It was a Sunday night, no different to any other. I was hanging out at a friend’s place. There were a few of us. The TV was on, sometimes we talked; sometimes we didn’t. Someone mentioned a BBQ . It smacked of effort. Someone ordered pizza instead and at all times there was a cold beer in my hand. A normal chilled Sunday evening with friends who are so like family I’d helped myself to the host’s pyjamas. There was no warning for what was about to come. I was relaxed, off guard. I could hear the birds outside, chatting away as the sun went down on what had been an awesome weekend. The balcony doors were open and I could feel the breeze on my face. In the distance a baby cried. How was I to know what was about to happen? There was a lull in conversation and before I knew it, the question had been asked.
“Hey Em, you’re on Tinder right?”
The room erupted. Outside, the birds scattered, the wind stopped. Even the fucking baby stopped crying!
Before I knew it, my friend Rosie had downloaded the App on my phone and was leading the room in debating my best profile picture! The very thing I had been avoiding was happening.
As one of the few remaining singles in my friend group, this kind of thing is unavoidable. Vicarious living I think they call it. I often think my friends get the best bits… The hilarity of single life stories without the lonely bits. Anyway, it was happening. I was on Tinder.
Now I’d been avoiding this platform for 2 reasons:
1. It’s Tinder.
2. It’s Tinder.
For those who might not be in the loop, it’s a ‘dating’ website for a quick pick up. Now, my ‘looking for love’ clients tend not to use Tinder. They are busy, successful women who have a clear criteria about the type of man they are looking for and I recommend professional dating websites to them should they want to look online. And because of this, I never felt the need to research what Tinder was all about; I’d heard the rumours and that was enough. My friends thought otherwise.
Hilarity ensued. God there are some fucking idiots out there! Men, some tips for you:
Don’t use a banana as your profile picture.
I don’t want to date your dog. Or want you to date your dog. So less dog pictures.
A group photo is cute. If they’re all group photos, I have to scan, search and eliminate to work out which one you are. You’re already too much work!
Before I knew it, Rosie had swiped right on a guy (swiping right means you like the look of them) and 4 days later, I was sat in a cocktail bar sipping on a Southside waiting for my first Tinder date to arrive. Oh yes, and I should also add that I was shitting myself!
Will he like me? (Am I loved?)
Will he laugh at my jokes? (Am I enough?)
Will he take one look at me and slide out the fire escape? (Do I belong?)
The three pillars of fear and self-doubt were welling up inside me. So I did what any self-respecting, intelligent young lady would do, necked my cocktail, immediately ordered a second and convinced myself that it was all in the name of market research!
Luckily, by the time he arrived I wasn’t totally inebriated. And do you know what, he was a nice guy. He’d come from work so was wearing a suit. Tick. He was funny. Tick. He was intelligent, successful and overall, not the Tinder dickhead I had unfairly presumed he would be. Big tick.
Here’s the thing, when you’re dating and serious about finding love (as many of my clients are) swiping right haphazardly is not what I would recommend. There is a strategy to finding the right partner. And it’s probably not Tinder. But if, like me, you’re conducting ‘market research’ and figuring out what it is you really want, then sifting through some truly shocking Tinder profiles to find the one who’ll meet you in an underground cocktail bar on a Thursday night, make you laugh and reaffirm that there are some awesome single people out there isn’t such a bad idea after all.
And as it turns out, maybe Tinder isn’t just a one date wonder site after all. Because I reckon there’s definitely a second date on the horizon for me.
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