It's been a little over a year since I downloaded the app Tinder and wrote The A-Z of Tinder, twice. When it came out, Tinder was a revelation in dating and it's grown in popularity at such a rapid rate that in February this year, Tinder's creator said that it makes 10 million matches worldwide (that is, users who've liked each other) a day, and in March confirmed that it had passed 1 billion total matches made. That's a lot of people potentially getting laid.
During my 'Year of Tinder', as I affectionately call it, I've made 173 matches. I've had conversations with 31 of those matches (I count these as lasting for more than one day) and I've met eight in real life. I seriously dated two of those real-lifers and fell in love with one. I couldn't tell you if this is all normal amount or not. I can however, tell you some hilarious stories about some of them though (in no particular order). Learn from my mistakes, I implore you.
There was Mr. Vegetarian who took me out for breakfast and was so put off by my unwavering love for bacon (and the fact that I insisted all veggies get hard for it) that he cut our breakfast short, told me we'd never work out, got his coat and left.
Then there was Mr. Designer who was so good-looking it was a little off-putting and who jumpstarted my belief that all men on Tinder are damaged from their previous relationship. He talked about his ex so much I kept sarcastically saying '...but you're over her right?!' as he mused over what went wrong. About six months after our first date, he popped up asking to see me before suddenly declaring he was actually seeing someone and didn't want to play two women off each other. When I pointed out that nothing had happened between us, he sent me a text that simply said "yeah but it obviously would". We haven't really spoken since.
Then there was Mr. Mad-Hatter who called me at 5am, to suggest I bring him tea in London Fields before he went to bed. For some bizarre reason, I obliged. Mr. Mad-Hatter had come from an Alice In Wonderland rave so while I was waking up, he was still coming up. Conversation was very difficult through his gurn but that didn't stop him trying to kiss me. He became very aggressive when I declined, throwing my cup of tea on the floor and walking off in a strop. He texted me a few times to apologise before then telling me he wasn't attracted to me in the slightest. The whole thing was laughable.
Then there was Mr. Abroad who after a really quite intense month and a half of dating had to return to work in the Middle East. After numerous conversations about us playing things by ear while we was away, he dropped me like a hot potato. After many months of silence I finally got a reply to one of my numerous emails asking him why he was behaving like a 12-year-old. His response was that he essentially had no need for me any longer but he did kindly extend the offer of him returning to the UK so we could have sex. My reply contained a lot of expletives.
Then there was Mr. Viking who I met two months after we first matched, in Wales at a 30,000 strong festival at 3am because we we're standing next to eachother and I was sober enough to work-out why I recognised him. We had absolutely nothing in common apart from the fact we were very attracted to one-another. We had a lot of fun for a weekend and have not felt the need to speak to one-another since. Not that we spoke much at the time. I think the most interesting conversation we had over those 48 hours was about how the floor in my bedroom slants slightly.
Then there was Mr. Divorcee who I fell in love with and would have given the world to. After our holiday to Crete together, he told me going away was a test to see if he loved me. Although I was everything he could possibly want in a woman, he apparently didn't love me so he felt there was no point in carrying on considering he didn't want a relationship anyway. I wish I felt comfortable painting him as a wanker but he was a lovely man with so much to offer but who 100% hadn't dealt with what happened with his ex wife. WHY DID SHE HAVE TO RUIN IT FOR ME? Bitch.
In my opinion it's been a fairly prolific year. But get this- I haven't dated a single man outside of Tinder during this year and that is a sad reality I'm not very comfortable with. I used to be able to hand out my phone number to men in French Connection (a story for another time) whereas now, without 'It's a Match' in my life, I can't tell if a man fancies me or not. Without a screen between us, small talk has become an art form I can't master and without a dating app offering me a plethora of men to choose from, the London dating scene seems like a very daunting place. I've lost my dating balls and I want them back.
Tinder has killed romance, spontaneity, playing hard-to-get, the chase, the art of conversation, instant attraction. There's instead a rise of people who are more calculated, needy, picky and addicted to instant gratification. Tinder is so new that very few psychological lines have been drawn as to how it changes people's individual perceptions of themselves. I actually don't believe it makes people feel better about themselves but instead worse. When we're all spending time (and sometimes money) making our profiles as 'attractive' to the opposite sex as possible are we not diminishing our actual worth? I am not the best version of myself very often but I'm presenting that online. When I have a bad day and a spot or feel fat, I know I'd be a letdown to any man on Tinder IRL. As well as thousands of men judging me, I'm actually judging myself too. That's not empowering. That's not healthy. This American photographer will take a Tinder headshot for you for a mere $75 siting that he take a photo that shows 'your true self, or a slight better looking version'. The harder you try on Tinder, the more false the advertising and the more likely you are to be hurt.
So thank-you Tinder but I'm out. Thanks for the experience. Thanks for giving me some hilarious stories. Thanks for making 'Tinder' the most popular last name in my phone book. But most of all, thanks for making me realise that the old-fashion way is probably the best way forward.