Online dating gets a bad rep. I think almost anybody would agree that it’s preferable to meet your partner in person, the old-fashioned way, like perhaps by having your parents set you up in exchange for the family goat. But beggars can’t be fucking choosers. I mean, in an ideal world my dating life would involve downing Adios Motherfucker shots with bronzed European moguls on their private yachts while touring the Greek Islands, but alas this is Hamilton, so we adjust.
There’s no question that the world of dating has changed drastically in the 21st century. Cinderella doesn’t leave behind a glass slipper anymore; she leaves an empty baggy and her Snapchat. For uni students, dating can seem like a foreign concept. But humans, in general, tend to be a bunch of lonely, horny fucks so if you wanna smash, you’ve got to put yourself out there. That probably means dipping your toes into online dating (and not acting all snotty and superior because you’re not on it, Nancy – when was the last time you got fucked anyway?).
To be fair, I’ve only ever been on one date from an app. For journalistic purposes, of course. He was, on paper, an absolute knockout. I’m talking an attractive cardiothoracic surgeon/concert pianist/black belt with an incredible Irish accent and piercing blue eyes. Plus he was nine years older than me which totally screamed DADDY. Or creep? Anyway, I did a thorough background check and his story checked out. The date was going well until the guy starts spinning some seriously dark yarns, about his complicated family and financial problems…a little heavy for a first date. Hope things are going better for you, dude.
I must say that the dates I went on with a lad from the Instagram DM’s were significantly better. Proof that sliding in the DM’s works, guys. Instagram is lowkey the most underutilised dating app there is – you get a full photographic portfolio, and a fairly good indication of how annoying they are (i.e. doesn’t matter how pretty she is, if she posts 10 stories a day of her fucking lunch, study work, and mirror selfies, she ain’t it). Instagram stories are the best potential avenue for flirtation. Put something up – not TOO thirsty now – to offer the folks an excuse to flick you a message. Vice versa, send someone a cheeky story reply, and bam, you’re in. What’s there to lose? Worst case is you get a double-tap or an “aw thanks” and make your respectful retreat.
As for Tinder, in my experience, the most productive uses include 1) ego boosts in vulnerable moments, 2) super-liking and having sifty conversations with every platonic mate you see on there, or c) for swiping on people you kind of know who you find hot as fuck to see if they’d swipe back on you too, thereby providing a green light for a cheeky flirtation the next time you see them in House. But hey, to each their own, I know people who’ve had the time of their lives meeting random dudes on their farms in the middle of butt-fuck nowhere, inviting a different chick over three times a week to scratch an itch, or even the odd person who genuinely uses it for dating purposes. Anything’s possible.
So try it out. Make a profile. First thing, remember that you don’t need to fucking write in your bio that you’re on there looking for sex, that’s almost a given. Nor does anybody need to see borderline nude pictures with visible pubic hair. Don’t put up photos of fish, vehicles, or slaughtered boars. Don’t write any of the typical shit you came up with from a Google search. And don’t write your height on there and say ‘AppaRentlY tHaT MattErs.’ It makes you sound bitter and being six foot isn’t a personality trait. And if you only have group pics on there or pictures of inanimate objects, we’re just gonna go ahead and assume you’re ugly, so don’t do that either.
Whether you’re on dating apps for a laugh, slays, or genuinely for meeting people, the important thing to remember is that looks may get you the swipe but good chat trumps all. Gender norms aside, fuck it and message first; if you don’t go for it you’ll never know what you missed (or didn’t). But be interesting. “Hey” or “How are you” = extremely sub-par. Likewise, I highly doubt a disgusting opening line ever got anybody’s dick sucked. Funny pick up lines are great, but don’t send them to all the girls you match with living in the same flat, btw. They have group photos together idiot, be original.
If you’re chatting someone up online, it’s better to meet sooner rather than later. If you’re in too deep with messaging, they might think you’re actually keen when they see you in town, and that’s an awkward chat in Subway you’d rather avoid. And don’t disclose too much too soon to strangers, either. Stranger danger? Creepers.
Which brings me to my next point: being cautious. For fuck’s sake, tell a fucking friend where you’re going, leave your fucking Snap Maps on, have a fucking plan B exit strategy incase they’re a weirdo, don’t fucking go for a hike in the middle of nowhere with some potential axe murderer that you’ve never met. If you’re going for a date with someone from an app or sugardaddy.com or whatever your vibe is, do something relaxed; a bevvy at the local, a coffee, a Netflix sesh for sexy times. If you’re going for a root, wear a fucking condom unless you’re keen to give the clap a go. Tell somewhere where you’ll be, and remember you don’t have to go through with anything if you change your mind.
I understand that people are averse to the idea of online dating. But we’re in the 21st century, and everything else from our banking to our groceries and degrees can be done online, so why should there be any stigma attached to meeting people online? It’s normal, and if nothing else, it’s a great educational experience. Half of the problems we tend to get stuck on when it comes to matters of the heart are because we get into this scarcity mindset, thinking that there’s no one else out there we’d be interested in, worrying that no one would be interested in us, and so on. Whether it’s Grindr, Tinder, Bumble, or Ashley Martin (you sly dog), you’re guaranteed to realise there are plenty of other fish out there. Even if a lot of the fish you encounter are kind of fucking weird.
I was admittedly several glasses of Pinot Gris down at the time of writing, but take away this if nothing else: online dating is normal. It’s fun. It’s good for your confidence. But be smart, be cautious, and don’t be disheartened if there’s an alarming lack of decency. Good luck out there.