I jumped on the Tinder train in the summer. I was a bit slow on the uptake but once I caught on it was great. ‘I’m going to have so much sex’ I thought to myself. ‘The Inbetweeners’ quotes were going through my mind. I thought I just bought a first class ticket to Bang Town. Mayor of Bang town: Me.
Two weeks go by. No matches. It’s probably my photos. Need to spice it up. Definitely need one with a tiger or a lion. Show how adventurous and brave I am. Done.
Three weeks go by. A match! Success. Let’s see who it is. Oh, she’s ok I guess, don’t really remember swiping her to the right. Was I drunk? But hey, a match, as they say, is a match sir. Might skip messaging her though. I can do better.
Three days later: Ok clearly women can see my profile and my photos are awesome so why do I only have one match? It must be the tag line. I have to show women I’m funny. Women love funny guys. And I am funny AND good looking! Ok funny tagline: ‘If anyone asks, we met on tinder’ HA. Funny and disarming.
Ok this is better. Matches are trickling in. But my self esteem is still pretty low! I need matches to get me up! (confidence wise). Increase range to 100 kilometres, increase age range to 30- no 40. After all 40 is the new 20. I think I read that somewhere.
Wait if 40 is the new 20 then what does that make 20? Never mind. MATCHES. MAYOR OF BANG TOWN.
5 weeks: 10 matches. Raking in it. Time to whip out the old flirting dictionary.
Attempt 1: ‘Hi’. No reply.
It’s cool I got 9 more ladies waiting for me to hit on them!
Attempt 2: ‘Hi’. She deleted me!? What the fuck. Since when is ‘Hi’ a delete worthy comment?
Attempt 3: ‘Hey, I’m Ben. How’s it going?’ A REPLY. Goldmine.
Cut to a month later and several tens of matches later.
‘Hey, I’m Ben. How’s it going’ x 50.’ Just going through the motions.
Out of 50 matches, most started to reply, some get past a second message, then it becomes so boring.
‘No’ I told myself. I keep reading in trendy magazines that Tinder is all about sex and meeting women! So far all I have done is learnt how to type ‘Hey, I’m Ben. How’s it going?’ on an iPhone with my eyes closed. This will change. Imma ask some ladies out is what imma do.
Here goes. ‘Let’s go for a drink.’
And so the real problem of Tinder begins: interacting in person. Some of my friends haven’t been on Tinder dates, saying it would be too weird. And they are right. Firstly, you have to prove to the girl that you aren’t some psycho killer with a fetish for Swiss Cheese. This is made extremely hard due to the fact that she has never met you in person and knows very very little about you. If you get past that stage you then you have to work out if they actually live near where you do. This stage is made infinitely harder by the fact that Tinder location estimations are ridiculously wrong. So I get past the first stage with a girl who is supposedly 5km away from me and ask ‘Where shall we meet?’ to get the reply ‘Somewhere near Times Square?’ Great. Give me couple of weeks to pack, get a visa, book a flight, book a hotel ( I don’t want to presume), book a restaurant. Shall we meet in say 2015?
Say you get past that stage. Well done. You’s a playa. Now it’s time to meet. You’ve picked a place; a bar. Is it fun? Check. Is it close to your flat? Check check. You’re off to meet her. Phone open on the app on her profile.
Next step is the hardest: verification. You meet a girl on a random night out and you hit it off, it just feels right. You meet a girl on a Tinder date and you’re not even sure she’s your date. She looks different in real life, not better or worse, just different. Different to the extent where you both look at each other, at the place you agreed to meet, slowly point at each other and pull a face so as to say ‘well this is already very awkward/are you my date/you look better in photos.’
At other times you stand at the rendezvous point like a stalker waiting for the girl. Someone approaches. Ok, here goes nothing. You can do it. Mayor. Bang Town. ‘Hi, Molly is it?’
Shit shit shit shit shit. ‘Oh, sorry. You looked like someone I know.’ She gives you that knowing look.
‘You’re on a Tinder Date aren’t you?’
Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck. ‘Ha, nearly. Just have to work out what she looks like in real life. Awkward.’
But, without a doubt, the scariest part of the verification is the fear that the girl will be taller than you. You see a girl that looks sort of like the picture and she is taller than you, by a noticeable amount. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes taller than you. I can’t spend a date with someone noticeably taller than me. When I feel small so does my confidence and I end up feeling like a child. Probably like Tom Cruise. But I guess he had worse problems.
But finally, you got past that step. Congratulations! Now it’s down to your personality! Fuck.
The first date is fun. Good bar, good drinks, good chat. New Tinder date, you take her to the same bar, have the same drinks, have the same conversation. Why tinker (tinder?) with a solid formula? And so on and so on. Some girls you bring back, others you never see again. Quickly the dates blur into one encounter. The girls start to all look the same, sound the same, act the same. There is nothing with the dates themselves. It’s just with Tinder the frequency increases of dates and that’s when they all start to lose that excitement. It doesn’t feel as fresh. You just go through the motions. You feel safe using conversation from a previous encounter.
And that is the problem with Tinder. Whatever you want to get from it, be it sex or just something to do on a Tuesday night, do it more than a couple of times and it becomes a study in monotony. You end up so cynical and numb having the same conversation, doing the same thing. It doesn’t feel natural. It takes away from the fun of meeting someone spontaneously and feeling a mutual attraction. Where once was that raw nervousness and excitement now is just a list to be ticked off.
So I tried Tinder. It’s fun briefly but quickly becomes rubbish. Personally, I’m going stick to spontaneously hitting it off with someone. I don’t know when or how, but that’s what makes it fun every time.