- Right, breakup schmakeup, let’s get back onto the dating scene
- Hmm I work in a 99% female environment
- I’ve also already dated all eligible friends-of-friends
- Ok, back to the internet we go
- 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?
- Yay setting up a new profile, fun times
- Looks like no one’s taken a decent picture of me since 2014…
- How do I sum up myself in a couple of lines? #existentialcrisis
- Ok photos chosen, witty-yet-modest profile written, COME AT ME BOYS
- **Swipes left for half an hour
- Beginning to remember why I deleted this thing in the first place…
- Oo hello tall guy working in London with a cute dog, righty swipey for you
- WE MATCHED I AM ON FIRE
- Crap, need to come up with an opening line that is suave and funny and flirty and not at all desperate or boring
- Shit this is really hard
- Does sending an emoji count? How does Bumble qualify these things??
- ‘Hi how’s your week going?’
- Good work Charlotte, good work
- 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!!
- What’s the etiquette on swiping right on someone you matched with on Tinder about a year ago?
- At least it’s comforting to know that I’m not the only one trying and failing to meet someone
- Oo hello new match, let’s see who you are
- Hmm. Must have been a drunk right swipe…
- Ok chats are developing with Cute Dog Guy, I feel a date coming on
- **2 days later** Christ I’m not here for a pen pal, just ask me out for a drink dammit
- Oh hello, look at all these new matches
- Three chats going on, such a player right now
- And all three of them have asked me out for a drink! Get in
- Hmm, this week and next week are already pretty busy. Forgot how time-consuming this dating thing is
- 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…
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…
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.
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.
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.
If you ask a girl about what she looks for in a man, she might give any number of answers. ‘I want a guy who makes me laugh’, ‘I’d like to find a guy who I can trust’, or ‘I just want someone who gets me’. These are all valid points, and these answers may certainly be truthful. However, I wonder how much is not being said.
We’re used to men focusing on the physical: ‘I’m a boobs/arse/legs guy’, ‘full lips are a must’, ‘she can’t be fat’ etc. These criteria tend to preceded the funny/kind/intelligent aspects, and whilst women might not be as vocal about it, we also have our aesthetic preferences. Let’s be honest, the physical attraction has got to be there at some point, so why are we judged as being shallow by saying that we’d like a guy who’s tall with great arms or a chiselled face or rugby thighs or washboard abs? Why aren’t we allowed to openly say that we’d like to be chatted up by someone who looks a bit like David Gandy and it doesn’t matter (initially at least) if they don’t have the wit of Oscar Wilde?
Granted, it depends on what kind of scenario you’re in. I know I’m not the only girl who, when on a night out with friends, will pull a total bitch-face* at anyone who doesn’t score at least 7/10. In a situation where you’re making quick (and slightly vodka-blurred) judgements, both men and women will assess a potential flirting partner on their looks. It may sound harsh to say it, but you’re not exactly going to gaze across a bar at some 5’9” overweight sweaty balding guy wearing an England football shirt and think ‘oooh I bet he’s got a great sense of humour, c’mere STUD!’ Or maybe you would, in which case we have completely different tastes in men… Perhaps the difference lies in what a girl’s ultimate goal is. If she’s looking for a quick fling, then it’s understandable she’d want it to be with some hunk with biceps big enough to throw her around the bedroom and cheekbones you can cut yourself on. Personality isn’t the main factor here, it’s sexual chemistry and physical attraction.
On the other hand, I totally accept that someone who doesn’t float your boat initially can grow on you over time. I have certainly found myself in a situation where I’d met a guy and hadn’t been initially attracted to him, but through spending time with him and getting to know him I became rather besotted. Average Guy had transformed into Sex God in a matter of months, and no one was more surprised than me. Needless to say, it didn’t work out, but I think that sort of illustrates my point. When I think of the couples I know who have been together a long time, nearly all of them were friends before they became romantically involved, and that says a lot.
But I still don’t think that this should mean we can’t admit to wanting to be with a guy who’s physically appealing to more than just his mother. If we’re talking long-term relationships and even marriage, why shouldn’t I want to be with someone who doesn’t want to make me gag into my pillow a little bit when I wake up every morning? Obviously we all have varying tastes, and one girl’s David Beckham may be another’s Jonah Hill, and thank heavens for that otherwise there’d be a lot of sad and lonely men and women out there. But, I do believe we’re allowed to want someone who ticks the box both physically and emotionally.
I’ll admit that I’m pretty damn picky appearance-wise when it comes to men, and perhaps this is where I’m going wrong. I’ll also admit that at the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference. Perhaps I just find it hard to get past the outward appearance in order to know the ‘inner beauty’. In my defence, I know I’m not the only girl who’s like this – there are girls I know who will only date male models or at least a guy who’s ripped enough to be in an Abercrombie catalogue. Even I think this is faintly ridiculous – I know that looks aren’t everything and, ultimately, I’d like to find a guy who offers stimulating conversation, humour, and a sense of trust. But is it too much to ask to be attracted to someone both inside and out?
