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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The Coworker: UPDATE

Name: Elijah*

Recap:

Elijah and I worked together several years ago and I kind of always thought there was something between us but I figured I was wrong. Plus, even if there was something, I was seriously dating someone at the time and our company was not about its employees getting together.

This year, he was in NYC and we had possibly the best date I had ever been on. He was so nice, I was so comfortable with him, and it ended it a solid ass kiss. Only thing was that he lived far away.

Update:

Despite the distance between us, Elijah still messaged me pretty consistently after our date and would get pretty flirty. I asked what he was up to one day and he said he had the day off and was on the beach. I responded with something along the lines of, “Oh, living the dream!” He countered with, “Not quite, the dream is to have you next to me.” WOAH. Damn. Alright.

About a month or so after his visit, I met up with my old boss (who happened to be best friends with Elijah when we all worked together.) We were catching up when he started with,

“So I heard you had a visitor…”

“Yeah, Elijah was in the city last month and we caught up. It was nice.”

“Oh I am sure he treated you sooooo nicely.”

“Yeah? I guess? …WHAT DO YOU KNOW?”

I gave the quick and dirty of what happened and then my boss said, “I don’t know if I should be telling you this but he has had the biggest crush on you. He would ask me all the time if he could just take you out on a date and I had to keep telling him no since you worked for me. I told him that y’all can hang out and be friends then after graduation he could do whatever.”

O.M.G. Wow. Holy shit. This blew my fucking mind. Like yes, I kinda always thought he had a crush on me but I also looked very different then, really didn’t give a fuck since I already had a boyfriend, and made no effort since said boyfriend lived far away. I was literally at my grossest and Elijah was that into me.

So many things started making sense. It wasn’t just that we would get food all the time. It was how he looked at me from across the table. It was how he would always stop by when I was working to “see my boss”. It was how he would check on me after a rough night at work. It was how he would text me over holiday breaks just to see how I was doing. It was how he was so happy to have taken a photo with me at our year end dinner. I was right all along.

A part of me felt like I had missed an opportunity from way back when. What would that date have looked like? Would we have lasted awhile? Would either of us have moved after? But, as much as I wonder I know I wouldn’t have wanted it at the time. I was so in love with my boyfriend and clearly my boss wouldn’t have let it happen. But sometimes when it’s late, I had a bad day, and I’m alone, I go to bed thinking “I WAS FUCKING RIGHT. YOU GOT A MAN AT YOUR UGLIEST. YOU GO LAURA.” And I wake up with the biggest smile.