Dating between peaks

The highs and lows of mountain romance

Editor’s note: Names, including the author’s, have been changed to protect identities due to the personal nature of this column.

Have you played the tinder game? Swipe left if you dislike the look of someone, right if you do. It’s like a big game of “hot or not” but with real potential. Tinder is one of many dating apps that connects singles looking for love. This app “matches” folks with similar interests and proximity based on information in their Facebook account.

Dating can be a problem living in Killington as there are only so many single, available candidates within a certain geographical radius. Luckily this town has a lot of visitors from New York City, New Jersey, Boston, Connecticut, which increases the chances to meet someone who comes here on a regular basis. When I first joined Tinder and got my first “match” I felt like a little kid in a candy store. “Yay! someone is interested in me,” I thought. There is no profile provided, so the “match” is primarily based on liking the best pictures someone puts up of themselves. Althought I consider this approach lazy dating, I do it hoping to find a pearl in the sea.

After you “match,” typically you strike up a conversation on the app. It usually doesn’t take long for the guy to propose a date in some sort of clumsy, not-so-tactful, definitely premature kind of way. Where is the romance, the wooing, and chivalry? The last time I was picked up for the first date was back in high school. Now, everyone just meets at bars. One guy I went on a date with wanted to meet in the parking lot, so it wouldn’t be awkward if we met at the bar — as if that’s better?

Meeting someone for the first time can be awkward and being in a local public place can make it worse. I once met this guy, let’s call him Craig, at a local Killington bar. Everyone around us could tell we were just meeting for the first time and I could feel them watching us. I was instantly uncomfortable. We greeted each other with an awkward hug and there was cricket silence between conversations. This has never happened to me before. Normally, even if there is no attraction and I know I’m not going to see him again, I make it through the date and have a pleasant night.

This time was different. We had a better conversation via chatting through Tinder than we did in person. He didn’t look like his photos, either. I found myself being repeatedly saved by the local bartender and trying to extend the conversations with him as long as possible in order not to talk with my “date.” Toward the end of the night, Craig admitted he was high…as if there needed to be anything else said between us — ever — a week later he asked me out on a second date, I was shocked! There were a plethora of things lacking with this boy, not the least of which was good judgement!

A few weeks later I saw the same bartender again and he made me laugh saying that our date was the weirdest and most awkward he’s seen someone on in a long time. Guess I don’t have a poker face!

Prince charming may not exist but hope is what keeps me going date after date, break up after break up and year and year. I’m not asking for coat tails, but on any date I make an effort to look my best, be upbeat and excited to me meeting someone new. Is it too much to expect some of those efforts to be reciprocated?

So for now I patiently await that silver lining people are always talking about. These dates just have to add up to something more than bartender entertainment.

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