23 Apr 2014

AHOY SEXY: My Experience On Tinder

So some of you may remember that a few months back, I wrote a pretty scathing review of Tinder. But, alas, I bumped into a friend on the train on my way back to Exeter and he persuaded me to get it. I ummed and aahed for an extended period of time, but finally gave in. I handed over my phone (reluctantly I might add), and he carefully went through my Facebook pictures to choose the "perfect assortment." To the untrained eye, I was the ultimate catch.  Well, that was the plan anyway. He came up with a couple goofy lines for my bio, but I thought I'd best leave it blank. After all, it's not like I was taking any of it seriously...or was I?

My goodness is Tinder addictive. There's something so unforgivably titillating about it that I found myself losing sleep over it. Literally. I could stay up on it for hours, just mindlessly swiping pictures of men. Gosh that makes me sound perverted. But there's no point denying it - it's just so compulsive that you don't even need to flick your brain in gear before you use it. Just one more, you tell yourself, just one more. If you have managed to escape Tinder up until now, I urge you to keep it that way...particularly if you are in the middle of revising for exams or writing essays. It was quickly becoming my number one procrastination method....no more listening to remixes of Let It Go from Frozen...it's Tinder time.

So far the conversations have been pretty PG, well, relatively. I haven't started any conversations (apart from a joke one with my friend on the train), so I've let the men do the talking. There have been a lot of "hey! how are you?" type things - no awkward chat up lines thank goodness. One guy discussed his love of "McBusted" and how excited he was to be going to their concert. One guy took it a little far with the euphemisms. I stopped responding when he insisted on discussing his "wood." I told him I wasn't a very good carpenter, and left it at that. Another one told me he'd drive all the way over to see my "gorgeous ass." Where he got that from, I do not know. (Note to readers: I'm not posting pics of my "ass" on Tinder.)

But after having Tinder for less than 2 days, I decided it was time to hop off the band wagon. I realised that it was the worst waste of my time, ever. I'd racked up 51 matches in approximately 30 hours, but still didn't feel satisfied in any way, partly because I know some guys just "like" everyone for the hell of it, plus...it seems so insincere basing someone's worth on a few pictures. I won't deny however that it was pretty entertaining, and that was my main reason for using it. I was certainly not looking for love, or a quick hook-up. Basically, I wasn't treating it as a "dating app", and any guy that asked for my number received a resounding "no." I was treating it as an "I'm bored, let's do something fun" app, with a "this could be good material for my blog" mentality. Consequently, I spent quite a lot of time staring in disbelief at my iPhone. Most of the men reminded me of really poor quality advertising campaigns. I'm not expecting every guy to be an Orlando Bloom lookalike, but don't post really cringeworthy pictures of yourself looking like a douche. Let me elaborate:

What is it with the iPhone mirror selfies? I mean seriously. They make me want to tear my eyes out of my sockets. I genuinely have an acute aversion to this sort of picture, particularly when guys do it, and particularly when every single Tinder picture is an iPhone mirror selfie. Maybe that sounds sexist, but it really grates on me. And what is with the creepy under the sheets ones of you lying in bed? NO. JUST NO. Stop making love to the camera, it's creeping me out. And stop posting multiple pictures of just a third of your face, or only choosing pictures of you and a bunch of ten other guys. This should be your dating passport, and it gives me a headache trying to work out which one you are. Make it SIMPLE. It's not rocket science. Oh, and it's cute that you like your dog, but does it really have to appear in every single picture? How many angles of the dog's face are there? And why do you insist on hiding behind your dog in every single picture?

OK, so you may have good abs, or biceps, or whatever part of your body. But goodness gracious: put them away. The odd shot of you on the beach with your swimming trunks on is fine, but mirror selfies of you tensing is not a good look. Frankly, it makes you looks arrogant. Like I said earlier, anything involving a phone and a mirror is an immediate me no likey, left swipey.

Men with babies and children: ?!?!?!?!. In EVERY photo. Maybe it's your niece, or godson, or whoever...but when every picture is of you snuggling up to a bunch of kids like they're your own (maybe they are, maybe they aren't), I'm running a mile. Who are you trying to find? Playmates for your kids? Probably best to crop out the kids, or get the hell off Tinder. Moron. Hang on a sec, that was a bit harsh. If you're a single Dad, looking for luurve, please put it in your bio. I'm not ready to be a Step Mother just yet, so I'd like a little pre-warning.

