I’m begging you, Bathilda, please don’t walk away now. Think about the bones I’ve lovingly scattered in our boudoir. graphic by Anna Johns

Fuck Tinder. I’m off to the Bog.

After years of mindlessly swiping and scrolling through dating apps, I have surely seen the talent pool this side of the Mississippi has to offer: men with fish, men with guns and men with God (not pictured, but, like, there’s a cross somewhere). At this point, the flirtations are stale, and my travels into the world of online dating have equipped me with some sound advice. So, as an expert of dating sites and someone who is vaguely aware of the shape of the opposite sex, I have collected advice for successful online dating.

1. Stop promoting your content.

Alright, I get it. You think your new film script is really smart or your photography of shoes or various naked women is cool and artsy, but I assure you that no one else does. This advice comes from someone who, too, was guilty of bragging — the world of Bumble is not ready for someone who freely owns their hobbies, like me, bolstering my stats of having an impossibly magnetic ass, sound prophetic visions and various crafted libations and elixirs. All it does is attract commentary on your precious work, and also, no one cares about your study of Tarantino’s use of red lighting.

2. Rethink your posted pictures.

I have never felt safe looking at a group of men consuming alcohol, and the same applies to seeing an image of some dude and his friends on Tinder.

3. Up your texting game, baby!

This advice is a crucial. I cannot stress enough: no one will be excited by what you think is a flirty joke.

4. This sucks. This absolutely sucks. I’m so sorry.

I’m pathetic. The online dating game has consumed me and taken my soul with it. While I’ve found some pretty incredible #thumbgains, I lost my heart in the process. The Tinder dating pool is the abyss: surely, I thought, I can stare unwittingly into this unblinking chamber of poorly flexed men and their weirdly offset nipples and still keep my soul intact. I was wrong. This will be my last entry. I’m sorry.

5. Hey, it’s me. I believe in love again.

Okay, I know I was all “I’m leaving, so let me wax poetic about losing my sanity,” and, like, that’s so embarrassing. ¿Cómo se dice “yikes,” am I right, ladies?

So, I went for a walk and packed my knapsack of meats and cheeses for a delightful, restorative day in the woods, ready to enjoy the atmosphere that is undeniably inhabited by the usual magic toads and singing bulrushes. Then I saw her: cloaked and exuding a powerful aura as she left provocative candies for the local rowdy children of the woods, she looked at me, eyes gleaming a deadly yet intoxicating red. She walked away, but it was clear from the tilt of her robes she wanted me to follow.

We landed in the Bog, her home a tattered mess of moss and slime. As a seduction tool, I had acquired the tools of romance — namely toxic sludge, enhancers for my sugary sweet feminine pheromones and a fish. I presented the trout to her, and in a raspy voice, she replied, “It looks as if it would be very easy to bite that raw.” And she did. Girlboss!

Weeks of passionate love consume me. I help her set traps for the woodland children and trip over lazily besprinkled bones. She whispers her thoughts about the ebb and flow of the tides that we humans call “thoughts,” prophecies about the harvester’s moon and asks me if there is any gasoline she can try to huff. Her sheets are, of course, algae, but I find the little bugs that live in her bed charming and friendly.

6. I was wrong about love.

From one girl blogger to another, it is with heavy heart that I inscribe the following: even in the arms of the Witch of the Bog, love is a fruitless thing, a careless creation of our lonely psyche. We are empty vessels desperately trying to find something to bridge this abscess, and guess what? It won’t be in the bony arms of a centuries-old Baba Yaga.

Okay, we got in a fight. Okay, she cursed my descendants to a life of pig noses. Okay, I desperately miss her and the way her teeth would drip droplets of blood when she was done with the local children.

I think I’m going to call her.

Post Author: Anna Johns