I grew up north of conservative Westchester, New York — a county as rich as it is white — in an all-boys Catholic school. For the majority of my life, sexuality, love and romance had long been shrouded by a veil of ignorance. Unlike many Yalies, I was taught abstinence, not contraception; the girl who kindly took my virginity gave me a quick condom tutorial before our even quicker endeavor.
Therefore, you can imagine the timid excitement a young boy would have when he was accepted to the historically liberal — politically and sexually — university that is our good ole’ spicy Yale. Meme references to “Daddy Salovey” and Yale Daily News opinion pieces about Yale’s hookup culture fell upon this saucy prefrosh’s eyes with naive lust.
And thus, the profile was made upon my first steps in L-Dub, “Nick Tabio. 18. Part time dad joke enthusiast, full time daddy. ~ Wearer of socks and sandals ~. Believer in the man romper.”
[At the end of each online Yale Daily News article, you are given the option to contact the author; this time, I implore that you email me (email@example.com) with comments, suggestions or concerns regarding my Tinder profile. If we match, you’re in if you cite this article.]
Yet, of course, the razzle and dazzle of Yale’s Tinder scene quickly faded for this then-first-year. I quickly found myself in a committed relationship, deleting my red app, replacing it with a Google Calendar, plans with her parents and other signs of comparably monotonous monogamy. That’s not to say I disliked my relationship — quite the contrary, in fact. The conception of daily plans, consistent structure and mutual dependence feel shockingly human. It’s not rocket science, and its not philosophically complex; people — you and me included — dislike the feeling of loneliness, and we were raised in a society that pushed committed romantic monogamous involvement as the means to achieve such an escape from constant romantic escapism — by which I mean a slew of sexual affairs, all at least partially devoid of emotional investment.
All relationships end in one of three ways: marriage, death or breakup. Mine ended in the last, and the red app re-appeared on my phone in near-immediate fashion. I added some new photos (can’t be catfishing the freshman 15) and added a certainly clever duo of phrases: “4.96 stars on Uber. Preferred by 9/10 dentists.” Along with the daddy complex, knowing that I have responsible dental hygiene and am willing to make charming small talk with my Uber driver is sure to impress all of Yale’s boys and girls.
My return to Tinder, that certainly sexual community, has presented to me a particular, if not unfortunate existential quandary: Is the single life the good life?
My traditional Westchester upbringing presses me to say no. I go to sleep alone at night, as do all the single people in the world, and I wake up with ever so slightly less structure in my life — an understatement, if you knew me better. Casual dating is hardly the answer; G-cal-ing your Tinder dates does not even mildly resemble an organized, functioning life. Around this Valentine’s time of year, we must also consider the presumptuous idea that Tinder and other sexually-focused dating apps could never produce love — a commonly held belief that I wholly refute.
Ostensibly the most traditionally held conception of love is that of first sight, an idea that is believed to be true by most Westerners (myself included) but is based wholly on a person’s physical appearance. While love at first sight does base itself on the idea that the look of another person can trigger the most high of love between two people, I cannot conceive why Tinder is held in such disdain by the sexually conservative of both Yale and those participating in Western culture.
The naive, jockish, most certainly douchebag version of myself first downloaded Tinder as a source of instant, emotionless sexual connection (a friend once referred to it as Amazon prime for sex). Today, a slightly more mature, but arguably still douchebag Nick Tabio, now makes a stand that Tinder is the best conception of love at first sight. If that is shallow, if that is romantic, if that is somewhere in between, I care not. Instead, I will swipe left, right and up, searching for the next someone in my life; and I encourage you to do so, as well. Go find your true love.
Nick Tabio | firstname.lastname@example.org .