Above Average: UPDATE

App: Hinge

Name: Jared*

# of Dates: 4

Recap:

Out of everyone I had met during my time in the NYC-area, Jared was the one I vibed with the most. Not only did we have the same sense of humor, similar views, and food tastes but, he was also the kindest person I had met. (Plus he knew his way around a neck and a cooch which definitely helped.)

We just got along and for whatever reason, things felt easy and comfortable. So comfortable that on our fourth date I asked if he would come away with me to Ocean City, MD for our fifth. Things were moving quick but it just felt right to do.

What Happened:

We had a great fucking time on vacation. Not only did we fuck enough to disturb our Airbnb host but, we genuinely enjoyed our time together. We went to Assateague Island and saw wild horses 10 feet away, ate at a crab house, rode a Ferris wheel, ate EVERYTHING, and danced our asses off at Seacrets.

The biggest thing to happen on the trip though was that we became a couple. Two people who are dating. Not talking, not friends with benefits, not seeing each other, not fucking around. Exclusively dating. And I was so happy. As soon as we decided that this was what we wanted we called each other “babe” nonstop because it just felt so good.

When I got dumped 2 years ago I never thought I’d be with someone again and then Connor came into my life for a bit and proved me wrong.

After things with Connor fell through and I moved to NJ I didn’t think I’d meet anyone special. A few showed potential (Looking at you Dan, Khalil, and Reed) but several didn’t make it. Anywhere. Close.

Some of my personal favorite, awesomely bad encounters include:

Then there were the awkward situations:

My “journey” was not what I expected in the least. I never thought I’d go out with over 30 guys and have 40-something dates in a year alone. But it happened. I didn’t think it would be as fun as it was or that I’d meet genuine people. Up until I moved I had only kissed two people and there were a lot of things and people to experience! That said, I also didn’t think it would feel as lonely as it did. Yes I went out with someone nearly once a week but, when only one every few months stands out it can get pretty old. (Like really, who the fuck raised these guys?!)

I started writing and documenting my dates as a way to share my version of the NYC dating experience, create something to remember this period of my life, and get the creative juices flowing again. What it became was something more. The messages of encouragement, positivity, and solidarity which came through were fucking amazing. To know that I was not the only one experiencing weird shit or that I wasn’t really a being a skank made this journey that much better. It has meant so much to me to hear your stories and struggles and it is clear that no matter where you are, what you look like, or who you meet—dating is fucking weird.

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Encounter #31.4: Above Average

App: Hinge

Name: Jared*

Date Location: Greek Taverna, The Crosby, Vanillamore – Montclair, NJ

Location Review:  4.0 Stars – So. Damn. Good. Awesome chicken!

4.0 Stars – Definitely a little snooty but has a trendy atmosphere and bomb ass duck fat fries

3.0 Stars – Actual food is nothing to ride home about but the dessert menu is super creative

Date Duration: 72 hours

What Happened:

After being away from each other for a week, sexting, and sending adorable ass text messages—

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(Like really? HOW IS SOMEONE SO FUCKING SWEET?)

This was it. This was our weekend to fuck. I had shaved. Cute underwear was on. Condoms were packed. It was game time.

That said, there may have been a kink in the plan. I was going over Thursday night and my period was supposed to start at literally any moment that day. I did the right thing and let him know what was going on and he, per usual, was adorable AF.

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I knew there was a chance but I was determined to beat it. I flooded my system with Advil, chugged water, and read every Wikihow on how to stop a period. I was ready.

Thursday night we went to a Greek spot for dinner and once again pissed the shit out of the waitstaff because we wouldn’t shut the fuck up. I had also asked him if he would come away with me to Ocean City, MD the following week. Plans with a friend fell through and I still had the room booked. He agreed.

When we got home, it was on. Thing was we both really wanted to go above and beyond for the other person so things didn’t quite work as well as we wanted. But, it would all be fine because I was going to fuck him while he was on a conference call for work the next morning to make up for it.

