So this post (as well as more of my London story), focusses mainly on the app we all know – Tinder. I wanted to throw my thoughts out there around dating through Tinder (I will update on other apps in later posts) before telling you about my first experience with the dating apps. For anyone who is braving the dating scene or those who are a seasoned singleton’s and this app is merely part and parcel of your phone content; I’ve given some brief thoughts, experiences and hints and tips around this app and what my personal advice would be (and remember this is just my personal opinion);
What is it all about?
Tinder is the common red flame that flies (the red flame) for us singletons. For anyone who isn’t aware of tinder. This is what it is all about…
Tinder is an app that helps you match with people based on five or six pictures and a short bio. You can base your searches on age, sex and location (the modern and slightly more creepy ASL of our era. Some one bring back the simpler days of MSN please?). Once you have input your high level criteria, Tinder will then supply you with a plethora of potential profiles to match with. Once these profiles have been generated you then make a decision as to whether you would like to swipe left or right (left – not for you, right – they are for you).
Once you have matched, Tinder will open up a forum in which you and your match can strike up conversation. All makes sense in practice right? Well, here are some pro’s and con’s on the reality of the app…
Pro’s and Con’s
If you are a busy individual, Tinder is a great place to arrange dates. People are there for the same purpose (to meet people). It is easy to set up, easy to use and I have heard of quite a few “happily ever after’s” that have initiated through Tinder. If you are looking to meet people, are new to the area or just generally want to “get back out there” it can be a great starting point.
At one stage, Tinder was my “go-to” to arrange dates. After three years of being single, the appeal is faltering fast and this is not just with Tinder, but with most (not all) of the dating apps. If I am being totally honest around cons of dating through apps, my first con is around how boy’s treat the apps vs. girls. Now, I have a lot of fab guy friends/family and after numerous interesting and hilarious conversations, I have come to the conclusion boy’s basically do this…
Now, that certainly isn’t a generalisation but you know what I’m trying to say… A second con (or observation) is around how a dating apps make you feel as an individual. Me personally, I am a bit of a softie and I am not super confident, so having another person base whether they like me (or not) on a few selfies and a bio probably isn’t great for my own self esteem. Also (this sounds super silly) but messaging someone and not getting a response is a little bit like going in for a high five mid air, only to be left hanging.
Don’t get me wrong using the apps for a while was fun (as you will see) but call me old fashioned’ I much prefer the interaction of a real life human being in a bar, my most successful dating stories have come from meeting people out and about over apps. Pictures can’t paint a chemistry nor can it paint your hilarious jokes and from personal experience it is far easier to explain to a guy face to face that you write a dating blog than over message without him thinking you’re a complete crazy person (they would only be half right)
So my advice, as a seasoned singleton, if you have a self confidence made of steel and aren’t aren’t in a vulnerable place, Tinder is a great place to start dating. But, be warned, I have had my share of horror stories from using this app, so maybe notch your “Prince Charming” dial a few levels and get ready to have some fun as well as cute stories to tell and always BE SAFE!
Anyway, on with the story…
A few months down the line from Matt and a good few nights out with friends, I was already starting to feel better that not all men would be like him. I spent my time investing in myself (I will be posting about healthy break ups soon – so keep an eye out if you are post break up!). After experiencing the stress relief I had felt when I went out on my “post-Matt” run, I had started at a local gym and was hitting it 4 times a week. I was also doing what any lady worth the salt of her rebound would and shopping (usually beyond my means). Life was feeling better as I was developing a tight friendship circle and my anxiety levels following my new work out regime was at an all time low.
After a long week at work and the summer drawing in, Mini and I were spending Friday night doing our usual; getting dolled up in bathrooms at work to embark on our Friday night drunken adventures. As we scuttled around the bathroom performing the act of contouring and lip lining, we chatted about this evenings choice of location. As we are both East London based we usually stay this side of the river. Shoreditch and Hackney are particular regular hot spots. I rarely venture south of the river (the dark side), there are a couple of mistakes that loiter around there and for how big London is, I never fail to bump into them. As we regularly frequented Shoreditch, we decided to stay local (which we hadn’t done before) and embarked on a “Revolution”. I had memories of Revolution Bars from being a youngster up north, memories that I would like to erase, but non the less, pushed down my apprehension and headed out into Liverpool Street.
