Did you, a millennial, finally break and download TikTok? Did you tell yourself you were only doing it so you could lurk at first, and now you’re spending your days learning full-fledged choreography? Well, your shot at TikTok stardom might be short-lived, if the Trump administration gets its way. On Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News that the administration was considering banning TikTok over privacy and security concerns. Anddd this is why we can’t have nice things. Is TikTok nice? Maybe not. In that case, this is why we can’t have mildly entertaining things.
Pompeo expressed to Fox News that the administration’s concerns with TikTok have to do with whether the company is giving private user data to the Chinese government, since it is owned by Beijing-based tech company Bytedance. But Bytedance insists they’re not doing that, and told Business Insider in a statement, “TikTok is led by an American CEO, with hundreds of employees and key leaders across safety, security, product, and public policy in the US.” Indeed, on June 1, they hired Kevin Mayer, Disney’s former head of streaming, to serve as the CEO. They added, “We have no higher priority than promoting a safe and secure app experience for our users. We have never provided user data to the Chinese government, nor would we do so if asked.”
The United States is not the only company who has issues with the video app, and on July 1, India banned TikTok (as well as a slew of other Chinese apps) after it was discovered that the app could secretly access user’s clipboards in a beta version of iOS 14. And I know what you’re thinking, because I thought it too: if the Chinese government wants a draft of the text calling out a f*ckboy that I’m first sending around to all my friends for approval, they can have it. Right?
Ehhh maybe not. I spoke to Cyber Security Expert Vinny Troia who explained that apps copying your clipboard could pose security issues, for instance, if you use a password manager and copy and paste it into various apps. It could also copy things like email addresses, account-reset links, personal messages, and cryptocurrency wallets (lol good thing I was already too stupid to figure out cryptocurrency).
But there was another issue, as Troia explained: “it appears when people are on other apps, like Instagram, Tiktok is grabbing that content.” He explained that this could have been set up for benign reasons, “like predictive text”, but says, “there’s really no reason it should be monitoring what you’re typing in other apps.” A TikTok representative claimed the feature “was triggered by a feature designed to identify repetitive, spammy behavior. We have already submitted an updated version of the app to the App Store removing the anti-spam feature to eliminate any potential confusion.”
Okay so TikTok is grabbing the contents of my clipboard every 1-3 keystrokes. iOS 14 is snitching on it with the new paste notification pic.twitter.com/OSXP43t5SZ
— Jeremy Burge (@jeremyburge) June 24, 2020
Even though TikTok claimed the clipboard copying was a technical bug due to an anti-spam filter, the damage was already done, and the Indian government pulled the app, claiming it (along with 58 others) “engaged in activities which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.” So, whatever the reason may be, the app appears to be (or appeared to have been) collecting users’ data without them knowing. To what end? Well, that’s the bajillion dollar question.
The ban also came after a border dispute between China and India turned deadly, and there are also more subtle concerns that the app restricts free speech, especially with respect to criticizing the Chinese government, so maybe it’s not about the
pasta clipboards at all, but something a lot deeper and darker than what I presumed when I initially thought I’d be writing a quick piece on if TikTok is going away.
If you (again, like me), are wondering WTF any of that means, this issue can be loosely translated to various governments saying of TikTok:
So, is TikTok in fact a fugly slut? It’s hard to say. On the one hand, you have Mike Pompeo literally telling Fox News that you should download the app “Only if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.” On the other hand, TikTok says they are like, totally chill and would never sell your info out. And of course, you’d have to take both those sentences with more grains of salt than you can find in a Himalayan salt cave since of course both those parties would say exactly those things.
Donald Trump has also expressed his desire to ban TikTok in the U.S., but for less… shall I say… altruistic reasons. Trump said in an interview with Gray Television’s Greta Van Susteren, “Look, what happened with China with this virus, what they’ve done to this country and to the entire world is disgraceful,” adding that banning TikTok is “one of many” ways his administration is considering for getting back at China. Ah yes, that sounds more like the Trump we know and… know. And I’m sure it has nothing to do at all with the fact that TikTok was the main social media platform on which his rally in Tulsa got trolled.
