So after the semi disastrous Fibbers night out, I realised that bar hopping probably wasn’t going to end up with me finding a suitable date, it also made me realise that I might need a different wing woman as when I go out with my cousin we just end up drinking and dancing rather than… ya know… checking out the talent… but that’s for another post! The next stop was trying to figure out, if it’s not pubs, where the hell people go to find dates these days. After chatting to a single female friend of mine over wine, a Chinese and some truly terrible movies, and also to a male friend in a poly relationship (more on all the alternative lifestyles my singleton status has introduced me to at a later point!) I was reliably informed that Tinder was where it’s at.
To those, that like me, have no real clue what Tinder is all about, it’s basically an app that allows you to window shop for a date. With a left or right swipe, you indicate whether you fancy the person who’s picture and bio have popped up on your screen. If you swipe right on them and they swipe right on you, a fairy godmother in the background declares you a match and you can message each other. However… for this to really work… I needed a profile. The logical thing to me was to connect it up to my Facebook profile (this was before the Cambridge Analytical debacle… hopefully someone out there is trawling through my data and having a good laugh at my expense), this meant that I could identify if any of these prospective matches had friends in common with me and it also pulled my photos from the book of face. This was both a gift and a curse!
First off, I didn’t realise how ridiculous some of my Facebook photos were, there were some showing me as a kid, some from college and a lot with random friends in them. I decided that using pictures with friends faces in them was a bad idea, because then how does the tinderer know who to swipe on? I also had to make sure that the pictures were all representative of me (I’m no catfish) and at the same time were flattering. This process required the majority of a bottle of wine to complete. Once I was more or less happy with the pictures (this may or may not have had more to do with my merry state than the pictures I had selected) I then had to write a bio.
My first attempt at a bio sounded like a job cover letter or cv, my second had me sounding like a complete loon. I realised that this writing a bio jobby was going to be even more difficult than trying to pick the images that already existed. I had to capture my entire personality within 500 characters. I suck at tweeting… never mind trying to portray the essence of ‘me’ in a short paragraph. My third attempt was a string of emojis to communicate my impatience and frustration with the process, and at that point it was pure stubbornness (and the realisation that I was tired of celibacy) that had me eventually create something I was relatively happy with. It was self-deprecating, pointed out a mixture of my interests and managed to keep some of my insanity under wraps… that’s the kind of thing you keep until you have them hooked!
I was finally ready to start swiping… and then I realised I was seeing a whole load of 21 and 22 year olds that lived in different countries. I’ve mentioned before that I’m not feeling the cougar vibe so my search settings needed a quick tweek… which got me thinking, what was I actually looking for in a date. This took some thought, and more wine, and I narrowed the age down to 28 – 40. I felt a little ageist doing this, who’s to say that a 26 year old wouldn’t be absolutely lovely, or a 43 year old wouldn’t be ridiculously attractive, but I had to try and keep it within an age group that I would connect with, and I also needed to make sure that they were closer to my age than my younger brothers age!! I also had to make a call on distance, how far out was acceptable. We all know Ireland is a tiny country and what we consider long distance (more on long distance dating in a future post!) is nothing compared to what other countries consider long distance, but I had to be realistic, so 30km’s seemed a safe enough bet. With my settings all set, my prospective matches narrowed down, I got swiping.
And swipe I did, for all of three minutes or so, and then I realised that I was actually feeling guilty about swiping left on people that I wasn’t interested in! They had no idea that I was swiping left, and yet I was berating myself for judging a book by it’s cover, which is pretty much the entire premise of Tinder. Suffice to say my friend was in stitches laughing at my guilt-ridden conscience, so away went the Tinder until I was in a better state of mind (also read sober).
The following day, when I was comfortably ensconced with a non-alcoholic beverage and my pjs, I took another go with the swiping. I realised quickly that there were a lot of people on there with just the one picture and no bio, so I made myself a little rule that if they’d put in less effort than me, it was a swift left swipe, also if we had any level of common connection with my ex or his friends, that was also an instant left swipe (facebook comes in handy sometimes!!). The guilt had left me at that point and I realised I was literally window shopping for a date and swiping left on everyone. I needed to take a minute and give myself a good talking to, I needed to swipe right if this was going to work! Finally, I got into the swing of it, and lo and behold I realised I have a type. If he’s a large, beardy, nerdy man… the chances are that I’m interested. A few months down the line, and I’m still using Tinder, but that initial foray into dating apps taught me a couple of things;
- Wine helps… a lot…. when you’re setting up your profile
- Finding a pretty picture of yourself that doesn’t have your friends or ex-significant other in it is way harder than you think.
- Tinder window shopping is addictive, and it’s even more fun with friends
- Profile’s are hard
- And that moment you match with someone for the first time… it’s such a confidence boost!
I finally had a match! The stars had aligned and everything fell into place… and suddenly I had to make a new decision…. who sends the first message?!?