30 stages of getting back into dating

  1. Right, breakup schmakeup, let’s get back onto the dating scene
  2. Hmm I work in a 99% female environment
  3. I’ve also already dated all eligible friends-of-friends
  4. Ok, back to the internet we go
  5. Going to stick with just Bumble, I mean I’m the one who needs to make the first move here, so that’s me reclaiming my power right?
  6. Yay setting up a new profile, fun times
  7. Looks like no one’s taken a decent picture of me since 2014…
  8. How do I sum up myself in a couple of lines? #existentialcrisis
  9. Ok photos chosen, witty-yet-modest profile written, COME AT ME BOYS
  10. **Swipes left for half an hour
  11. Beginning to remember why I deleted this thing in the first place…
  12. Oo hello tall guy working in London with a cute dog, righty swipey for you
  13. WE MATCHED I AM ON FIRE
  14. Crap, need to come up with an opening line that is suave and funny and flirty and not at all desperate or boring
  15. Shit this is really hard
  16. Does sending an emoji count? How does Bumble qualify these things??
  17. ‘Hi how’s your week going?’
  18. Good work Charlotte, good work
  19. Now the guy has only 24 hours to respond?! Most of my friends take at least two days to reply to WhatsApp messages, let alone someone I’ve never even met!!
  20. What’s the etiquette on swiping right on someone you matched with on Tinder about a year ago?
  21. At least it’s comforting to know that I’m not the only one trying and failing to meet someone
  22. Oo hello new match, let’s see who you are
  23. Hmm.  Must have been a drunk right swipe…
  24. Ok chats are developing with Cute Dog Guy, I feel a date coming on
  25. **2 days later** Christ I’m not here for a pen pal, just ask me out for a drink dammit
  26. Oh hello, look at all these new matches
  27. Three chats going on, such a player right now
  28. And all three of them have asked me out for a drink! Get in
  29. Hmm, this week and next week are already pretty busy. Forgot how time-consuming this dating thing is
  30. It’s Friday night and I’m meant to be going on a date but all I want to do is get into loungewear and eat pizza and watch Netflix. Maybe I’m not so ready for this dating thing after all…

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Hi Tinder, we need to talk…

Big news people – I have deleted Tinder.  And no, it’s not because I have a boyfriend (here’s hoping).  Call it boredom, call it becoming disenchanted with variations on ‘hey babe, wanna come over?’ messages, call it giving up on the whole dating thing for a while…  Whatever you want to call it, it’s happened.  Ciao Tinder, it’s been an interesting couple of years, but I’m done.

How do I feel?  Any withdrawal symptoms?  Other than missing the occasional ego boost – no!  Perhaps it’s because this is the first time in ages that I’m not on tenterhooks the whole time, waiting to hear back from some random guy who looks vaguely attractive in photos, and might even be attractive in person, but will inevitably turn out to be a big disappointment.  I can focus on other things (friends, exercise, career, writing etc.) and not worry that committing to Thursday and Friday night plans will take out the two key date nights of the week.

My Tinder experience has been something of an emotional rollercoaster, and while I certainly could have done without the lows, everything has overall been a learning experience.  Heartbreak – it sucks but ultimately time heals everything.  Being ghosted – the guys who do this aren’t worth your time or energy.  The man who you date for a while but doesn’t want to commit to anything – enjoy it for what it is and don’t get too attached.  That person who calls you three times before you’ve even met and says that you might be The One – run for the hills.  I think it’s fair to say I’ve had a very broad experience of the thing…

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If anything, Tinder has made me realise what I do and don’t want in a relationship.  When I first downloaded the app way back in 2013, I had recently been through a break-up and needed a distraction and a little self-validation (don’t be shocked, nearly everyone does it).  Those criteria were quickly filled, and gradually my attitude towards dating changed.  I’m now not ashamed to say that I want a boyfriend, but it’s taken me this long to realise that I’m not going to find one on Tinder.