It was only 6.30 and the bar was already packed playing music loud enough to drown out Mini and I’s conversation. As we walked in, I quickly realised that this evening would be different… in front of us lay a sea of suits (and basically half of the population of Essex).We made our way to the bar (which was a struggle in itself) and after managing to order a bottle of wine went to locate our group and a spot that we could settle in.
The drink were flowing and after adjusting to the noise (I am not 80 years old – honest!) I started to relax and enjoy myself. Looking around; Liverpool Street Revolution was extremely different (and not one of my favourite places if I am being honest). The ceilings were high, marbled floors paved the room and an over-indulgent chandlier hung from the roof. Whilst chatting to the girls, I looked around the room and started to find myself amused by how similar the boys in this place were. Clones of Colchester surrounded us and after a while would start to drift over to the table. After a couple of visits from suits, I realised that the boys were actually replicas of one another and all had a very similar (not so affective) approach.
“Awight Giwl” was the generic greeting. Translation: “Hi beautiful” With a lean in revealing matching pocker-chief tie and if you’re lucky – socks. After the super smooth greeting and a smoothing of the Essex combover; you will then be immersed in hearing more about this catch’s job; he usually works in recruitment, IT sales or trading and is super successful (not a graduate), if the job isn’t enough to impress you; the fact he has been to Marbella or Vegas this year certainly will.
Following a few more bottles of wine and lots of dancing, the night picked up further and the bar continued to cram. We decided some colourful sugar loaded shots would be the thing to continue to spice up the evening, in reality they just made me feel a little sick. As we continued to dance, I suddenly felt a creepy hand on my waist. Hoping it was Miriam, I turned around and in front of me stood a short, Spanish man in leather jacket. Although it was highly offensive that he felt it appropraite to grab a strangers waist, give the man credit, at least he wasn’t in a suit. I awkwardly shuffle danced (you all know the one) back towards the girls, politely declining the charmers advances. Now usually the shuffle dance AWAY from somebody usually sends the vibes that you aren’t interested. Luckily, I have a talent for attracting the best of the best and as such my shuffle dance did not deter short Spanish gent.
He pulled up beside me and in his strong Spanish accent slurred”How are you beautiful?” (whilst continuing to try and put his mitts on my hips) I recoiled. Ew! “I’m great thanks” I replied in the most mono/dis-interested tone I could conjure. However, Spanish man clearly was a fan of the chase (imaginary or otherwise). He continued to talk at me and did not take the hint even when my friends tried to intervene. After 10 minutes or so and basically downing a glass of wine; I was starting to lose patience and when he turned, I quickly took the opportunity to bolt through the crowd. I thought I had finally made my escape when I felt
“Ahh – pretty lady – where are you going, you no want a kiss from me?” he slurred as he pulled me back towards him.
Okay, I couldn’t take this anymore, I pulled my hand away…
“Stop” I hissed and held up my hand like some deranged and drunken power ranger.
As I paced back towards this girls, frustrated by the ordasity of the Spanish creeper (what boy honestly thinks this is okay). I was suddenly halted in my tracks before I could reach my group by a curvaceous Latino looking lady. She pushed my shoulder and in a stronger Spanish accent than the previous Spaniard I had already been subjected to this evening shouted..
“Ey-a skinny lady, why you dis-a-respect by baby brother eh?!” Had I unknowingly stepped into an audition of Anime Latino?! Drunkenly (and certainly not sensibly) I stood my ground. “Well, yes” I raised over the music. “He is just won’t leave me alone, so, yes I am disrespecting him. Okay?” following this response, I also did something that I have never once in my life done before and clicked my fingers at the end of my sentence (Don’t ask, I don’t have an answer for you)
My white girl whip further infuriated the Latino sister, who then began to shout (what I’m going to assume meant bitch or something along those lines) in Spanish at me and advance on my “skinny white ass” (as she so kindly put it) Luckily, I started to back up and got back to my group of girls (thank the lord for the awkward dance shuffle). Following my return to the group, the Latino lady and persistent brother finally retreated. Breathing a sigh of relief after the brief stand off. I decided the only cure was another wine from the bar.
