Did you know the Boston Globe runs a piece called ‘Dinner with Cupid,’ that match-makes and sets people up on blind dates? I know and, as a result, my dating life has been prominently featured on the Internet. I’m very famous, as it turns out.
Dinner with Cupid works like this: you apply online by sending in some photos & filling out a demographics survey. Of course, the first page is a whole lotta yikes with questions like “If you’d prefer to be matched with someone of a specific background, let us know.” Racism much?1I’m fully not surprised though, this is Boston we’re talking about. The second page of the survey has 9 ‘long answer’ questions, including “What’s the last thing you read (book, story, Web site, magazine) and enjoyed?” My answer? This.
After filling out the survey, I honestly forgot about it until I got an email that said they found me a match. In an email, I was asked about availability and if there were any specific restaurants I preferred. I said italian/seafood since Boston is known for it and I’m too poor to treat myself on a regular basis. Only after this correspondence did I find out my date’s name (David).
Just four hours before the fated date, it got cancelled due to snow. I was not impressed nor intimidated by a little snow getting in the way of something I specifically washed my hair for. I texted my friends: “I know three things about this man. 1) He knows about the Boston Globe’s matchmaking column. 2) His name is David. And 3) he’s a weak ass bitch.”
There’s a reason people don’t go on blind dates anymore and it’s because we don’t have to. Hinge, Tinder, Bumble, Coffee Meets Bagel, OkCupid, and Match.com all exist and they show you a photo of the person first and foremost. Looks may not be everything but they are something and they’re also the first thing I use to form my opinions. Sure, it’s judging a book by its cover, but, in this case, the book got to pick out the cover (and often the book made a bad choice). And yet, the hope of something fantastic and magical and coincidental is enough for me to abandon Tinder one night for an hour and a half.
The only dating apps I’ve ever used (OkCupid pre 2014 and Tinder since) allow you to see an image of potential mates for you to evaluate. Is it judgemental? Ya for sure. But physical attraction is a huge part of dating, and blind dating takes that aspect completely out of your hands.
The day of The Blind Date arrives. and for the first time I can remember, I am nervous. In my head, every man I see on the train on the way to this date is “David.”
And all of them are ugly.
They say you eat with your eyes before your mouth and the same is true when it comes to fucking. Walking into a date that you know will last at least an hour and immediately realizing that you are in no way physically attracted to the person across the table is a bummer, to say the least. When it comes to AFAB/femme people, our upbringings often require us to do a lot of emotional labor even knowing we’re going to get nothing out of it. At least when I set up a Tinder date, I know I’m a little physically attracted to the person. The times I’ve had a chance to message back and forth with potential matches, I’ve also been able to guess a little about their personality. Worst case scenario, I come up with an excuse to leave after the first drink.
In the next-to-empty-on-a-Friday-night restaurant, I sat down hoping at least the food would be good enough to make up for all the emotional labor I was about to do. Per my usual m.o., I act like we’ve known each other for years and fake jokes to establish that I Am Funny. David doesn’t go along with this routine, and instead interrupts me with the absolute gall to ask me my whole life story. I insisted on first checking the menu before diving into Max’s Life. David wanted to know all about the four year relationship I ended in 2017 2because of course he did and the remainder of the dinner focused entirely on our exes.
Remember the 2 page, multi-paragraph survey I filled out before all this fateful evening? The only thing that The Boston Globe seemed to figure out was that both I, and David, are Jewish. So naturally David spent at least 5-10 minutes mansplaining aspects of Judaism to me, despite the fact that I Already Knew This. Somehow it wasn’t even worth mentioning my religion out loud because it meant I didn’t have to talk for those sweet, blissful 5-10 minutes. Listen, I don’t always miss my exes, but after an hour and a half talking about every serious relationship I’ve ever had with someone who I’m not attracted to only makes me miss all my exes that much more.
Meanwhile David, by talking about all his exes, makes me feel like he’s asking me to be different from all of them and to prove myself. He literally said my “philosophy on dating was a red flag” but coming from a man who been in several 5-month+ relationships, maybe I wasn’t the one with the issue. David seemed to be looking for a Very Serious Relationship.
Is the fact that I have platinum blond hair not enough for people to know that I am a) manically depressed and b) love to have fun? Apparently not for the Boston Globe or David. Not to mention that, though we didn’t talk about it, it felt like David was looking for a monogamous partner that could become a marital partner on the first date.
I think my coworker responded best with, “this ain’t the notebook sir it’s the first meeting chill out and eat ur pasta.”
David, this ain’t The Notebook. Chill out and eat ur pasta.
I definitely don’t appreciate a date where all we do is look at the past. Talking about my exes does not form a good view of who I am now, who I have become since those relationships, especially because I haven’t been in any serious relationship in months. It also has the nasty effect of making me remember the good times with those exes and the bad time I am having on this stupid blind date. Thanks for the pasta, David, I guess?? No thanks for the dud date, Boston Globe.
I’ll end this article with another coworker’s thought on the whole thing: “Boston Globe: worse for finding a date than Hinge.” and Hinge fucking sucks.