed, something like the horrible week I had, you just proceeded to laugh and go back to another trivial subject. But you also made the incredible effort of saying it to me: “Look, I think you want something serious, and I truly don’t” – like after seeing you for an hour, I already fell in love and wanted to spend the rest of my life with you, which is something that could be true but not because of how amazing you are, but because of how great I am at idolizing other people.

Mom, how long am I supposed to boil pasta?

I’ll make with you the same plans I make with all the boys I date: I’ll go to your place and bring some of the expensive cake I take to all the boys I date. Let’s watch that reality show where drug dealers in airports get imprisoned. Let’s go for a run together and have brunch on a Sunday morning. I’ll cook for you, pretending I’m an amazing cook, when I actually have no clue and need to message my mom: “Mom, how long am I supposed to boil pasta?”

But at some point, sooner rather than later, you’ll start responding less to messages, you won’t be laughing at all my jokes, you will postpone our next date and get mad at me for no reason – then, and only then, is when I’ll actually start to like you, and to believe that losing you would be terrible. I’ll become my worst person and go crazy trying to win you back, even when deep down I know that you’re not even that good.

You’ve broken my heart. Not because I love you or even like you, but you carry the burden of all of the boys that came before you: the ghosting and the trips we planned but never took, how badly I want a guy to hold my hand instead of just having sex with me.

I’m thankful. Despite the tears, the amount of Ubers I had to take, and the archived WhatsApp conversations with lost lovers, I see a future where I’m 60 and telling my grandchildren about my adventures

So the only way we’ll find each other again now is on our Instagram stories, or when I encounter you swiping again, screenshot your profile to show it to my friends and make fun of your pictures or description – which made me want to date you a few months ago. It’s like I got a free 3-week trial of this product and I can’t have it back, but the ad keeps popping up on my phone. “Hey, look at me, it’s that guy who met your parents, just looking for something better than you in here”.

It’s like that episode of Black Mirror where the timer goes off as soon as the date starts, and I know the exact timing for everyone – two dates, three if I’m lucky. With every new boy comes a new range of possibilities to have in my life. If you have a cat, I want to meet it. If you have nephews, I’ll get them something amazing for Christmas. If your parents own a beach house abroad, I definitely imagine you bringing me breakfast in bed there (and don’t ask me why, but all my fantasies occur in a white room with a huge window).

But truth is, each and every one of you taught me something new. That I settle too much, that I show a lot of love to others but not enough to myself, that giving a gift on the second date – even if it’s their birthday – will probably make them run away and that even though foreigners are hotter, it’s not gonna last once you go back to your country.

I’m thankful. Despite the tears, the amount of Ubers I had to take, and the archived WhatsApp conversations with lost lovers, I see a future where I’m 60 and telling my grandchildren about my adventures – the good and the bad, because that’s what life is, after all.


  1. Line says:

    So honest… You are such a great writer!

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