I walked back over to the large marble bar, with my drink order in tow, I was about a metre away when I tripped over a giant umbrella (classic smooth move from your truly). Flustered, drunk and pretty much done with the evening, I recovered myself, what moron would leave a giant umbrella in the middle of a bar I thought to myself.
“Hey! Sorry about that” I looked up at the umbrella perpetrator and felt immediate forgiveness. The owner of the umbrella was 6”2, suited in a classic tweed number (with no sign of matching accessories in sight), he stared over his cute circular glasses “Are you okay?” he asked.
I tried to recover from my embarrassing fall, by flicking my hair (which then whipped him in the face).
We started to chat (turns out a lonely umbrella and blinding someone with a whip of your hair is a great ice breaker). I remember very little of the conversation. He told me his name, his job, about the fact that he had just broken up with his long term girlfriend and even through the drunk haze; I could tell he was pretty cut up about it (boys have feelings too you know). After more shots, dancing (and a cheeky kiss), we decided to call it a night. I took the Umbrella guys number and this is where I will take a moment to emphasise why meeting people in a bar supersedes apps. Nothing ever happened romantically between Umbrella boy and me, however, he is now one of my close friends and I can always rely on him for advice and giggles. The first example; BETTER IN BARS!
The next morning, my head felt the familiar dullness of a hangover. Why did I never learn? As I lay hungover in bed I felt what we all felt in that vulnerable state, the overwhelming need for a cuddle. I flicked through my phone to distract myself, when a small forgotten red flame caught my eye. Now I’m not sure whether there was something was in the air that morning (or I was feeling needy with a hangover) but I opened the app and started to swipe.
As I swiped, Tinder quickly reminded me of why I never used it. As I swiped through and matches popped up; the underwhelming messages and cheesy one liners bored me. I turned to grab water from my side table and as I leaned over my head felt fuzzy. Why, oh why had I mixed my drinks. Wine, shots and then the gin, why gin? Ugh.
My phone buzzed and brought me back from drink-fuelled day dream. I had a Tinder message;
“Currently the only love in my life is Gin”
Ah, gin. At least we had one thing in common. I flicked through his pictures; he was really cute.
“Come on then Miss Funny. Tell me a joke” the message from Tom read. (The Miss Funny comment related to my unimaginative Tinder bio). Truth was I couldn’t be funny on command and after explaining this to Tom, we went on chat (quite a lot).
Turns out Tom and I had more in common than just gin; we liked the same Netflix series, movies, chicken wings, boost chocolate bars (all the important things in life obviously). He had a pretty cool job working for Amazon and after our conversation; we arranged a date for the following week in which I could prove myself as funny,
The following week, date day came around quickly. Through the day, I was in meeting after meeting and skipped lunch (note. this is not great pre-date game as you will soon find out). When 5pm came round and after a standard quick change and spruce in the work bathroom, I walked over to Liverpool Street station to meet Amazon Tom.
After the busy day, I had completely forgotten that I was going on an actual date and this was my second ever real date (I had always had a boyfriend before) and as I walked over, the pre-date nerves set in. What if he didn’t look the same as his pictures? What if we didn’t get on as well in person? What if he asked me about fat fetishes? (the possible disasters where endless) as I turned the corner to our meeting location, I looked around to try and spot Tom’s face when I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned, caught off guard and out of nowhere a gust of wind blew and disheveled my hair that I had just brushed into precise place. And there stood Amazon Tom, granted I hadn’t expected to meet him looking like a confused member of Fraggle rock, here we were face to face. He looked exactly like his pictures, in fact cuter with his little geeky glasses and laptop rucksack. “Hi!” he said (his accent was cute) “Are you okay?” he asked noticing my flustered appearance. “Yeah I’m good thanks, I think I was a bit lost” I lied. Tom laughed. “Yeah it can be a bit confusing with the two entrances right?” I smiled a little uncomfortably, first dates can be so awkward. “Here” he said rummaging in his back pocket, he handed me a boost chocolate bar and (like the chocolate would) I melted and all of a sudden I wasn’t nervous anymore.
Little was I to know, that a lot of things were to come of this evenings date that I would never have dreamed of. Turned out my first Tinder date was going to take an unexpected turn and that Amazon Tom would become a bigger feature in my dating life than I initially imagined….
Thanks for reading again and I hope you enjoy the next post when you can find out exactly what happened on mine and Tom’s first date (gulp!)