When it comes to online dating I’ve tried everything.
I started out on match.com where I swiftly left after a deluge of “u ok hun?” messages. Ditto OK Cupid. My Single Friend felt quite high-maintenance (though I did date someone for a couple of months I found there) and everyone on Guardian Soulmates within a 30 mile radius seems to be oh-so-serious about finding The One that it become a little boring.
Sidenote: thanks to a dating local it was brought to my attention that if you narrow your dating radius to our town only there is only ONE man to date on Guardian Soulmates. Just one. I’ve dated him already, she works with him. Says it all.
Which is why I keep coming back to Tinder. Low-maintenance, low-effort, (sometimes) low-rent Tinder. It’s been an experience, but you know what, it’s my favourite. The convenience, the mindlessness, the laughs. It’s popular for a reason.
With a generic dating website you can get so bogged down in detail. There are a million questions you must answer about yourself – favourite cuisine, first pets, possible underlying medical disorders – as well as a 500 word diatribe you must write about who you are, where you’ve been and what you want. For me this changes by the hour so I always find it tough to articulate all these things in one little box. Of course it can work well to get to know a person before you meet them but I find all that information about a guy can be too overwhelming, give me the short and sweet version anytime.
So again: TINDER!
When I first signed up I felt a bit weird about the whole thing. A year ago it was still thought of as a hookup app and I expected that as I single mum I should be doing more worthwhile things, like baking cakes for the school Harvest Festival, rescuing sick sparrows or volunteering at a hospital, not perusing pictures of men with the thought of S-E-X at the back of my mind. I was worried I’d arrive on a date with someone who had wildly different expectations to me of jumping into bed immediately and I’d be stuck trying to extract myself from the most awkward situation ever (i.e., not jumping into bed immediately). As it turned out I’ve had plenty of awkward date situations but nothing as bad as I expected. I’ve had my fair share of awkward silences but it turns out that these days, Tinder ain’t just for shagging.
You will find what you expect on Tinder: a lot of guys with their guns out, poor spelling (today alone I have seen “10 seconds of currage” and “Gym gower”) and literally 99% of men claim to be looking for someone with whom to enjoy “nights in or nights out” – JUST LIKE THE REST OF THE SINGLE UK POPULATION THEN, MATE? There are way too many men posing with
drugged tigers or crocodiles, as I suppose it’s ‘well exotic’ to show that time you visited a zoo in Thailand in between full moon parties on your gap year.
There are also the men who post selfies of themselves in mirrors – fair enough. But I will admit to judging them on the state of their bedrooms, how clean their mirrors are and that dodgy wallpaper they probably thought no-one would be looking at…
Other things you will see on the regular:
– Men who say they are 39 but are either lying or have had very difficult lives
– Tattoos. Tattoos EVERYWHERE: neck, face, everywhere
– Requests for “Netflix and chill” (ask your neice/nephew/younger sibling)
– The manager of GAP who you always fancied but oh god he’s only 24 and no I couldn’t possibly swipe right because if it went wrong I’d never be able to shop at GAP again
– A bare bottom (admittedly quite a tasty one)
– Crossfit or Mixed Martial Arts. YAWN.
– Men with interesting jobs (Alan the Funeral Director from Northampton was particularly memorable)
– Men with their tops off when they really should be kept on
– My personal favourite – that guy above who just appeared to be a floating head.
It’s not all doom and gloom, though. Tinder actually seems to be a pretty acceptable way to meet people in these difficult modern dating times. I had a lovely few months at the beginning of 2015 with someone I met on Tinder who I’m still happy to call a friend (I’m inserting that sentence here as I know he’s been stalking my blog ever since I told him I was writing about Tinder ;) Only kidding, Dan!). I’m still in touch with everyone I’ve met on Tinder since then and so for me it’s been a genuinely good way of meeting friends in a new place.
And no, I never did meet up with Alan the Funeral Director from Northampton. Maybe he will always be the one who got away?
Pictures (badly) edited to protect the guilty. And that Love Heart up there? It was my creation and can now be found in all good packs of modern Love Hearts :)