WILLIAMS | Beyond Burnout: The Untold Story of Queer Intimacy on Dating Apps

I didn’t think C was the love of my life. I didn’t even think she was going to be my girlfriend. But I was happy to be there, walking side by side beneath the warm lights of Chicago’s French Market, still giggling and swaying under the influence of a first date’s customarily sweet awkwardness. Those who suffer from dating burnout, a term describing the hopelessness and cynicism daters often feel about finding long-lasting love — especially in the age of dating apps — might wonder at my willingness to go out with a woman from Tinder, even while thinking that she would not be my person. For many, that knowledge contradicts the purpose of going on the date in the first place — to receive a return on the investment of a perfectly curated profile, a couple of days of messaging beforehand, a well-groomed appearance on the day of the date and ultimately to settle down.

SEX ON THURSDAY | Recently Rejected and Unable to Cope

For too long, I’ve thought of men as robots who gravitate to a massive butt or perfectly-adjusted boobs. It baffled me that I looked my best, put on the charm and still got left high and dry. Surely, in the half-hour (!) that we spoke prior to the inevitable rejection, a hair must’ve fallen out of place, or I said something incredibly unattractive. That night, after shedding a few crocodile tears, I began to think about everything that isn’t perfect about me.

So much flooded my mind. Maybe I was too forward, I thought. Maybe I should’ve acted less interested, I wondered.

KUBINEC | The Low-Risk Love Life

Perfect Match is symbolic of how Cornellians pair off — in as low-risk a way as possible. We want the perks of a romantic relationship within the safe confines of our own plans. Perfect Match hand-delivers you five meet-cutes from the comfort of your bedroom while letting any potential disappointment fall to the math gods. The stakes literally couldn’t be lower.

And the sort of person who would be attracted by this highly efficient dating scheme is also the sort of person who goes to Cornell, isn’t it? We have been taught, often from young ages, to avoid risk — take the right classes, say the right things in interviews, don’t rock the boat too much, major in something sure to land a big salary. Our love lives play out atop the subconscious belief that the safest way is the best way.

DO | Dream Girl

At the end of the day, we all just want to find someone to grow old with. The problem is that there’s no good litmus test for partnership, no way to know what it’d be like to spend every minute of every day with someone without actually spending every minute of every day with them. What we need to be doing is assessing compatibility and learning about the kinds of people we can be most comfortable around.

ZOHORE | The Least Desirable

Though I often don’t like to admit it, I am a reality TV fanatic. To me, reality stars are just characters whose stories can be followed past the confines of the show. However, I tell myself that I’m not just mindlessly watching Lisa Vanderpump’s waitstaff to desensitize myself from the crushing weight of my own reality. I like to think that reality TV serves as a useful tool to observe human behavior and see social norms at play. It’s real(ish).