So here we are, new year, new attitude, and a phone with more memory due to a lack of dating apps.  I’m giving this whole ‘once you stop looking it will happen’ thing a go, and am already far happier as a result.  And to highlight the fact that I’ve done the right thing, something popped up on Buzzfeed today that proves you never really know who you’re talking to:

Last Autumn I matched with Jake – attractive doctor, from Surrey, based just outside of London.  Jake also had a husky.  Jake basically was the dream.  We exchanged messages over Tinder for a couple of days, by which time I thought it was appropriate to suggest transferring to WhatsApp and gave him my number.  I never heard from him again.  Sick burn dude…  But hey, these things happen.  Jake was promptly forgotten, no doubt replaced by the next Tinder Tom/Dick/Asshat to come my way.  It wasn’t until my lunch-hour scroll through Buzzfeed today that I remembered all about Jake.  Why?  Because Jake is actually called Mikhail Varshavski, is a doctor based in New Jersey, has been named People Magazine’s ‘Sexiest Doctor Alive’, and has over 1.2million Instagram followers.  He’s on Buzzfeed because he’s offering up the opportunity to go on a date with him at a charity auction.

So yeah, I got well and truly catfished.  ‘Jake’ had simply used Dr Varshavski’s Instagram photos to create a profile.  What could be easier?  The moral of the story is: if something’s too good to be true, it probably is.

What can else can I say Tinder?  It’s not you it’s me, I’m just not in the right head space at the moment, you’re taking up too much of my time, I just want to be on my own for a bit, and every other break-up platitude that I’ve heard in the last three years.  It’s been a journey, but we’re through.

Delete

 

Social consciousness

As much as I like to think I’m a modern girl, I do have a fair few old-fashioned values that might not sit well with your average 21st century forward-thinking mid-twenties Londoner.  I wouldn’t consider having children unless I was married, I firmly believe in the importance of good manners, and I feel that certain rules of social etiquette should be adhered to at all times.

Social etiquette – what’s that?  Well, to me at least, it’s the standards by which we should behave in public so as not to unduly offend others.  This might seem a rather alien concept to people who claim to not care about what other people think, but if you spend as much time as I do on the Tube, on buses, in bars, at restaurants, and any number of places where you have to be in close proximity with other members of the general public, the complete lack of social etiquette is fairly gobsmacking.

The London Underground is perhaps where this is most prevalent.  There we all are, poor sods having to commute every day, none of us enjoy it, but we all have to do it.  Quite often there’s a sense of camaraderie about the whole thing: a shared rolling-of-eyes at delays, a collective tutting at the idiot who’s got his leg stuck in the door…  So WHY are there people who completely disregard this and act as if they’re not stuffed into a tin can with hundreds of other humans?  Case in point: The Hair Brusher.  This wasn’t just a quick taming of unruly locks that took about 3 seconds.  Oh no.  This girl was going to town with a Tangle Teezer on her abundantly scruffy thick wet hair.  She was standing up, meaning that those of us sitting down near her got showered with a lovely mix of water and split ends.  And of course after this 5-minute grooming session was over, she picked all the hair from her brush and dropped it on the floor.  Nice.

Then there are the nose-pickers, the fingernail biters, the hot smelly food eaters, and the let-me-adjust-my-belt-and-general-crotch-area-right-in-front-of-your-face-ers.  I’ve seen girls squeezing their spots in a packed carriage at 8am, and a suited and booted man floss his teeth whilst using the window as a mirror.  Ok, if you really don’t give a damn about what other people think of you, then you’re probably not the type to be jealously poring over Facebook and Instagram and wishing you had aspects of other people’s lives, and maybe you’re a happier person overall.  Yay for you.  But for crying out loud why can’t these people see that their habits are truly disgusting and make other people feel quite ill?  I certainly wasn’t the only one giving the Hair Brusher death glares by the end of the battle with her bed head.

I can predict a response to this: ‘it’s a free country, I can do what I like’.  Fine.  In which case, you won’t mind if I gather up all the hair you’ve just shed all over my lap and pop it in your handbag, or attack your fingertips with a bottle of Stop N’ Grow.  After all, it’s a free country.  I can do what I like…

The old adage ‘good manners don’t cost a thing’ has never been more pertinent.  I can’t be the only one whose mother issued edicts such as ‘never eat whilst walking’ and ‘always cover your mouth when yawning’.  Perhaps my attitude towards social etiquette is a little dated, but that doesn’t make it wrong.  Why should advances in technology and social mobility reduce the need for good manners and personal hygiene?  Aren’t politeness and consideration of others two of the things that make us a civilised nation?  I’m well aware that I sound like the Dowager Countess, but I’d much rather that comparison than that of, say, Josie Cunningham or Dappy.  Being aware of your surroundings and those who are in it isn’t old-fashioned: it should be second nature.