Before you freak the f*ck out, one thing to keep in mind is, as Troia notes, “I’m not seeing indication that this information is going anywhere. So it could be just bad programming.” Basically, just because TikTok is storing this information doesn’t necessarily mean they are necessarily sending it somewhere, and TikTok has asserted that they are, in fact, not sending any stored information to the Chinese government. Also, it’s not just TikTok, and a bunch of your apps are doing the same sh*t with the clipboard copying.
So is TikTok a not-so secret weapon by the Chinese government or an unfortunate victim in a power grab, like a child caught between two parents in a divorce? I have no answers, so whether you want to keep using TikTok is up to you—for now. Somebody call Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin, because it’s complicated. All I’m saying is that none of this was happening back when we had Vine.
Images: Kon Karampelas / Unsplash
I’m not going to sugarcoat it, finding a bar in a big city is hard. It’s especially hard if you’re looking for a date spot, and you want to
fool convince your date that you are a classy individual who does not choose establishments solely based on happy hour prices. Life is hard, but there is good news! If you’re based in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego, Austin, Miami, Nashville, Dallas, Washington DC, Phoenix-Scottsdale, Houston, Seattle, Orange County, or Toronto, there’s an app to help you out. Skorch is a new app that can help you pick bars, restaurants, lounges, and other hotspots in your city.
And the best part? Every locale is specifically curated to what you’re looking for. You can refine your results based on “hotness” and distance (which is, incidentally, how I choose my dating app matches), plus you can filter by category: bar, club, lounge, cafe, restaurant, event, attraction, and outdoor.
Basically, Skorch takes all the effort, difficulty, and indecision out of picking a place to eat and drink. So I decided to put Skorch to the test and see what classy date spots I could find in NYC using the app. Let me tell you, I was not disappointed.
When Gallow Green came up on Skorch I knew I had to include it, because it’s so classy I could only afford to go there when my cousin was the bartender. Excuse me, the mixologist. Thanks for the free drinks, Kev!
Gallow Green is a rooftop bar at the McKittrick Hotel in Chelsea, and it makes you feel like you are in a secret tranquil garden atop this dirty trash city. You can order drinks or dinner, or drinks AND dinner. Plus, you can say things like, “I’ll have the Scottish Law. Do you only have Glenlivet 18-year, or can you substitute with Glenlivet 21-year?” and then throw a suggestive wink at my guy. Locked. It. Up.
Jack’s Wife Freda
Jack’s Wife Freda is located in my absolute favorite part of New York City, the West Village. You can’t get much classier than a neighborhood where I saw Liv Tyler every morning on the way to work, am I right?
Not only is Jack’s Wife Freda in a great spot, but it also has a menu that’s the bomb, relatively reasonable prices, and is in a small space, so you’ll be able to get pretty close to your date. So ideal! And when you’re finished, you can stroll down the quaint streets together, pointing out all the beautiful brownstones and pick out the one you’ll buy together once you’ve scraped together $12 million.
Oh HELLO, do my eyes deceive me or is this a still from a rom-com?
The Standard Biergarten
Just admit it, we all love to day drink. The sun is shining, the possibilities are endless, and you can get to bed at 9pm. I know you’re thinking that day drinking might not be all that elegant, but you’re wrong. Sure, maybe it’s not classy when you’re in the backyard of the Sigma Chi house doing keg stands, but at a luxury boutique hotel where you might find Solange assaulting Jay-Z in an elevator? Abso-f*cking-lutely.
At the Standard Biergarten you can get, you guessed it, beer, as well as the other traditional German fare. And if you like a little competitive element to your dates, you can pass the time at the ping-pong table, since every dude likes a girl that can hit a winner.
Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge
Sure, Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge is in Times Square, but some of us work in Midtown! And everyone likes a quick commute to their cocktail. Magic Hour is owned by the Tao Group, who also own Tao and Lavo, two of my favorite high-class places. The $19 dumplings are to
go broke for die for.
