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

 

Can I buy you a drink?

Given that the last six months or so have resulted in a rather prolific rate of Tinder swiping, online dating profile writing, dating, and then blogging, many people have asked me the same question: why don’t you just meet people normally?  Gosh well thanks, I’d never even thought of that…

So my response is this:

A. Of course I’d like to meet someone in a normal situation, and all of my past relationships have come about because of ‘normal situations’, but dating is fun and can be pretty simple

B. Have YOU tried meeting someone in London?  This place is huge!  And when I’m on a night out I’m more focused on having a good time with my friends than eyeing up someone across a dimly-lit bar.

C. I genuinely HATE being chatted up on a night out, and this brings me to the main topic of this post…

I would imagine that nearly all girls have had the same experience as me.  You’re on a night out with some friends, you’re all having a good time, you go to the bar to get the next round in.  Next thing you know, some midget with coffee breath is just dying to buy your drinks for you whilst at the same time trying to race through all those ‘do you come here often?’ questions.

It is one of life’s great conundrums – why is it always the guys who you don’t want to chat you up who do the chatting up??  Now, if a guy is witty and charming and funny I might be able to get over the lack of height and the halitosis, but this has never happened.  I also take issue with the unwritten rule that if a guy buys you a drink, then you owe him something a bit more than a few minutes of conversation.  Last year a girlfriend and I were in a bar in the City, and a group of guys who were there ended up buying our drinks for us.  We were polite, said thank you, hung out with them for a while, then decided to take our leave from our new pals and go elsewhere in the multi-levelled venue.  Apparently, this was a bad choice on our part.  Various insults were thrown our way, including ‘sluts’ and ‘bitches’, and no matter how many times we tried to escape this group of so-called gents, they just seemed to be everywhere.  If we’d known this was going to happen, we never would have accepted those drinks.

Then there are the guys who seem to think that certain topics are acceptable when trying to woo a girl on a night out.  One incident where a guy mentioned rohypnol within the first three minutes come to mind.  To all the men that read this, this is never EVER an acceptable form of ‘banter’.  It just isn’t funny, and you never know the history of the girl you’re speaking to.  Just steer clear of rohypnol OK?

Any girl will tell you that there are many more aspects of being chatted up that just simply don’t sit well with us.  Someone you don’t know invading your personal space with no invitation, someone bending your ear about a topic that is incredibly boring, someone monopolising your attention when you’d much rather be dancing with your mates or flirting with the hot friend of a friend who just showed up… the list goes on.

Of course, there are the rare times when we get chatted up by a guy that actually piques our interest, and there could be any number of reasons why we say yes to one man and no to another.  Interesting conversation, chemistry, attractiveness etc.  So I’m not saying that guys shouldn’t approach women and attempt to chat them up.  My point is, they should learn to realise when their advances are not being reciprocated, and should learn to bow out gracefully.

Key indicators that your chat-up lines are not working (and this applies to girls too):

  • The other person is turning their body away from you, or is trying to establish at least a foot of clear space between you
  • His/her friends come over to drag him/her onto the dance floor and he/she puts up no resistance at all
  • He/she makes no attempt to keep the conversation going
  • He/she does not want to come outside with you for a cigarette
  • He/she says ‘look, it was nice to meet you but I’m just here to have a good night out with my friends’

chatup

 

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.

Nostalgic and romantic…?

Oh goody, it’s that time of year again.  Everywhere I look there are pink hearts flowing out of every shop window and TV advert, all of those style/beauty websites I subscribe to are sending me ideas for the ‘perfect Valentines nails’ and ‘gift ideas for him’, and once again, for the sixth year in a row (sob), I find myself alone and not even a hope of a card softly dropping onto my doormat on February 14th.

BUT, this year I thought I’d try to avoid my annual rant about the awful commercialism and contrived nature of Valentines Day.  I thought I’d try to squash down the barely-concealed feelings of bitterness and jealousy that usually rise up to the surface at this time of year.  I could harp on about how I couldn’t think of anything worse than going to a restaurant full of loads of other couples all trying to be super-romantic where everyone looks like they feel they should be on the verge of proposing.  I could analyse how most girls will claim to hate V-Day and yet will throw a strop if their boyfriend takes this at face value and doesn’t even buy a card.  But no, this year I’m breaking the mould.

