Dear God. I never thought I’d hear those words, let alone say them.
I’ve always been your quintessential ‘old school’ dater with a fear of ‘going online’ that rivals my 76 year old father’s fear of ATMs … you just can’t trust them. The unfortunate consequence of this irrational refusal to keep up with the times, however, is that my dance card usually has one entry on it every three and a half years.
The reason for this approach is that I really liked my life the way it was and felt absolutely no sense of urgency to find someone to share it with. If Mr Right was out there, I thought we’d find each other through the natural course of things and if we didn’t, it just wasn’t meant to be … and I’d start learning to like cats.
My roommate was an early Tinder adopter and my inspiration to join modernity. Every second night she’d wander into our lounge room like Carrie Bradshaw off on another evening of potential Sex in The City. She wasn’t expecting these dates to be the beginning of forever, nor was she whoring herself around town. Most of the time she’d just have a great night, thank the guy and start getting ready for the next one.
I envied her joyous nonchalance. She knew she could date seven nights a week if she wanted to, so no single date had the gravitas that tends to be present if you’re only ‘putting yourself out there’ twice in a decade. Plus, she was meeting a whole raft of people she would have never bumped into naturally and all from the comfort of her jim jams.
In a time where it’s harder and harder to meet really ‘good’ people I couldn’t help but be attracted to the way it opened her world up. So I downloaded the app, chose my three ‘best foot forward’ Facebook pics and got to swipin’.
The first thing I noticed was that I quickly grew a set of dating balls I would NEVER have cultivated in the real world. The number of times I’ve caught eyes with a cute guy across the cantaloupes and turned away for fear his girlfriend would pop up from where she’d been bending down to grab some tinned tomatoes, or that he would catch me looking and be incapable of hiding his ‘you’ve got to be kidding’ reaction.
Here however, I could not only look back, I could walk right up to him and say ‘I think you’re cute’ just by swiping to the right. If he thought I was cute too, great but if not, there was no public humiliation and I was probably 15 swipes further along and had forgotten about him anyway. As the matches started to come through, I became something I’d never been before – a woman with options.
As I wasn’t desperate to date, I decided I would only meet up with guys where it was clear there was great conversational chemistry. You could spend all week going on awkward dates with every ‘so what do you do for work?’ conversationalist, but this way I knew that even if there was no attraction, we’d still have a great time. The theory worked and the two dates I went on were awesome. Great guys, great fun and on our way we went. Meanwhile at the same time I was having a whole bunch of conversations that were never going to go anywhere but were becoming rather addictive fodder for dinner conversation with my mates. There was: