dating

"It blew my mind": Voice notes completely changed how I date online.

Have you ever sent a complete stranger a voice note? 

I did. 

And guess what? It blew my mind.  

Watch: Here's a very accurate depiction of the horoscopes virtual dating. Post continues below.


Video via Mamamia.

Let me give you some context. 

Time management has always been a bit of an issue for me. Between balancing a job, uni, a consistent gym schedule, meal prepping, content creation and freelance writing, there’s been more than one occasion where I’ve forgotten to text my mum back.

Terrible, I know.

So, when it comes to dating, I’ve got no time for games. Especially after having the below scenario play out one too many times:

It’s 11pm and you can’t sleep. You think, ah... may as well jump on Tinder, see what’s out there. Hours later, you find someone that ticks all your boxes. Great!

So, you start texting... some cheeky flirting thrown in for good measure (of course) and soon you find yourself in a playful exchange. He suggests you grab drinks that weekend and you say yes. You’re hopeful, excited even. 

But, one drink in and you realise his on-screen banter is nowhere to be found IRL.  

Listen: Abbie Chatfield called 000 and ended up on a date. Post continues below.

You check your phone. Exactly 50 minutes before you can call it a night, get into your robe and binge watch season two of The Circle

You continue to sip on your vodka soda while your date drones on about his weekend plans. You nod politely and think, 'Was this really worth my NARS foundation?'

ADVERTISEMENT

A snapshot of my Bumble profile. Image: Supplied 

I knew it was time to shake things up.

Let me introduce you to the concept of voice notes.

If you’re sitting there cringing at the thought of recording your own voice and sharing it with a total stranger, you wouldn’t be the first person to tell me this is the stuff nightmares are made of. When I first told my friends (via voice note, of course) of my newest dating strategy, they thought I was a little crazy. 

I argued that a) I was already a big voice noter, so why should I change my style of communication, and b) I could not waste any more expensive makeup on another man whose digital wit translated to dull dead air. NARS deserved better. Hell, I deserved better.

Image: Supplied 

ADVERTISEMENT

They agreed, but were quick to point out that just because they had adopted my voice note style of communication didn’t mean that strangers were going to do the same. After all, in the game that is online dating, the person on the other side of the screen doesn’t owe you anything.   

With nothing to lose, I decided to roll the dice and start fresh on Bumble (the only dating app I noticed offered the audio recording functionality). I swiped... a lot, waited for the matches to roll in and then began recording. 

Out of the 25 voice notes I’d sent, I was expecting maybe one or two to reply and the rest to have ghosted me. 

To my surprise, however, I woke up and 85 per cent had responded... via voice note. 

This was going to be fun. 

Image: Supplied 

ADVERTISEMENT

Within seconds of playing the first message, I knew this was a GAME CHANGER. 

Hearing someone’s voice makes you see them in a new light. I wanted to give everyone a fair chance, but I couldn’t help but catch myself smiling at some responses, whereas others left me unphased. 

Image: Supplied 

Why was that? As humans, we crave connection and that’s partially why dating apps have been so successful. The abundance of choice paired with convenience is the perfect combination to tease out the possibility of companionship. 

However, when you’re able to flip between men like you would a magazine, it’s easy for compatibility to be lost in text translation. When there’s a voice attached to someone’s profile it humanises them and gives you a taste of what you might be in for should you choose to progress to a date. 

As for the voice notes I received, I began to pick up on their energy. 

Some were awkward and reserved. That wasn’t going to work. Next. 

Some were too monotonous, and for some, their uninspiring text chat was exactly what had translated in their voice note. Cull. 

I realised quickly that my ears picked up on inflection. Whenever I heard a warm and inviting voice that spoke with intention, my auditory senses went into overdrive. The connection that formed was indescribable, sensual even. 

ADVERTISEMENT

I knew from the instant rush I felt that there was going to be chemistry when we met. I found that without these vocal cues, navigating my matches felt tedious which often led to app fatigue.    

As dating coach Matthew Hussey put it: 'Why waste three hours on a date when you can spend five minutes on the phone figuring out if you can actually connect with someone?' 

And he’s right. 

While I wasn’t quite ready to embrace calling men out of the blue, the process of integrating voice notes into my dating life had made the apps fun again. It became a good way for me to suss out if there was a connection and develop a sort of intimacy without being 'too intimate' with a total stranger. 

I’d found a happy medium between texting and having a phone call that worked with my busy lifestyle. And now, rather than dread when I get a new message, I find myself looking forward to hearing the other person out. 

Image: Supplied 

A couple of months ago, I got into a voice noting frenzy with a Bumble match (who I’ll admit, was 100 per cent my type). I remember telling a girlfriend about him, giggling like a schoolgirl while I showed her his profile. She didn’t understand the appeal. 

ADVERTISEMENT

I played her a snippet of our conversation where I had asked him when his birthday was. 

His reply?

"I turn 32 in September, so I’m a Virgo. Classic Virgo traits... perfectionist... loyal... amazing lover... haha, no I just made that last bit up... or did I?"

Now... if we had been texting on the apps and I’d read that, I probably would’ve cringed, given a half-ass reply and the conversation would’ve petered out pretty quickly. 

Unfortunately, we can’t include the audio in this article due to privacy and all that so, you’ll have to take my word for it when I say the delivery and that cheeky laugh of his... ooft! Well, it left me wanting more.  

So, I set you this challenge: In a world where we curate our texts as carefully as our Instagram feeds, why not flip the script on dating and send your next match a voice note?

Because who knows? Their voice might be just what you’re looking for.  

See more from Alisha on her Instagram

What do you think of voice notes and dating? Would you try it? Share with us in the comment section below. 

Feature Image: Supplied

Want a cheeky $50? Tell us what you think
MMSurvey