Love at first swipe

Online dating is like walking through a minefield; you know you’re going to step on a doozy but you don’t know when it’s going to happen so you just put your foot down and hope for the best.

It has been three years since I tried online dating and based on that experience, I decided it wasn’t for me.online_dating_xlarge

I’m not sure if that decision was due to the 75-year-old who `kissed’ me on RSVP, even though he was more than 30 years outside my age preference, had zero common interests with me and wore a jumper very similar to one I gave to my 90-year-old grandpa for his birthday.

Or perhaps it was the ‘doctor’ date who:

  1. Couldn’t’ find his way from Ascot to Fortitude Valley (we were headed for the airport)
  2. Turned onto the wrong side of the road into oncoming traffic
  3. Took me to a restaurant where I was bitten by fleas
  4. Showed me an x-ray of someone with a tow-ball stuck up his bum (that was actually the highlight of the night)
  5. Thought that after all of that I’d invite him up to my place.

He was never seen or heard from again (after he ranted at me via text message for using the ‘It’s not you, it’s me’ line on him when I really should have said, ‘Well, it is you, you’re a bit weird, you remind me of my cousin and I’m still applying calamine lotion to the flea bites so let’s just call it quits.)

Anyway, I hold my mum wholly responsible for my brief foray into online dating because she told me I wouldn’t meet anyone sitting on my couch—unless it was the delivery man bringing me pizza.

But it turns out she was wrong because last week I test-drove the mobile dating app Tinder from the comfort of my couch. In my pyjamas.

For those who aren’t in the singles game, Tinder is a fairly new player on the dating scene but has quickly become the app of choice for singles across the globe for its quick and easy way of finding those who are also footloose and fancy-free in your local area.

It has also been called the casual sex app for straight people, because while some are looking for love, others are just looking for a luh-ver. tinder-app-620x418

I think Tinder’s popularity stems from its simplicity; you don’t need to fill in those long and convoluted profiles about your political views or what you ate for lunch; just log in with your Facebook details and it magically fills out your profile using your first name, age and profile photos. 

Plus, because it uses Facebook, there’s only so much bullsh*tting you can do (you have to choose your photos from your Facebook albums) and it gives users a heads-up about whether you and your prospective match have any friends or interests in common (a handy tool if you want to follow up with real-world recommendations).

Once you’re online, you can anonymously scroll through pictures of singles in your area, swiping to the right to say you like them and to the left to consign them to the dustbin of history.

It’s like the hokey-pokey of dating.

If both users find each other attractive, Tinder matches you and you can message each other through the app (heeeeeeyyyy, hokey pokey).

Sure, it’s not rocket science, in fact it could be considered a pretty superficial way to find a match because Tinder tends to focus on looks more than personality, unless you mention that you’re kind to old people and animals in your ‘tagline’.

But generally, it’s a quick split-second judgement on whether or not you like the look of someone, whether you think they’d be a good match for you, whether you can trust them enough to go on a date … or to sleep with them.

But that doesn’t mean matches can’t be made; Tinder is already taking credit for more than 75 million matches worldwide.

And what if the person you find attractive doesn’t like you back? Who cares … chances are you won’t even remember who you liked and didn’t like, so the rejection is minimal!

The main reason I found myself on Tinder on a Thursday night, other than to check out who’s who of singles in my neighbourhood, was because I recently recommended it to one of my friends based solely on something I read online because if it’s online it’s got to be legitimate, right?.

I decided if I was going to recommend my lovely friends throw themselves into the lion’s den, I should at least see what’s on offer (and just because I’m not looking to buy doesn’t mean I can’t check out the goods).

While I saw some seemingly lovely (ie.attractive) guys on there with nice smiley faces and a fondness for pets, I also found an absolute hot mess of profile photos.

It amazes me how some people expect to stir up interest in themselves when their photo is of them playing golf … from behind. Or a weird cartoon picture. Or them in a ski goggles.

I can’t speak for what the women’s profile photos are like, they could be just as bad, but if you’re a guy on Tinder (or any other online dating site) and you’re having a bit of trouble with the ladies, here are my suggestions to help you get hit clicked on more frequently:

  1. Don’t list your age as 102. We don’t find it funny.
  2. Do use a nice profile photo showing your face – ideally smiling as this isn’t a mug shot.
  3. Don’t wear sunglasses in your main photo (but they’re okay in subsequent photos). 

  4. Try to include a full-length photo or at least one showing your torso (shirt on – let’s keep the mystery alive).
  5. Don’t include photos where you’ve got your shirt off and you’re flexing in the bathroom mirror. You look ridiculous. (Although this may work if you’re just looking for casual sex).
  6. Try to include something as your tagline – mostly so we can see if you know how to spell.
  7. Don’t use a photo of a donkey. We’ll just think you’re an ass.
  8. Skip the group photos; it’s ridiculous to think we can pick you out of a photo with five shirtless mates squished into an inflatable pool.
  9. Don’t use profile photos where you have your back to the camera. Who are you, Dicky Knee?
  10. Don’t use a profile photo where you are in a motorcycle helmet, a mask or ski gear and goggles.

And my number one tip:

Don’t use any profile photos where you’re with a girl/woman … even if it’s your sister. Or your mum. No women.

Because we automatically think it’s your former girlfriend. Or wife. And we’ll swipe you to the left because we’ll think you still like her or that you’re now mates with her (even worse some would say).

Life is a game made for everyone. And love is the prize.
—Wake Me Up, Avicii— 

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