You'd also think that in this age of super technology, offensively blurry photos would be something of the past. Apparently not on Tinder. Look, I'm not expecting microscopic HD quality where every pore on your skin is visible (that would probably be pretty unflattering for anyone), but when all your photos are as blurry as my vision is when I'm not wearing contact lenses...we got a problem. Get yourself a decent camera, or find a better picture. When the entirety of your face is pixellated, what is the point? And don't pretend you're going for the "artsy" look - this is Tinder, not Instagram. Sort it aaht.

When you say you're 22, but look 50....ummm, yea. Maybe you're one of those unlucky souls who is aging prematurely, but unlikely. Go find someone your own age. Perve.

Tinder has apparently become the platform to showcase peoples' extreme sporting capabilities - from skiing, snowboarding, skateboarding, motor racing...As a skier myself it's nice to see someone else that also skies - I feel a connection. But if every pic is of you going down the mountain clad head-to-toe in bulky ski stuff, a balaclava and a helmet, I'm not digging it. Likewise with the scuba diving pictures. I also scuba dive, but if every photo is of you wearing Jupiter sized goggles, a wetsuit, and a massive tank on your back....hey, maybe I'm just being shallow.

One last thing. Dude, don't write in your bio: I like golf swimming climbing music gym biking etc. Ever heard of a comma? Apparently not...It's that little thing located on your keyboard and it looks like this "," <--- do us a favour, and use it. Love from the Grammar Nazi.

So there you have it - my experience with Tinder. It's safe to say that I will never, ever, return.

NB: This article is supposed to be OTT and ridiculous...somewhat, anyway ;)

2 Apr 2014

Am I The Only One Not Getting Engaged?

Engagements seem to be a daily occurrence on my Facebook newsfeed. I can't seem to wake up without being bombarded with sparkly rings, and pictures of smiling couples, kissing couples, "we're so perfect together" couples. Of course I'm happy for them (I truly am), but am I jealous? ERRR, nope. Not that engagements are a bad thing - I just can't see myself tying the knot anytime soon. So that queue of men following me around, ready to drop down on one knee: like, back off. I know you're there in your invisibility cloaks.

In the 1950s I would have been described as the "ripe old age of 22" - my Granny got married at my age, but already considered herself "on the shelf". I'm just hoping that a woman's shelf life in the 2010s is a little longer than in the 1950s, otherwise I'm screwed (any eligible bachelors out there? We have until December!) I might as well sign up to a nunnery now. Wait...would I even qualify? I'd probably be one of those "naughty nuns" people go as to fancy dress parties, with an offensively short habit. I'm kidding, I'm kidding. I've been spending too long in the library...

I can't help but think that I'm way too young to be getting married. It feels like I've only just hit puberty. Nah, I'm joking. But I don't feel like I'm mature enough to think about the future yet - I'm still happy just figuring out life, and making mistakes, and living a little. I don't want to settle down with anyone before I've figured out what really matters to me. Maybe that sounds a little selfish, but isn't that part of the luxury of being in your twenties? That state of drifting, not really knowing the precision of your identity, and not really caring either. Maybe this sounds all rather silly, but that's how I feel sometimes. Responsibilities are there, but you can afford to throw your eggs in multiple baskets.

When you've got a dissertation to write and exams to revise for etc., I don't know how you're supposed to fit a fiancé into the equation anyway. And where the hell am I supposed to find him? Between a stack of library books? The only other place I tend to hang out is the gym, but I don't have a great track record (see post below). And contrary to popular belief, the TP and Arena dance floors don't tend to be ideal hotspots for blossoming love affairs. Just sayin'.

Between the all-nighters in the library eating my bodyweight in Mini Cheddars, and the sweaty gym classes, my life isn't currently cut out for romance, let alone a fiancé. Maybe I'm not the relationship type. A male friend once told me that I don't give off the "relationship vibe". I'm not quite sure what this vibe amounts to, or how I'm supposed to catch it, but I'm curious nonetheless. I have friends who are always in and out of relationships - always. My best friend and I couldn't be more opposite when it comes to dating. She's spent the majority of her tween years (teen and twenties) in long-term relationships. I genuinely don't know how she does it. And then there's me, the ultimate failure. Even Bridget Jones had two men fighting over her. Where are mine? Men: START PUNCHING EACH OTHER (it'll make me feel better).

Fear not dear readers, I am not actually feeling that "man weepy" (a stunning phrase a couple of my friends have used to describe their mental state in the month of February). Contrary to my rants, I'm perfectly content being single. Because nothing feels as good as Beyoncé's Single Ladies playing in a nightclub, and actually being able to throw both hands in the air, hoping that I'll be plucked from a crowd of other desperate hopefuls....I will live in the hope that if he likes me that much, he'll put a ring on it. And then I'LL be the newly engaged gal on the block....