Was one of your resolutions for 2017 to find love? Then you may be one of the thousands who signed up to Tinder in January. If you have no concept of Tinder, perhaps you’ve been living under a rock or recently released from a cult, here’s the deal; it’s the world’s simplest dating app. All you need is a Facebook account and a smartphone. You enter basic details of what you are seeking: gender, age range and distance from your location and Tinder will find singles in your area. It’s stunningly superficial, users have 500 characters and six pictures to sell themselves. You swipe through a series of profiles – right to say you are interested and left to say you are not. If you both “like” each other you have a match and true love can blossom 😂
Despite living in a city of almost half a million residents the dating pool is very small. If you are just starting out dating after a break (or break up) you need to prepare yourself for some inevitabilities. You will see people on Tinder that you know in real life – friends, friends of friends, work colleagues and exes. Nothing quite prepares you for seeing the face of someone you once cared for popping up, especially if it’s a man who claimed they would “never lower themselves to online dating.” You may also see people you know aren’t single which is never pleasant. The ease of an app that doesn’t send you any text/email notifications means it’s a cheater’s dream – it takes seconds to delete and reinstall the app at will. Also, if you’re looking for a guy and swap numbers be warned – you will also get a lot of dick pics. I’ve seen more penises than a urologist and can’t remember ever asking to see one.
This may sound like the ramblings of some bitter 30-something singleton but if you go into online dating with a healthy dose of cynicism and fairly low expectations you can have fun, I promise. As long as you stay safe and engage your common sense you can meet some interesting people. Naivety and a hope to meet your Prince Charming are a recipe for disaster. I’ve deleted and reactivated my account more times than I care to remember and over the years I’ve been dating observed some clichéd characters which I am sure are replicated in both sexes. Remember The Breakfast Club when the protagonists are labelled a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal? You could probably apply those to some of the guys I’ve met in the Tindersphere.
The Brain has a PhD, and I don’t mean a trousersnake. He’s too highbrow to own a television and is more likely to be curled up with a book than a woman. I find intelligence incredibly sexy so a beardy academic is my kryptonite. Warning: some men who have spent their entire adult life in academia can lack basic people skills although these can always be taught.
This dude lives for sport and every profile picture is an action shot. He runs ultramarathons for charity, surfs in the North Sea for fun and can often be found chugging on homemade green juice. He takes care of himself, expects you to do the same and might suggest a gentle hike (20km mountain trek) for a date. He loves courgetti and gave up white bread ten years ago. He likes early nights and early mornings and sex has to be scheduled around his training plan.
The Basket Case
Think bitches be crazy? We’re not the only ones… You will find many passive aggressive men on Tinder. Their crazy may be well hidden or in plain sight. In their profile they may say: “if you make yourself out to be a sports car and turn out to be a 20-year old estate car, don’t be disappointed if I have one drink and leave. There is a very small window to represent yourself” (a genuine verbatim quote). The Basket Case has clearly been hurt in the past and demonstrates this by becoming angry when you do not reply to a message within a few minutes or calling you a tease if you are not willing to send him a naked picture within 24 hours of swapping numbers. Because nothing says “commitment” like stripping off for someone you don’t know.
The Prince is a human Ken doll with perma-tanned skin and the whitest teeth you’ve ever seen. He has impeccably coiffed hair, better eyebrows than you and he always smells great. He goes to the gym purely so he can post pictures on Instagram mid-workout and his six pack will be on full display on his Tinder profile. He enjoys fine wine, good food and fast cars. He worships his mother and is looking for someone to look after him as well as she does. He is too beautiful to use proper sentences and calls every woman “babe” so he doesn’t have to remember their name.
There are many bad boys on Tinder. Some are fairly open with their love of drugs and partying. Is there anything more alluring than a picture of someone in their late thirties stoned out of their tits and making a peace sign with the hand not holding the joint? Some are a little more cautious about revealing their bad boy past and further probing may uncover a criminal past. When I was suspicious about a lovely guy who only wanted to meet early in the day it turns out he was under curfew and had an electronic tag.
Of course life isn’t as simple as labelling people based on six pictures and 500 characters. The perfect match is a mixture of many things and the people who are good on paper rarely measure up in real life. If I’ve learned anything from dating it’s to trust your gut, go outside of your comfort zone (my type used to be tall, dark and handsome but now it’s more sexy redhead), don’t write someone off for a few spelling mistakes (I’m looking at you grammar pedants) and remember it’s meant to be fun! The feeling of first date butterflies with someone you really like is hard to beat…