Then you realise: It’s Tinder. Fucking Tinder. And then you slowly sink behind your paper for the rest of the ride.
I was first introduced to this wonderful little app back in August. I sat in a pub in Brixton, “tindering”, for well over an hour with two of my best mates doing the exact same thing either side of me. We debated whether or not it was a superficial exercise, whether it was an effective means of meeting normal people in this city and whether we were sad for finding it so unbelievably satisfying. We came to no real conclusions except for the fact that it was probably in some way a win for feminism in order to make our day seem a little less of a waste of time.
Tinder, I believe, is what you make of it. Most of my single (and some not-so-single) friends are on it for an array of different reasons: to find love, lust, a lunch date, and, quite simply, an ego boost.
I, personally, took great pleasure in winding people up on it. I’ve claimed to be stuck in a burning building, have told innocent males that I work at the McDonald’s drive-thru in Wandsworth and that they should stop by for a cheeseburger, that I’m actually a man and that I hoped they’d be cool with my prosthetic leg. I have to say, the responses were marvellous. My favourite message to date was from a man who was looking for a third person to join him and his wife; I politely declined and told them I hoped they’d find what they were looking for. I’m sure they probably did; as I say, Tinder is what you make of it.
I’m pretty sure I’ve babbled on before about how I completely disagree with online dating and how nobody in this city talks any more, right? Well I am about to completely contradict myself and explain why this phenomenon is a little different: you don’t waste time labouring over a dating profile explaining why you are ‘The Ultimate Human’, you get cute prompts in your inbox to get chatty with your match, you can see your mutual friends prior to the date and act like you had “no idea they knew Kempie”.
The array of both love and horror stories that you hear will warm your heart and make any tinderer tap in just one. more. time.
If you need more persuading, look to your Tinder champion. Everybody knows one. Mine is free from inhibitions, in all aspects of her life, striding fearlessly into the arms of men she has met online. Some dates go well and end up with them writing songs about her, others, let’s just say, do not (although I think that has more to do with the fact that she’s been caught taking photographs of them like a perverted Tinder pap). She has, however, encouraged even the most unlikely of humans to download it.
And that’s how I ended up on a Tinder date.
I arrived an hour and a half late. He had already begun to head home as a result. I had two (surprisingly strong) gin and tonics prior to meeting him and was finding it hard to walk. I was wearing ballet flats; he turned out to be just as tall as he said he was. All in all it was a recipe for a complete disaster.
As I sat on the tube to London Bridge, I thought: “What on earth am I going to do if he thinks I’m less fit than I am in my pictures?” and “What if he thinks I’m boring?”, “What if it’s cringe, awkward, or I can’t escape if I want to?”, “What if I fall over, drop my drink or get spinach in my teeth?” (We weren’t even going for dinner. And I don’t like spinach).
Three months later and he’s left for work while I write in his kitchen.
I met my match and haven’t looked back since.
Give it a go. If it goes badly just say I told you to do it.