Saturday, 16 February 2019

Let's Talk About Tinder

Is romance and real dating dead? Where Tinder is concerned, almost definitely.

It's been about 5 years since that little flame first popped up on my screen. Current success rate: 0%. There have been dates here and there, many conversations – some detailed and exciting while others are merely a saucy gif exchange. It's an absolute rabbit hole. I've read a few posts on this recently so figured I'd share my thoughts, experiences and qualms on this seriously strange world of modern dating, via our phones. There's comfort in shared experiences and all that.

Let's imagine you're one of the lucky pooheads who has never had to resort to Tinder. Firstly, congratulations. Secondly, I don't think you're ready for this nightmare to be unleashed. It's odd the reputation that Tinder has considering it's an incredibly popular part of modern singleton culture. You'd assume it puts us in the most powerful position for finding compatible partners. Plus, with our increasing awareness of IRL 'stranger danger', I'd rather spark up a conversation with someone from the safety of my flat and behind my phone screen, than at the traditional bar or party. If things go sour, all I need to do is smash the unmatch button, allowing my identity and safety to remain intact. In real life, we relinquish that control, and the more the news and social media highlight the ever-present possibility of date rape and murder, everyone's a suspect. It becomes more difficult to approach people because we just don't like being approached.

So then, Tinder is great, right? Even more so for introverts like me, who are much funnier and more interesting in type than in person (exhibit a), especially in the early stages of any relationship. That said, with that gained control, another door is opened. The seemly increasing shift towards sex first, date later – if at all. In other words, have your cake and eat it without any other responsibility, or even worse, the "I can do/say whatever inappropriate things I want because I am behind a screen" thing. Cue the aforementioned saucy gifs, or iconic one-liners like "when are you going to sit on my face" – how charming, please hold me back, I have been wooed *faints*... Nah mate.

Suddenly, the filter is gone and for some unknown reason, (probs the patriarchy) I am expected to accept this mediocre conversation as flattery or 'the new norm', and get to business. I've become all too familiar with a particular breed of tinder lad, whose key traits include: a love of flexing their muscles, owning a 'doggo' that I am allowed to pet, walk or receive pictures of, and – my personal favourite and true lady-boner killer – able to hold a giant, actual, fish like some kind of medal (no, really).

Of course, they're not always like that, #notallmen and all that, calm down. You get the odd diamond in the rough, which accounts for the few dates I've actually been on. But with 450 matches leading to a whopping total of 3 real-life lads, IT'S PRETTY POOR INNIT. I don't know about you but I really hope this downward spiral hits an endpoint and bounces back up soon. Bring back 80s movies with John Cusack and his boombox serenade. Bring back interesting, complex, face-to-face human interaction. Nay, let's just be done with toxic masculinity (that escalated quickly)!

I've come to realise, the writer in me is more of a romantic which is probably why none of this tinder malarkey works for me. It's not what I'm looking for. Until I find it, I guess I shall break out of the tower on my own, steal my own steed, gallop off into the sunset and see how long it takes for my prince to catch up.

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