Dear Dante: Season 1
Updated: Mar 3, 2021
In which Columbia’s piteous are offered sage advice.
I matched with an acquaintance/friend of a friend on the Tinder. I asked him how he was but was ignored. I still like him and will probably see him in the future. How do I not make future situations awkward, but also how do I get him to like me? Thanks from a nervous gay.
Dear NERVOUS GAY,
Congratulations, your problems outweighed those of every other respondent!
Now that that’s out of the way, I hope you aren’t dwelling too much on this whole Tinder situation. The answer is right there. The way I see it, there are two possibilities. Either this whole predicament is a misunderstanding, and he swiped right by accident/without any serious thought. Or, this guy is totally DTF: Down to Fall in love and enter a long-term partnership in the very near future. Could go either way—but I’m pretty sure it’s the second one.
Now, I’m no expert on this stuff (psych!), but there are several things I think you ought to keep in mind here. First, anyone and everyone you match with on Tinder is looking for a long-term relationship or betrothal at this very moment. Second, “how are you!?” is a pretty weak pickup line. Third, the prime meridian divides the earth into its Western and Eastern hemispheres (this’ll be important if things get serious). And fourth, you need to act now or risk messing up what I imagine is the only real connection you’ve ever had.
Here’s what I propose:
Tell all of your mutual friends that you matched, but that he was the one who messaged you. That way, you don’t seem like the classic lonely-kid-who-risks-a-friend-group’s-cohesion-just-to-chase-an-internet-hottie. It’s important to save face in case things don’t work out in your favor. Once that’s done, message this guy again, like, at least ten to twelve times. Let it all out. And I mean all: fun facts, recurring childhood dreams, the standup jokes you’ve been workshopping for two years, recent stories from This American Life. If it’s in your head, it should be in his DMs. That’s the only way to get this guy to realize that you’re not the typical acquaintance/friend of a friend. You’re a horny acquaintance/friend of a friend.
As for making this guy like you? At the risk of repeating myself, I think that some well-placed Ira Glass quotes should do the trick. But on the off chance that they don’t, it’s nothing that a quick, casual, public reminder that he was the one who swiped right to begin with can’t fix. There’s nothing sexier to young singles than someone willing to instigate a public argument in order to get laid—except, of course, someone who’s willing to write to a campus magazine about their romantic troubles. In other words: You’re in the clear. This guy is hooked! To reel him in, all you need to do is show him your fun, casual side by publicly accusing him of going back on his promises, and bombing the shit out of his DMs. Now, that is romance.
Best of luck,
My friends have started mocking my knees incessantly. This started one day in September when I was wearing shorts and someone noticed my kneecaps were “fucked” and were at an angle. It’s been 6 months now and it’s still daily that someone asks to see my knees again. How do I make this stop?
Dear FUCKED AND ANGULAR,
In moments like these, I encourage my readers to do some soul searching and ask themselves: “What would Dante do?” In this case, that would be a trick question. I don’t know what I’d do if my knees were being mocked, because, to be frank, they never would be. Because I’m above average in height and below average in torso-length, my legs are left to do most of the heavy lifting for my physical appearance. And heavily lift they do, every Thursday morning at Dodge, but that’s beside the point (for now).
Honestly, I’m lost on what to say here. Your knees are kinda fucked, and there’s little chance of any of your friends ever forgetting that. So, you’ve just gotta own it. Buy some of those cargo pants that zip off at the knee and let those babies breathe! Who cares that your knees are bent at the same angle as the mirrors they give you at DSW while you try on new shoes; or that your future romantic partners will probably ask that you go “under the covers from the waist down” during sex; or that no clear-minded employer would ever hire someone with such an unappealing gait? That’s all hogwash, and you should forget you ever heard it! The point is, you’re stuck with what you’ve got, and what you’ve got is always beautiful, even if the leg pictures you submitted were too grotesque to print in this magazine.
Hope this helps!
Best of luck,
P.S. Find some new friends! These guys clearly don’t have your best interests at heart. You’d be better off finding a nice group of kids who actually value you for you, and who have knees just as fucked as yours. Takes one to know one, as they say.