Summer’s not a season so much as it’s a particular set of emotions. If spring is the beginning of life, summer is its bright, bursting apex, where the afternoons are blurry with heat-haze, everyone’s wearing as little as possible and we’re all actually leaving our apartments to go out drinking in the sunshine. There are a lot of butt cheeks hanging out of jorts and tank tops for people of all genders. Summer is the fucking best, and you should celebrate its nascent arrival by deactivating your stupid Tinder account.
For all its modern challenges, online dating is almost inarguably a net positive. Although it’s somehow still fashionable in certain circles to stay mad at millennials and our pesky phones, the interpersonal possibilities that social media and dating apps facilitate were unimaginable in any previous generation. Where our parents had to rely on the happenstance of everyday interaction to find friends and romantic partners, we get the luxury of seeking out people whose interests and habits are already compatible with our own, and in a city as large as New York, our options are limitless.
But that’s also the problem: limitless options are a one-way ticket to existential paralysis for a lot of people, and even for those who aren’t constantly anxiety-stricken by the idea of committing an evening to a real date (let alone committing to one partner), limitlessness is a serious schedule hog. We only get three months or so of genuine summer weather, and there’s no reason to spend even a second of it on an internet date with someone who does improv. They’ll still be there in the Fall. Trust me.
Dating patterns have always been affected by weather; cuffing season, for example, is what happens in the Fall when the musical chairs game that is summer hookups comes to a close and lots of people grab a partner with whom to survive winter. October on OkCupid is absolutely lit. We’ve got a lot of time until October, though, and there’s no reason to race to the finish.
The affirmation and rejection cycle of sorting through potential partners, meeting new people and having it go nowhere can be intoxicating, but it also takes an enormous amount of emotional energy to haul yourself out to a bar a couple nights a week and explain your startup job to yet another stranger. And once you’re doing it, it feels like you need to keep doing it until something sticks, until you win the face-swiping game and live happily ever after. Practically every single person I know talks regularly about being tired and needing a break, but it’s hard to opt out when you’ve gotten used to the rush of possibility or when doing so makes you feel like you’ve been rejected by the whole of New York City’s eligible bachelors or bachelorettes.
Unlike your job or family relationships or the general drudgery of dragging your sentient meat sack through life, though, Tinder is something you can absolutely take a break from, and we’re on the cusp of the perfect time to do it. Free up some space in your life right now and summer will rush in to fill it. Go to the park, eat bodega popsicles, take some good Instagrams. See a movie outside on a blanket while you split a couple bottles of rosé with your friends. Talk to strangers at rooftop parties. Be young and gorgeous and coat-free. The worst that can happen is that you reactivate your online dating profiles in the fall with some excellent new photos.