Swipe left. Swipe right. Swipe left. Swipe left. Swipe left. The mind-numbing, nightly routine that consumes many of us, until the pictures blur together — until I swipe without looking, knowing full well that in the end it won’t matter. I’m never going to meet up with anyone from the app, yet I continue to swipe my nights away. Each time I match with a decent guy, our future is obliterated by their perverted opening line, or my mom’s voice in the back of my head, lecturing me on the perils of online dating. If the conversation manages to get far enough to reach the, “So, do you want to go out with me?” My responses vary — to be candid, sometimes I do say yes — however, the end result is the same: a lost connection, either because of my fear or Tinder’s magic escape button. Unmatch. Try as I might, I simply can’t buy into the dating app nor the hookup culture like so many others do at NYU.
In my first year at NYU, I feel like I have gotten a solid grasp on the dating options. You either stay in, swiping until you find yourself a match, get dolled up and go out, only to never see the same guys again, or cling onto the hope that you’ll meet someone the traditional way — perhaps in one of your classes or maybe in your favorite coffee shop. While the latter seems like the favorable option, the reality is, meeting your match organically is rare in the big city and especially at NYU. This university mirrors New York City’s culture of isolation, of finding pockets of people and sticking to them. As a result, I’ve found myself running into the same faces, all great friends, but nothing more.
At first, this dating culture put me off. I was used to high school relationships and knowing someone well far before your first date. I didn’t want to meet up with complete strangers nor go home with a guy who sidled up to me at the club. This is still my mindset. However, I have come to the realization I don’t have to buy into hookup culture, or even dating on its own. I love spending time with my friends, working at WSN and, yes, even the late night study sessions. I like not having to constantly text someone or worry over which boys liked my last Instagram post. Being single is exactly what I need at this time in my life; I am 18 years old and living in New York City — what better time to be single?
Opinions expressed on the editorial pages are not necessarily those of WSN, and our publication of opinions is not an endorsement of them.
A version of this appeared in the Monday, April 30 print edition. Email Tyler Crews at [email protected].