Friday morning I woke up with the pain. That pain every woman knows all too well. I ran into the bathroom and it was true. I had gotten my period. BAD. Like murder scene. I went into my bag. Among the two vibrators, spare bra, Soft Discs, and umbrella—all I had was one tampon. ONE. Shit.

Before the panic truly set in, we made breakfast. Jared had no idea what I liked to eat so he picked up a bunch of stuff the day before. He even got chocolate chips for pancakes since he thought I’d want them if I was on my period. We spent the day snuggled up on the couch and I watched Netflix while he did actual work.

Around dinner time it started to hit just how poorly I packed. One tampon was not going to last me until Sunday and I needed to save the Soft Discs for sex. We were going out anyways to pick up some things for dinner and there was a CVS next to the Trader Joe’s. Perfect. Should be fine.

As we walked through Trader Joe’s I felt my thighs sort of stick together. I attributed it to the humidity. Then I squatted down to grab a spice bottle and THERE SHE BLOWS. I felt the splooge of blood and began to panic since time was limited. I tried playing it cool when we got to CVS but as I got out of the car I pulled my skirt up a tad and saw the damage. There was a full Rorschach painting of blood happening down my thighs.

Despite this disaster, Jared was cool with it. He said he was just happy to spend time with me. We cooked dinner together and danced around his kitchen. While he was cleaning up, I went back into the kitchen and laid on the floor with my legs on the wall to stretch my hamstrings. He joined me on the floor and we just laid there, enjoying each other’s company.

We both wanted to fuck and after working out some mechanics it was decided that I would attempt the Soft Disc and we’d hit the shower. Things went better this time. We got our heads out of our asses and just had a fun time. His shower was pretty big which definitely made things easier. Shower sex is a tough one to make work but there were plenty of ledges and enough wall space to get it done. (I also may have farted upon exiting the shower. All mystery was lost.)

Saturday morning we cracked into the chocolate chips and made some pancakes before cuddling up and watching the original Jurassic Park. Pretty much we spent the day curled up on the couch and eventually decided it would be a good idea to see the outside world.

As I was doing my make up, Jared came into the bedroom and put a glass of white wine next to me. Then, as I was finishing up he started putting music on that he knew I liked. I have a weird love of John Denver and as it turns out, he is also a fan. He put Country Roads on and we slow danced in his living room.

After our dance break involving me teaching him the Beat It dance, we headed out to the bar. A few glasses of wine in he says,

“You know I’ve been seeing this girl and she asked me to go to Ocean City with her. Like it’s her favorite place in the world. What does this all mean?”

It means whatever you want it to mean. I think she just wants to spend time with you and enjoy things as they come. She may also want it to be exclusive but isn’t ready to label anything.

“Exclusive? I could do that. I just got out of a relationship and I’m not ready to jump into anything.”

That was it. We spent the rest of the night walking around downtown Montclair, trying ice cream, laughing, and opening up to each other.

Somehow the time flew and it was already Sunday. We ordered in breakfast and finished watching Jurassic Park. At one point a pillow fell off the couch and knocked over a glass of water. We cleaned it up and while we were on the floor started making out and made moves to fuck.

Jared knew his way around. I went into the bathroom to pop in the Soft Disc and when I got into his room there were ties, cuffs, and vibrators out. LETS. GO.

I had never fucked a guy while using a vibrator. Holy shit. Everyone go online and order a bullet style vibe and fuck your partner. Unreal.

After fucking for about 2 hours, we went out to the park and got some snacks before I drove back home. I knew I was going to see him 4 days later but, I didn’t want to leave. I was so happy. It had been a long time since I felt like I was a part of something mutual. There was no grey area on if we were interested in each other seriously or not and that was so relieving.

With that, we got ready for a (period-free) beach weekend.

