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An Ode to Dating Apps (Part 1)


Part I

I was curious about Dating Apps and had heard from friends they were fun, eventually I decided it was time to give them (and by them, I mean, Tinder) a whirl. Usually when it comes to dating I’m someone who banks on my ‘good sense of humour’ to get me through the evening. I was sceptical of how much success I  would have on a platform that is purely visual. 

I decided to represent myself as accurately as possible. I had already experienced the frustrations of misleading photographs during my time flat hunting in London…all the properties seemed good online but when you actually came to view them, it was like you’d been cat-fished. It was important to me to include a few ‘normal’ photos on my Tinder Profile: ones where I’m chilling with friends, eating food etc… I also wanted to include a few that felt representative of my personality i.e. ones that show me on nights out, where I’m drunk, mounting roadside statues, or riding toy plastic giraffes (This photo is still a personal favourite of mine, taken during my Essex University heydays).

My first tinder date took a while to organise, 4 weeks, or thereabouts. The only good thing about this, was that it was definitely an accurate representation of how disorganised I can be. It’s also important to mention here that I struggle to spot faces when I’m out and about, and I have been known to completely ignore close friends when I walk past them in the street. True to form I didn’t recognise Phil at first. Our first date thus began, with him on one side of the road and me on the other; him shouting my name repetitively from across the road and crazily waving while he tried to get my attention. But the date itself was a success! We got drunk, we pretended to be a part of a 40th birthday (the opportunity of cake was to good to miss), we joined a group dancing session led by a flamboyant drag queen and then went back to mine for some AMAZING sex. 

We dated for around a month and a bit. We had good dates. He was always fun and we always had good sex after. I was surprised when he called me on a Monday evening and said he didn’t think ‘the whole thing’ was for him. I was stumped. I felt like we had hit it off, we had a lot in common and we had had fun together. I had also given him a lot of blowjobs…! I was under the illusion this was the key to any man’s heart.

Luckily I had a beautiful French house mate to console me during those first few days after the ‘break-up’. I was living in a scuzzy house with no shower and no lock on the  bathroom door;  this made ugly bath-crying near to impossible to hide. I felt like I was wavering between two identities . On the one hand was a young, independent women who enjoyed living in London and being care-free (I desperately wanted to be her!) and on the other hand was a miserable fast-ageing spinster doomed to a life of showerless celibacy. 

The truth was that I felt lonely in London. I thought it would be almost completely impossible to feel lonely in a big city where there is so much to do, and  yet… Social media was giving me this false sense of being connected to hundreds of people whilst in actual fact I was spending a lot of my time alone, scrolling. A few months later when I was reflecting on this with my therapist I realised how easy it can be to confuse observation with involvement. Social media gives you the chance to look and compare but not to truly connect. 

Dating apps were slightly different at least. The relationship- although it started out on your smart phone- could actually progress to something physical, material, tangible. I had also found that Dating Apps had pushed me beyond my comfort zone. Although my time with Phil hadn’t ended the way I had wanted to, what it had given me was fun memories and a whole set of anecdotes (ones that could potentially come in useful, later down the line, perhaps on a future date as ice breaker/ conversation fillers).   Phill was not a person I had known previously, he was a new addition to my life, and we had spent some fun Saturday nights together. Perhaps the whole dating app gig had not been so bad, and perhaps there was hope yet!