One dreary December day, when I was inevitably hiding from all of the Christmas furor, an idea popped into my head. I don’t know how or why exactly, but I remembered a blog post by Hannah Witton where she revealed a scrapped book idea in which she wanted to go on 25 dates before she turned 25.
Hannah’s book idea didn’t come to fruition as she ended up meeting a lovely man who she’s now been with for a couple of years. However, this idea was always quite intriguing to me, and on this December day I found myself thinking, “Hey, in January it’ll be 6 months until my 26th birthday… what if I went on 26 dates in the lead up to it?!”
It didn’t really occur to me just how obsessed with are, as a society, with the idea of love, being loved and being in love. Earlier this year, I became single for the first time in two and a half years, and suddenly, I felt my worth being diminished by 79% (a very accurate and scientific guestimation). I wasn’t part of a couple anymore, so I was less valuable, less desirable, and less interesting.
I stepped off the stage, forehead sweating and heart racing from the adrenaline. I felt claps on my back and muffled voices that sounded like congratulations, but it all felt distant. I did it, and I felt proud. Everyone congregated in the downstairs bar for well-earned post show drinks. All evening people had come up to me, congratulating me on a job well done.
As summer of 2015 approached, almost a year to the date of the ghosting incident, I redownloaded Tinder. I don’t know what it is about summertime and me getting onto that ghastly app. Tinder was just a game to me at this point; I was beyond taking anything seriously. I had put in my bio something like “Attitude like Kanye, feelings like Drake”, hand-picked some of my best selfies and threw in a picture from a few Halloweens ago to show that I had a sense of humour.
The summer of 2014 was an interesting time. I had just finished uni for good, and left a job I wasn’t particularly fussed about. Well, I say left, I was more pushed out of the door, after they conveniently decided to downsize two months after hiring me. But I guess that’s the nature of sales jobs, one day you’re in, the next you’re out. Anyway.
I still had a large chuck of the summer ahead of me, and when I wasn’t searching and attending interviews for jobs that I actually wanted, I had a lot of time to kill. And how else does a millennial kill time, but browse on Tinder? It’s not that I was particularly interested in meeting anyone… but I was looking for ways to pass the time.