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Encounter #31.3: Above Average

App: Hinge

Name: Jared*

Date Location: Pint – Jersey City, NJ

Location Review:  4.0 Stars –  This is a basic ass bar. Nothing crazy. BUT their happy hour is what truly shines. $2 shots, $3 beers, and $3 mixed drinks.

Date Duration: 12 hours

What Happened:

Only 3 days after our second date we were on the third. He offered to come to Jersey City so we decided to do trivia at one of the cheapest bars in the area.

Since he was running late from work and the bar didn’t have much for food, I ordered in and he met me at my place. Earlier that day, he mentioned that he had something really embarrassing to tell me but he was going to wait until he saw me in person. I buzzed him into the the building and when he got to my door, he had me step out. I forget how it happened but he ended up seeing his mom earlier that day after she stopped at a bakery nearby. She also gave him 2 cannolis and said that he could share them with his “new friend”. DYING.

We ate dinner and of course he was fucking adorable. Before we got into the Lyft he kept kissing me and saying that he loved the way I touched him and how I smelled. (That sounds super creepy. It was sweet in person.)

We got to the bar, grabbed a seat, I got a little drunk, and we got our asses kicked in trivia. Between questions and rounds of drinks we had good conversation. Then at one point I ended up telling him (thank you vodka) that I really liked him, it scared me, and as happy as I was things were moving really fast. His eyes got really big. He said he felt the same way but wasn’t sure where I was and he was happy that we were on the same page.

He had a flight the next day so he didn’t want to stay the night but offered to bring a pint of ice cream back to my apartment to have before he went home. On the walk to Walgreens he revealed that he was not late because of work. It was because he stopped to get another new outfit for our date. Also that pint of ice cream he picked up was never opened. Instead we ended up in my bed.

Once again, we didn’t fuck. I don’t know how it happened but we decided that we were going to fuck the next time we saw each other. But, we kept ourselves busy with other things. He continued to prove he had a strong oral game and we moved to the shower. While we were in there, he brought up again that he had never just showered with someone and found it to be an intimate and romantic moment to share.

I didn’t realize how much I missed sharing my bed and waking up next to someone. I always have slept a little better knowing that there is someone next to me and it also helped that he was a solid big spoon.

The two of us were out of town for the weekend but he invited me to stay with him at his place the next weekend. We needed to fuck. I accepted his offer.

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Encounter #31.2: Above Average

App: Hinge

Name: Jared*

Date Location: Onieal’s – Hoboken, NJ

Location Review:  4.0 Stars – Good ass apps, decent wine selection, next to a dog park.

Date Duration: 12 hours

What Happened:

After our first date, I was super excited to see Jared again. Not only did he text me the night of saying how much fun he had but, he threw in that he couldn’t stop thinking about that night, had so much fun, and was looking forward to the next time we’d meet up.

Since I had a long drive back to NJ that day, we decided to stay by my area. Normally, I would have met him in Hoboken but 1. I didn’t know where to have him park down there and 2. I felt comfortable enough having him park at my apartment and then Uber over with me.

When we met outside my building, he gave me such a long and tight hug and I could feel his smile press into the top of my head. We Ubered over to the bar and once again, did not shut the fuck up.

Over text it came out that Jared’s mom was a medium. This blew my goddamn mind. I love mediums. A lot. There is a video in the depths on the internet of me sobbing uncontrollably while my grandmother came through via medium. It’s a big fucking deal and this kid’s mom happened to be one. (He did make a point to say that she doesn’t read her children or people close to her children. Booooo.) I also found out that he was half Jewish. My life aspiration at age 12? Be a Jew.

There was one moment though that was fucking hysterical. He asked me about ventriloquism and my puppet. I moved to grab my phone to pull up a picture of it and he said, “Oh don’t worry about it, I saw it on your profile.” I made a face. “No the photo. It’s on your Hinge profile.” It wasn’t. He creeped my ass HARD. Like scroll on Instagram until there aren’t any more photos hard. He was mortified. He also let it slip that he told his mom about me and may have sent her a photo. That was weird.

