It appears that the newest trend in meeting mates or at the very least getting dates is to just press a shit ton of buttons on your phone, because these days everything can be used as a dating app. Instagram is old news — Airbnb is the new way to hook up. Need an air conditioner installed? Call a Task Rabbit — you’ll get a boyfriend. Or my personal favorite: Credit Karma. Download it, get pissed at your score, chuck your cell at someone’s shin then apologize until it becomes The One’s shin. Now there’s a millennial meet cute!
But that new-new love — that 21st century romance — is all about Uber Pool.
A few friends gave me the idea back in September. They were complaining about how annoying it is that “a girl can’t take a shared ride without getting hit on.”
“Totally,” I said while re-downloading the app after I’d deleted it for making me poor.
“I just want to drink my coffee in peace,” one girl quipped. “Not be fed some guy’s cheesy lines.”
“Like, I’m trying to go to work,” another lamented. “This isn’t a bar.”
“So gross.” (I said that.) “Who even likes bars?”
Me. I like bars.
That Monday, I had never been more excited for a commute.
I’d decided that trying Uber Pool in the name of the dating game would kill a few birds with one phone. Besides the obvious reason, it would help me save money. (So would taking the subway but life isn’t a Rihanna song; love does not exist in hopeless places.) It was also guaranteed to be a great story.
Or so I thought, because alas…
Here we are. Dateless in San Francisco and Manhattan. Nope’d on two coasts like a Mindy Kaling-meets-Meg Ryan character. After testing Uber Pool out in both cities over the course of at least 8 weeks, my only explanation is that the app must be in beta. It’s still working out the bugs: I am straight, yet every car I called matched me with women. Those that didn’t, alternatively, paired me with no one — ironic considering that in the world of carpooling and mass transit, a cheap ride void of any other passengers is what most commuters call “getting lucky.”
What I will say is that Uber Pool is excellent practice for anyone who is new or rusty at dating. For example:
If no one speaks, no one meets.
Prepare for your parents to be concerned for your safety.
You cannot run late.
If you do, they might leave.
Smelling nice guarantees a higher success rate, in general.
Barfing guarantees a lower one.
There’s a million of them.
But when you really want one, they will be unavailable.
Being located in an inconvenient location (as deemed by you or the other party) is, unfortunately, considered a character flaw.
Having things in common helps lessen the awkward tension.
A comfortable silence, however, is the sign of something good.
Don’t just do it for the story.
Or do, but don’t expect a relationship.
And don’t forget: you can always walk.
Collages by Emily Zirimis