Disclaimer: This article in no way guarantees the sunkissed romance depicted above.
Ah tinder. You really are one of a kind. Nowhere else in the world is it possible to meet people who look totally normal but then turn up to meet you wearing a fedora.
Those of you who, like me, have dipped their toe (dived head first like a desperate dog) into the world of tinder will know that online dating is not without its perils.
For those of you thinking ‘Tinder? Why would I need Tinder? My lovely boyfriend has just bought me a cup of tea and in a minute we are off to walk our dog’ all I can say is:
GO AWAAAAYYYYYYYYY. Enjoy your BRUNCH. I hope your dog falls in the pond and is eaten by an overly aggressive swan.
Anyway HAHAHAHAHA (manic laugh) – moving on.
For those of you who do want some handy hints and tips (i.e. just don’t do anything I’ve ever done basically) then read on!
1)Don’t get emotionally involved too soon.
Here’s the issue with online dating; it’s not really ‘real’ until you’re slap bang infront of the person nervously sipping a glass of wine. Notice I say sipping – see point two.
The problem with the messaging culture is it’s quite easy to get ideas about what someone is like that may not necessarily match up to reality.
Remember – one date does not a relationship make. And ultimately, if you embellish your connection with this person before you’ve even laid eyes on them you will invariably end up crying in the bath over a guy who said the actual sentence ‘I just did a cum in you.’ Maybe.
2)Curb your alcoholic enthusiasm
Take it from someone who has had a shocker, getting heinously shitfaced on a first date is just not alright. Yes it’s bloody scary and yes deadening all your senses via three gin in a tins and no dinner before heading out may seem like the confidence booster you need however it can have pretty dire consequences.
If you’re the kind of gal who can drink for England and remain witty, fun and the best possible version of herself than good on you! I salute you! If you are anything like me and are liable to steal a Mars bar from a shop, develop a laugh that sounds like a hyena and spontaneously undress in someone’s living room (true story – read all about it here) I would say just, you know, take it easy – put some spritz in that wine, have a sneaky soft drink. Believe me the resulting shame flashbacks the next day are just not the one.
3)Remember: it is totally ok to make your excuses and leave
Oh the famous British reserve, a staple of our great nation. Until someone invented tinder and invited every nutcase to sign on up and masquerade as a normal human being. Take it from me, it is totally fine to make your excuses and run. Don’t get me wrong I’m all for giving someone a chance, and at all costs be bloody polite about it, but as someone who found herself being offered the choice of ‘whiskey, absinthe or some weed in a bong’ because it felt rude to say no to one more drink I cannot recommend a swift exit more. Especially when you know it’s not right. Just be honest. Or I dunno, say you’re going to the loo and slip out the door to your Uber.
Do as I say not as I do.
4)Don’t forget the real world
I have nothing* against online dating. It opens opportunities for people to connect quickly and easily in a city that can sometimes feel extremely lonely. But – and this is a big but – all this convenience can mean we stop opening our eyes to the world around us. Let’s face it, nothing beats that feeling when you catch someone’s eye in a bar, or meet someone who genuinely excites you.
As a good friend of mine put it, much more eloquently than I ever could, ‘I spent so much time with my head buried in my phone that I forgot to actually have fun in the moment. I got into the mindset that it didn’t matter if I didn’t flirt with anyone on a night out because I had all these guys just waiting for me in my phone.’
Scary stuff if you really think about it. And it’s not only girls that are noticing it. A guy I went on a date with who has henceforth been known as ‘Unsuitable Aaron’ (a tale for another time) left me with the wise nugget;
‘If tinder takes over we will be left with a nation of teenage boys who have never had the rite of passage of walking up to a girl and being told to fuck off. They’ll also never have that moment of utter bloody euphoria when she says ‘yeah alright I’ll have a drink with you’.
So let’s keep that in mind, put our phones away and have another drink.
*except for introducing me to the guy who picked his nose, ate it and then tried to launch his tongue into my mouth. I hold that against you entirely tinder.
5)Don’t wear something weird.
Let’s get this straight. Individuality is only ever a good thing. I own a dress made entirely of old doily lace that my flatmate assures me makes me look like Miss Havisham’s uglier cousin. My sister once wore only ponchos with pom-poms for an entire winter. Wearing what you want to wear is a basic human right and blending into the crowd is, in my opinion, highly overrated. First dates are an entirely different beast.
Perhaps I should rephrase: don’t wear something you have never worn before. Now is not the time to test out that crushed pink velvet suit (I live in Hackney, we all dress like twats) you ‘just had to have’. Fast forward to when you rock up at the pub looking like something Ab Fab vomited up and you’ll wish you had put your jeans on.
On the other hand if you’re confident enough to carry it off go right ahead – let your freak flag fly. I once went out on a date with a 6ft 5 guy clad in lurid tartan trousers. I liked it and we ended up dating for a while. It can work in your favour but, and here’s the important part, only if you are 100% comfortable.
A very good pal of mine went on a date once in a brand new jumpsuit that looked great standing up but sitting down gave her a wedgie of such horrific proportions that her date pretty much thought she had worms or just had an unnatural fascination with her crotch. Was that ever the look you were going for? Thought not.
6)Remember: it’s always a good story.
I have had a couple of shocking dates. Really, really horrendous. The guy who stated his preference for seating as ‘somewhere with a sofa. Facing a wall preferably – for maximum PDA’ is… nope, definitely not even CLOSE to the worst offender now I come to think of it. Just remember how ever tragic it feels at the time it will be hilarious when you’re recounting it in the pub to your supportive* friends.
My friends have so far been entertained by the guy who threw a tantrum because he lost his sunglasses, ordered me to search through some bushes to find them and then told me he ‘was no longer in the mood to bang me’ – a trough in the peaks and troughs of life. (coming soon to a blog near you. i.e. Here. I’ll be putting it up on here)
They have heard of the guy who ‘jokingly’ locked me in his basement (life.flashed.before.eyes) and the guy who, after recounting a moment where he had beaten the shit out of someone ran his fingers very slowly down the side of my face and said ‘don’t worry I would never hit you…unless you were very, very …naughty.’ TAXI!!!
All these things felt horrific at the time but somehow have become hilarious tales to crack out on a rainy Sunday at the pub. So cut your losses, make your excuses and skip off to find them.
*howling with laughter and calling you a twat