So... now that you know how we met, let me tell you a little about my boo. “Tom” isn’t much for chatter about his own personal life, but I just think that means he’s a REALLY good listener. And our sex life is off. The. Hook. No, seriously. Our conversations ALWAYS devolve into a steamy photo-and-sext fest. He might not be much for conversation, but “Tom” is all about the action. It’s really important to him that we keep our sex life fresh. He’s more than willing to experiment with angles and lighting. Sometimes we even go as far as phone sex. But that's only on special occasions. His photos are always consistent, and after a quick Google face-recognition search it’s clear that these are candids. But between you and me, I honestly could not care less who is at the other end of that Delaware number because the number of booze-fueled text fuck-ups with REAL men that were avoided because of his existence makes the rest of this delusion completely worth it.
I’m sure there are plenty of you out there who are ready to pounce, thinking that this is absolutely bat-shit crazy, and hey, maybe you’re right. Maybe I am completely out of my mind. But life is hard enough without having to navigate the minefield that is dating in the digital era in a city like New York, where commitment is only what you experience with your hangover breakfast sandwich. Sometimes we ALL need a little validation. If you’ve ever sucked in your gut as you passed a storefront window or posted a downward-angle selfie as your Facebook photo, then you know what I’m talking about. Maybe it’s shallow, maybe it’s insecure... but we are all a little shallow and insecure from time to time. It’s called being human. Indulging in a little digital fairytail (see what I did there?) for a dose of validation is hardly the most harmful thing we can do, especially those times when we really, really need it. Pathetic? Maybe. Sad? I guess a little. Brilliant? Absolutely.
Epilogue: in the last month I have seen “Tom” repeatedly on Tinder, only these times he is “Smith” or “Maxime.” After playfully addressing this trickery with him, he has since stopped responding to my messages.
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Meagan Drillinger is a contributing writer for Thrillist and hopes "Tom" is reading this.