Despite his creepy ass, he still managed to surprise me with how genuine he was. He told me his best friend knew we were out and she asked him how it was going. He showed me the text and it read, “She’s awesome.”

We wrapped up at the bar, walked over to the dog park to pet some pooches, and headed out to one of the piers in Hoboken to see the NYC skyline. I loved how Jared touched me. It felt so fucking genuine. While we were looking out, he stood behind me with his arms tightly around my body. For whatever reason it just felt comfortable.

We kissed and eventually decided to move to the grass since making out where everyone takes pictures isn’t necessarily the best idea. Then we just had one of those conversations that lasts for hours. We covered our past relationships, the fact that we were blown away by the other person, and anything else under the sun.

At one point, I had my legs across his and the top of my dress wasn’t doing a great job of staying up. Jared said, “It’s not that your chest is out. I love how comfortable you are here and that it looks like you just don’t care.” …then we aggressively made out in the grass.

He also showed me some of the texts he had sent his friend about me. Jared had it BAD for me and it was clear his friend was also into this idea of me. He read some aloud to me but I looked down at his phone. He said things like, “I can’t stop thinking about her…I’ll be thinking about her all day”. Then he gave info for the friend to creep me and she said things like, “She’s so cute…She looks so radiant in her competition photos…I’m going to steal her from you…I can’t wait for her to meet everyone.” No. Pressure.

At this point it was almost 1am and I asked him if he would like to continue what we were doing back at my place if he was cool with not fucking. (I have learned my lesson. Second date fucks just don’t work out for me). He agreed and within 2 minutes of being in my apartment, I had him on the bed ripping off each other’s clothes. Once again Jared was cute and said, “If I had known this was going to happen tonight I would have worn my nice underwear.” Dead.

Although we didn’t fuck that night, we covered some decent ground. Jared had some strong oral skills to start but then when he asked the most lovely question a man can ask, “Will you sit on my face?” His oral game got that much stronger.

We moved to the shower and he admitted that he had never just taken a shower with someone before. He had only ever showered with someone to fuck and the whole time he kept going on about how great it was to enjoy another person’s body in that way.

When we dried off and got snuggled up in bed (at 3am) he apologized for asking me to come back with him on our first date. I personally didn’t care but he didn’t want it to create a negative memory on such a great night. WHY WAS HE SO NICE? We spent the remaining two hours curled up together between him sucking on my neck and continuing to eat me out.

He texted me the next day and said that he couldn’t wait to see me for our next date. I was excited too. But also scared. For two years I said I wanted to be in a relationship again and when I decided to give up on that this fucker came into my life. I was staring everything I could have wanted in the face and it was petrifying. Then I remembered all the advice I received over the past few years. Accept and enjoy it for what it is and take everything one step at a time. With that in mind, we set the third date.

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Encounter #31.1: Above Average

App: Hinge

Name: Jared*

Date Location: Salute Brick Oven Bistro – Montclair, NJ

Location Review:  4.0 Stars – Although the menu is essentially all in Italian, the food is BOMB and it’s BYOB so you can get as drunk as you want for as little as you want.

Date Duration: 7 hours

What Happened:

I had kept the same Hinge profile since I got the app. My photos had not changed too much and I liked my answers to some of their conversation starters. Over the course of 8 months I started to notice patterns on what people would “Like” to open the conversation with me. 2 photos in particular get more play but there’s a video of a comedy performance I have that rarely gets noticed. This is what Jared “Liked” to start the conversation.

The conversation just worked with him and in less than a day we exchanged numbers. We texted up the ass and I just didn’t care because he was so fucking funny and we had the same sense of humor. HOW.

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I also drunk texted him. A lot. The first weekend we were texting, I was in DC visiting a friend. I won’t lie, I normally go pretty hard when I go out. DC was another form. It had been several months since I had blacked out and I did not remember ANY of what I said to Jared.

