*Note. This song is quite old and whilst I like the first minute or so, it quickly turns into a shitty demo.
Well today is the 15th of March. I’m up to day 18 of what was meant to be a month long challenge to go on the dating app Tinder every day.
And I’m stopping today.
Why? Technical difficulties is the main reason. For some reason, Tinder doesn’t load anymore. The radar thing comes up, it searches for a bit, and then the screen goes white. I’ve turned my phone on and off, and I got a recent update so it’s not that. I could delete the app and try again, but I don’t think I need to, the challenge isn’t that important to me and never had very clear cut rules.
But I’ll post about my 2 weeks on tinder.
It started out last month. I was doing the cold water challenge and was talking to my mate about Tinder. I’d recently gotten the app, after finally deciding to see what all the fuss was about. Tinder was a perfect example of the grass is always greener. When I was with my ex, most of my friends were single. They all got on Tinder, and whenever we caught up they would be swiping and talking about the girls they were talking to. I was curious and wanted to try it, but I had a girlfriend and there was no way I was going to get it. So for a couple of years, I almost wanted to be single to see what all the fuss was about.
Naturally, these guys were using the app to try and get into the position I was in. I don’t know if they had random hook ups in between, it’s none of my business, but I know that the end goal was to meet a girl and not need Tinder.
Then I became single. I was now free to use Tinder.
And I wanted nothing to do with it.
The concept was abhorrent to me. Look at some photos and swipe right if you think they are attractive. It all seemed so shallow and vain, it’s a condensed version of what I hate about our culture. It’s fleeting, it’s vouyeristic, it uses geographical tracking tools to take away your privacy (not that there’s much left).
The whole thing was something that I didn’t want any part of. For 10 months, I didn’t bother with it, instead holding onto the romantic idea that I would just meet a girl naturally at a gig or at a party. Whilst I did meet people, it never went any further than a chat. No kisses. No single girls phone numbers. No sober catch ups the next week.
Definitely no sex.
One of the problems of the old fashioned approach, is you don’t know who is single. Sure, there’s beautiful women everywhere, but how do you know who is available? Perhaps if I was more observant I would be looking for rings or that kind of thing, but it never occurs to me when I’m drunk. Often, I’ll meet a girl, spend most of the night talking to her thinking it’s going somewhere and discover at the end of the night that she has a boyfriend or is a lesbian. And whilst I’ve enjoyed my night, I’ve usually drank too much by this point to be much of a conversationalist, and so I haphazardly ride my bike home after getting rejected by anyone else.
10 months being single can lower a man’s standards and values though. I’d moved to Melbourne at the start of 2015, and had never had a girl to go out and explore the city with. It’s fine to live right near Lygon street and Sydney road, but if you’re just by yourself you find yourself cooking at home instead of eating out alone. Not that I wanted to wine and dine a lot, but it would be nice to go out occasionally seeing as I lived in the city.
Then there’s the whole sex aspect. I’d heard all about how Tinder was some hook-up app, and 10 months is 10 months. I wanted to be the one having all the naughty, kinky sex it seemed like everyone else was having. Instead, I was just jacking off to it and losing confidence in myself.
So one day, I decided to get Tinder. I can’t remember what sparked the thought, but I do remember being drunk in bed late one night, and getting the app. So I can guess that I was drunk enough to lose my reservations and horny enough to think what have I got to lose.
I didn’t get any matches, but I saw there were a lot of girls around. That was promising, as it was time that I got out of the hang ups I had about the past and moved on. The next couple of days I browsed it a bit, but I grew bored and felt like I was wasting time. For every minute I was swiping on a girl or reading a profile, that was a minute I wasn’t doing something productive like playing music or writing. I have plenty of unproductive minutes, but this really felt like a waste of time, actively searching for a girl instead of just letting it happen naturally.
Also, I’d find sometimes that I would match but the girl wouldn’t talk to me. I would get a notification that they had matched with me, but they wouldn’t initiate the conversation. Is it really up to me to start the conversation every time? I had been reading too much 4chan and was starting to get a negatively biased view on women, that they somehow saw themselves as superior due to the amount of men using the app.
