So, I’ve never been the kind of girl to try the online dating thing.
I’ve had friends who have Tinder accounts, and all I’ve known about it was that it was where lonely single people go for a quick, hassle-free hook up.
Flash to my last few days of vacation in Mexico City. There had been plenty of gorgeous, dreamy Spanish-speaking men everywhere, but I hadn’t made any real connections. My friend Daniella that I was visiting suggested we download Tinder for fun, just to make fun of all the desperate people out there on it and laugh at what they would say.
At first I just let her download it, but as I watched her swipe left through all these guys (bypassing a few I found very, very cute myself), I thought what the heck. I’ll get a freaking Tinder account. A few clicks on my phone later and I was swiping through a trove of Alejandros, Fernandos and Robertos.
First of all, the men in Mexico City are much more forward than they are in the U.S. Even without Tinder, Daniella and I were getting catcalled and looked at everywhere we went. Tinder was no exception.
What’s weird about Tinder is that it feels like you are literally just human shopping. Swipe left for no. Swipe right for yes. It’s almost entirely based on what a person looks like, so you truly can’t take it seriously. But geez is it fun. Not him, not him, oh he’s cute, not him, not him, WOW he’s hot, not him, not him … oh … do we have a match?
At one point I had something like 30 matches on Tinder, which is wayyyy too many. I narrowed it down. Let’s get rid of the guys who are obviously just looking for sex. You know, the ones with photos of their rock hard abs on full display or the ones with super sexual bios. OK, that left about 20. Next I filtered through the ones who hadn’t started a chat. (I’ll swipe right, but you have to talk first. CHIVALRY, people.) That narrowed it down again, this time to about 13.
After some conversations continued and I filtered out the guys who couldn’t speak English, I had something like five or six viable matches to choose from. While Alejandro, Fernando and Roberto all seemed sweet, there was one Tinder match that stood out from the rest.
His name was Fabian. Age 28. French. Tall. Dark. Handsome. Exotic. Speaks three languages. Works in marketing. Almost too up my alley that it seemed impossible. In addition to being the most physically attractive in a very French sort of way, he was also the coolest in conversation.
That Friday night we set a time and place to meet: 10:45 p.m. at his house, in the Condesa neighborhood near where Daniella lives. Before you worry about my safety, know that Daniella came along with me and invited some of her male friends so we wouldn’t get raped or kidnapped or murdered. In the end though, there was no need for worry. Fabian was the coolest. Bonjour, baby, bonjour.
His apartment was all white with kitchy decor and lots of plants. He was very gracious with us, offering us “zees Sveedish whisk-ey” and indulging in our travel stories. I’ll be honest – I didn’t understand half of what he said. But the French accent: it killed me.
After drinks at his house, we went out for some karaoke. That turned into more drinks, more conversation that I barely understood, and then finally into dancing and kissing at a gay bar until 5 a.m. I don’t think I’ve ever had a more adrenaline-filled night in my life.
The thing about foreign guys is they know how to romance a girl. I once had a guy in Greece drive me to the top of an ancient castle overlooking the city, with wine, conversation and all the suaveness you can imagine. With Fabian, the experience was quite comparable although uniquely different.
Around 4:30 a.m. at the bar, Lady Gaga’s ‘Bad Romance’ pounding in our ears as we danced all up on each other, any other American dude would have said something like, “Hey, let’s go bang at my place baby,” or, “You look so sexy OMG wow let’s go do it,” or something even more crass and unimaginable. Not Fabian. Fabian got game.
“I vant to make zee love with you,” he said in my ear. He was just loud enough to drown out the Gaga playing overhead, but soft enough to let me know he wasn’t going to force me. “Would you like to be in my haus?”
I looked up at him, into his big blue-green piercing eyes, with zero reservations.
“Just one second,” I said.
I asked Daniella her opinion just for good measure, and she yelled at me to go for it as she continued dancing with her friends. I took Fabian’s hand and we left the bar, rain pouring hard once we got outside. As we waited for the Uber to pick us up we kissed more, and I melted with the rain into his arms.
The next morning when I woke up in Fabian’s bed, the bright light of Mexico City pouring in through his big windows into his big white room, I had zero regrets. He kissed me good morning, he made me coffee. We talked a little more, but with a sweet kind of awkwardness when you like the person but don’t know what to say. When I was ready to go he got me an Uber, walked me out and we kissed again but this time goodbye, likely for forever.
“I ‘ope zat we can meet again someday, Lola,” he said. “Eet was very lovely to spend zis time with you.”
I melted as I got into the Uber, happy with the night and the bittersweet impermanence of a holiday romance. I deleted my Tinder account after that. Will we meet again? Ahhh … tout est possible!
With Love, Lola.