Magic Hour has expensive cocktails and a great view, but it also has cheeky elements that make it a perfect date spot. It’s got a mini golf course that is called Foreplay and features sexy animals in suggestive poses. Yes, I did just say “sexy animals.” And sure, a mini-golf course called Foreplay might not be coy, but sometimes you just have to be forward about what you want. Am I right, ladies?
And those are just a few of the many ideas that Skorch gave me for my classy date night! It’s available in a bunch of cities, so if you’re trying to snag husband material in say, Austin, you should definitely check it out. And you can use Skorch for way more than bars, like planning your next group dinner, finding a cute cafe to work at, or deciding where to go for your best night out.
Imags: Shutterstock; magichourny, standardbiergarten, jackswifefreda, gallowgreen / Instagram
As a self-proclaimed Instagram addict, I struggled harder than I thought I would after temporarily deactivating the app that basically legalized stalking. Bless up, Mike Krieger. However, like any sort of cleanse, (unless it’s a juice cleanse during which you are miserable the entire time), the longer I went on my Instagram cleanse, the less I craved it. And by “it,” I mean attention and validation from my followers. I’m aware that sounded very cult-esque, but tell me what Instagram is if not a raging cult with millions of followers? I’LL WAIT. Anyway, going without Instagram is like that episode of Broad City where both Abbi and Ilana’s phones break during the most epic rainbow and they are just like forced to enjoy the moment sans filters, hashtags, and posting. That’s kind of what I’m doing, except instead of rainbows over the Statue of Liberty on a beautiful summer day, it’s more like the cast of Queer Eye walking into Build Series studio near my office on Broadway. My point is, disabling my Instagram account has introduced me to the definition of IRL, and surprisingly, I’m into it. As Giovanna, the skinny blonde Y7 yoga instructor whose real name is definitely Sarah or Haley, says, “Connecting with the world around you is more important in the moment than after it.” Truth, Gio, truth.
I am not one of those people who deletes Instagram just because it takes up 98% of my phone’s storage space or because I never use it. On the contrary, I spent most of my time watching the Foster sisters’ weird family dynamics and videos of puppies frolicking in the snow. The reason for my Instagram cleanse? I had just started dating someone, and no one outside of my immediate circle knew about him because there was no photo evidence of our relationship on Instagram or Facebook. (Does anyone even still use Facebook for purposes other than the daily birthday reminders?) The moment I realized this, I had two thoughts: “It’s kind of nice to be this cozy social bubble” and “OMG will we be in this tiny claustrophobic bubble forever?” Until I’m back on the ground, I may have to share the news of his existence in person. Gross.
So that got me thinking: Instagram puts so much pressure on its users to keep their followers up-to-date with their lives! I know this isn’t a revolutionary epiphany or anything, but for what it’s worth, it’s true. Look, I am definitely not swearing off Instagram forever, I am just really enjoying my life without it, and here are five reasons why.
I Have More Free Time
Checking Instagram isn’t time-consuming the way Marie Kondo-ing your closet or making a cauliflower crust pizza from scratch are, but if you add up all of the minutes you spend on an app (there is an app for that!), you will discover that you probably spend a disgusting amount of time on Instagram on a daily basis. For the first few days sans the ‘Gram, I found my thumb constantly reaching for the space where the app used to be in my phone and then accidentally opening my Con Edison app instead because it lives there now. One unexpected benefit of deleting Instagram is that I have accidentally opened the ConEd app so many times that I got to see and pay my bill the exact moment it was due. Kewl, right??
Anyway, after I got used to not checking Instagram the literal second I opened my eyes in the morning, I realized that I didn’t need to physically have my phone on me at all times because, let’s be real, I have iChat on my computer and does anyone under the age of 60 ever actually call anymore? No. So with 2.7 hours suddenly available in my day, I can spend that time being a real human being instead of a socially stunted child who cannot function in a social setting or watch a movie without a phone in my hand.
