Danish Dating Scene Part I

Column by Ivy Jenn
Ivy Jenn - Matt Kartanata

I’ve never fallen in love and this worries my mom immensely. She’s not worried just because she wants me to complete the domestic ideal of marriage and children; she’s legitimately concerned that I don’t have the emotional capacity to fall in love. This goes back to kindergarten, when I would play “house” with my best friend Eric. Eric was a hopeless romantic and would always propose to me using a half-eaten ring pop. I accepted each time—not out of love, but because ring pops are fucking delicious. After the candy was gone, so was I. In retrospect, I was a gold digger. I’m not proud of my past, but my parents didn’t let me eat candy so I had to get my sugar fix somewhere. Does that make me a junkie too? Fast-forward 15 years: at 20 years old, I can buy my own ring pops. But ever since I’ve hit the big 2-0, my entire extended family has been dropping very subtle hints such as “FEMALE FERTILITY DECLINES BY AGE 30” and “Is your heart made out of stone?” When my mother sent me off to study abroad in Denmark, she reminded me to “always watch out for pickpockets” and “open my heart to love.”
After two months of living in Denmark, I fell in love. Unfortunately for my mom, I didn’t fall in love with a man…
I fell in love with Copenhagen (I am aware that this is very cliché but I felt that a lesbian joke might be inappropriate). It was a whirlwind romance and I quickly fell head over heels. Seriously, though, the cobblestones here are tricky as hell. I naively thought that my mom had forgotten her quest when I received this email:

Dear Ivy,
I hope you are having a fun time in Copenhagen. I miss you very much.
Love,
Mom
P.S. My friend’s son Peter is pre-med at Berkeley and he is very nice. You two should have dinner together.

I’ve met Peter and I’m pretty sure he’s gay. I don’t know what gave it away—maybe it was his superb color coordination or his boyfriend, Lawrence. I showed my friend Angelina the email and I immediately regretted it once I saw the smirk on her face. Angelina is the type of girl that once she gets an idea, she will relentlessly pursue it. She’s very sweet-looking, always sporting a messy side-bun on the tip-top of her head and wearing oversized, pink-rimmed glasses that accentuate the brightness of her eyes. Angelina is what I call lovably manipulative.
“You know, my roommate found her soulmate on Tinder…” she mused.
If you’ve been living under a rock, Tinder is an online dating website that’s linked to a person’s Facebook profile pictures, but I think Urban Dictionary says it best by describing it as “the McDonald’s for sex.” That’s the general perception of Tinder in America, but I heard the Danish version was a bit tamer. I was going to shoot down Angelina’s idea, but then I thought about being forced to date Gay Peter for the rest of my life. Tinder was the lesser of two evils, so that Friday night I bought a bottle of wine and played Tinder.
Tinder is sickly addictive and I hate it. For 10 minutes I swiped through at least 50 people and I felt like a superficial skeezeball. For people who enjoy online dating, I’m not judging. You do you. I think that it’s a valid way to meet people that you may not have otherwise had the opportunity to meet. I will admit that it’s a nice ego boost to receive messages and compliments online. I was pleasantly surprised that none of my matches were vulgar. Most messages began in a fairly straightforward and innocuous fashion with “Hi” and “How are you?” They were polite and seemingly non-creepy, and honestly, I might have considered going on a date if I had more time to vet them. They might be serial killers and I refuse to die by Tinder. I either want to die at 100 years old in the comfort of my bed or die rescuing a small child from drowning in a well. I decided to try dating the old fashioned way and so I enlisted the help of my friends for a night out on the town.
To find out what happens next, come back in two weeks for the rest of the story but if you don’t want to, it’s chill.