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40 thoughts every girl has had whilst swiping through Tinder

  1. I’m not sure I could love a Gavin
  2. Or anyone with ice gem hair
  3. Why have so many guys stroked tigers?
  4. And been up Macchu Pichu?
  5. If I see ‘if you don’t look like your pictures then you’re buying the drinks until they do’ I might throw a tantrum
  6. Same goes for ‘willing to lie about how we met’
  7. Ooh a group of three guys, two of which are very hot, let’s look at a couple more photos
  8. Dammit02
  9. This guy is hot but really ripped and therefore probably only into going to the gym and talking about protein and therefore not someone I’d be interested in
  10. But I’ll swipe right anyway, just to see if he’s into me…
  11. I’ve swiped right about a dozen times today and got no matches.  What’s wrong with me?!
  12. Seriously, how many guys are called Tom these days?
  13. Gym selfies.  Jog on.
  14. Same goes for super-intense close-up moody selfies
  15. And those oh-I-just-happened-to-be-lifting-up-my-top-and-flashed-my-abs-whilst-taking-a-selfie-in-the-mirror photos
  16. Oh.  A cock shot.  Great.
  17. Cock shot with a beer can next to it for size reference.  Well this guy’s thought of everything.
  18. ‘Recently moved to London’, would probably think that a date in Leicester Square on a Saturday night would be a good idea.  Swipe left.
  19. Ooo a guy a used to fancy at uni.  Should I swipe right?
  20. But what if I swipe right and we match?  Wouldn’t that be super-awkward?
  21. And then he’ll tell everyone about it and it would just be totes hilaire for them but totes not-hilaire for me
  22. Screw it I’m swiping right anyway
  23. Errmahgahhhhd we matched!!  He fancies me!!!  I KNEW it!!
  24. OMG he just messaged me!  Hyperventilating right now.
  25. ‘Lol swipe right for a friend!’
  26. Dickhead.  Unmatch.01
  27. This guy has a bevy of bimbos in each picture = player = swipe left
  28. Strongly suspect that this guy, whilst attractive, is pretty short.  Analyse each photo carefully.  Yep he’s shorter than his girl mates.  Swipe left.
  29. I swear I recognise this guy, he’s really hot, have we been on a date before?
  30. Meh, what’s the worst that could happen?  Swipe right.
  31. Oh now I remember.  His opening message was ‘sit on my face’.  Unmatch.
  32. Holy hell this guy is super hot and tall and has a great body and all of his photos are really well lit and professional-looking and haaaaang on he looks quite a lot like David Gandy…
  33. I’ve matched with the last six people I’ve swiped right for, I am ON FIRE!!
  34. Eesh dude sort out that monobrow
  35. Wow my phone battery has run low really quickly
  36. My god this guy could be The One, definitely swipe right
  37. OMG we matched!!  Please message me, pleeeeeeeease…
  38. ‘I could go down on you for hours’
  39. Oh ffs…
  40. ‘There are no new people in your area’.  Screw this let’s have a look on Happn.03

Meat market

Much has been written about how men objectify women, how they treat us as objects, how they’re only interested in having sex with us et cetera.  While this may be true of some guys, I would never make a sweeping statement that encompasses every single person on the planet in possession of a penis.  However, in my more bored moments of Tinder swiping (left), I’ve noticed an increasing trend where men are beginning to objectify themselves.

Even ten minutes on Tinder will show you that there’s a huge proportion of guys who will put up photos of just their bodies and not their faces.  Gym selfies, mirror selfies, lying-in-bed selfies, abs-and-nothing-but-abs selfies…  Since when did from-the-neck-down become the most important part of this whole attraction thing??