I Am More Social
It’s not like I would cancel my plans just to sit in my apartment alone and scroll through Ariana Grande’s feed back when I had Instagram (but no judgment if that’s your M.O.). I would still go to dinner with my friends and stuff, but I would be having a conversation with them while fully looking at my phone. To paint the picture clearly for ya, we’d take a cute photo at the table, then I’d spend the next 45 minutes editing it and another 15 on the caption. For real, I barely had time to eat my burger! Life was hard. So going to meals with my gal pals without a phone glued to my hand has been an interesting experience with a myriad benefits! For starters, I get to yell at bitches for being on their phones at the table like the angry Jewish grandmother I am, and I get to genuinely enjoy the meal, restaurant, vibes, ambiance, etc. without the added pressure of capturing every moment. Like, unless you’re waiting for test results, you don’t need to have your phone face up on the table, just saying.
I’m Nicer (Kind Of)
Honestly, once a betch, always a betch, so I’m not about to pretend I’m Gandhi these days, but I’m not as obviously bitchy now that I am not intentionally rubbing my fun dinners and nights out in people’s faces. Look, just to keep it real: No one posts an Instagram Story just to share beauty of lovely photo of a beach with the world. No. Everyone just wants to prove they are “living their best lives” (read: in tons of debt and faking it).
Now that I don’t have Instagram (feel free to take a shot every time I say that), I am just taking it all in and soaking up everyone’s awesomeness because, without a pic to post, there’s nothing else to do. Like why did I, and everyone, feel like I needed to prove how fun and cool I am? The only people whose opinion of me that I give a sh*t about are the ones I actually spend time with IRL, not that girl I thought I’d be lifelong friends with during the first two days of freshmen orientation.
I Don’t Hear/See Sh*t I Don’t Care About
You know when something happens and then literally every celebrity/person feels the incessant need to post about it? For instance, the death of an icon (RIP Mac Miller), the birth of an icon (hi Blue Ivy), a scandal (anything Trump does on any given day) or an engagement/breakup (howdy Ariana and Pete). All of this ~news~ is fine in small doses (or maybe just one dose), but when every single person with decent wifi stops their lives to post about the Khloé-Tristan-Jordyn drama, I get a little overwhelmed and want to crawl into a dark hole for the rest of my life. To just drive the point home, there can be 100 posts on Instagram, and 99 of them won’t be factually correct, but all you need is one that is at least kind of accurate to get the info you need.
Look, I am not swearing off Instagram forever, in fact I’ll prob be reactivating my account in a few weeks (if I can remember the unnecessarily complicated password they made me choose). But for the time being, I am enjoying my life without it. If you’ve ever thought about doing an Instagram cleanse, I would try it. You might not miss IG as much as you think, and you can definitely live without it.
Images: Andrii Podilnyk /Unsplash; Giphy (3)
Every year, on December 31, just before the clock strikes midnight and you’re preparing to chug a bottle of champagne, you vow that this is the year you finally get in shape. Never mind that you’ll probably wake up tomorrow and completely forget WTF happened on NYE, let alone say “no” to that leftover Chinese take-out in your fridge. I know, because like, me too. Diet starts in 2019, amiright? But for those of you who believe that eighth time’s a charm, here are some fitness apps to help you get that New Year’s body. It’s time to use your phone for something other than cyber-stalking your ex and his new girlfriend.
Sworkit hit it big on Shark Tank when Mark Cuban invested $1.5 million in the company. At one point the app was free, but now they’re charging $29.99 a quarter or $79.99 a year. They may sound like greedy f*cks, but they’re actually the cheapest option of the paid apps on this list. Sworkit has a bunch of fans, averaging an impressive five stars on the App Store. With the price you pay, you get access to a trainer who can answer all your burning fitness questions. That’s kinda cool if you’re lonely and bored of bugging Siri or the personal trainer you’re hooking up with. Also, Sworkit utilizes only bodyweight moves (no equipment) so you can literally do their workouts anywhere. That means if you’re looking for an app to use in the gym, you have better options. In order to utilize all the equipment, keep reading.
