As every savvy single knows, the phenomenon of the Tinder date lives in the liminal space between left and right, swiped and un-swiped, in which states of reality can only be determined through direct observation, as with the theoretical cat in a box in Schrödinger’s famous thought experiment. Here are some of those quantum possibilities, and their implications for your online-dating life.

Location

When you choose the location of a date, you set up an inevitable series of revelations that can only be manifested once you arrive. Some theorists might even go so far as to say that all potential locations exist simultaneously until collapsing into a single, sad bar that is equidistant from both parties’ apartments (the Copenhagen interpretation*). Until then, yes, the date is in an escape room, a lobster restaurant, and on a Ferris-wheel ride that ends in tears.

Time of Arrival

The passage of time is just one of many variables affecting the quantum state of particles in a sad bar equidistant from two single people’s apartments. If you show up to the bar ten minutes late, your Tinder date will be on time. If you show up on time, he will be late. If you show up early, I’m sorry, but he’s definitely not coming. On the bright side, you can have a nice drink by yourself.

Your Tinder Date’s Appearance

We know many things about the universe, namely that, if one has access to Tinder, one also can easily have access to mobile photo-editing apps, resulting in a paradox wherein any given Tinder date’s physical appearance is impossible to determine until directly observed. Perhaps the spot-correction on your own Tinder profile perfectly correlates with the diffraction pattern of a double-slit experiment. That’s your business. The reality is that your Tinder date doesn’t look like his photo, and that’s O.K.

Making Conversation

Conversation is one way for a person to increase the chances of quantum entanglement with a Tinder date. However, conversation is dangerous, as, the longer you speak, the more the conversation begins to behave somewhat like a particle that is decomposing and threatening to kill everyone in the bar with radiation poisoning. Also, don’t bother asking what he does for work. He’s both a physicist and an unemployed Ph.D. student. These realities exist at the same time and there’s nothing we can do about it.

Staying Over

If you don’t go to his apartment for a drink, the apartment will either be a studio on Fifth Avenue or a four-bedroom with five roommates in Gowanus. Also, drinks will both be served and not be served, because can you really “serve” anything out of a Solo cup? Optimism is not a relevant variable—you are going to Gowanus to hang out on a mattress on the floor.

Getting Locked in a Bathroom in Gowanus

Does human observation matter, and when will quantum superposition end? These are questions that one can ponder while locked in a bathroom in Gowanus because you got up to pee after your Tinder date fell asleep. Although it may seem like this cannot possibly be happening, it can, because there are many things about the nature of the universe that are yet unexplained by science.

Having to Call Your Friend for Help After You’ve Gotten Locked in a Bathroom

If you attempt to call your friend for help after finding yourself locked in your Tinder date’s bathroom, one of two things will happen: either your phone will die instantly despite being at thirty-five-per-cent battery, or you will discover that your friend has fallen asleep at 11:30 P.M. while watching YouTube videos of cats sitting in boxes. This is why it’s best to not call the friend at all, but rather use a credit card to break out of your Tinder date’s bathroom.

Discovering That Your Date Has a Pet Chihuahua That, Though Small, Is Ferocious

A waveform representing the probability of your Tinder date’s Chihuahua waking up as you make a graceful exit from his apartment is represented by treating the Chihuahua as a particle in the equation:

where t is equal to the time it takes to call an Uber and where H is the Hamiltonian operator, or the sum of potential and kinetic energies of the Chihuahua.

Realizing That You Left Your Wallet Behind While Fleeing an Enraged Chihuahua

Though it may be possible to escape your Tinder date’s apartment with dignity intact, the entanglement of two particles will continue to impact their spin, polarization, and chances of going on a second date, regardless of distance. Compounding this, you’ll have to go back to Gowanus to pick up the wallet you left in the bathroom, begging the question: Is it spooky action at a distance or is it . . . something more?

*Note: The Copenhagen interpretation of the Tinder date is different from the Copenhagen interpretation of the long-term relationship, wherein a couple goes on a European vacation to discover how incompatible they are.



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