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…

photo (14)

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

 

Stop using the C-word

Most people will be familiar with the term ‘closure’.  I think Urban Dictionary sums it up pretty well:

Closure

Whilst Definitions 3, 5 and 6 are perhaps a little unkind, I will agree wholeheartedly with the rest of them.  And I would also add that ‘closure’, in reality, is basically non-existent.

Relationships will end for any number of reasons, and unless you’re in the rare situation where the desire to end the relationship is entirely mutual, there will be one person who is left confused and hurt.  While the person who instigates the break-up might think that they have given valid and plausible reasons for wanting to become a lone wolf once more, the person being ditched is only going to have numerous questions and will be left with lists of what-ifs and whys.  This is where the need for closure comes in.  Let me tell you now – you’re not going to get it.  A bit harsh?  Maybe, but let me explain.

In the last couple of years, I’ve been what I would term as involved with (i.e. exclusively dating/in a relationship with) a handful of men, and for the most part it’s been the guy who has instigated the break-up.  Pretty much all of them have been variations of the ‘I just don’t want to be in a relationship’ theme, but each time I’ve been denied the opportunity to have a satisfactory conversation where all of my questions (some rational, some not) are answered.  And I get it – in the times where I’ve been the one doing the breaking-up, I haven’t exactly gone into a monologue explaining all of my thoughts and feelings on the matter – you want to get it over and done with as quickly as possible!  So having been on both sides of the fence, I think I can say with confidence that you’re not going to get closure, and the notion of a ‘clean break’ is equally as abstract.

There’s no question that the person being dumped will be the most hurt, the most angry, and the most determined to find some sort of reasoning behind the break-up.  This has certainly been the case for me in recent years.  To me, a guy simply changing his mind about his relationship status wasn’t good enough – there had to be a CAUSE or a REASON.  Did he meet someone else?  Did he feel that way even when he invited me to spend the weekend with his parents?  Have his guy mates convinced him that having a girlfriend makes him less of a lad?  But, short of turning up on various doorsteps and demanding an explanation (NB never do this), these questions will forever go unanswered.  And this is where Definition 5 is most pertinent – claiming a need for closure is basically another way of saying that you haven’t accepted that the relationship is over.  Think about it – no one who is over their ex will whine ‘but I just need closure!’.  I’m as guilty of this as anyone else, but now I’m beginning to see the error of my ways.

Break-ups are annoying at best, heart-breaking and awful at worst.  I know I’m not the only one who has lost weeks or months of their life to moping, crying, and avoiding rom-coms at all cost.  But all of this has taught me a valuable lesson: the sooner you accept that the relationship is over, and that your ex isn’t going to suddenly have a change of heart and beg you to take them back, the sooner you will start to feel better.  Discourage use of the C-word, take the moral high road, and maybe we’ll all stop feeling like we’re missing something that we’re actually better off without.

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.

Tinder2

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.

Huh?

The more I explore the world of online dating, the less I understand men.  You would have thought that with the rate of dates I’ve experienced over the last few months I’d gain something of an insight into the male psyche.  As it would turn out, I’m more confused than ever.

Take this message, for example:

Let me guess….
I’d say you’ve dated in the last month, maybe a kiss…no sex for 3-4 months…
You don’t believe in masterbation because it shows a lack of self control?

Spelling error aside (what guy can’t spell masturbation properly, surely it’s one of their most common activities??), this little communication left me stumped.  Where was this guy getting these assumptions from?  And WHY was he then passing them on to me?  Fine, I get that a lot of people do the online thing just for a laugh, and use the lovely cover of internet anonymity to say cheesy/sexist/inappropriate/rude/abusive things (for my thoughts on this, read this article).

But, I’m still a bit bamboozled by these kinds of approaches.  The whole thing just seems rather pointless.  Aren’t there any normal guys out there?

I thought I met one a while back.  After a rather unorthodox first date (see this post for Single Chicks for more details) things seemed to be going well.  The guy in question even went as far to suggest that he might want ‘something more serious’ to happen (which completely freaked me out, but that’s besides the point), and sent a couple of messages along the lines of ‘I miss you, when can we next see each other?’.  I replied in a casual manner (NOT ‘omg miss you too babes can’t wait to see you again’; hardly my style).  Have I heard anything since?  Nope.  Not a sausage.  Which begs the question: why imply that you want something more serious and then disappear?  Again, the fact that I didn’t really want anything more serious isn’t the point here.  But why say something and then carry out actions that say something completely different?

Now, I’m not some kind of psychotic bunny boiler that’s going to hassle men until I get the answers I want.  ‘Why haven’t you messaged me back?  Why did you say that but then disappear?  Tell me NOW!!’  This is where the phrase he’s just not that into you needs to be applied again and again.  One of my colleagues phrased it particularly well: if he wants to see you, he’ll get in touch.  Plus, I have my pride.

Even so, telling myself that the guys that disappear just aren’t that into me doesn’t completely satisfy my inquisitive nature.  Even a simple ‘I had fun but let’s call it a day’ text would do.  At least that puts a line under the whole thing.

Men will frequently say ‘I just don’t get women!’.  Well, chaps – right back at ya.

confused