He apparently thought it was cute and then let me drunk text him again when I went home for July 4th. ..and again when I went to party on the 5th. (I drink a lot during the summer. COME AT ME)

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For the first time, in a long time, I was fully excited to meet someone. I knew the basics of who he was but even over text he could make me smile.

He lived near Montclair (a VERY bougie place in NJ) so I met him over there for dinner. As I was staring and waving at a dog that walked by, Jared appeared. He was a lanky lanky white boy. But he had the biggest smile. Alright, I can and have done worse.

I was so excited that he brought white wine. I don’t know if it was chance or that he remembered I liked it but it worked in his favor. Right off the bat, we got along. It took us over a half hour to order food because we just wouldn’t shut the fuck up. (The food was BOMB btw. Got those meatballs with the fontina cheese in it and some kind of breaded chicken with rosemary. So good!)

We also killed the bottle of wine pretty quickly. OOPS. (By we I mean me. Damage was done.) When we finished at the restaurant he asked if I wanted to see the rest of downtown Montclair. On the way, we passed a bar that my co-worker recommended and we stopped in front of it. He was talking all about it and showing me the fun things and I felt him touch me a little more. Nothing crazy. Just a hand briefly on my back or my arm. So I thought to myself, FUCK IT IMMA TOUCH HIM. So I touched his arm and leaned into him a bit. Then we kissed. (In front of an abandoned church and garbage can.) Then it turned into a light make out and when we stopped and looked at each other, he had the dorkiest smile on his face. It was adorable.

He took my hand and we walked around a little bit (may have made out on another street corner) and we finally decided that standing on a corner and talking was kind of awk. We sat on a half wall and kept talking and making out for the next 2 hours.

During this time, he told me how nervous he was to meet me. So nervous that he went to Kohl’s on his lunch break to get a new outfit for the date. He also said that for the first time since high school, he had butterflies. SO. SWEET. To top it off, when we started talking, he had a few other conversations with girls going but he stopped answering because I was the only one he really wanted to talk to.

Around 10-something he walked me to my car where we made out slammed up against the trunk of my hatchback. For 2 hours. During this time, there was a tiny Asian lady in her car 2 spots from mine and we had no idea she was there until she pulled out of the garage. OOPS. We were going at it pretty hard to the point I had several hickeys on my neck and he indirectly asked me to come back to his place. I declined, but we continued on making out like teenagers.

I drove him back to where he parked and we made out for the entire Shawn Mendes album. My brother was staying at my apartment so things were cut short when he decided to call me at 1am and see if I was dead. THANKS BRO.

I drove home so happy for once. As a general life note, during this time I had been having some trouble with my physical and mental health. I was tired of being miserable so I joined a gym by my work and signed up for talkspace. (If you are in a bind at all because of insurance, cost, time, etc. I really encourage you to check out talkspace. It’s super easy to use and they work quickly to find you a therapist.) When this self care started I told myself that unless I already had a conversation going, I wouldn’t pursue anything. At the time, the only person I was speaking to was Jared and he completely surpassed any and all expectations. Date #2 was underway.

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Encounter #28.1: Deep Throat

App: Hinge

Name: Roberto*

Date Location: Pier 13 and Texas Arizona – Hoboken, NJ

Location Review:  4.0 Stars – Bomb ass sangria that will get you drunk, beautiful views, and fun atmosphere

3.5 Stars –  Tasty apps, decently priced drinks, near the main strip of bars, and close to the PATH train so you can make an escape

Date Duration: 5 hours

What Happened:

Roberto was not what I usually went for. He was clearly into sports, fitness, and shit while I like to lay on my couch with a bottle of wine. But he opened by saying he was a Patriots fan SO WE ALL KNOW HOW I RESPONDED. Plus he answered the question, What if I told you that… on his profile with, “I didn’t know what the “being exclusive” in a relationship was until I moved here. Where I come from if you are dating you are exclusive but ok.” I related so hard. NYC is a shitshow when it comes to dating and it was refreshing to find someone with a similar view.

