Pandemic Dating #1 - with Brigitte Truong

If you’ve ever rolled your eyes at a friend who’s called to tell you “dating apps suck,” I hope you believe them.  I would even go as far as to say I hope you spend 10 seconds today to be grateful for the simple fact that you don’t need a dating app during a pandemic to meet new people.  Shit’s getting real in more ways than one out there.

I’ve been celebrating one year of being single.  A celebration might be a stretch because there’s a lack of confetti and cake which would make this anniversary all the more fun.  What am I saying? The ability to go outside, meet people in person and go on a good ol’ date would make single life fun! But you know what, we’re working with what we’ve got because we are responsible and staying safe for each other. (*snap snap*)

I love being single.  I’m at my best when I can navigate the world on my own but I’d be lying if I were to tell you I don’t miss meeting new men.  I love men!  I have great men in my life and I know there are some good single ones out there that I can potentially connect with but where the fuck are they?!  Apparently I haven’t swiped on one yet. See how I strategically used the word, yet?  She’s not hopeless (yet).

At the beginning of quarantine I downloaded the app, The League.  Never heard of it? Allow me to give you a nutshell overview. The League is a members-only dating app where you have to pay an exorbitant amount of money to unlock all its features.  The only way to actually become a member is through a referral from a friend who’s already a member.  My friend recommended it to me as a more “selective approach” which to me meant a safe and mature list of bachelors to choose from. After all, if there’s a vetting process through referrals, it must be decent right? Not right.  Every day this app gives you three new prospects based on a random process or non-sensicle algorithm.  Haven’t cracked that code nor do I want to but it doesn’t make sense to me. I spent about a month on there and 90% of the prospects that came up looked similar and worked in finance.  I don’t know anything about the finance world but I do know that it’s not the only industry with single men.  I also know that there are single men across the cultural board.  Somehow, I was only allowed to view the same looking dude over and over.  It was weird.

If you want more options on The League, you have to pay.  If you want to see who liked your profile, you have to pay.  I’m not talking $1.99 or even $10.  I’m talking $52.99 to $134.99. BUT WAIT! If you want to “Go VIP” which would give you access to 9 prospects a day which translates into” 270 potential matches to review each month,” you have to pay $1299.99 a month.  Don’t forget to act fast though because they’re offering this deal as a 60% discount! BLESS UP!

I had a couple nice conversations out of 31 days that didn’t go anywhere.  I found the app to be incredibly elitist and I’ll even say, the worst one I’ve ever been on. Take the shackles off, League, and stop ripping us off.  Wanting love in a dangerous time without having to pay $1K to swipe is our birthright!

pandemic dating - the league


Let’s move on to Hinge.  Oh, Hinge.  What are we going to do with you??

I downloaded the app 3 days ago and I’m close to pulling the plug on this one but I think I’m going to give it a full week because well, you can’t rush art.  First day I connected with this 33-year-old man.  Let’s call him Caledon Hockley for all the Titanic and Billy Zane fans out there. Caledon had a decent profile.  No shirtless mirror selfies, photos with random dogs or babies and he seemed to have reasonable fun facts on his profile that didn’t come across overly strategic.  We started chatting and the conversations were consistent.  He seemed forthcoming and inquisitive which based on my experience this year, hasn’t been a regular thing in app convos.  After two days of chatting I asked him if we wanted to FaceTime and meet.  I like to take things offline quickly because I hate messaging if there’s no connection.  He said yes, suggested 8:30pm that night and away we went.  I gave him a ring and upon answering his phone I get a giggle greeting instead of a classic hello. That didn’t bother me but he was BBQ-ing with friends in the background *and* looked like he had just finished a Tough Mudder course! Boy, was I glad I asked him on a FaceTime date. (hope you caught that sarcasm)

Here’s how our 60 second FT conversation went:

Me: Oh, hi!

Caledon:  Hey, you look like you’re in a zen spot.  Is that a tree behind you?

Me: Just in my living room. Yup, it’s a palm tree. You’re having dinner with friends…

Caledon:  Yeah I’m BBQ-ing with my friends.  Want to say hi?  *camera flip*

Me: Oh, hi…

Friends: *awkward wave*

Me:  If you’re in the middle of something, let’s talk another time.

Caledon:  Are you shy?  Your photos make you look outgoing.

Me:  No, I’m not shy but this isn’t ideal. Let’s connect another time.

Caledon:  Okay.  Bye.

Two minutes later I recieve the first of many texts from Caledon who apologized because I looked like I was “being ambushed.”  His words not mine.  He went on to explain why he was with friends which wasn’t an explanation at all.  “That was my roommate and our friend and they’re good people, I swear,” is not actually an explanation as to why you put someone you’ve never met in a weird position at a time you suggested.  Listen, shit happens, you never know what you’re going to get into with these things but first impressions and a level of maturity is big for me and after trying to explain that to him for many, many, many minutes, he finally understood.

The old me may have let it slide.  The old me would’ve likely kept the FaceTime conversation going for shits and giggles but the 32-year-old me who’s been through enough in love and loss to know what she wants and doesn’t want REFUSES to spend another day exploring something that she knows is not worth exploring.  And hey, it’s a good thing I didn’t because my friend just told me she’s met him before and he’s 25, not 33.

Dear gutt, thanks for doing me right.

For my single homegirls and homeboys out there who are also swiping while social distancing right now, let’s not take these things too seriously.  If we come across someone cool, great! If we don’t, let’s just take it for what it is; platforms we’re opting into to meet people.  We can’t expect that we’re always going to meet our kind of people whether its on an app or in real life.

Shall we see what next week holds?

B.Tru xx








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