MoveWith is like having a personal fitness class right on your phone. A lot of the most popular trainers from boutique studios around the country are coaches on this app. Basically, you get a similar workout for a fraction of the price and in the comfort of your own home or gym. The workouts range from yoga to HIIT to weightlifting to guided meditation. They even have life talks, so clearly the variety is insane. You can choose which body parts you feel like working on, and the amount of time you have to work out. The trainers’ voiceovers also make it sound like they’re right there with you, yelling in your ear. Very realistic and motivating for those of us who need to feel a little fear to get moving. Depending on the class you choose, you might need some gym equipment. This app isn’t free, though, and will cost you $12.99/month or $95.99/year.
DailyBurn is not good for commitment-phobes. Instead of starting a workout, the app makes you start programs that last 8 weeks *nervous laughter*. I’m here for a good time, not a long time. But for those of you who need that kind of structure, this app is for you. Each program also comes with its own nutrition guidelines and meal plan to make sure you really see the results. The thought of all this commitment and cooking is giving me hives, low-key, so let’s wrap this up. Once again, this app is not free and will cost you $19.95/month.
4. Nike Training Club
Finally, a free app. Thanks, Nike! Although, I really do spend way too much money on your shoes anyway. I’ll consider this just a mild favor from you to me. This app allows you to pick individual workouts or set a plan that is tailored to your goals. You can choose if you want to do no equipment or full equipment workouts. All that is cool and whatever, but the main reason I am downloading this app is because it lets you workout alongside side Nike sponsored athletes. That means celebrities like Serena Williams, Kevin Hart, Michael B. Jordan, and Cristiano Ronaldo will be sweating it out with you. This is like the ultimate workout porn. If self-love can’t get me to exercise, then the thought of Michael B. Jordan’s abs f*cking can.
Do I know how to pronounce the name of this app? No. Do I use it? Semi-regularly. My ex-boyfriend introduced me to Jefit, and to this day I maintain that it is the only positive thing to come out of that year-long nightmare. But I’ll save the details for my therapist. If you want to tone up but are too afraid to venture into the weight machines section of the gym, Jefit is the app for you. You can search basically any machine in existence and it will explain how to use it with written instructions and an accompanying gif. It also does the same for many free weight exercises, if you’ve ever wanted, for instance, to learn how to do a barbell deadlift without breaking your lower back. It also has preset workouts for each muscle group (think abs day, chest and triceps day, etc.). And the best part: it’s free. Download Jefit and you just might be posting memes about “when you skip leg day” in no time. Change your name to Tyler, effective immediately.
Okay, MyFitnessPal is so popular that I had to include it on the list, but this app’s main function isn’t even really about exercise. It is a virtual food diary so you can stay on top of your intake. If you purchase the premium version, you can also add in your exercise so that it can calculate your expenditure. The forums and message boards give you that community feel if you’re into chatting with random strangers on the internet (and honestly… strangers on the forum board are way quicker to congratulate you on losing two pounds than your bestie over there putting out wine and a cheese plates). There are no exercises or workout plans for you here, though, so maybe use this with another one of the apps above to really stay on top of things.
Images: Nathan Cowley/Pexels; Giphy (2)
There is an app for everything in your life. There are apps for ordering coffee in the morning, and now there’s one for making sure you don’t get preggers. The FDA just approved an app called Natural Cycles as a form of contraception. Considering there is still an ongoing debate in the U.S. over women’s reproductive and abortion rights, which could affect access for some to contraceptives, this app could be a saving grace. Natural Cycles is meant to give women control over their bodies and prevent unplanned pregnancy, which sounds great, but wtf is it and how does it work?
How TF Does It Work?
The app requires you to enter the correct information about your cycle and take your basal temperature, aka your lowest body temperature achieved at rest. It then uses an algorithm to determine when you are fertile. On the days when you are fertile you’re supposed to practice safe sex, or just give the vag a day off. Whatever you prefer. The only problem with this is that a lot of are still taken by surprise when we have a visit from good old aunt flow, so how TF are we going to enter all of this information in?
What Are The Benefits?
The positives of this app are that if we end up like in the Divergent movies (but with a phone and hopefully the guy who plays Four), this app will let women continue to practice safe sex. Post apocalyptic planning aside the app means that women don’t have to rely on hormonal contraceptives such as birth control and IUDs. We all have that friend with an IUD horror story or who took a birth control that made her totally nuts. (Unless you are that friend, in which case, my apologies) More importantly app claims to have a failure rate of only 1.8 percent compared to the 9 percent that condoms have. Remember though, this failure is not getting an F on a midterm you never studied for its having a child… so not something you can just cry your way out of at a parent teacher conference.
