Hello my lovelies,
A few weeks back I had the pleasure of running into my beloved editor at The Merchant Ale House or as I like to call it, The Mothership. I quietly sit at the end of the bar, watching the shameless flirtations, the couples on date night, and the calculated parading around of countless 20 something year olds. Why does everyone in that bar always appear as though they’re looking for someone? Never notice that? You will know.
My editor enters The Mothership and saddles up next to me at the bar. Soon we find ourselves in a discussion about online dating apps. I let slip that I’ve never tried one and my editor’s head quickly spins around to look at me. “Lily!” he says in disbelief, “how can you write a modern dating column if you’ve never even used Tinder?” I laugh and say something like, “dating online makes me nervous.” And it’s true, it does make me nervous, it’s not necessarily a safety thing, although that certainly does come into play, but it must be a fear of rejection thing. Or perhaps on some subconscious level, a fear of success thing.
What I’ve gathered from some of my more loose-lipped friends is that these dating apps are like a police lineup for the horny, the lonely, and the shy. The idea is to swipe left or right based on someone’s ability to take a nice selfie, or not. As I head home that night, I realize that maybe Mr. Editor is right afterall. How can I write about a dating world that I’m not fully emerged in? So I finally pull off that terrified bandaid and download Bumble and Tinder, two of the most popular dating apps out there.
As soon as I open the apps and finish tinkering with the settings, my location, and age preferences, the pictures and profiles begin flooding in. Brad, 30 years of age, he likes the outdoors and The Toronto Maple Leafs. Oh, and there’s a picture of Brad with a fish he apparently caught. Then there’s Marcus, 27 years of age, his biography is passive aggressive and leads me to believe that he’s not having a lot of luck, “don’t bother swiping right if you’re not going to talk to me.” Poor Marcus, I’m tempted to swipe right just to make sure he’s okay. All of Marcus’ pictures are with some blonde girl that he claims is his sister. Oh, and a fish that he apparently caught. Next up is Ben, 32 years of age, fresh out of a relationship with a 3 year old son and looking for “someone to drink wine and laugh with.” Oh, and then there’s a photo of him with a fish that he apparently caught.
Quick side note: Does every available male out there go fishing? Should we be dumping these dating apps and start hanging out around bodies of water to meet men? I think I’m onto something here. Forget The Mothership for possible partners, Lake Erie is apparently brimming over with single men who “just want to meet a cool person and see where it goes.”
I’ll be honest, I gave it a shot and lasted about 3 weeks on these apps before I began to feel overwhelmed, desensitized, and a little dirty. That being said, people do meet on dating apps, fall in love, and live happily ever after. It apparently happened to “a friend of a friend of mine.”
So without further ado, here are 3 pieces of advice from my 3 week stint:
1) Write your bio, having no write-up doesn’t make you seem mysterious. It makes you seem arrogant or lazy or both.
2) Don’t just post photos of you and all your friends. At times, I wasn’t sure which person in the picture was actually the account holder. “Oh, you’re the one on the far right? My bad, I accidentally swiped right on your hot friend. What’s his deal?”
3) Don’t ask for a phone number or coffee date too soon. Maybe you’re excited or want to get it out of the way but coming on too strong can scare off even the most interested of matches.
At the end of the day, don’t take people’s online behaviour too seriously, apparently there are plenty of fish in Lake Erie.
Whether you’re single, taken or it’s complicated: I’m rooting for you.
Until Next Time,
STC is a monthly dating column that centers around the fictional character, Lily Hush. STC is based on real-life accounts from those of us living and loving in the Niagara Region.