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I mean, great, the guy’s got a good body, but I can’t be the only girl who thinks the following:

  1. What’s so bad about his face that he doesn’t want to show it?
  2. He clearly spends a lot of time in the gym and probably eats protein at every meal, resulting in a worrying lack of conversation about anything other than cleans, squats, reps and which whey powder is the most effective
  3. I don’t want someone who’s going to judge me when I eat a large Dominos in ten minutes flat

But back to the objectifying thing.  For hundreds of years women have been under pressure to conform to certain body types, but this has now extended to men.  Blame Abercrombie or David Beckham or the current (awful) trend for ultra low-cut V-neck shirts – the fact is, more and more men are spending more and more on their appearance.  You only need to spend an hour in your local gym to see a plethora of pumped-up protein-packing peacocks grimacing in the mirror whilst lifting an assortment of weights.  And you only need to spend a minute on Tinder to see that suddenly, the body is the only thing that counts these days.

man11man04

 

Granted, I’d be the last person to go out with someone who was obese, but isn’t there something a bit grotesque about a guy who looks like he’s taking a shit the whole time?  I’m all for working out and taking care of yourself and taking pride in your body, nearly all of us do it to some extent, but this obsession with body fat percentage and CrossFit and looking like Arnie back in the day has all got a bit… much.

Clearly, these guys who choose to post headless photos of themselves are proud of their achievements, and if that’s what you’re into, then fine.  But by doing this, isn’t it the female equivalent of posting a mirror selfie in just underwear?   Just as a lot of guys will make the assumption that this girl in underwear is ‘easy’ and ‘up for it’, girls as just as likely to make the assumption that the topless guy has nothing to offer apart from his body.  To me it says ‘I’ve got a great six-pack but sod-all conversation’.

But hey, you could always talk to this guy about steaks, bikes, and how he’s way better at fake tanning than you are…

man08man09

 

Serious case of cba

Much has been said about how our generation expects everything NOW, whether it’s money, fame, success, happiness, love etc.  Most of us have been told that the world is our oyster, and as  result there’s an expectation of things to come to us freely and easily with little or no effort from our side.  And I’m beginning to think that this attitude extends to sex.

Now, it’s nothing new that people want to have sex, and that they want it often.  Nor is it surprising that not everyone wants to invest in three dates and dinner in order to get down and dirty.  But recent events have highlighted just how lazy some people (and yes I’m talking about guys here) are when it comes to getting laid.

I understand that Tinder has gained a certain reputation for being used for easy hook-ups, and I have nothing against that as a concept.  After all, that radius setting is there for a reason right?  But I’ve really begun to question what kind of girl it takes to receive a message from a guy saying ‘hey hot stuff, fancy coming round to my place?’ and replying with ‘sure, I’ll be there in 10’.  Now I’m by no means frigid, but I really do draw the line at going round to the house of someone I’ve never met before just to get it on.  In the past week, I’ve had two guys offer me their, erm, ‘hospitality’, without ever having met them and with only a few brief messages exchanged.

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Or

Tinder1

Call me a cynic, but I’m pretty sure I know what ‘small spoon’ and ‘massage’ are alluding to.  So having gently rebuffed these oh-so generous offers, did I hear from either guy again?  Nope.  So that’s it?  A girl you’ve never met before doesn’t come round to your house the minute you ask her and that’s as much effort you’re willing to put in?  Like I said, I totally understand that the majority of Tinder users (especially the male ones) are just in it for an easy lay, but this is really testing the boundaries of laziness.

It also makes me wonder if this approach ever works.  I’d like to think that all girls are sensible enough to not drop their knickers at the snap of a Tinder lothario’s fingers, but the realist in me knows that somewhere out there some ladies are doing just that, and in the process ruining it for the rest of us.  Also, wouldn’t that be the most awkward situation ever?

Tinder Girl: Hey, you’re Tinder Guy right?

Tinder Guy: Sure am, come on in.

Tinder Girl: So, um, nice place you’ve got here…

Tinder Guy: Thanks… would you like a cup of tea or shall we just get straight to it?

I mean, it’s one step short of invoicing the guy for services rendered.

So, Alex/Luke/every other Tinder chap out there, sorry but you’re going to have to try a bit harder.

Mind the gap

Ahh, the tube.  That miracle of engineering.  That transporter of industrious souls off to bring home the proverbial bacon.  That inspiration for poetry, art and music.  Sound familiar?  Thought not.

It is a fact of life that if you live and/or work in London, you will have to take the tube at some point.  If you visit London as a tourist, you will feel that you have to take the tube at some point.  And even if you claim to hate the tube and try to avoid it at all costs (cycling, bus, taxi, walking), you will still have to use it at some point.  The tube is omnipresent (except when you want to buy an affordable house with good transport links which is when there suddenly seems to be an unhealthy lack of tube stations in desirable parts of south London), and you only need to look at the state of near-panic we’re all experiencing ahead of the strikes this week to realise how much we’ve come to depend on that noisy, smelly, overcrowded network of underground passages that are essentially glorified cattle carts.

