Minus the City: Don’t Stay, Get Away

It is no secret that Tinder is widely used to find quick and casual hookups. No matter how quick and how casual, there has to be some degree of a connection between both parties for there to be any form of physical intimacy. This is a kind of connection that is virtually unattainable behind a screen. Your decision to or to not hook up with a person on Tinder doesn’t happen when you “match;” instead, this occurs when you’ve both been able to get a general scope of the physical dynamic between the two of you. So what do you do if this goes completely wrong? You meet a potential hookup for the first time, and it’s just instantly the worst thing you’ve ever experienced… what’s the easiest way to get out? 

First it’s important that we acknowledge that we are not obligated to do anything that makes us uncomfortable, especially with regards to any kind of intimacy. If you meet a person for the first time with the intention of having sex and become immediately repelled by their way of being or their general existence, this is most likely an indication of your subconscious not giving consent; you, without knowing it, have already said no. You may begin to try and suppress these feelings of anxiety by convincing yourself that “it’s only been a couple minutes… maybe I should stay longer, in case it gets better.” The truth is, however, once you have already begun to agonize about the other person’s response if you were to reject them, that’s probably your cue that it would be best to leave the situation entirely. 

In a college environment, these situations usually begin in someone’s living space: you in theirs, or them in yours. At this point you’ve placed yourself between walls, with limited outside contact, putting yourself in a position of vulnerability that can seem inescapable. It would be ideal that before entering into someone’s space, or them entering into yours, you create a system with some close friends of yours. It should be a given that before you go anywhere unknown that you establish your whereabouts with someone else who you are close with. Share locations! But with this information, you should also not be afraid to also share who it is you plan to be with: share profiles, have them be familiar with his or her face. Then you should develop a plan with your friend that would allow you to exit quickly and efficiently. Come up with a code word to text that would instantly notify them that things are going south. Have them call you with a made up emergency that requires your immediate attention and assistance. And there, you’ve set up your way out. Of course this does require a little bit of acting, but nothing you can’t handle, especially if it’s to escape a situation that you know will leave you feeling regretful and distressed. 

If this is too involved, you can always give them the good ol’ “I’m not feeling so good.” A pounding headache, an explosive stomachache, anything that would warrant you leaving as soon as possible.

These are both ways to get around the situation without hurting the feelings of the person you’re with. But a lot of the time they will know exactly what you’re doing. The true best option is to be open and honest. It’s the most painful option in the moment, but it will leave you without any feelings of guilt in the end. Avoid saying things like “you’re a nice person but…” or “it’s not you, it’s me,” which could come across as almost patronizing. Instead, explain to them that you just didn’t feel any “click;” you just did not vibe with them the way you thought you would. Of course this won’t leave them feeling super good about themselves, but sometimes you have to lose the battle to win the war. 

Always remind yourself that you absolutely do not have to stick around, because your comfort is top priority.