real life

"All of a sudden, I’m in love with a bloke I met on an app."

Rachel Corbett

I found love on Tinder.

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 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:

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The phone guy

Who called me three times for an hour-long conversation but never asked me out on a date (always great when you’ve made a career out of the art of conversation but apparently can’t drum up anything sparkling enough to warrant a dinner invitation).

The copy and paste guy

This guy opened up the dialogue with the words ‘Dear Natalie’ then quickly followed it up with ‘Cut and paste fail right there!  What a schoolboy error!’ (I almost went out with him purely based on that reply).

This guy responded with ‘what would it take to convince you to come over here right now and polish off a couple of bottles of wine with me?’

Quick draw McGraw

After I wrote the ever-original ‘Hi’, this guy responded with ‘what would it take to convince you to come over here right now and polish off a couple of bottles of wine with me?’  It was 2 o’clock in the afternoon.  Clearly he should have been contacting his sponsor.

But just as the writer in me was beginning to envisage the years of hilarious dating stories ahead and the best selling ‘Tales from the App De Jour’ book that would follow – BAM!  I start chatting with a guy and six hours later we’re sitting in a bar conversing over a couple of drinks and planning our next date.  Then the next date turns into another one and another one and another one until all of a sudden, I’m in love with a bloke I met on a f*cking app.   Typical.  Next thing you know my dad will tell me he’s an ATM technician.

So if you’ve avoided Tinder because you think that your ‘nice to meet you’ text will be met with ‘how about a f*%&’ (I’m not promising the Tinder waters are completely free of these idiots) or because you think finding a lasting relationship on something you downloaded from iTunes is an impossibility, think again.

If I can come out of the dating dark ages and into the shining light of a completely modern relationship, then anyone can.

Rachel Corbett is a radio presenter, writer and performer.  She can currently be heard weekly on the Paul and Rach podcast and writes about health, fitness and how ridiculous drinking quinoa milk is at www.theallergykid.com

Have you tried using Tinder? And if you have, were you lucky enough to find love?