30 Days of Online Dating: Bros and Bikinis

This is a modern dating experiment. One girl. Five dating sites. Hundreds of chats. Thirty days. Thirty dates. Eighteen guys. (?) boyfriend. To start at the beginning, click here -- or jump right in at date eighteen below.

Date 18/30: Tinder Blake*

Good-looking guy from Calabasas. Friends with some of my closest USC buddies. Right-swipe. Immediate match. Immediate hello. We've barely exchanged Konnichiwas when Tinder Blake asks if we can switch to text, as he is mere moments from deleting his Tinder account. Feeling really special to be his last hurrah?

I give him my number on a Monday. He waits until Friday to text. How underwhelming. We chat about my week, his dogs, recreational water activities in general, the usual. Sunday evening, he checks in for the actual date-making.

TT: Hey! Good weekend?
Me: Hi! It's been great. How'd yours end up?
TT: Good thanks! If you want to grab drinks this week lmk.
Me: This week's a little crazy, but maybe over the weekend or early next week?
TT: Ya let's do next week. Tuesday!

Friday he asks about my weekend plans. I answer. I ask about his weekend plans.


No answer.

His silence rings like a procedural sound check. Courting by numbers over there, TB?

Monday we set up the whens and wheres for Tuesday. Tuesday I reschedule to Wednesday.

Shuffle shuffle. Shuffle shuffle.

Our date eventually happens over beer and wine at 3rd Stop. He is very attractive and very my type, aesthetically speaking. Conversation is easy, if not remarkably simple. "Let's start from the beginning." Seriously, though -- what handbook are you reading from, TB?

His friends are having a joint bachelor-bachelorette party that weekend, complete with matching T's. He's less than excited about it. What he is excited about is the @abikiniaday Instagram he recently discovered. I get to see pictures. Somehow, we manage to keep this conversation going for two and a half hours, at which point my brain gives up. In the midst of answering one of his standardized questions, my train of thought completely derails.

Me: Wait. I have no idea where I was going with this.
TB: It doesn't matter. Should we head out?

Yes we should. But also... it doesn't matter? How... abrupt.

TB: We should do this again.
Me: Yeah, that'd be fun.

Should we? Would it? Did that go well? Why do I feel so off-kilter?

The next day...

TT: Had fun last night. I look forward to my blog article.**

Welp. Here it is!

(In case you're wondering how this one ends -- he texts through the weekend... and then I never hear from him again. Guess I'll have to find someone new to chat with about my new favorite Insta account.)

*Not his real name
**The guys did not know I was doing this as part of a social experiment, butI did tell them that I have a blog where I often dissect my dating experiences. You know, for like a sort of heads up and stuff without completely coloring the whole thing.