If I'm honest, the thought of internet dating has never floated my boat. I'm not against it but I've never considered it a good fit for me. Perhaps a brief explanation of why I'd convinced myself of that might help?
- People liken internet dating to meeting someone in a bar or club, perhaps just with extra information. But I've never really been interested in meeting a guy in a bar or club.
- I can be pretty cold with people I don't know. Not good first date material surely?
- It's a scenario in which everyone is being their 'best self'; inadvertently answering internet dating profile questions with the answers they expect will make them more attractive. Without realising it, I'd probably end up being what I think a good date is supposed to be rather than actually being myself? e.g. not sarcastic. I envisage a point where my date declares 'You're not like your profile...'
- It all feels pretty contrived. I realise life is but usually not in an ever-present sort of way.
- Maybe I'd assumed (perhaps incorrectly) that the ginger hair wasn't going to work in my favour.
- My attraction to men has often been independent of their looks. No, I'm not saying I fancy ugly men. I am saying, in the past, a gent's personality and sense of humour has (genuinely) raised them dramatically above my initial evaluation of their appearance. This is the same reason I am rarely attracted to celebrities; I know little of their personality. Yes, I am saying personality and sense of humour are what ultimately hold my attraction and attention.
- I came to a realisation that I desire a minimum level of intelligence in a man. As such, I don't have a physical type but definitely an intellectual type. But I've convinced myself it is unfair to actually judge potential suitors on this. Or at least, it makes me feel like a bad person. But surely, it's no different than a height preference? It's just a bit easier to ask someone their height compared with how many GCSE's they have. (I wouldn't actually ask that. Well, not like that...)
I realise my hang-ups with internet dating are all quite possibly in my head? But I continue on in this fashion.
Cue a discussion in the pub last week about the internet dating app currently causing a frenzy; Tinder. Assuming it's just another variant of the same old formula, the above points instanteously run through my head and I almost stop listening. Several demonstrations later and assurances that it's fun and has produced results, I realise I am intrigued. The idea that it presents the opportunity for an ego-boost I personally find less compelling but it was agreed by all that being 'matched' with someone does give one a lift in the confidence arena.
How does it work? Simple; you swipe someone's picture right if you like them/their description/photos, left if you don't. If that person also swipes your picture right (i.e. they like you), you're 'matched'. If two people don't right-swipe each other, neither of them are any the wiser.
And so, I went home and I downloaded it. Yup, someone convinced that internet dating isn't for them. After all, what harm could it do? And I told myself if I don't enjoy it, I can simply uninstall and carry on with my life, carting my internet dating hang-ups in tow. In the very least, it would be something of an experiment and perhaps a worthwhile blogging opportunity.
But they were right; it is fun.
There are a few things that will certainly make me left-swipe (and there are enough examples of these):
- Photos of you with a child / children. I am not going to spend the time trying to ascertain if you're a father. I'm not ready to be a mother to my own children never mind someone else's
- Text speak and typos
- A long list of your social media usernames, especially your Blackberry pin and Snapchat
- Some blurb about your company, website or the charity you are fundraising for. Just no.
- A selfie of you in a vest at the gym / in your bathroom / in bed
- Photos of you with someone we can safely assume is your ex
So far, I've swiped left a lot (I'm choosey! And that whole not being compelled by someone's looks alone thing isn't helping...), had a few conversations and been invited for a drink later this week. An invitation I found myself accepting.
We'll see how this pans out...
* That was one time, I was 14 and it was idiotic travelling 12 miles to meet someone I'd met on the internet! At least I had the presence of mind to make the meeting place a busy shopping centre and to take my best friend with me!
Image credit: Denis Bocquet, CC BY 2.0