27 January 2019

The final swipe

I've officially called off my Tinder search. I wish I could say it's because I met my perfect match but in fact, it's quite the opposite. I have so many friends who have met their other half on Tinder. Indeed many of them have gone on to marry their Tinder baes! I've had nothing but bad luck on the famous dating app and I know I'm not alone in this. Any prospects of relationships over the past 2 - 3 years have been pursued through friends of friends, people I already knew or on nights out, rather than through a dating app.

My experience has been nothing short of terrible. I've been on a few okay dates but nothing major came from any of them. I've had really vile experiences from horrendous messages, dick pics and physically being stood up on dates (no joke, I went on a coffee date once. He decided we should meet at Botanic Gardens. I sat for 30 minutes for him to text me that he wasn't coming....). The lack of success on the platform has made me question so much about myself - what's wrong with me? Am I boring? Not pretty enough? Rebalancing my own self worth has made me realise that there's nothing wrong with me. People come to Tinder with their own issues and if they aren't upfront and honest about them, that's their problem - NOT mine. 

There's three types of men I encountered on Tinder in Belfast. I don't know which of the three was worse because they all involved me questioning my own values. 

The 'pen pal'

This is the WORST bit of Tinder. Why are people so nervous to go for a coffee or a drink? Tinder has been a place where I have constantly been messaging people - there's been no shortage of that. Sometimes you progress to texting with a view to going on a date. However my success rate of this has been LOW! In fact one of the best dates I ever had was a guy who messaged me about 10 times and said 'Fancy a drink tonight?'. It gave us much more to talk about for the date. Do we text so much that we have nothing to talk about on a first date? I once texted someone for a few weeks and got excited about a date... for them to go on to tell me they couldn't go on a date as they ALREADY HAD A GIRLFRIEND. The worst kind of pen pal...!

The 'hokey cokey'

One foot in, one foot out....! These typically are men who haven't a clue what they want. In my experience, they've maybe just come out of a relationship and have jumped on Tinder for a confidence boost rather than to pursue anything. I have much more respect for people who from the outset say they don't know what they are doing there rather than saying they MIGHT like to date. So often these people can turn into Pen Pals. Sometimes you go on a date with them & things go well but afterwards they have a realisation that maybe they should go back to their ex.... making your date feel like it was some sort of experiment that has played with your emotions.

The 'booty call'

This one doesn't need much explanation. Perhaps you've messaged a bit and come a Saturday night you get the 'You out?' message. There's been no first date, no chase and certainly no good manners. I know some people use dating platforms for hook-ups and if that's your thing, good for you. I personally couldn't do it, particularly when I think about the safety aspect of rocking up to meet/sleepover with someone you very little about. 

Although I've now deleted the app, I'm not regretful about my experience. It certainly made me learn a lot about myself & what I do and do not want. I've realised men are just as insecure as women but they show it very differently. A women's vulnerability is a man's cockiness. People can be all chat in message but the most shy person in real life. 

My advice? 

Take everything with a pinch of salt. It's a platform you need to be incredibly thick skinned on. Be open minded - my dates (although they didn't go anywhere) were fine and provided a good bit of light entertainment to my friends. 

Everyone will have a different experience but for me, it's back to looking for cuties on nights out, the old fashioned way!