‘To Tinder, or not to Tinder,’ App is the Question
Tired of hearing people bang on about her getting on dating apps, our columnist decides to road-test them
Column by Jo Gregory
I’ve been single now for five months and not exactly ready to date just yet however everyone from work colleagues to friends’ mums all ask the same question, ‘reckon you’ll go on Tinder soon?’ I wondered what all the fuss was about.
At first, I was horrified, why would I need to go on an app to get a date? But then again, the last time I was properly single Michelle McManus was top of the charts, times have changed and so too has the way we meet people. This poses a huge conundrum for me. I’ve never gone on looks, so using an app based mainly on this premise might be a tad tricky. I can count on one hand how many guys I’ve snogged or shagged upon meeting on a night out (no, my 18-30’s holiday to Magaluf doesn’t count). I’ve had three serious relationships over the years, all of which have been in my life long before a relationship occurred.
Take my first serious boyfriend, we met when we were eleven and began dating when I was 18. Then there is boyfriend No.2, we met at work and knew each other for a year before courting (see, I even use out-dated dating expressions) and then there’s my ex-husband. We met when he became a regular in the pub I worked at, fast forward six months of solid friendship building and starting a band together and voila, a relationship.
Not to sound like a romantic idiot, but for me, attraction comes from within (I’m just lucky that the guys I’ve ended up with happen to be utterly gorgeous). I need to vibe with someone over a long period of time before even considering going down that road. And I’ve only ever been on one proper first date and that was to Thorpe Park – so I’m not sure it counts? The thought of meeting a virtual stranger you’ve met on the internet for a drink or awkward dinner fills me with dread. So too does the thought of being the drunk, single woman sat on the stairs at a friend’s party talking to the dog because everyone else there is paired off; although I’d probably prefer to do that anyway. I’ve always said I’ll try anything once, so, after much pressure, I downloaded a number of dating apps. Bumble, Hinge, Tinder & Plenty of Fish all work in the same sort of way but some are more about shags than finding an actual partner I’ve come to learn.
Creating a profile wasn’t easy, what photo best suits my personality? Which one isn’t too whimsical or ‘try hard’? Then you have to write a little bio; basically, having to sell yourself in a matter of words. I went with ‘Michael McDonald is massively under-rated & nothing makes me madder than an unripe avocado’ I figured if you agree with those two things then we are made for each other, right?… Wrong! Welcome back insecurities I’ve not seen since I was a chubby, ginger, under achieving teenager at school. Yeah, the one who never had a boyfriend, was always picked last in gym and had to use humour as a defence mechanism. “Oh hey, not seen you for a long time, you been well?” No matches, aside from a few that I swiped right by mistake and got messages such as ‘Hey beautiful, I’ll give you a ripe avocado’… I kinda asked for that didn’t I?
According to stats, 17 per cent of people using dating apps have met their long-term partner and I want to ask how? I already waste too much time scrolling the internet for memes, why am I staying up until 2am on dating apps for someone I may connect with… Followed by tedious messaging, then perhaps a date to find out they look nothing like their photo, there is zero chemistry and you go home to repeat the same thing all over again? Call me old fashioned but I would rather meet someone who accidently knocked a pint over me in a bar, we talk shite for an hour and exchange numbers than waste any more time on a screen, it’s exhausting, and I’ve only really dipped my toe in.
During my app journey I started speaking to more people about them and couldn’t believe some of the horror stories. One woman I know dated a guy who wore a nappy for ‘medical reasons.’ After a few dates he asked if she wanted to change him and could he ‘suckle on her breasts’ whilst she stroked his hair. So, not medical reasons at all, just someone with a rather large kink. Then there’s my other pal who admitted he’d tell a girl he liked her to get laid then, after date number three, he’ll confess ‘he’s not really feeling it’ and have to almost ghost her.
Modern life already feels like a popularity contest, we live in an age where people are getting job opportunities via Instagram just off the back of how many followers they have for goodness sake..! I felt like I was having to sell myself and that just doesn’t sit right with me. So, I decided after a couple of weeks of trying out these apps, to delete them. Having done so I’ve gained back some control and much needed storage space on my phone for the things in life that really matter, sending daft memes to my pals.