Then my friend said to me “give it a chance”. I think his words were closer to this
“Give it one month. You will have cold showers for a month but you won’t get on Tinder? What are you, an idiot? Give it a chance, you’ve got nothing to lose and you might meet some nice people in the process. You have to talk to them though, don’t do any of that bullshit and not talk after you match”. I explained how I felt like I always had to talk first, and he said who cares? You normally go up to people and talk first at the pub anyway.
He had a point. I agreed, and the challenge begun the next day.
Unfortunately, I never really set any guidelines to the challenge. It was vague to start with, “Tinder for a month”. What constitutes using Tinder? Everyone who uses the app has a different perspective on it, and I was a new user. I decided that I had to go onto it every day and talk to someone. It didn’t matter if I didn’t get a reply, I had to try. I also had this thing about reading people’s bio’s before swiping, and made a semi-rule about it.
Regardless of how attractive or cute the girl was, if she didn’t have anything written in her bio, I’d swipe left.
I also wasn’t looking for anything specific. I’m not a man whore, as much as I might want to be. I don’t have the stamina, physique or equipment to justify sleeping around frequently. As much as I might want to have amazing sex sessions, I’m not confident enough to think that I can give that experience back to someone else, or as my ex used to say “don’t start something you can’t finish”.
I also don’t want another partner. I feel like being single is a good place for me to be at the moment. I can just enjoy my own company for a while without needing to explain where I’m going or what I’m doing. If someone comes along and we hit it off, awesome, I am a free agent, but it’s not my focus and drive. I did miss the companionship of a relationship though, sitting on a couch watching a movie and having a cuddle. It’d been almost a year since I’d had that, so I wouldn’t have complained if I got the chance to experience it again.
Ultimately, I think I was just there for the chats.
So here’s an overview of my first week.
That first day, I got to swiping. Within an hour, I’d fucked up.
I gave my first super like accidentally to a girl, while trying to scroll through her profile.
You get 1 super like every day, and the person who you superliked gets notified about it. This girl was… not what I would conventionally find attractive. Her profile, once she matched back with me, didn’t elaborate much. But hey, I may as well chat and get used to talking to new people.
Naturally, she was pretty cool. I think we chatted on and off throughout the day, and it was a nice feeling. I’d forgotten what it was like to be excited by the phone’s buzzing when you’re hoping for a response back from a girl. We didn’t catch up or anything like that, and I never told her about the accidental super like, but it was a nice way to start the challenge. I also matched with a bunch of random girls, but my Tinder kept crashing and I didn’t have the patience to sit around and wait for it to load. I eventually did log back in around midnight and literally said “hey” to everyone I had matched with.
I then went out and got horribly drunk with my friends, which meant that the following day, I was in no mood to do much of anything.
But I got a couple of responses from the previous night’s “hey”.
I spent the day chatting to some on and off. My app crashed frequently but I’d get a message or two in here and there. One girl was trying to line up a date, but I was in no mood to leave the house for food. I think I ate one “meal” all day.
But this isn’t a story about my hangovers, although they feature frequently in my life.
On the Monday, I kept chatting to the girl who had been kind of eluding to a date. I matched with others but no replies. Monday night I decided it was time to up my game, so I changed my pictures and updated my profile.
Here’s the original photo’s
I changed them to this
I think it worked, as I found myself chatting to a few new people.
Wednesday night was interesting. It was a glorious day, and I thought the only truly good way to enjoy it was to go out and see some music. My Tinder profile pretty much says that. I just want to find people into creative stuff who are up for a gig. So I messaged a couple of my matches and asked them if they wanted to wander down Sydney road with me and check out some music. Almost all of them said yes they wanted to, but it was too late notice. Which was true, it was like 7:30 when I messaged, and I went out around 8. But still, it was nice to know that they might be up for something in the future.
A lot of the time this past year, I’ve found myself going to gigs solo. I’ll just rock up to a bar and see who’s playing. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s shit. But suddenly, I had a whole stream of people who might be keen to come out with me. I’m not thinking of this as a date, I’m doing it because I want to see some music and some company would be nice. With this in my head, I went off and had a very random night, with me running into a busker who I’d met at the shops and watching him perform.
When I got home, I realised how deep into Tinder I was. My night post gig went roughly like this.
12:15: I’ll go to bed and read my book for a bit
12:20: Wow, something popped up and it said someone super liked me on Tinder!
12:30: Find the person who super liked me, like them back. No conversation.
12:40: I’ll go back to reading my book at 1 AM.