What’s The Downside?
In general this just seems like a lot of maintenance and personal responsibility which, considering how most of us have to set an alarm to remember to take a pill every day (and then still forget), can lead to problems. The other downfall is that the app costs $79.99 annually. For a lot of women, their birth control is covered by insurance (thanks Obama!) so that seems like a lot of money for an app that doesn’t even play Candy Crush or airbrush photos for you. However, if your birth control isn’t covered, then it is a lot cheaper than having to pay for your monthly set of pills. Or, you know, having a baby for the rest of your life. Either way this is the first of many new products that will come out of the femtech industry, tbh can’t see what else they role out!
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Way too often, dating advice can stray into an icky area. And by icky, I mean letting men sound off at random on the things they don’t like about women, so women can go ahead and make sure they never do any of those things. While I understand the impulse—some of my own articles are along similar lines—I thought it would be nice to take a break from deep dives into the male psyche and talk shit analyze men’s behavior instead. Here are some of the weirdest first date offenses committed by straight men, as told by my hilarious friends. It’s basically a transcript of your next brunch if everyone’s recent dates were exclusively terrible. So…your next brunch. Enjoy!
The “Friend Zone” Guy
“Once on a first date, a guy demanded to know about 20 minutes in whether or not I was attracted to him because he had been friend zoned too many times and needed to make sure it wasn’t going to happen again. And then I turned very red and said I wasn’t sure what to say, and then he later implied he was good at oral sex.” – Phoebe, Journalist
Outstanding. IMO, he could have said any one of these three things and gotten the same point across. Let’s break it down.
“Are you attracted to me? = “Often, women are not attracted to me.”
“I’ve been friend zoned too many times” = “Often, women are not attracted to me.”
“I’m good at oral sex.” = “Often, women are not attracted to me enough to want to have sex with me, so I try to convince them that I have other skills to make up for it. Also, I’m not very good at oral sex.”
And yet he went with all three. I guess men were never really known for their subtlety. Moving on!
The Guy Who Is Probably A Murderer
“There was this crazy German dude who asked to put noise canceling headphones and a blindfold on me before we hooked up. But again, not clear why because he took them off before we actually hooked up. He just made me sit in silence and dark for like 2 minutes beforehand.” – Whitney, Editor
Let’s dissect this a tiny bit. I’m very, very concerned about what he was doing for two minutes after blocking out her senses. TBH, my first thought was that he needed to take a massive dump but like, shouldn’t he have equipped her with nose clips then too? Other theories are that he needed to complete a quick drug deal, hustle another girl out of his room before she saw, or take pictures of her to add to his collection of polaroids of fully clothed women wearing headphones and blindfolds. All of which, ew. I’m going to disable all of my friends’ dating apps. It’s too scary out there.
The Awkward Guy
“The last date I went on, we got coffee, except he didn’t get coffee. He got a slice of banana bread and ate half and then slowly broke the rest down into crumbs with his fingers while we were talking.” – Jane, Hostess
“One introduced me to his parents.” – Victoria, Video Game Producer
Say what you will, but I think both offenses are equal level dealbreakers.
The Condescending Guy
“There was a guy who told me he was seeing other girls but he liked me the most because I was “pretty easy to talk to” and “know a little about music.” – Emily, Consultant
Like friend zone guy, you definitely, definitely know this guy. You probably worshipped him in high school, dated him in college, and reject him once a week now. This is the guy who confuses “opinions I have” with “good taste,” and constantly vocalizes whether or not things meet his standard. And by things, I mean women, which works out because that’s how he thinks of them.
The Wild Card
“ told me he voted for Ted Cruz.” – Lucinda, Grad Student
TBH I’m stuck on what would be worse: having your date tell you that they voted for Ted Cruz, or going on multiple dates with a guy who voted for Ted Cruz without ever knowing.