In a bid to have a more positive outlook on love and life as a whole (and yes this might be in part a result of being pegged as an ‘angry single girl who seems to hate everyone in relationships’), I thought I’d try something different.  So, in an attempt to focus on and cherish what I have or have had, here is a summary of all of the romantic gestures I have experienced.  Ever.

  • I once contracted a stomach bug at the house of the object of my affections.  He even saw me throw up through my nose (btw I really wouldn’t recommend this as a good way of being sick).  BUT, instead of running for the hills, he sent me a teddy from the Bear Factory with a little first aid cross on it, complete with a note saying ‘this is a medicinal bear’.  Awwwww!!!  The fact that this bear then turned into my punch bag for whenever a member of the opposite sex pissed me off should probably be overlooked.  Not surprisingly this bear is looking rather squished these days…
  • One guy brought me bacon sandwiches and cupcakes on a Sunday morning to cure me of my hangover, and I didn’t even ask him to!
  • My French ex paid for a luxury Tahitian villa, complete with hot tub and ocean view, for New Years Eve.  The fact that he then used this occasion to casually mention the fact that he was buggering off to New Zealand for 6 months put a slight shadow over the event, and thinking about it the ocean view might just have been a blow-softener, but hey it was romantic up until that point!
  • I’ve been led down a candle-lit staircase into a candle-lit room to find my birthday presents sitting alongside a heap of flowers
  • One guy gave me his Abercrombie hoodie because I was cold.  As a teenager this was a pretty big deal
  • I’ve been on the receiving end of five marriage proposals.  Fine, these were all a result of the guys in question having eaten my chocolate brownies (and no they didn’t contain any hallucinogenic substances), but I’m beginning to scrape the barrel now
  • I’ve had the words ‘I love you’ said to me a few times, but I’m pretty sure at least two of them don’t count as one guy was permanently high or drunk and the other was 17 (I hasten to add that I was also 17 at the time, teenagers really aren’t my scene any more!)
  • Someone carried me across a puddle so I didn’t ruin my suede strappy sandals – literally swept me off my feet! (I know, I’m gagging too, apologies for the poor turn of phrase)
  • Really beginning to struggle here…
  • Ooh I know!  The Frenchie told me that he loved me because I was good in the kitchen.  If that doesn’t scream modern-day romance I don’t know what does…
  • The Australian wanted to marry me.  He offered to pay me.  He wanted a visa…  Hmmm ok I don’t think that one counts either.  Argh!
  • Must.  Stay.  Positive.
  • Someone once told me I looked like Summer from The OC, which may not count as romantic but it was definitely a compliment!  This was then swiftly ruined by the guy stating that this was the only reason he’d wanted to be my boyfriend.  Ouch.
  • I think someone once bought me a present when it wasn’t my birthday or Christmas, but then again that could have been me treating myself or my mum being nice to me…
  • Oh I give up

Well… it would seem that the last 25 years have been rather low on the romantic gesture front.  Or, maybe this is just normal.  Maybe I’m not the only once who’s life is devoid of red roses and string quartets and thoughtful gifts and poetry recitals.  Perhaps our perception of romance has been swayed by Hollywood.  And then add to that a good dollop of British reserve and sarcasm: it’s hardly surprising if my tally of romantic gestures is about average.

So, Happy Valentines Day everyone!  If you have a special someone to share it with, I do genuinely hope that you have a lovely time together and aren’t overcome with cynicism about the whole thing.  If you’re a bona fide member of the Lonely Hearts Club, team up with other members and remember that couples aren’t the only ones who can go to restaurants and eat chocolate and get laid and feel good about themselves.  Don’t sit at home with a bottle of wine and the full Richard Curtis DVD collection.  This will only result in texting your ex and feeling like an idiot the next day.  And definitely DO NOT get absolutely hammered and sleep with a fellow single colleague.  This will only bring you untold pain and misery, not to mention an awkward working environment.

Go forth and be merry!

v-day