He was clearly a nice guy. He offered to come to Hoboken since it was closer to me and truly just wanted me to be comfortable. He beat me there and as soon as I found him I got that feeling in the pit of my stomach. The “Fuckkk you’re going to want to leave in 5 minutes” feeling. I honestly don’t know what prompted it. I don’t know if it was because his energy level seemed low or that right off the bat we were sitting in silence. I just had a feeling this wasn’t going to work.

Roberto was a slightly interesting guy. He grew up in the Dominican Republic, did engineering, was close to his sisters, and played ultimate Frisbee competitively. (It also helped that he was built like a man. Super tall, broad ass shoulders, more of a bulked up muscular body. I like looking like a tiny human next to a guy so this was welcomed.) That said, we had different values. Once again my family came up and he made a comment that being gay is a choice. UHMMMMMM K. Everyone has an opinion. That one just doesn’t work with me. We finished our beers and he offered to get sangria. So I got drunk and agreed to go with him to another bar so he could get food. Damn it.

We chatted while we waited for food and he tried a PBR for the first time so that was fun to watch. He was clearly much more into me than I was him. He made some comment that he could see himself commuting to NJ for me every week. Slow down buddy, I just met you. Then it happened. We kissed. And really, it started out fine. Then after we took a break he had nothing to say so just kept saying in the most patronizing tone, “Ohh you’re just so cute.” Shut up.

I waited with him in the bar for his train and when it was 10 minutes out he held my hand and we walked outside so I could call my Lyft. We kissed again but this time we made out. Actually, I pretty much ended up deep throating his tongue. No bueno. Like this shit was aggressive. I was dry drowning.

He stood behind me with his arms wrapped around me and kissing my neck while I was on the phone with my Lyft driver. The boy can’t kiss but damn, solid hugs. I got into the car and the next day we texted a few times and I apologized for keeping him out so late. He texted me something along the lines of, “If being tired means hanging out with you late nights, I want to be tired at work more often.”

Yeahhh, we got to end that. Nagasaki’ed.

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Encounter #27.1: Artsy Fartsy

App: Hinge

Name: Morgan*

Date Location: Abba Bar &Grill and some radom ass taco place

Location Review:  2.0 Stars – Despite the fact that the happy hour drinks were cheap, the reviews online were great, and the atmosphere was cool AF; the service was terrible so I only got to have 1 of those cheap happy hour drinks

Date Duration: 3 hours

What Happened:

Once again, I agreed to a date just on the basis that the guy was a Patriots fan from Massachusetts. Morgan was from a town by where my uncle lived and we had a decent banter leading up to the date so I figured that I had nothing really to lose.

Morgan rolled up to the bar and he was cute. I could bench him and he was artsy fartsy, but he had a really nice face. Things started pretty normal. We went over the classic first date things and then there was a moment where I realized he had been talking nonstop and really didn’t ask me anything. He asked one question on how I learned ventriloquism and that was about it for the time we were at the bar.

I instead found out all about acting school, film school, his former roommates, his depression, personality quirks, oh and that he’s still not over the fact a girl from high school “cheated” on him. (She did shitty stuff but it didn’t seem to me that they were actually dating and it happened right at the beginning of whatever their situation was.)

I wanted to go home but he asked if I wanted pizza. Fuck. You got me. We ended up going to a Mexican place instead and split some nachos. When we were there I asked him what his online dating experience was like. It wasn’t good. He said that he pretty much swiped right on every girl on tinder, gets ghosted a lot, and had no idea why. HONEY. You unleash everything in the first 10 minutes and don’t show interest in the other person. Makes complete sense to me.

He did walk me to the train which was nice and for once I got out of a date without a make out. We hugged, I got on the train, umatched, and blocked.

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