Last week a friend of mine, and fellow blogger Simone, wrote a piece on her blog about Tinder (the dating app infamous for creating matches based on the superficial first impression you get when you see someone for the first time) and I thought, seeing as Valentine’s Day is technically my Tinder-versary (I had my first Tinder date on Valentine’s Day last year) I should share with you my thoughts and the things that I have learned after a year of internet dating.
1. Internet Dating Is Fun
While I was skeptical of the internet dating at first, as soon as I had my first date, I knew I would enjoy it. I have met SO MANY lovely guys, who have made me laugh, are wonderful company and some, even fantastic friends that I still stay in contact with. I’ve had a date at that place with all the trampolines (Bounce, Inc), had a Neon Run date in the city, have gone to food festivals, was introduced to a rad blues band who’s base player is an old dude rockin some grey tracky dacks like no one’s business, spent an entire date at a chocolate cafe, had a nudie swim in the pools at South Bank, had a long ride on the back of a motorbike – I even got my fantastic job-on-the-side on the boat through a Tinder date! But of course, for me, the best part is getting to know someone you wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to meet – it can truly change the way you think about your world (and if you’re anything like me, give you SERIOUS wanderlust!)
2. It’s All In The Attitude
Of course, all of these fantastic opportunities came to me because of the attitude I have about internet dating, and this is what it is:
I want to meet new people and have some fun. I go in with no expectations (other than my personal safety and respect) and I’m not looking for anything in particular, but I’m open to it if it comes my way.
To be honest, I don’t believe I am in a head-space where I am ready for a relationship. There is so much I still want to do by myself and learn about myself, but that doesn’t mean I can’t meet nice guys, have some fun, and yes, have sex. I’m confident enough to know what I want and have enough common sense to make sure I am safe about it. If there is someone who wants more from me than what I am willing to give, I’m honest about that too.
It’s also important to be confident in who you are. It may take a while to find what it is you like about yourself, and those that you want to attract like about you (sometimes the superficial stuff is fun), or even what you are and aren’t comfortable with when you are intimate with someone, but be confident that you are a lovely person who deserves to have some fun, and it will help you to relax, meaning you are more likely to have an enjoyable date.
3. You Will Go On A Dud-Date
Or two. Or three.
… The point is, they happen.
I’ve had the mediocre dates, where online they chat to you constantly, but when you meet them, they’ve got nothing to say. Or the guys that are perfectly nice, and funny, and you get along with them great, but they are so self-deprecating it becomes a turn off. While they aren’t great, they could be much worse. For example;
I had been asked on a 7pm date on a Wednesday afternoon and had picked a favourite bar of mine, Canvas, to meet him. His Tinder profile had several photos of an attractive guy and a spiel about being a PT but “that doesn’t mean I can’t hold a decent conversation”. While I was a little skeptical, I went to the date anyway, which was a short 15 minute walk from my house.
I arrived 5 minutes early, and the guys behind the bar set me up with a booth nearby so that if he was a creep they could “sort him” for me. We laughed, I sat, and over walked some random plump dude I have never seen before in my life who leans in to shake my hand saying, “Miranda?”.
I was obviously shocked, but we sat and had a drink, chatting awkwardly, and while I fiddled with the menu, he asked, “Oh, haven’t you had dinner yet?”
“Umm. No, I haven’t. Have you?”
“Yeah, I ate before I came here”(It was 7.30)
As strange as that was, at least I knew I could leave pretty easily, so at 7.45 I mumbled something about needing to go and after walking me out, and me insisting I was fine to walk – no REALLY I’m fine – he leaned in for the kiss, which I dodged then quickly scuttled away.
(I ended up going back to Canvas on a date with myself and god, the food was incredible, and a drink the bartender made for me is now on the menu)
Yeah. THAT happened.
My point is, even though I was COMPLETELY catfished, I’ve got a good story out of it and I can’t help but laugh when I think of Mr.Catfish
4. No Matter What You Do, You Will Come Across Creeps
Creeps are also one of those unavoidable things that happen, but to their credit, holy HELL, do they have balls!
My tip for this, is honestly, don’t let them get to you. In fact, find the humour in it. I think it might be how they get their kicks and the reality is, you don’t know them, they don’t know you, life goes on.
Laugh. Delete. Block.
Also, be mindful, there are some angry people out there who will take things way too seriously (like you having a life or not being interested so you don’t reply) and just yell. It’s not you. Repeat above steps.
5. People Don’t Expect You To Be Honest
Which I just think is super weird.
One of the most common things I’ve been told by my dates is that I’m very straightforward and honest and it’s refreshing. Which is great, but, why wouldn’t I be?
Maybe I missed the memo but honesty is just how I roll.
It’s worked out well for me so far at least, and I know I appreciate honesty reciprocated, so give it a crack.
6. OkCupid > Tinder
If you are going to get into the internet dating world, OkCupid is a far better option. Tinder is fun, but people usually go on there for the compliment after a while than to actually date so don’t always chat very often, or they use it just for the hookup, so if that’s not what you want, it’s not a great place to look.
OkCupid on the other hand, has more information about the people and you’re much more likely to have someone to talk to, in my experience. There’s a match rating which can sometimes be helpful, and they’ve adopted the best things about Tinder into the app too. It will also tell you what people are looking for and if they fill things out it shows you things you have in common and can chat about.
Basically, I think internet dating is a great thing. The stigma is fading and mostly, it’s fun. It’s a great way to meet new people and if you don’t put too much pressure on it you’ll have a great time.
Don’t forget to join the Faraway Friendship Project by 15th Feb