Dating a Fordham Boy: From Top of the Rock to Rock Bottom


Will the Fordham bells ring for this cross-campus couple? No. Definitely not. (Ian McKenna / The Observer)
Will the Fordham bells ring for this cross-campus couple? No. Definitely not. (Ian McKenna / The Observer)

So I’m facing a serious ethical dilemma. How do I go about telling these guys that I’m writing about them and our date? Do I tell them? Does it make me a terrible person and journalist if I don’t?

Every single guy that I have met up with so far has asked (usually mid-date) why I’m on Tinder, and I am always honest: to go on dates so I can write about it for my column in the student newspaper. The reaction has ranged from “wow, that’s really cool,” to “oh, crap, are you taking notes right now?”  But no one has ever had a serious problem with it, and they all gave me their permission to write about the night.

Well this past week, I went on a date with a guy we’ll call anonymous because he really does not want me to reveal basically anything about him.  Out of respect for his privacy, I’m not going to tell you all that much, which I know isn’t very fun.  But what I will tell you is that he is a student at Rose Hill, and as soon as I found that out, I knew that I had found my next victim.

We actually started talking when I posted a “moment” in my Fordham baseball hat that I was given at Orientation and usually wear on bad hair days.  Anyway, he liked my “moment” and immediately messaged me.  Our initial conversation was pretty good, and at the end of it, I gave him my number.

We texted a few days later and every day after that, and I enjoyed talking to him.  He seemed to be really smart and had a good sense of humor; maybe a bit a frat boy since he brought up drinking every time we talked, but I could get over that.  He admitted that he had never met anyone from Tinder before because he never thought they were worth it, and then said he wanted to meet me.  I melted a little; it was cute.  We decided to meet up here in Manhattan, since he says there’s not a lot to do in the Bronx.  He wanted to go out to eat, and then maybe to the Top of the Rock, so that Thursday night we met in front of the school, where the Ram Van had  dropped him off.

I saw him and walked up to say hi, pretty happy about the fact that I have once again avoided being catfished.  He was pretty cute and relatively tall, but when I introduced myself it got a little awkward. No hug, no nothing, he just jumped up and asked where we were going to eat. I decided that I wanted Wendy’s so that’s where we went. Then, he takes me to the Top of the Rock, which I have never been to and, on a side note, is absolutely amazing.

Overall, it was a good date—definitely the most “fun” date I’ve been on since I started this column, and I liked that he wanted to do something other than just go to dinner or see a movie.  There were times when I didn’t quite know what to talk about, but it really was a decent time overall and I would have been open to seeing him again, but unfortunately that is never going to happen.

Let me tell you why: So it’s the end of the night, and we are waiting in front of the building for the last Ram Van to come and take him back.  That’s when I realize I haven’t told him about the column yet, and I feel a little guilty.  He hadn’t asked anything, but maybe I should tell him.  Would I like it if someone were writing about me without my knowledge? No.  So I tell him, and he is mad.  Like, really mad and almost a little scared, even though I explain that I won’t use his name or say anything that might reveal who he is. Anonymous is going to work for the government after he graduates and says that absolutely nothing about him can be on the internet. (I want to point out that his Instagram, which is not exactly squeaky clean, is on the Internet and is public for that matter, but I’ll drop it.)

By the time the van comes, I’ve calmed him down a little but he literally jumps up and practically sprints when he sees it—again, no hug, no anything.  I’m a little disappointed but not really; he was a little too immature for me, and I was more anxious about his reaction than anything else. Like I said, I have never received a reaction like that before. I went on Tinder that very night and saw that he had unmatched me. I texted him, and a couple of days later, he gave me permission to write about the date as long as no one would know it was him, and sent me a picture from the Top of the Rock I was “allowed” to use.  Other than that, we haven’t spoken since.

Now this all brings me back to my dilemma.  Should I tell these guys before the date the reason why I’m on Tinder? Or will that change the way they act?  Is it unethical journalism if I don’t?  I’ve taken a few journalism classes but I don’t remember us ever going over the moral code for reporting on Tinder dates.