The Blog

Let's Ditch the Groundhog Day Dating Q&A


Most women's issue with Tinder, seems to be receiving unsolicited dick pics. I've never had these. My biggest obstacle, using the app, is that I can't be bothered to answer perfectly polite questions. What did I study at university? Do I commute into London? Where am I from? What do I do?

I attract the most well-mannered men in online dating, but I cannot muster up the inclination to reply. The prospect of answering these questions, is about as enticing as ironing my own eyelids. I'm as eager as I would be to muck out my toilet, after eating an Indian takeaway that's on the turn.

Can't we just have a laugh?

With the last guy I dated, we skipped the small talk, as he already knew everything about me. Writing first person pieces - or confessional journalism - my life is on an online plate. Anyone who's rummaged through my doggy bag, knows I had period sex with a colleague at a Christmas party, did abysmally in my A-levels, and presented a cookery show in my underwear.

Even the features that are meant to be about other people, still contain snippets about me. I interview a bukkake girlin the town where I grew up, and I turn a review of a Gymbox class into a memoir about my mother's aerobics.

There's a view that "confessional journalism" exploits the women who write it, but I'm with the late Nora Ephron, who put it like this: "When you slip on a banana peel, people laugh at you. But when you tell people you slipped on a banana peel, it's your laugh." Of course, some things are private - a notion I wish Sarah Vine would grasp. No one wants to read a reference to sex with Michael Gove, especially when it's likened to fixing a leaky sink.

Now, my first person pieces aren't just about controlling the stories I choose to tell. I've started to think of them as required reading for any would-be bae, in order to sort the men from the boys. It's like the waxing on and waxing off, that Mr. Miyagi gets the Karate Kid to do, before he'll teach him how to fracture a femur. It's like the dragons a knight has to slay, before he gets to marry the princess. It's like the shit you have to sift through in TK Maxx, before you find an off-the-shoulder Herve Leger body-con dress.

If a man will stroll through the minefield of my personal anecdotes, and still stick around, it's a measure of his mettle. The last guy, I suspect, got frost-bitten feet, at the prospect of his teenage sons searching me on Google. And while he was happy to read about my beef with smear tests, I imagine he was less keen for his colleagues to come across my account of a stranger invading my vagina, with a set of plastic serving tongs they'd found in the fridge. He enjoyed spending time with me, but wasn't sure he wanted it to go further.

But making my escapades bed-time reading, isn't just a way to weigh up moral fibre. If everyone on Tinder read my back catalogue of confessions, I wouldn't have to answer the same humdrum questions. What did I study? IT'S IN MY AUTHOR BIO! Why am I single? IT WILL BE OBVIOUS!

I'd like men to do their research, in lieu of us making small talk. I might add a portfolio link to my Tinder, with a note that says: "Here is my life, lick the plate." In return, I'll look them up on LinkedIn, give their Facebook a glance and take a look at their tweets. Surely it's time to ditch the Groundhog Day dating Q&A, when everything about us is online already?

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