Written by Jason Kireina, SFU Student
Dear blank profile,
You were my first love, and I’ll always remember you for that. Except I don’t even remember your name, because it wasn’t on your profile.
I had just downloaded Grindr, using a photo that wasn’t mine. Before you say anything, no, this wasn’t a catfish situation. Technically I used a shirtless photo of someone whose body looked kind of like me. So I wasn’t completely lying. Just kind of.
I guess lies are to blame for our fleeting romance. I lied by not using my own photo. You lied by putting “can host” in your bio. When I asked you what kind of parties you do, you said that you didn’t do parties. So technically you couldn’t “host,” blank profile. Regardless, we eventually lost touch, and I stopped hearing from you (except for randomly at 3 a.m. sometimes).
On some nights, I think I see you while I’m scrolling through the torsos and the smiling faces. But then I remember you showed me neither of those. I hope one day we can reunite, our true selves on display.
. . . Come to think of it . . . I don’t actually know what you look like . . .
Dear guy from my high school who I didn’t know was gay until we saw each other on Grindr in second year,
I know the exact day it all started. We got caught in the fall rain waiting for a truant 145. (Perhaps I have our declining transit system to thank for bringing us together.) We made brief eye contact, right after I saw that your profile was the closest. I could tell you noticed me too, because in a matter of moments, I got a Grindr notification.
Actually, that notification was from another sex party trying to get me to attend. But the notification after was from you — I promise.
You messaged first and said, “hey didn’t you go to my high school?”
It was right then. That’s when I knew, all the way down to my soaking wet boxers . . . from the rain, of course.
I love you, guy from my high school who I didn’t know was gay until we saw each other on Grindr in second year. I might have loved you for all of high school. I think you might have loved me back. At least, that’s the narrative I’ve created for us.
You moved away, and I haven’t heard from you since. But trust me: our high-school-strangers turned long-lost-lovers romance was everything to me.
Dear Craig from Los Angeles,
It’s the last day of my trip, and possibly the last time I will ever hear from you because we live so far apart — and you refuse to continue Grindr conversations with people more than 10km away. Remember the second day, that time you messaged me nine times when I didn’t respond right away? I told you I couldn’t check Grindr because I didn’t have Wi-Fi, and you messaged back “lol k”. Hehe.
The constant messages to meet, unsolicited NSFW pictures, and frequent taps helped me forget all about my homesickness. I think I might’ve left LA early if it hadn’t been for you, Craig.
(Not to mention I really couldn’t afford to buy another ticket. Plus I was actually busy with daily plans because I came to visit a friend. But, you know, you helped too.)
Also you’re a really amazing bedroom self-photographer. Have a really good rest of the summer and–
Oh, you just messaged me, like, six times.
Anyway, have a really good rest of the summer and a really good life.
I loved you first. By all rights, you were mine. And then my best friend’s ex-boyfriend loved you. And then my ex-boyfriend’s ex-boyfriend loved you after. And then the ex-boyfriend of this guy I went on, like, two dates with loved you too. And then a friend of a friend of mine loved you next. And then this random guy I follow on Instagram somehow managed to love you after the friend of a friend of mine. And then a mutual friend between myself and another guy I met on Grindr loved you after that.
Look, the point here is that everyone knows everyone on this Godforsaken app. But I just had to point out that I was first.
P.S. I still love you. And so does that friend of a friend of mine, I think.
Dear Friends Only,
First of all, who goes on Grindr just for friends? Just so you know, Grindr friendships sound fake, but go off.
Did you know that when you messaged me, I would come to love you? Sometimes I think yes — definitely yes. Why? Because NOBODY is on Grindr for just friends.
That’s what I hate about you, Friends Only. You insist you’re on Grindr for friends only, but your messages’ sexual undertones say otherwise. Everyone wants to be more than just friends with you. Including me.
And sometimes I think you want that too. There was something about your first message, that “hey,” that made me think this “I’m just on here for friends” persona was a facade. The one-word messages kept coming and I only fell harder each time.
Maybe that’s why you messaged me, Friends Only. To do mind control on me, to make me see you that way. It worked. Your little trick worked.
Do you know what it’s like to like someone so much you can’t stand it? To know that they’ll never feel the same way? Probably not. Just-friend-maniacs like you don’t suffer through those kinds of things.
Now that I’ve overanalyzed everything you’ve ever sent me, I know for sure that I’m over you. I’m immune to you now, Friends Only. I’m not glued to my phone at all times waiting for your next message. I swear.
If you wanted to hang out though, I’m down, I guess.