the unexpected perks of tinder

chapter 1

People often take for granted how miraculous dating apps really are. Two people who have no previous connection, whatsoever, can now swipe each other's pictures on their phone and dine together, possibly even within the span of a few hours. If you wanted to take someone on a date that quickly a few decades ago, you would have had to use a love potion. And those don't exist. Technology has essentially become magic.

Going into college, that's what I believed in: the almighty, mystical power of technology to find love. Specifically with Tinder, I thought if I just swiped through enough women, sooner or later I would run into "the one". With a sea of women to instantaneously connect with, how could I not? As I sifted through picture after picture, I could envision my perfect girl who was waiting for me somewhere in this app: cute smile, deep eyes, loves to joke around, kind, and F. A. T. FAT. My dream girl could barely button her shorts. My dream girl had a butt that swallowed two chairs at a time. My dream girl could eat an entire pizza, burp, and then wink at me with a devilish grin.

I hated to be so shallow in my approach to women, but I couldn't help that fat women turned me on so much. Everyone is born with their preferences, and I clearly had mine. I would only swipe right on the largest women I saw, in hopes they would like me back. I would linger on certain women for minutes and get lost daydreaming about the dates I wanted to take them on... I would walk around the city, and they'd waddle with me. I'd relax at a buffet; they'd scarf their food down. I would go watch a movie in the theater; they'd fall into a food coma with popcorn all over their chest. The enticing fantasies I conjured up kept me swiping for days on end with the hopes of finding that special girl.

However, the magic of technology quickly wore off when the results weren't as immediate or as specific as I had originally hoped. College was in Chicago for me, so I figured there would be plenty of fat women everywhere in such a populous city. I was wrong. I mean, I did see plenty of large women walking around the streets... but for some reason hardly any of them were on Tinder. And the few plus-size ladies I did meet weren't very engaging to chat with.

Conversations would go like this:
I would search a small profile with very limited information trying to find something to engage them with. I would find something small like a pet, a music related t-shirt, or a picture of them at a theme park. From their I would formulate a conversation starter with an open ended question to get them talking. Sometimes I would even wing it with an unrelated joke to liven things up. The results were pitiful. In a nutshell, they would respond with something like "Oh my dog is a corgi".
I'd say, "He's so cute! How long have you had him?"
They'd say, "She's"
"I'm sorry?"
"My dog iz a girl."
"Hahaha, my bad! So how long have you had her?"

Then nothing. They would ghost me before I even had a chance to get to know them. I thought maybe it was a one-time thing, but I soon came to realize it was an all-the-time thing. If you did "wow" a girl within the first couple messages, you were a goner. I had a hard time understanding why women would just throw away conversations that hadn't even had a chance to go anywhere, but I then I realized women probably received more messages than I did. While I would spend so much time crafting the perfect message to send to them, they were probably receiving dozens of other "perfectly-crafted" messages at that same moment. If a conversation didn't seem fun, why should they follow it? They could just start engaging one of 11 other strangers whenever they felt like it.

I quickly falling into a desperate rut. Most of the women I swiped through weren't plus-sized, and the few that were didn't care to talk to me. My optimism began to falter. All the rejection weighed on me. I would never find a date this way, much less find someone to love. I started to expand the pool of women I would swipe right on. I began swiping right on just the chubby girls, then the just kinda chubby girls, then the "is that a little belly? I can't really tell... I guess I'll give it a shot" girls. I discovered many girls would try to hide the fact that they were overweight with cleverly angled pictures, so occasionally I would stop swiping and spend a few minutes analyzing if the girl I was about to swipe right on was actually overweight. Despite my dwindling hope, some part of me refused to entirely give up.

However, the entire process drained me. I was spending an abundance of time not only on the app, but thinking about the app and my failing love life. I was getting lonely... and desperate. I caved and began just swiping on whoever had a pretty face, regardless of if I found them very attractive physically. I just wanted a fun, cute girl to go on a date with.

A few matches came and went where I just practiced my flirting skills with no real intentions of taking these women out. Acclimating to new standards takes some getting used to. After a few meaningless conversations, one girl really caught my interest. Christie. There was a warmth to her conversations I hadn't found in anyone else yet. I would talk about my part time job, school work, or movies and she would respond with genuine interest. I had never met this girl in the real world before, but talking with her felt like we knew each other well. From what I could tell in her profile, she was also gorgeous, but in a more conventional way than what I was looking for. Dimples, auburn hair, freckles, perky breasts, decent hips, and thin as a rail. Part of me was hoping maybe she was hiding her weight with camera angles, but there was very clearly a photo of her body sideways in a mirror at the gym. She barely had an ounce of fat on her.
Still, see made great conversation and was full of lively opinions, so I decided to ask her out. Worst case scenario, I would just be having a fun conversation with a stranger for an evening. Plus, she was several years older than me, so that was a fun perk. We made plans to go eat at a restaurant by her house then catch a movie. Sure it was a boring date, but we both knew it was a boring date, so it was fun in an ironic way. The kind of fun that only makes sense between two people in the moment.

A few days passed and my usual pre-date anxiety was nowhere to be found. I felt shallow, but I somewhat knew it was because of her size. She just didn't excite me the way I was hoping she would, but I was still looking forward to the evening.

I arrived at the restaurant fifteen minutes early to be sure we had a seat. My button up shirt felt a bit starchy from a lack of being worn recently, but I tried not to think about it. I sniffed my wrists a few times to make sure my cologne hadn't worn off than ruffled my hair a few times to give myself a slightly "messy" look. The manufactured messy that signifies you're actually a very clean person, but you want people to think you're a cool and a bit edgy. First impressions are key, and I understood that vividly as I waited for her to arrive.

As my earliness crept slowly in the realm of her lateness, I began to suspect she didn't value first impressions the same way I did. The time mocked me from my phone screen as I began to check it every other minute. Five minutes turned into ten, which drifted into fifteen. By the eighteenth minute I was fairly certain the waiters started to take pity on me because they offered me the free appetizer bread before I had even placed an order. I stopped checking my phone for the time and began to read a news article just to get my mind off the fact I was about to be stood up for my only romantic human interaction in over three months. My eyes repeatedly skimmed over the headline without really reading it because I couldn't focus on the-

"Hey, huh-huh, sorry I'm late!" panted a voice across from me. I looked up from my phone and froze. Words wouldn't form in my mouth. She almost didn't show, and now here she was. Her auburn hair longer than her pictures, hair eyes seemingly more blue, and her frame a bit wider. A lot wider. Very wide. She was very, very wide.
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godan2056 11 months
aww, that was really sweet
QuebecFA 1 year
That was a very well-written story! Erotic yet sweet too! :-)
RFBurton 1 year
OUTSTANDING! This certainly could be the start of one crazy series...
djfex 1 year
nice story smiley
now I'm hoping for a follow-up ^^