About a month after ending a long-term, long distance relationship, I figured the time was right to do a little window shopping. I had previously thought of Tinder with disdain; it’s a shallow concept made even more so by people who ‘play’ in front of each other, making judgmental comments about appearances and not even bothering to read the other person’s bio.
However, now that my friends and I are approaching our mid-twenties and most of the group have proper grown-up lifestyles (except for me because I’ve decided to live the student dream forever!) we no longer go clubbing and opt for a casual drink instead. Somehow, I can’t see myself meeting a potential partner at the local Greene King two minutes down the road in my quiet town. I miss living on campus.
So anyway, I nervously downloaded the app and chose some awkward selfies to be validated by strangers, adding one with friends so people know that I’m not a total recluse. I kept my bio basic because, well, half the time no-one bloody reads it and if someone wants to know something they can just ask. I’ve heard a lot of people’s bad experiences so I was apprehensive, half expecting to get no matches and the other half expecting to be bombarded with sexually inappropriate messages from opportunist weirdos preying on the new girl.
I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of attractive guys local to me who I actually got a good vibe from. I don’t judge someone on their looks per se, but their general style and presentation. Zero marks for inebriated lads holiday photos where I have to play a game of Guess Who to find them, zero marks for cringeworthy topless photos and zero marks for photos of cars. Didn’t realise you were a transformer, pal. I’m swiping left long before you can do 0-60.
I was also pleasantly surprised with the amount of people who could hold a conversation or give the type of compliment that I actually wanted to receive. I must be one of the lucky ones, because, in maybe three or four months of having Tinder, I met up with six guys (plus two I already knew in real life) and had no bad dates. From being taken to Blues Kitchen in Camden to a sunny afternoon in pub gardens, from hours and hours of talking over coffee to hanging out with the most chilled out guy and his dog, it was a lot of fun. Especially as I was a bit risky and let Tinder pave the way for the most incredible holiday romance with a Greek lifeguard.
I would usually only meet someone if we’d been speaking for at least a few weeks, but I broke my own rule and it paid off. We spent days on the beach learning about each other in broken English, he took me to a secret spot to see a famous Santorini sunset and we had the best sex of my life (seriously, I’m still trying to work out what he did because it took me about fifteen minutes to recover from the tingling in my fingers and toes). After saying goodbye the morning of my flight we never spoke again, but it’s a perfect memory that I never would have had without good old Tinder. Probably not one to tell the grandchildren, mind you.
I eventually got bored and it became insignificant when I was genuinely interested in someone, but I’d recommend Tinder to anyone who’s single. I wasn’t looking for love or even sex, but I kept an open mind and found a couple of friends for life. Sure, you have to rummage through the creeps and it requires a bit of common sense, but there are some lovely people just waiting for a connection.
What have you got to lose?