You’re swiping on Tinder while procrastinating taking a shower. Your greasy hair keeps flicking into your eyes as you judge all of these people that you have never met, and will never meet.

Oh no!

Then you see him. The last time you saw his face was when you were giving him back his Laker’s jersey which you borrowed for that couple’s Halloween costume. You know you shouldn’t, that this is going to hurt your feelings. But you just can’t help yourself, and like Pandora, you open that box of shit. You knew it was too early for Tinder, and this just proves it.

Are. You. Serious?? His first picture, you remember, is that his mom took while he was home for Thanksgiving and the second is one of him and his dog (it’s still an excellent dog, there’s nothing negative you can say about it). But the third picture? It’s one you took together when you took a weekend trip to the shore with your friends. And this little shit has cropped you out!

You can’t believe it!

You were the center of that photo, the muse. You drew people in and honestly you looked incredible and glowy that day. You can still see your arm wrapped around his waist! Would it have been that hard for him to just choose another photo? Why was he able to crop you out of his life so easily! You don’t want him to be struggling, but honestly, he could still be a little more upset if you’re being honest. Why is he already on Tinder? I mean you’re on Tinder but it’s different.

You know you have no right to be mad. You know that. You keep repeating that fact over and over again. It doesn’t stop your blood from boiling. You think of all the girls he’s matched with because of that photo that currently only displays your right arm. Jealousy is well inside of you in a way you haven’t felt since your friend went to 7th-grade homecoming with the guy you said you didn’t like, but you really DID like!

Back to the problem at hand (or rather IN your hand)

You are an adult. And you will act like it. You decide to swipe right, what’s the worst that could happen? We’re friendly, we’re cool. You match. You take it back, you’re not friendly OR cool. None of those words have ever been used to describe you and it was naive to believe they would now. You want to throw your phone, specifically at that photo of your arm.

Well, now you have to message. There’s really no choice if you think about it. It would be weird not to, right? You can make it totally chill. You just have to think of a totally chill message. The chillest message, really. You’re going to win this.

What says “Haha, I just think it’s so cool how cool I can be about all of this”? But also “I no longer have any romantic or honestly platonic interest in you”?

What about “Lol nice third pic.” No. He’ll know you’re pissed, you never say lol! Maybe, “How have you been?” Nope. You don’t care and also you don’t want to start a conversation. “Long time no cropping me out of your third picture”? Ok, are you even trying?

Before you have time to come up with the absolutely perfect message your phone dings. He’s sent “lol I’m pretty sure I took your second pic” followed by 14 emojis. You remember why you broke up. You do not respond.

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  • Olivia McCormack is a senior journalism major and history minor at American University in Washington, DC. She fell in love with communications through her mental health advocacy and education. Her dream is to be a Vanna White-eque 1960s weather girl, but in this economy will settle for the high paying career field of journalism.