What are you attracted to? 

Let’s pull out that list of ‘perfect man’ qualities and draw a big red line through the superficial ‘tall, dark, drives a nice car’ boxes. 

I want you to think about the things in your life that make you truly happy. 


If you find a man that checks every box – congrats ladies, you’ve found a unicorn. But even if they are highly successful and have a great relationship with their mom – none of it matters if you aren’t at peace with the person you are inside first. 

A man should add to your happiness, not be the source of it. 

So, first find out what ‘sparks joy’ (@mariekondo) in your life. Strengthen your relationship with yourself and all others will fall into place. Most importantly – make authentic choices, not what you think others will find attractive. 

So let’s burn the check list, ladies, and dig deeper.

What makes you happy?

For me – it’s novelty and excitement. Which is why, when Trey and I first matched on Tinder, our conversation took anything but a conventional approach…

You won’t be everyone’s glass of champagne.
And you don’t need to be.  
Cara Alwill Leyba


Tuesday. Texting: The Demise of Dating continued…

Imagine my delight when I found a good-looking Arab with a level of arrogance that could be captured in a still frame. I think you can guess what I did next. 

Trey was the perfect fit. His first photo had been captivating; so much so, that I stopped to read his profile before swiping right – a rare occurrence. The image could have been a Tom Ford advertisement. Three face profiles filled the frame, yet only one person was facing towards the camera.

To Trey’s right – a female with light brown hair, shining red gold in the sun, had soft loose curls that hid her face from view. One could only assume her to be beautiful, with that elegantly exposed neckline and well-manicured hand extended for the lighter being used to ignite the center males Cohibe Behike cigar. To Trey’s left – a side profile of a male in a dark blue Armani suit, the white lapels of his dress shirt stylishly visible. He was wearing a pair of black Ray-Ban Classic Wayfarer sunglasses, yet the only decipherable features on him were a strong jawline and thick black hair. 

Then, there was the male in the center of the photo – Trey. His eyes were hidden behind a pair of Ray-Ban Classic Clubmaster sunglasses, gold rims sitting against perfect olive skin. A shadow of dark facial hair framed his jawline and traced his upper lip. His black hair had been styled into a short, sexily tussled faux hawk. Rugged yet precisely groomed, it was a look that very few men could pull off. He was a perfect portrayal of refinement and expensive taste. 

Trey held the cigar to his lips in the same hand as a Dunhill Gold Apex lighter, positioned such that the case was casually, yet clearly, captured by the camera. He wore a t-shirt with thin blue and white horizontal stripes, framed by the navy lapel of a casual Dolce & Gabbana blazer. It was a photo that would be well placed in a men’s yachting magazine. Trey, at twenty-seven years old, was not only gorgeous, but personified more luxury, confidence, and sex appeal in a Polaroid than most men on their best in-person day. 

The caption below his photo simply stated: ‘My parents said I could be anything I wanted. So, I became an asshole’. 

I couldn’t help but be enticed by his arrogance and the way he emphasized a clear disregard for feminism. Naturally, his attitude and good looks had led to me swiping right without hesitation. I was immediately flashed the ‘It’s a Match!’ screen that Tinder so delightfully displays whenever the other person has already swiped right to your photo. I recalled closing the app after matching with Trey; figuring that any subsequent Tinder profiles would have only led to relative disappointment. 

As if Trey’s photo hadn’t been distracting enough,  I had begun to picture our first date taking place at some extravagant event, such as the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic, with bright yellow umbrellas, sunset coloured arches of balloons, walls of orange flowers, fancy hats, and endless bottles of bubbles creating the perfect ambiance. I hadn’t had time to fully finish the fantasy before a Tinder message from Trey appeared on my phone. 

Clearly, he wasted no time in getting what he wanted. 

I hadn’t been surprised by his opening message, considering his chauvinistic profile mantra. There was no expectation of the standard ‘hey how’s it going’, or the cute first text of someone with fine-tuned conversational skills. No, based on his profile I had anticipated arrogance and a level of disregard towards women until proven they deserved otherwise. Maybe not even then. I had been confident that I would gain his intrigue; the challenge was how many texts it would take for me to get there. 

Our first interaction had been on the 21st of June 2014, via Tinder:

Word choice was key. 

I had intentionally made it clear that I was undeterred by his obvious desire for a one-night stand, but also that I was not available at his request. I had a prior engagement that I wouldn’t have missed for any Tinder date – a dinner party with my adopted family. A.k.a a night filled with expensive wine, delicious food, and interesting conversation. However, I had appreciated Trey’s direct approach and immediate invite to party instead of wasting time texting back and forth for hours. Rather than come across as desperate, giving his phone number so quickly had suggested confidence. 

I sent Trey an iMessage with my name and nothing else. In my mind, his last message hadn’t required a response as I didn’t intend on joining him later. These dinner parties often went into the early morning hours. So, unlike many women who cannot stop themselves from text-bombing a man they were interested in, I had closed the conversation and enjoyed the evening without looking at my phone again.


Oh Tinder, how many times have I allowed you to tempt me with your distractive ways. 

It’s like a IV dose of novelty. So, to curb that addiction, I tend to delete the app from my phone. Otherwise I’ll find myself out on a new date every night – a constant stream of excitement. 

I wonder if anyone else is as susceptible to the temptation of a Tinder first date as I am?

I am confident that many women have fallen victim to the month long game of text tagging that follows the ‘It’s a Match’ notification. Post social media stalking session, the interaction that follows is more of an interview than a conversation. Its like speed dating on steroids. 

The goal: to see how quickly you can pass this man through your filtration system. 

I mean, I’ll give you ladies one thing –  this is an effective way to eliminate any excitement of the unknown. You know exactly what you are getting yourself into on that first date. 

Or do you? 

I challenge you to examine one of your Tinders conversations that has gone on for months and still hasn’t come to fruition of a first date. 

Are you filtering your thoughts? 
Are you overthinking your responses? 
Are you authentically portraying yourself? 
Or are you being what you think he wants.

Why haven’t you just pulled the trigger and braved a face-to-face meeting? 

Are you addicted to the sense of security an iPhone screen gives you? After all, they may not like you when they meet you in person. 

My advice – no matter how long you interact through the screen, it isn’t going to prevent the inevitable. They will either like you or they won’t. No amount of text foreplay is going to change that.

Want an example of how authentic Tinder texting plays out in my world? I’ll give you a first hand account of my full Tinder exchange with Trey in…

Texting – The Demise of Dating: Part 3. 

Marisa xo

Illustration credit: Megan Hess; @meganhess_official
Quote: Cara Alwill Leyba; @thechampagnediet


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here