Reader, I have a difficult relationship with online dating.
Here’s the thing. I am a true, die hard, hate to admit it, wants to be kissed in the rain whilst being told that ‘IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU’ romantic. The secret is out. Now, there are a number of issues with this. I set my friends up (a lot) because I want everyone to have a happy ending. When I go on dates, if that sparkle isn’t there, I just lose interest almost straight away (and those rare occasions where I have fought through and carried on dating regardless have never ended well). My underwear drawer looks like what the Brothers Grimm would have had in mind for their heroines (mixed with a little Dita Von Teese of course). I own just-in-case ball gowns. I play the ‘true love game’ on tube escalators (pretend you’re in your own rom com, and someone on the escalator going in the opposite direction is THE ONE. Pick anyone, then use your mental powers to make them look at you and ‘have a moment’. (Note; this can go horribly wrong if a) there is no one there you fancy-as you HAVE to choose someone, you might end up with someone dreadful b) you look a bit mad, as you try and make lightning come out of your eyes like Matilda c) They might get the wrong idea and think you’re angling for a shag or something) I also don’t fall in love particularly often. Actually, I don’t even fancy people particularly often. And my ‘type’ isn’t a physical type, it’s a completely personality based one-I like charming, funny men with a geeky streak (who are usually also creatively talented).
Now, part of me being a die-hard-romantic means that I’m not someone who can do casual dating very well. I don’t really LIKE dating (it always makes me feel like a kid pretending to be a grown up), and I find the concept of dating someone I barely know completely bizzare. The last guy I dated I’d worked with and then chatted to on social media for a month or so before I asked out (I KNOW! How bloody brave am I?!) and before that, my ex was someone who had been mentioned in conversations by a mutual friend for TWO YEARS before we dated (and there was a two week period where he showed up at all my auditions and socials, so we hung out a lot before anything actually happened).
So, last year, a dear friend of mine introduced me to Tinder. I had it on for three days, then turned it off, for a number of reasons. 1) I didn’t feel ready to date again after my relationship broke up 2) I kept seeing guys I knew on there 3) All of the men seemed to be really entitled. As in ‘YOU HAVEN’T MESSAGED ME IN A DAY YOU BITCH’ when I’d added them two days before. I messaged back saying, ‘I don’t know you, I don’t owe you anything. Have a nice day.’ Then logged off and deleted the app.
Roll on 10 months and I’d been in the dating pool for a while. My fantastic friend insisted on me downloading the app again so we could play it side by side in SoHo-him doing the ‘men looking for men’ version and me doing ‘men looking for women’. Reader, I won’t tell a lie-at first it was a confidence boost-I had an 100% success rate, with every guy I swiped right on having already said yes to my profile (not that I swiped right on many-when your type is based on personality quirks, Tinder can be tricky). But yesterday, at the airport, I deleted it again. Once more, without having been on a single date.
Why’s that? Well the problem with Tinder is that it makes you lose faith in romance. Can you imagine telling your kids ‘Well dear, daddy was posing topless with a doped tiger in his pic and I just thought-I know nothing about this man, but he’s the one!’ It’s all based on looks, which means it takes a while for you to work out how much of a twat someone is, plus, every time you get talking to someone, they turn out to be AWFUL. Here are three of the worst I encountered:
1) The guy who looked really sweet, slightly geeky (yay!) tall and cute. Until I looked at his ‘about me’ line. ‘If you want to be dominated, you’ve found the right man. I know my way around a rope and will treat you mean’. Erm. No thank you.
2) The guy who was gorgeous in a down-to-earth sort of way, sounded completely normal when we chatted, and then referred to black people by the n-word. OFF YOU FUCK.
3) Perhaps the strangest-a lovely property developer. A little older, wiser (one would hope), environmentally aware, dreamed of setting up home in Asia. Talked a little about how our families both came from Ireland, and we both went to schools in a similar area. Asked me if I’d like to go for a drink with him (very politely) and I said yes, but that I was busy for a week or so. Didn’t hear from him for a couple of days, till yesterday-when he sent me a photo of him in his pants. Completely unexplained. In the mid-afternoon. Nearly choked on my sandwich.
App deleted post haste.
I just don’t think it’s for me Reader. I am so confused by the whole thing-but then what was I thinking would happen when I went on a dating app based on what people look like?
An issue I seem to have in the big wide dating world is that I look one way and am actually a bit different. I have big boobs and a wear big heels and flirt like billy-oh and sometimes wear highly glittery eyeshadow. But I am also a huge geek, secretly shy, prefer being barefoot to wearing any kind of shoes at all, am clumsy as anything, can't go out without two books in my bag, spend too much time baking and kind of want to be Batman when I grow up. Men meet me and think I'm one thing, then get to know me and get confused. So in hindsight, trying to meet someone where they judge you on appearance just would never work for me.
So I'm going to take a risk Reader. I'm going to just hope I end up with someone the usual way. Well...not usual, I'm an actress, writer, vlogger and baker. I'm probably never going to be entirely conventional. And if that means not being on Tinder, I am fairly ok with that.
Have a lovely day Reader, and remember to check out my vlogs, new ones out every Tuesday and Friday! https://www.youtube.com/user/magenta/videos