* Definition of ‘bitch-face‘: looking at a sub-standard guy who has dared to chat you up with a ‘you think you can tap this?!’ expression on your face. Raised eyebrow optional.
The term ‘Dry Patch’ is most commonly associated with a lack of, erm, intimate relations with a member of the opposite sex (or same, depending on your preferences) for a sustained period of time. Most of us will have had one, maybe some of you are going through one right now. Christmas and New Year are over, few people are going out, and that lovely tradition of Dry January means that drunken hook-ups are few and far between.
Then there are the different kind of Dry Patches: work, creativity, and – what I’m currently experiencing – dating. My dating dry patch is the result of several factors:
- Christmas and New Year is a bad time to start having dates – lack of availability before December 25th (too many parties to go to) then it would seem most of London, myself included, high-tailed it off to the country for over a week. Hardly prime dating time
- Having been hitting the dating scene hard for the last few months, I’ve experienced something of a burn-out. Tiredness and a serious case of can’t-be-arsed have set in, and at the moment I’d rather spend time with friends and family than a guy who may or may not make me laugh and feel good about myself (whereas friends/family always do)
- With the aforementioned burn-out has come something of a knock to my confidence. Going on several dates with guys (not all at the same time obvs) then never hearing from them again hasn’t exactly left me feeling cocky about my own charms or powers of attraction
- Is it just me or has the standard of men out there suddenly taken a sharp dip? The various online sites I’ve been using used to be full of hotties; now I’m offered a screen full of Average Joes. Meh…
- One of my New Year’s resolutions is to not let affect my love life (or lack thereof) affect my overall emotional well-being, so what better way to achieve this than avoid men as much as possible?
- I genuinely enjoy being single. I can do what I want, when I want, and not have to consult with anyone about my plans
- Valentines Day is a month away, which means that starting to date anyone now would result in an awkward stand-off where no one wants to mention Feb 14th, ending in unavoidable disappointment (see here for more thoughts on V-Day). Am I tempted to get myself in this predicament? No thanks
So, why am I continuing to scroll through Tinder and check my online profiles? Because, I’ll admit, it’s rather addictive. And I’m still of the rather optimistic (misguided?) frame of mind that maybe, just maybe, someone will come along and change my mind on most, if not all, the above points. In the process of explaining my blog combined with my online dating antics, most people will ask me if I’m looking for The One. Short answer: no. But, I hasten to add, dating is fun! I love meeting new people, I’ve tried new dating activities (climbing date anyone?), I’ve been taken to some amazing restaurants and bars in the past 6 months or so (oh Mr Hedge Fund, why did you do a Houdini?), and whilst there have certainly been some horror stories, there have been some very decent dates to dilute them.
Long story short, if someone came along tomorrow and swept me off my feet I wouldn’t say ‘hold on there buddy, can you come back in about a month?’. But I’m actually rather enjoying my dry patch. I’m not checking my phone every five seconds, I can go for over a week without shaving my legs, I suddenly have a lot more time for other people (including myself), and this time in a month I won’t be disappointed when I don’t get a pretty red or pink envelope and a large bunch of flowers delivered to my desk.
So, who wants to come out and get rip-roaring drunk with me on V-day…?!
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.
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!
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.
In my opinion, one of the positives of this whole online dating malarkey is that you can get to know someone on your own terms, on your own time, and get all of the boring what-do-you-do-where-do-you-come-from stuff out of the way without desperately looking for the nearest exit from the bar. I’m not averse to guys asking questions, it is after all a natural part of assessing someone’s personality and making a slightly more informed decision on whether you’d want to go on a date with that person.
However, there are different approaches when it comes to directing questions. From my experience so far, the casual insert-the-odd-question-into-a-longer-message option seems to work best. More inquisitive, less nosy. Then there’s the less subtle track: ‘Wanna go for drinks then my place tonight hot stuff??’ Erm, no. And then there’s the overload-and-hope-for-the-best tactic.
Can you tell me about yourself?? like…..
what is you’re greatest quality or trait?
if money wasnt an issue and you could visit any place , where would it be and why?
which animal do you most relate to?
if you could acquire a certain skill without the risk of failure or without putting any effort, what skilll would you acquire and why?
what movie or book do you like most?
whats your greatest passion in life?
ok..last question…..kinda weird, but what do you think of your nose??!!………………….. lol…its good..i like it..seems to give you a personality! anyhow…..
Yes this was all one message, and yes it was the first message I’d ever received from this guy. Given my pedantry when it comes to grammar and punctuation, he was never on to a winner in the first place. Also, way to go on making me even more insecure about my nose! Maybe he’s missed out on a career as an interrogation specialist…
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.