01:07: I missed the cut off. Ah well, I’ll just do a couple more and go back to my book.
01:26: I’ll stop at 1:30.
01:30: I’ll get off in a minute. Just one more with a good bio and I’ll get off.
You could say that by Thursday, I was into it. I “got” Tinder. I felt comfortable with the process of clicking on the picture, reading the bio, swiping through some photos and saying yay or nay. Who am I kidding, it was fucking addictive! Maybe I’m using it wrong, but I felt that worked the best for me. There were a few times I swiped on someone I wasn’t that interested in, and we matched. Then I didn’t know what to do, because when I looked them over again, I realised I didn’t really want to talk to them. But to unmatch with them felt rude. My radius was only set to a few k’s, so there would be a high chance I might run into them. I don’t care how comfortable you, the reader, is in that situation, but it’s not something I want to happen in my day to day life.
I got advice to power swipe from a couple of people. Power swiping is when you just swipe right on everyone until you run out of swipes, then see who you want to talk to afterwards and unmatch the rest. I was selective though, which meant I got fewer matches. But I’ll be honest, I don’t really want to spend time talking with a girl who pulls a duck face in every photo, or someone who’s hobbies include “coffee, TV and fitness” or a pre-surgical transvestite. I’m not saying they are common, but they are out there.
By Thursday, I also had a game plan, which was simple. Talk, offer to meet somewhere to watch a gig, go to gig. At worst, I end up watching some music by myself, which is what I’d be doing anyway.
So I’d been chatting along and finding my groove. Tinder crashed a lot still, sometimes mid message, sometimes just trying to load. But it worked in general.
Then Saturday came. I used Tinder in the morning, knowing I had a big day ahead and would not be in a state to use Tinder later.
See what happened was…
Well, they say a picture tells a thousand words so maybe this will enlighten you.
The condensed version goes like this.
Bucks party. Started at 2 PM. Multiple drinks. Multiple smokes. Multiple conversations. Multiply that by multitudes of more. Suddenly it’s dark and I’m at a different bar. Now I’m in a car, yelling out the window words to a song I can’t remember. Now I’m out the front of the strippers. Too drunk, entry denied. Try again, same response. Eventually get the point and walk 2 k’s to the tram station. Various adventures along the way. Meet girl waiting for tram. Chat. Chat. Chat. She lives around the corner. She comes back to my house for a beer and more chatting.
I barely remembered the conversation the next day, but I’d obviously made an impression on someone, which was great.
That was my first week of Tinder. And in some ways, the only one.
I had now met someone naturally. Sure, I didn’t really remember a great deal about her, but that just meant I had to see her some more to get to know her. We caught up the next day for a while. We have been messaging each other over the past week. It’s been nice.
But regardless of what is or might be, I was in a challenge.
So I continued to Tinder. But very half heartedly.
I kept chatting to the few girls I’d matched with the week previously, but I didn’t arrange to meet up, and the chats stopped after a couple of days. I also picked up 3 nightshifts in Geelong, so I couldn’t continue with my game plan of checking out a gig anyway.
I’d swipe for a bit and get a match. I’d have a half arsed conversation. By Wednesday, I logged on until I found someone to swipe right to, and then turned it off. I was over it. Not because I think I’ve met the most amazing girl in the world or anything. But because I feel like shit looking at other girls when I’ve met someone in a natural way. This girl isn’t just someone on a screen, she’s someone I’ve actually met, talked to, hung out with. It feels normal and natural to me, to give someone my full attention in a situation like this.
And then the final thing happened on the Friday, 14 days into the challenge. Tinder just stopped working.
It would open but wouldn’t go any further than that. And I’m over it anyway.
So where am I at now?
Well, I’ve decided to stop this challenge. I’m bored of it and I can’t see anything beneficial happening by continuing. I could go out and buy a new phone to get Tinder to work. I could try re-downloading the app. But at present, I don’t see why I should.
Maybe down the track I’ll get onto it again. It was fun and I can see why it’s addictive. But for now, my Tinder days are over. I never even met up with one person, so I probably should have another go of it down the track, but it’s a pretty shit challenge. It’s not a very high priority in my life either, as the main reason for me to use the app was to get used to talking to women again and get some of my confidence back. I feel like I’ve accomplished that. Now I can go back to reading more books and making music and music videos, and getting ready for a gig I’ve got in a month.