So without further ado, here are My Top Ten Most Hated Things About The London Underground:

1: PDA Couples

We’ve all encountered them, generally when you’ve just been through a break-up.  WHY do they need to kiss so noisily at 7:30am on a Wednesday??

tubepda

2: The Antisocial Backpack

Generally takes up at least one person’s standing room, and pokes you uncomfortably hard in the boobs with weird buckles and attachments.

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3: The Lone Salmon

That guy who wants to get on the platform when everyone else wants to get off, or hasn’t sorted out his tube strategy and finds himself at the opposite end of the platform from where he needs to be

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4: The Northern Line

Overcrowded, hot, smelly, never works properly, high chance of bumping into someone you don’t want to, confusing for first-timers with that whole ‘Bank Branch’ thing, and a veritable death trap if you want to get on at Clapham Common or Clapham North – why more people haven’t fallen onto the tracks at rush hour defeats me.

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5:The Pole Hogger

That’s where my hand is meant to go!  Shame on you, Patrick Stewart…

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6: Over-efficient Heating

Clearly the bods at TFL who control the temperature of the tube have never had to travel on the tube at rush hour.  Mmmm hello someone else’s sweaty armpit…

hot

7: The Mystery Farter

Seriously people, do some squats before you leave the house or something, just get rid of it before you subject a packed carriage to the results of your inner gaseous movements.

smell

8: The Guy Who Stares

He flouts the no-eye-contact rule, he’s looking at you every time you glance in his direction, and OH MY GOD what is he doing with his hands?!

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9: Shit Earphones

Because of course everyone in the carriage wants to listen to angry metal music as well…

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10: Lad Soc

Drinking cans of Fosters, doing pull-ups on the bars, trying to engage strangers in conversation, tend to be Australian…

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Two for the price of one?

Given the rather prolific online dating activity I’ve been experiencing over the last few months, you’d have thought I’d seen it all by now.  The weirdos, the freaks, the nice guys, the bad guys, the ones with a foot fetish…  I thought there was little that the internet could throw up that would surprise me.

I was wrong.

bogof

Now is it just me, or is this just the laziest form of online dating ever?  I can only begin to imagine how that initial conversation went.

A: Mate, let’s try out this internet dating thing

B: Yeah mate, but I really can’t be arsed to write a whole profile.  That shit is loooong.

A: True mate, standard…. I know, we could just set up one page for the two of us

B: Genius idea mate!  Girls will love that shit!

etc…..

I understand that life is short, and I know well enough that many people are looking for a quick fix when it comes to finding someone for some casual fun.  But stating in your profile that your best quality is threesomes??  Come on.

Yesterday I received a message from buy1-get1-free, inviting me to go for a drink with the two of them.  Strangely enough, the offer didn’t appeal.  As much as I’m up for trying slightly out-of-the-ordinary dating scenarios (running, climbing etc.), the idea of going for what would essentially some bizarre interview/threesome situation just really doesn’t do it for me.

I’d love to know if these guys actually had any success with this BOGOF approach.  And then give the girls who went for a it a severe talking to.  Fools.

Another example of oddness

Here’s another extract from an online dating inbox of mine:

Hey, listen, I’m just going to be straight forward with you, so that I don’t waste your time. I’m A***** and I think that you are stunning.

So far so good…

I really haven’t got time for a relationship, plus I’m too picky, but I miss the physical stuff: kissing, cuddling, I love pleasuring, my partner : like going down, fingering and whatever.

Ok, clearly after a sex friend (or whatever terminology you’d like to use), plus poor use of punctuation.  Both immediately cancel this guy out but might as well read to the end of the message.

I don’t mind sex and prefer not to receive, it just doesn’t do much for me plus I see it as disrespectful towards the girl.

‘Prefer not to receive’?!  Does that mean he just wants to, erm, service but not get anything in return?  And receiving the attentions of a girl doesn’t do much for him??  Either this guy is sexually confused or is just plain odd.

Would you be interested for something like that?

No, I wouldn’t.  And guess how old this guy was.

Nineteen!!!  Well done internet, you’ve thrown up yet another weird one.  Bravo.

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