I think I’ve become a stereotype. I must be because I’ve joined Tinder. This is a place where you can “like” other people based on their Facebook profile photos.
I’ve been on there just under a week and have, as well as being contacted by people on Tinder, been contacted by people outside of Tinder, to tell me that they just saw me on Tinder.
If I wanted to be discrete about dating, I’ve clearly gone to the wrong place.
According to the guys, Tinder is brimming with ladies looking for hook ups and those wanting a text relationship only. Most have Marilyn Monroe quote and an out of date photo.
Having only looked at the blokes, I can’t say whether the above is true or not but there’s enough of them protesting about it that it must be relatively accurate.
The blokes are not without their trends however.
Most have at least one bearded photo. Some are super beardy coupled with the hair style of long and swept over on top and short on the back and side. Your average Tinder man also has photos of his tattoos, a selfie taken in the mirror of a bathroom or public loo, a skiing photo, a bare chested waterfall photo and a picture with a tiger/lion/monkey/turtle.
As his career he is probably a photographer/musician or creative director.
He, if he is true Tinder material, will also state his height.
Some Tinder men have claimed that the Tinder ladies have a tendency to be misleading, some specifically sharing their distrust of drawn on eyebrows. I know some women are a bit heavy with the tweezers and then find themselves filling in the gaps later in life. Trust me, ladies look better with drawn on eyebrows than with none at all. Women without eyebrows look like aliens. Not everyone is brave enough to get the gaps filled with permanent makeup (as I have) and the fact is, high cortisol levels created by the stress of modern day life can kill off a fine pair of eyebrows in a few months. Trust me, ladies do not like having to draw on their eyebrows any more than a man enjoys accidentally smudging them but unless the fellas plan on donating some of their beard follicles then we’ll all have to deal with the potential for a little brow baldness.
So on the subject of baldness, why do the bald guys have their initial profile picture of themselves wearing a hat, and each subsequent non hatted image with the top of their head cropped out of shot? We learn from this Tinder experiment that women find men with a full head of hair more attractive. It doesn’t hide the fact they’re bald. It just prevents me from seeing what their head looks like. Surely the aim is that we eventually meet, and that in that initial meeting they will bring their head, albeit a bald one. I’d like to know now what form it takes so that I can recognise the cone/moon shaped figure that approaches me.
There is also a popular phrase from the boys “If you don’t look like your pictures, you’re buying the drinks until you do.” There isn’t a great deal of original humour on there. I did see one guy who had misquoted it and said “If I don’t look like you’re pictures, I’m buying the drinks until you do.” How incredibly gracious to pay for the evening out until you look like his bearded-clone.
What is appealing about Tinder is the shallowness of it. Let’s be honest, in any online dating arena you react to the photo first and hope that the other stuff fits if you like the look of them. Sometimes it doesn’t so we lie to ourselves to make them fit just so that we can have an experience of being near someone who tickled our visual sensors. “Oh wow he looks lovely and he is looking for someone sporty…that’s not me…although I do like sport a bit…in fact I’ve been meaning to become more sporty…”
So you get to go with your gut (or your eyes) which in many ways we would probably do anyway. We tend to make decisions about people within 5 seconds of meeting them, the difference here is that a poor photo angle, bad lighting, posture captured at the wrong moment or an unflattering pair of sunglasses might have you make the wrong swipe decision and you’ll never know what might have been.
The other downside is getting to know people relies entirely on pro activity. There’s no real clues in advance if you’re any kind of match. You have to be prepared to initiate a text conversation or better still a face to face meeting because you won’t have much opportunity to learn from people’s profiles. Many didn’t bother writing anything and those that do will either promote their Instagram, website or tell you about their skiing habits and that they have a distrust of Marilyn Monroe quotes.
The majority who start a text conversation just want to feel connected. They don’t care who you really are, they don’t want to know you. They just want someone to call “babe” or “hun.” Both of these make me want to vomit. When was it ok to act so familiar with someone you haven’t met? I hate it if my friends talk to me like that and I’ve known them all my life. When did “tell me what you’re wearing..” Move from the arena of creepy caller to standard conversation? One Tinder match asked me to share a photo of what I was wearing the other day. I replied “I’m in Wagamamas”. It wasn’t a euphemism, I really was. He responded with “hmm” and I haven’t heard from him since.
There’s also a lot of people who are not really available. I’ve had 3 marrieds so far one that was looking for someone to join him and his wife. (Politely declined).
I’ve also seen a fair few people from the kinky end of the spectrum. Today a perfectly good looking heterosexual man said he did like felching occasionally. I had to Google that. I wish I hadn’t.
I like looking at faces, especially good looking ones, but I’m missing the chance to say that I’m exceptionally talented at finding four leafed clovers, or that I think my cats might be homosexual or that I am currently enjoying Battlestar Galactica on Netflix and that I cannot ski. That I am really tight with x’s at the end of messages because I think they are meaningless unless, if you were with the person in real life, you would actually be kissing them at the end of having said that sentence. So why put them at the end of every sentence? The only thing the end of a sentence needs as standard, is a full stop.
In addition, I can be a bit awkward about meeting new people but actually have loads to say and I genuinely like Wagamamas.
I hate dating though, I really do. Some people love the “butterflies” but I am entirely disturbed by these and much prefer it 6 months+ down the line when you’ve got so comfortable with someone being with them is like getting into your favourite pair of pyjamas. You can accidentally burp loudly and not spend the next week wondering whether you might have put them off for good because you know ultimately, that you can be as silly as you like and they’ll still like you just the way you are.
“I like to be blonde all over.”
– Marilyn Monroe