Disclaimer: Motley Tries Tinder will make you cringe.
Disclaimer 2: The spark has been misplaced in the time it took to republish this article.
September, I decided; was going to be the month of dating. Yes, people of U.C.C. It was time to really put myself out there; Tinder. The dating app hit our smart-phones in 2012 and was met with raging success. Swipe right for Mr. Right and left for the No-go’s. I downloaded it like most just to “have a look.” My first impression however was that is was, quite frankly sleazy and a bit grim. I got rid of it almost immediately.
This summer however, I once again became interested in the idea. We spend so much of our lives staring blankly at screens. People have bought things from shoes to cars online. We have applied for jobs, researched for college work and have stayed in contact with friends who are abroad. Was it possible to find someone that you could have genuine fun with online? Once the screens are removed, can you have a spark or is it all as artificial as the light on your phone? That’s what I have been desperate to uncover.
No more hiding behind phones, no more time to perfect a witty response, no filters. It was time to go old school; thanks to the new school. I uploaded my least crazy cat lady looking photos and waited in hope. I started matching with people almost immediately and was delighted with myself. That was until the Mr. Wrong’s of the world started conversations with the likes of “DTF?” “Where do you live?” and one that will make me look at my name differently forever; “You can spell your name the same way backwards, there are other things I’d like to do to you backwards.” The filth goes on.
It’s disheartening, it’s slimy but it’s also Tinder. A multitude of users presume that it’s specifically for hooking up. We all have our dirty little secrets but an online sex date was not something I’d like to hang up in my closet.
Let me give you some background. I am the only singleton within my wolf pack. Don’t ask me why. I’m fabulous. If you consider an irrational, emotional female with frizzy hair and a disposition for chips, even out of the bin after a night out fabulous- I’m fabulous.
I’m single; I’m probably the DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend). I knew it was time to take matters into my own hands. Down with the block of cheese Hannah! I swiped and I swiped, I frequently blocked and I was often left feeling deflated and a bit dirty.
My most notable opener from a guy consisted of a three paragraph plea to stay at my house because he was unable to find a B&B. As a misunderstood and lowly traveler, he thought that we could have fun and “explore” one-another. Bye Felicia.
I suppose the best and worst thing about Tinder is that you are putting yourself out there. But we need to ask ourselves, to what; Sexual predators, sex hungry douche bags and people that start conversations but have the entertainment value of a cream cracker? *Sigh.
Where was the nice guy? Was I forever destined to live a life of Queen Elizabeth the first? While all the other queens were spooning their man-friends, I was spooning my hot water bottle, my cat and/or my broken dreams.
Eventually a nice person did pop up. Same year in college, good-looking, funny, but going on a J1 for the summer. Eugh.
I mention this individual, because I want to tell you all to never judge a book by its cover. During Fresher’s week, I came across this person and boy was it weird. We were talking for about three seconds before he lunged at me and tried to take off my top in front of the DJ booth. Good-bye.
Where was the nice guy? Swipe, swipe, swipe. Sleaze, yuck, no.
This wasn’t going to happen, I was losing hope. Even the normal people on the app didn’t get my sense of humor. Surely you couldn’t spark off someone when you started on a screen. I pretty much gave up. That was, until a close friend made me see it as a social experiment and not an endurance test. She made me organize a date.
I spent the day terrified that they were going to be a catfish. Coffee. A simple coffee, then I could run away back to spinster city. I went into the Café and was amazed by the fact that they were as hot as their picture. I then got paranoid that said male thought I was the catfish. Then I got excitable and couldn’t stop talking. I’m talking mentioning my subscription to Pony magazine when I was twelve. I’m alluding to the fact that I may have discussed my clothes drying on the line. I shook their hands twice and ran away. They seemed bewildered and amused at the same time. I wanted to bury a grave under my drying clothes and end it all. I liked them and thought I had destroyed weeks of chit-chat.
That was it, I was done, or at least that’s what I thought. Since the first psycho coffee experience, we have gone for juices, smoothies, more coffees, gin and tonics. I’m clearly not as scary as I think. Yes, I recommend what I formerly thought was a sleaze fest. Motley Tries Tinder has been a success thus far. You can find the spark if you look hard enough.
Originally Published in Motley Magazine (2015).