There you have it! The weirdest first date stories I got with a mass text, and they are…honestly, pretty awful. Let’s all take this as a reminder to brush up on our fake emergency calls and “bad sushi” lies. Like you’ve ever regretted a night in.
Images: Giphy (3)
I don’t know about you, but this heat wave is seriously fucking me up. After spending all winter becoming one with my couch, I was really ready for another four months on my couch to get back out there this summer. Instead, I’m finding myself yearning for the days when lying under a blanket didn’t feel like entering a sweat lodge. SO: even though we all get a pass on going outside this week, summer should be your most social season—and dating is no exception. Sunlight makes people happy, happy hours make people drunk, and drunk, happy people have more fun on dates. It’s basic math. Of course, not all summer dates are created equal. So while you’re fielding texts from Hinge matches, keep in mind that many invitations are still worth ignoring. Here’s what these date locations say about your date’s intentions.
Their Local Coffee Shop
In non-summer months, this has potential to be a fine option if you’re on antibiotics. It’s easy to cut short, requires minimal dressing up, and is overall a low-cost alternative to meeting for drinks. And going to the guy’s usual local spot can give you a sense of his overall vibe, though the implication that he’s hoping you’ll go home with him obviously stands.
During the summer though, this invite is all kinds of sus. If they’re trying to meet you at 2pm on a Saturday down the block from their apartment, they likely haven’t left their apartment in six weeks and will be rolling out of bed, wiping Cheeto crumbs off their shirt, and contemplating cancelling five times before they finally walk down the block. Oh, and they’ll probably try to steer the “date” back to their place to continue whatever TV show they were binging within 30 minutes of meeting you. With all the outdoor options and day-drinking venues summer has to offer, if the best they can do is a non-alcoholic beverage in their zip code, they either don’t give a shit about this date at all, have no social life to speak of, or both.
Picnic In The Park
Whether or not this is a red flag is kind of subjective. If you’re a fan of watching ants climb all over your food while dodging Frisbees, enjoy! (Yeah I hate picnics. Sue me.) The plus side of a picnic invitation is that it’s (meant to be) romantic, so the person who suggests this is definitely making an effort. The downside is that they require a ton of work to pull off effectively. So in Scenario A, your date shows up with a small suitcase worth of supplies (coolers, something to sit on so you don’t get grass stains, etc). While sweet, it also makes it painfully evident how much effort they put in and could be a turn-off early on. It also makes it impossible to continue the date afterward because they’re carrying around 10 pounds of picnic supplies.
In Scenario B, your date brings two 99 cent cans of Arizona iced teas and nothing else, you’re both covered in sweat and grass stains within 10 minutes, he gets embarrassed and tries to act like you’re too high maintenance to cover up that he planned a shitty-ass date. Ultimately, inviting you to a picnic means they’ve thought about this date way too much (and have probably done this exact date with their ex) or way too little. You can appreciate the gesture, but I do not recommend going on this date.
^The last time someone actually enjoyed a picnic.
Rooftop Bar With Their Friends
This is also kind of a mixed bag, but for different reasons. If they invite you to this a few days in advance, it’s ideal. It likely resembles the weekend plans you would have made for yourself anyway, and it means they want you to meet their friends. Win-win. If they invite you to this while they’re already there, it’s a very different story. This means they got drunk and horny, and are too awkward to actually meet someone at the bar full of equally drunk singles. Instead, they started going through their phone and messaging their last week of matches. While the commitment to not meeting people is admirable, you’re better than this. Being available on-demand for whenever they’re done with the social part of their night and just want to get laid is never a good look.*
*If you’ve been on a few dates already, this could be a cute “had a few drinks and started thinking about you” type text. But keep an eye on whether they actually introduce you to their friends when you show up, or if they just try to hustle you home.
Weeknight Dinner Reservation
Like the coffee date, this is normal/fine other parts of the year. But IMO, scheduling an 8pm dinner on a Wednesday is a little formal for a summer date. Has he never heard of happy hour? And is he just expecting you to waste prime drinking hours just to exchange information about your siblings and hometowns over cloth napkins? This date option implies that they’re highly traditional, operate by a strict schedule, and are probably not that much fun. This holds especially true if the restaurant they choose also offers a happy hour menu and they purposely choose not to do it. Who hurt you????
