Love (Or Not) At First Swipe: what Tinder taught me

If falling victim to the captivating, soul-sucking Tinder world is a crime, then I’m afraid I am guilty as charged. Whether seeking a short-lived fling involving lots of sex, embarking on a quest to find true love once and for all, or even just messaging a bunch of random people and spinning some wicked yarns, I’m pretty sure we’ve all been there. I can still remember the day I downloaded the app on my phone. It was a sunny morning in early February. My girlfriends and I had decided to go out for breakfast for delicious food and a good ol’ gossip before I was due to visit the dentist. It wasn’t long before we started talking about Tinder.

“If I may ask, what is this Tinder you speak of?” I popped a piece of toasted ham and cheese croissant into my mouth and chewed, glancing nonchalantly at the three shocked faces of the girls around the table. “What?”

Kate’s mouth was open in surprise. “Do you honestly not have Tinder yet?”

I shook my head. “I might download it sometime, but right now I’m just not bothered about–“

“Bindles!” Brooke shook her head. “You’ve been single for nearly a month now, you have to get on there and start swiping!”

“Give me your phone!” Kate made a grab for it across the table, and I meekly handed it over. “I’m going to install it right now and do your bio for you.”

The next half-hour was spent with Kate going through photos on my phone, holding the screen and asking, “Yay or nay?” with Brooke, GG and myself voicing our opinions. Eventually, Kate handed my phone back to me with a flourish. “Done!”

I took a look and against my better judgement, was rather impressed. Finally I had proof that there were at least five photos on my phone of myself that didn’t make a potential suitor run for the hills. And I had no idea that emojis could provide a decent bio, but there’s a first time for everything.

That very day, I started swiping.

After spending a while swiping from right, to left and back to right again, giving a few Super Likes by accident and striking up conversations with boys from all walks of life (one who had previously done a stint as a topless waiter), I was sure that I had mastered the art of the Tinder game, pick-up-lines included. As the conversation below goes, Tinderellas, feel free to take notes.

Me: Hey, did I tell you I’m writing a book?

Tinder Guy: No, that’s cool. What’s your book about?

Me: It’s a phone book…and it’s missing your number.

He gave me his number. I didn’t text him.

Not long afterwards, I went on my first official Tinder date with a guy who I shall call Bruno, to a coffee shop where we ordered cheesecake and afterwards went to the bar next door for drinks. Bruno was a year older than me, worked at (surprise) the uni and was originally from up north. After talking for about five hours and showing him up and down the street, it was past midnight when we left the bar. Ultimately it was a pretty good night (and yes I did see him again – but that is another story!!)

The second Tinder date I went on was with Timmy, to the Christchurch Noodle Markets. I’d have to say that out of the two, this one was my favourite date because IMHO there’s nothing better than getting to know someone and eating food with them at the same time. Timmy and I wandered round the markets, talked about all sorts of stuff (I also found out he was learning German AND did salsa dancing – BONUS POINTS!), sat on the grass and ate Chinese food, got gelato from my favourite Rollicking stall, then he walked back through Hagley Park with me and gave me a hug, where we said our goodbyes.

I should probably mention at this point that I was focused so much on how well the date had gone (and how great the food had tasted) that I had legit forgotten where I had left my car.

So those were the only two Tinder dates I have been on, thus far. Although the majority of my time spent on the app was spent having yarns with boys about: what they did, how they spent their weekend, favourite TV shows, tea, gym, and food, I can say that a few minutes here and there were reasonably well-spent. And it also gave me an insight into how Tinder dates usually worked, as well as helping me learn some handy hints along the way…

Bindy’s Helpful Dating Hints, Tips And Tricks She Has Learned From Both Tinder And Google:

  1. If you’re worried about being stood up, try this. Luckily, getting stood up is a scenario which didn’t end up happening to me, although when getting ready for my date with Bruno, the thought admittedly did cross my mind. So since we were meeting at a coffee shop, I decided to take a book along with me. That way, if he did leave me high and dry, at least I could look like I was simply having a nice sit-down and a coffee after a long day. If you do try it – don’t bring a book along with you to a bar though, because that’s just weird.

2. Be the weird and wonderful person you are. I know this is terribly cliché, but seriously, BE YOURSELF. I was incredibly surprised that, after spending at least half an hour in my company, neither guy had cut and run in the opposite direction. As in, they seemed to want to actually spend more time with me? There’s no shame in having a laugh at yourself and telling a few funny stories about your awkward years at high school, cause your date may very well share some of their own! Fun times all round.

3. Always have a good conversation starter prepared. Once you’ve got past the ‘where are you from’ and ‘so what do you do’ interrogation, there may be a moment where both of you awkwardly trail off into silence, desperate to think of something to say. When it comes down to it, you can talk about almost anything. “Would you rather fight a hundred duck-sized horses or fight one horse-sized duck?”

4. Offer to split the bill, even if they insist on paying. Common first-date etiquette right there.

5. Don’t talk about how great your Tinder game is. Yep, you may have been on lots of Tinder dates before, and this is one of them, but there’s no way your date wants to hear about the time you went to The Running Bull with this one guy AND got him to buy you drinks all night and then never texted him back the next day. Stay classy.

6. Always be prepared. Be prepared with an excuse to leave in the case that they’re as boring or creepy as hell, or you feel uncomfortable in any way. Be prepared to jump out the bathroom window if you have to. Be prepared with condoms in case one thing leads to another and you go back to their house and…anyway. Be prepared.

7. Hopefully, your date should look like their profile photo. It doesn’t matter whether the lighting is good, whether they took it at the right angle or how much makeup they’re wearing, if you see them and know immediately who they are, then you’re sorted. If they don’t look anything like their picture, you have the right to freak out.

Anyway, that’s what Tinder taught me. I wish you swipers all the best of luck.

Love always,

Bindy Xxx

PS. Even though nothing romantic eventuated from our date, I am happy to say that Timmy and I are still friends today, and have spent some fun times salsa dancing together on Thursday nights.

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