If someone had told my 19-year-old self that a decade from now I’d be single in the midst of a global pandemic encouraging strange men on the internet to wear SPF, I would’ve called you crazy and sent you on your way. But here we are; 10 months into 2020, 10 customised skincare routines by yours truly (all handed out in a COVID safe manner, of course) and I’m still waiting on a third date.
Let me introduce myself – Hi, I’m Alisha; I have an unhealthy obsession with skincare, peanut butter and don’t know how to ride a bike. The three facts aren’t mutually exclusive, but for the purpose of this article (and my dating profile) they are.
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As someone who had been in a relationship for the better part of her twenties, I realised that I had missed out on an unofficial rite of passage: casual dating, specifically swipeable romance. Cue me downloading Hinge, Bumble and Tinder.
After a quick (lengthy, let’s be honest) consult with my closest friends, we had completed the basic info, narrowed down which photos to use and were debating what prompts to go with.
“Banter is the key to a successful online dating experience,” one friend told me, whereas another was adamant in staying true to yourself and “sharing facts.” I landed somewhere squarely in the middle:
Fact 1: We’ll get along if you eat peanut butter straight from the jar.
Fact 2: Believe it or not, I don’t know how to ride a bike.
Fact 3: What if I told you that I’m made up of sugar, spice and skincare advice.
Within hours, the matches rolled in and the conversations began. What I had expected was a slew of pleasantries, the casual “How are you?” or “What do you do for work?” But you never get what you expect, especially not when you put yourself out there online.
Enter: Mark*, a 33-year-old corporate professional who slid into my matches, expressing his desire for something casual. I declined. “Not my thing,” I said. His response? “No worries, let’s meet up for coffee anyways and you can help me out with my skin problems.”