Their House In The Hamptons
This date is the easiest to decode. If they invite you to their house in the Hamptons, MARRY THEM. Seriously. Lock that shit down before the next heat wave rolls through.
Ultimately, dating in the summer is easier than dating in the winter. But because we can’t have nice things, that doesn’t mean some red flags don’t apply. Summer is the time to be your most fun self, taking advantage of long summer nights and half-off drinks. If their best self doesn’t crave margaritas after 12pm from June-September, think carefully whether this is someone you’re interested in dating. And maybe give your number to the people you see out at your favorite summer bars instead. At least you know they have good taste.
Images: Giphy (5); Jelleke Vanooteghem / Unsplash
Anyone who says they haven’t at least thought about what it would be like to marry rich is a fucking liar. Many of us probably spend time imagining the fabulous life you could lead if only you had a romantic meet-cute with Zac Efron (while hiking with your dog in the Los Angeles hills and your pooch runs away straight into his arms… or something. Haven’t put much thought into it). But a life of glamorous riches with a celebrity comes with the price of fame and red carpets and having to work out all the time. So I think it’s time we replace that celebrity fantasy with a successful tech entrepreneur fantasy—because if you want a partner that can support you financially while you pursue your dream job of pop culture blogging/Netflix bingeing, it’d be way cooler if they were also intelligent, inventive, and successful af.
Unfortunately our favorite tech boy feminist and Reddit co-founder, Alexis Ohanian, is no longer on the market (one more reason to love Serena Williams), but there are plenty of other viable-ish options out there, and they’re probably online dating (because tech). So get your asses out to Silicon Valley, consider the advantages (besides $$$) and disadvantages of dating a tech founder, and start compiling a list of DM’s to slide into.
Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX
Elon doesn’t really fly under the radar like our other contenders, and you probably won’t find him on Hinge (unfortunately). But he recently split from Amber Heard, so he is definitely
emotionally unavailable on the market. He runs Tesla, SpaceX and The Boring Company—which is digging holes in L.A. to get rid of traffic, so he’s a total do-gooder and world saver. He’s worth about $19 billion, has been divorced three times (twice from the same woman), and only has six children for you to help raise.
Advantages: All the Teslas in the world, and a good chance he would take you to Mars.
Disadvantages: He runs like, a million companies and has like, a million children, so there probably isn’t much time for cuddles.
Jack Dorsey: Twitter
Jack is the CEO and co-founder of Twitter and the CEO and founder of Square (Venmo’s less successful stepsister). He’s 41 years old and worth around $3 billion. He has tattoos and stuff so he was probably an emo kid in high school, and I once saw him speak at a Square holiday party—he’s SUPER into himself. Maybe you’ll be into him too.
Advantages: Maybe you could get him to disable Trump’s Twitter account, for good.
Disadvantages: Twitter has gone through a few rounds of layoffs recently, and his companies don’t appear to have any way of ever making money.
John Zimmer: Lyft
As the co-founder and president of Lyft (a company worth $11 billion), John could definitely provide for an intellectually challenging and financially supportive lifestyle. Plus Uber is the worst, which makes Lyft (its top competitor) the best, right? John is 33 years old, a self-proclaimed nice guy (hopefully not too nice because nobody wants that), and your mom will totally love him.
Advantages: Free rides for life.
Disadvantages: Potential pink mustache fetish.
Drew Houston: Dropbox
Drew is the founder and CEO of Dropbox, that file storing and sharing software that somehow still hasn’t figured out how to make file storing and sharing all that easy. He’s worth an estimated $1 billion and sorta looks like a chubbier version of Elon Musk—no, just me? He loves talking about being a founder and he could probably be a boyfriend/life coach hybrid if you are into that sort of thing.
Advantages: Unlimited storage for your food pics.
Disadvantages: You would have to figure out how Dropbox works.
Images: Wikimedia (5)