Apparently it’s near impossible to just go out, meet someone, get their number and go on a nice date. Ever since the integration of apps in the dating world it seems if you ask any couple how they met, around 90% of them will reply by saying Tinder or another type of social media platform. And the other 10% are probably in arranged marriages or just won the f*cking lottery.
Because apps like Tinder have become socially acceptable, so has the behaviour surrounding them. But what no one prepares you for are those awkward experiences. Like what are the actual guidelines for meeting up with someone from Tinder? What if they don't look like their profile? What if they aren’t their age? Or what if aren't keen on “Netflix and chill”?
It all comes down to that initial conversation. I’ve used Tinder for two years now and I can say that I am over having the same kind of conversations with every single person. It becomes this repetitive and monotonous messaging exchange where the other person doesn't actually care about how your day was. Then it all starts to blur into a string of lacklustre dialogue.
I don’t know how many more conversations I can have with someone who just sends me a message saying “hey”. Or if I initiate a conversation asking how their day has been and they just reply saying “good” and don’t bother to ask me how I am or expand a conversation past a one word message. Like why bother even matching with me?
But then you have the odd interesting and hilarious conversation where you have to question if this person is actually genuinely funny or if they are just a major player who sends the same pick up lines to everyone. (This is where I begin to feel like you actually need a degree in psychology to use Tinder.)
So what are the right ways to use Tinder? I’ve always wondered what the theory is behind who is meant to send the first message, how long after you match is appropriate to message them, what content is okay to speak about and how long are you supposed to talk on the app before you exchange numbers and plan to meet up?
I had this conversation with some friends and some matches on Tinder and apparently the first person who is meant to message is the person who matches last and creates that notification. Now I don’t know about you but I’ve never heard that rule before and I totally think it’s bullshit as I’m terrified of messaging someone too soon after liking them as you don’t want to come across as too eager. Sometimes I leave it an hour then message them or I forget and they end up messaging me which I think is fine too.
[RELATED: Your 2016 survival guide to being ghosted]
In regards to the conversation content I think it’s important to establish a mutual interest early on.This is why it’s important for people to actually fill out their bios. I can’t stand it when someone doesn't put something interesting in their bio. How am I even meant to assume we may be compatible? All I know is that you may be a Donald Trump supporter and I can promise you that I do not want that in my life. And if you don't link your Instagram to your profile or say that you don’t have one then I’m going to automatically assume you’re shady and trying to catfish, which is a whole different topic.
People who get hardcore catfished need to re-evaluate their life decisions because if someone is constantly making excuses to meeting up or showing you more pictures then guess what... they aren’t real. And with Facebook, if they don't have tagged photos or have only started their profile in the past couple of months then you can probably assume it’s some balding guy in Florida living in his parent's basement and dare we say it, getting off to your photos.
Meeting up with someone from Tinder is a massive thing and I genuinely think it should happen in the first couple of weeks from the initial conversation. Because you really don’t want to waste time later down the track if the chemistry doesn’t work in person. I think coffee or somewhere in public is always a good place to have that first date so there's no pressure of you having to stay too long or feel unsafe.
But what if it goes extremely bad and the person is completely different to how they are online? I’ve left a date halfway through a movie before because I didn't like his attitude and thought he was shady. I’ve also been on a date where I’ve had to play the fake phone call to pretend I’m running late to meet up with a friend. You may be reading this thinking I’m a bad person, but really if you are uncomfortable then you need to stand up for yourself and get the f*ck out of there.
Sadly, we are so familiar with virtual dating that we no longer know what to do when we have real interaction. I was meeting up with this guy with whom I had spoken to on Tinder for months. We finally decided to meet up to have a drink at a cool bar. He walks up to where I am, looks at me, does an awkward wave and keeps walking. I’m sitting there in complete silence like “did that actually just happen” and he got about 50 metres away before he turned around and was like, “oh hey!”.
I recently was in a predicament where I had no idea what to do! I had been on a date with a guy and out of no where, he calls me. I started freaking out. I started asking myself in a panic, "Did he mean to call me?”, “Did he just butt dial me?”, “He must be drunk”, “Do I answer or does that seem too keen?”. All of those thoughts ran through my mind because we aren't used to actual interaction anymore.
Do you remember when guys had to actually call you to ask you in person to go on a date? They weren’t able to hide behind their mobile phone screens and the mind games seemed to be significantly lower. And us on the recieving end, wouldn’t have to worry about seeming too keen when replying and we didn't have to stress about down playing how we actually feel.
The integration of apps into the dating world has been a major game changer. Dating will never be the same again and I’m still unsure if that is a good or a bad thing. But if you think about it, dating apps have almost become like takeaway food. What are you feeling like tonight... Thai? Mexican? American? Hungarian? All you need to do is hop on Tinder, do a bit of swiping, then bam - you could have it delivered to your house in minutes. It’s that easy. It’s kind of scary, really.
Words: Thomas Bleach