HouseTab Is The Newest Tinder

by Liz Newman

This past weekend something happened to me, and it was big. Let’s call it an epiphany, of sorts. Okay, maybe that’s strong. But at the time I was pretty floored by this process. Now, we already know dating apps are huge; especially in New York City. (I never signed onto my profile from a computer. Please). And then, of course, there’s Tinder.

But here’s what I didn’t know: There are apps out there that aren’t even technically for dating that are somehow still being used for dating. In other words, our generation of singles will turn any technical advancement the Apple store shells out into an opportunity to score.

Case in point: I was out with a few friends for some casual Saturday day drinking and March Madness watching, when I witnessed a pre-mediated, sexual transaction go down. I'm aware of how that sounds. Just keep reading.

My friends were using a new app they had just recently downloaded called HouseTab. Only available in the NYC area for now, the app allows you to pay for your bar tab on your phone; it was great for our purposes, because we could just go to the next bar without ever having to wait to close out our tab — sorta like Uber. In other words, a New Yorkers' dream.

Seems pretty straightforward, right? How can this possibly also be about sex?

Well, hold on to your condoms. Of course it can! Two of my friends (both guys) had made tentative plans to meet with other groups that day to watch the games. Oh, and by the way, “groups” were girls in this scenario. Since we were on our 3rd or 4th pitcher and feeling no pain, they were both (of course) running late to their respective — dare I call them — “dates.”

I see them both pull out their phones, and get on the app. The first thing I notice is that, unbeknownst to me, they had been chatting with these girls through the app all day — the same way Tinder allows you to do that. Except in HouseTab, they could see which bars people are currently in rather than just the “radius” Tinder provides. (Um, stalker much??).

They message they're "on the way" and proceed to send them a round of drinks on their phone as an apology for running late; meanwhile, we had just ordered another pitcher (hey, I didn’t say my guy friends weren’t exaggerators of the truth).

After being pretty blown away they were just able to send a round of Fireballs to another location through their phones, my first question was, naturally: “Wait, if you can see where they are, can’t they see where you are? Therefore, catching you in your colossal lie?” Answer: “Are you crazy? I turn that setting off on mine. No one needs to know where I am.”

So after they had both sent apology shots to the girls who, at this point, they were borderline bailing on, they go on to show me they can see who else is at the bar and send any of those people drinks as well. Of course, one of them promptly did and almost just as promptly got that girl’s number. Does this count as him being on two dates at once? Because I’m pretty sure it does. It honestly reminded me of that Wedding Crashers line from Vince Vaughn “May as well be a bullseye”, that’s how much they were using this app to their own sexual advantage.

What I just couldn’t get over was how natural it was for them to do this. An app that seemingly, at least to me, was about paying bar tabs on the go (an idea I was already into) had been by them evolved into a tool for, let's just call a spade a spade, getting it on.

What’s next, Uber is going to provide an escort in each car? (Dibs on that idea!).

Seriously though, when it comes to dating these days, technological advancements only make our options grow exponentially. And if you think about it, when there are that many options literally at your fingertips, how can you really have the urgency to settle down?

There’s always the idea of someone else, something better... An idea that thrives in major cities and can be nothing short of exhausting.

This is in no way unique to men, either. Admit it: When you get the "It's A Match" message on Tinder, you always hit "Keep Playing." You never send a message right away. You just can't help yourself. What if the next potential match is not only hot but loves outdoor beers, people watching, and watching reruns of Friday Night Lights? You won't know unless you swipe!

Nevertheless, I still hold onto hope that I'll meet someone while looking up into someone's eyes, and not down at a screen. I refuse to believe that old-fashioned coupling has completely died, although I do admit it's on life support.

In the meantime, now that I’ve personally seen an app not even created for dating used to do just that, I feel like there is really only one thing left to do.

Download it. I live in this time too, after all.

Images: Tumblr