Let’s talk Tinder. I started using the app when I moved out of the city and back into the smallish town I grew up in. In glorious retrospect this was a bizarre choice given that my pool of potential dates was going to be a lot smaller and, god forbid, I might even recognise someone. But hey ho. I had changed jobs, changed homes and was fresh out of a relationship. A recipe for success. When I say success I mean disaster.
I created my profile, chose pictures where I thought I looked like a super babe and that weren’t too old. I wrote a little bio about things I liked and tried not to sound like a dickhead. Then I started swiping. Left for eewwww no, right for oh you have a nice face. I was averagely mortified when I came across someone I recognised at school (I think I was being a snob…). Then I just got really shallow, like that guy is wearing a shirt I don’t like, his eyebrows are better than mine, his bio contains too many emojis – SWIPE LEFT. Bios are funny, some guys write nothing at all, others are looking for sex, some are genuinely seeking ‘the one’ and others try to make out that they don’t really want to be on tinder, they’re not sure why they’re even on it blah blah blah. Some have no pictures of themselves, some have pictures with girls or kids – and a hasty sentence in their bio claiming it’s not their girlfriend or child. Over the course of my time on Tinder I came across pictures of guys posing with drugged up tigers, in big drunk groups, holding a big fish (like maybe 6/10 of NZ profiles, I kid you not), holding kittens or puppies, in fancy dress, doing some kind of adventure sport, some just keeping it simple and posing in their bathroom.
There were some emotional times on the app. Like when I was in a left swiping frenzy and accidentally lost some potential matches, almost heart breaking. Luckily, Tinder has a solution to this: pay extra and you can undo those swipes. I am intrigued to know if anyone actually ever does this?! Other emotional scenarios include a guy asking if I wanted to come to his hotel room RIGHT NOW, which I read as come to my hotel where I will kill you and dump your body in the sea. There are guys who just try to be mean (to keep us keen right?), ones who are mind numbingly dull, and ones who you actually want to get to know.
I kind of hate the messaging part because I feel that you could message someone for a while, think they seem like a decent human being and then meet them and discover they are a huge Trump supporter or, perhaps worse, they prefer vegemite to marmite. So I have always been pretty keen to meet up with people to figure out wether or not they’re a psychopath and if I want to keep talking to them. This has led to me being called forward by both the potential Tinder dates and female friends. Really, I think it’s being practical. And efficient. And what’s so wrong with being forward anyway?
Over the space of about a year and a half, two countries and several app deletions and reinstallations, here are my tinder dates in no particular order:
The guy who had beautiful eyes and was probably a nice human but I provided a free counselling service for him to talk about his ex-girlfriend, a lot.
The short guy who I went on a few dates with, didn’t fancy in the slightest but slept with anyway because I couldn’t find anyone better at the time. I try to forget that one because it makes me cringe.
The guy who gave me a massage and bought me dinner and made me laugh but also lived off cocaine and with his ex-girlfriend…
The American guy who insisted on buying the drinks, was about 10 years older than me and who’s jokes I didn’t get.
The insurance guy who really loved talking to me about his job in insurance, was missing his front teeth but had an excellent taste in music.
The Mexican chef who I had an in-depth discussion with about guacamole and never saw again.
The artist guy who I initially thought I really clicked with but turns out he really clicked with taking a lot of drugs which soon rendered him only capable of barely being able to speak.
Some of these dates made me feel kind of despairing that I would ever meet anybody I liked, some left me questioning my self-respect, some left me content at having had a good conversation with someone and leaving it at that. It took me a while (and calling it finally, properly with an ex on the other side of the world) to realise that I needed to perhaps stop being so harsh on myself and stop trying to please the random guys I’d met on a dating app.
I went on one more date. I’ll set the scene: I’d just worked a 12 hour shift, I had to put a lot of foundation on to cover the dark purple bags under my eyes, I had this rotten cold and the snot was constantly threatening to pour out of my nose, oh and to complete it I had a spot comparable to Mount Etna on my cheek. A vision of beauty. So I met this guy. And we talked. And drank beer. And the snot poured. And for the last few months, we have pretty much been hanging out all the time.
So. Tinder. I have a love hate relationship with it. But it did introduce me to a total babe who’s not a dick, so I guess it’s not all bad!