By Fahima Haque. You move to the Lower East Side and download OkCupid and set off a near-decade-long journey — of seeking ultimately fruitless partnerships. Future you: You were right, he did move on first. You decide this nice man should meet your oldest friends because you two are ready for that. You have just made a grave mistake and need to rescind the invitation immediately.
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When I was in my early 30s, my husband of four years, partner of nine, left abruptly in the middle of the night. In the surreal weeks and months that followed, I grew increasingly apprehensive about the idea of online dating. But I was also a writer who worked from home, one whose closest friends were married with children. And so it was that, some four months into singledom, I gathered the courage to join OkCupid and head to a wine bar with Pete, a musician-turned-accountant whom I chose for his spectacularly anodyne profile. Yes, online dating can be deeply demoralizing, a parade of indignities that throws into relief not just our self-absorption and banality, but our nihilism too. And above all the ghosting. But I would think that anyone who finds herself confronted by such baffling cowardice must suffer from them.
For some of us, the dating app Tinder suggests a slot machine for sex, a game for singles featuring one too many bathroom selfies. Napolitano met her husband, John Napolitano, on the app during her first and only Tinder date. Six months later, they bought a house together; a few months later, they were engaged.
Swapping out their rubber sandals for stiletto heels, they smeared on globs of lip gloss and flung on leather jackets. After a second wardrobe change, they were ready for their appointments at a modeling agency on the ground floor. Same people: two very different personas. A short elevator ride later, as I sat in on a meeting with a group of Tinder executives, it became clear that the quick-change act I had just witnessed downstairs, though unrelated to Tinder, still had a lot to do with what was going on upstairs.