Never fear, your Girl About Town is alive and well! She’s just been licking her wounds after her most recent heartbreak. (Yes, I did get on that plane to meet Skype Boy. No, he didn’t turn out to be the love of my life – the less said about that the better!)
So, onwards and upwards. Like many singletons, it was a lonely Christmas Eve and I found myself finally giving in to the allure of Tinder – the internet dating app craze that’s sweeping the nation. For the uninitiated, it’s basically a quick-fire hot-or-not/speed dating game. Profile photos come up on your screen and you simply swipe left for ‘no thanks’ and right for ‘phwoar’. Well, I do anyway. Only if you’ve both ‘swiped right’ can you then start talking to each other through the Tinder text function.
Simple: yes. Shallow: maybe. Addictive: you betcha. Would Jesus Tinder? I don’t know, why don’t you ask him?
Whatever your apprehensions about the app, it’s a fascinating exploration of human nature and attraction. So I’ve decided to provide my fellow female daters with a guide to the crazy world of Tinder. You can thank me later.
Here are eight things you’ll discover on Tinder:
1) You’ll judge a book by its cover
Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? But GAT’s been surprised at the speed at which I’ve swiped left immediately for the following: tattoos, topless shots (leave a bit to a lady’s imagination, why don’t you, Buff Boy?); swear words in a profile – if you’ve only got a few lines in which to showcase yourself, why be a potty mouth? What would Mummy GAT think? And also, taking a photo of yourself in your bathroom mirror (with phone in shot) makes me wonder: why don’t you have any friends who could have taken the photo for you? Maybe you don’t have any friends. Why don’t you have any friends? What’s wrong with you? Did you kill somebody? (GAT has a somewhat hyper-active imagination.)
2) You’ll realise boys are gross
“I wish you were my big toe,” came an introductory text from a Tinder ‘match’. “Oh, really? Why’s that?” I reply, innocently. “So I could bang you on every bit of furniture.” Oh. Yuck. Rather than getting into the long and complicated explanation of why there would be no such activity before marriage, I decided to just block the Toe Lover (Tinder lets you do that). I mean, what a horrid thing to say. Leaving aside the rape-like imagery of ‘banging’; it doesn’t even make any sense. Ok, not all boys are gross, but maybe send a quick prayer up to ask for God’s wisdom and discernment before entering the Tinder jungle.
3) You’ll get on your high horse about grammar
Oh, man, I love words. I swoon over men who can use them well – throwing in puns and witticisms and wordplay. But if a man uses them badly… Oh no. Oh no. If he doesn’t know the difference between you’re and your or their and there, then he’ll surely never find love. If you’re anything like me, you’ll find you swipe left immediately at any hint of a typo on a profile. But many of us are hypocrites, really, because we’ll get snooty about simple grammar facts, all the while being ignorant of our own grammar ignorance (did you know ‘heart-wrenching’ is not a real word and that most of us use the word ‘hopefully’ incorrectly? And I bet you’re an Oxford comma-type).
4) You’ll get Tind-addicted
Last night, I woke up at 3am to go to the loo. I took my phone with me so I could have a couple of minutes of looking through Tinder profiles. I know. I know. But it’s so darn addictive – I’m Tindering on the commute into work. Yesterday, I found myself Tindering during a meeting. Tindering in church is totally not allowed, though. Linked to Tind-addiction is thumb RSI. Sometimes you’ll find you have to take little breaks to do some thumb exercises to relieve your thumb cramp.
5) You’ll encounter an #IRL crush
At some point as you swipe through Tinder, you’ll come across the photo of someone you’ve got an In Real Life crush on. This is your chance to declare your undying love. Or is it? You’ll have an argument with yourself. Is this the perfect chance to let him know you fancy him by swiping right? But if he’s a friend and you swipe right, then he might think you’re joking and just being friendly. And he’ll know you’re on Tinder, which is like, so embarrassing. But he’s on it too. But the beauty of Tinder is that he’ll only know if he’s swiped right on your face too. And only then will you have to have the awkward conversation as to whether you actually fancy each other or were both being friendly. Good luck!
6) You’ll play Where’s Wally?
Yeah, this is annoying. When each of his photos is a group shot – of lads on holiday together, at the bar, at weddings. How are you supposed to know which one is him? If you swipe right, are you actually swiping right because you fancy his mate? Again, good luck. But worse than the Where’s Wally? game is the one where his profile photos are all logos – a Nike tick, the Manchester United emblem, a photo of his car – all very unhelpful. Swipe left. The ones where his profile photo is his wedding photo is, of course, The Worst.
7) You’ll go on dates
Lots of them. The quick-fire nature of Tinder seems to translate into the chatting bit afterwards too. The path towards a date is clear: you fancy me, I fancy you, how tall are you, can you spell, would you like to go for a coffee/drink/dinner/brunch? Simples. Since GAT’s Christmas Eve blues, she’s met some fascinating people: an evolutionary biologist, a saxophonist, a theatre director, a lawyer. You’ll be amazed at all the people that are right there, living inside your phone.
8) You’ll realise everyone’s at it
Everyone’s at it. Everyone. You’ll be surprised when you see familiar faces flash up: I’ve seen former colleagues, school mates, the man who used to work at the canteen at my old job, and Z-list celebrities too. I even got matched with a former contestant from The Voice. My proudest Tinder moment so far. And yes, even Christian boys are at it! And because Tinder also lets you know the Facebook friends you have in common, you can often work out whether they are churchy types. There’s something excitingly Six Degrees of Separation about it all.
Well, there we have it, Girl About Town’s guide to Tinder. If you’re brave enough to join the fun, I hope you’ll find love and good things. God works in mysterious ways, after all.
If you’re already Tindering, how about sharing your experiences in the comments below?