I’ve had Tinder on and off for the past year. My experiences have been few but varied, and my ego has been simultaneously fluffed then bruised. A lot of people have a sense of embarrassment for their Swiping Antics, but I see it as a laugh. And as long as you’re safe and tell your friends where you’ll be/who you’ll be with, nothing should go wrong. Right?
He left it to me to decide where we could go for a drink, so naturally I chose my favourite bar in Glasgow and sat myself at a centre table, waiting for him to arrive from uni.I’d been chatting to Kieran* for about a week when I decided he might be alright to have a pint and pizza with, so there I was, patiently waiting to see if Tinder had (once again) failed me.
When he arrived, he offered to buy me a drink. Lovely, great start. He was half Portuguese, and reminded me of someone, I just couldn’t place who it was.
If any of you have ever been on a date with me (doubtful), I’ll usually say ‘surprise me’ when you offer to go to the bar. I’m judging you on your drink choice. Heavily.
He came back with a gin and tonic, so I thought I’d break the ice by telling him a tale about how a 16 year old me drank 2 gins and ended up in tears – thus, my conclusion that gin makes me cry. I thought it’d be a funny anecdote, but instantly he pulled a disgusted face and started dissecting my story.
‘I mean, just because you cried after gin, doesn’t mean it was the gin that made you cry, know?’
‘Well, yeah…but you know how some people say certain drinks make them cry? I always just assumed it was that.’ *nervous laugh*
‘Maybe it was because you were a stupid wee girl who tried gin.’
Maybe he’s just tired after studying, I thought. He was a PhD student. Or maybe he was on his period, I dunno.
FYI, I fucking hate gin but I drank it because I needed something to prepare me for what was probably going to be a…difficult evening. Plus, I’m not a rude cunt. A concept lost on some people.
We ordered food, and through the week I’d laughed at him via text about his choice of pizza topping. (Ham and pineapple, by-the-way. And if that wasn’t grounds for divorce, I don’t know what was.) We chatted away about work and friends, I tried to be polite and ask about his course but his responses were verbal pat-downs, questioning my ability to understand the terms he used and the scientists he was referencing. I like science, so my back was up by now. We got on to talking about religion, and he proceeded to ‘jokingly’ called me ‘Fenian Scum’ (I’m not actually Catholic, so that was weird) and refer to himself as an ‘Agnostic, Protestant, Atheist.’ I can’t remember how he justified the existence of such a stance on faith, I’d probably stopped listening by this point. My face was red for him.
I was completely bummed out. I was sat with this beautiful, insanely smart guy and all I wanted to do was smash his face into his pizza. I was furious with his false advertising.
‘Tequila?’ I asked. On dates, I like to see what the guy is like after a shot. Barriers go down and true colours come out, I say. Surprisingly, he agreed to it. He did actually seem to mellow out a little, thank god. And for about an hour, he was good company. He was quite sweet, funny and began to have a bit of a laugh with a drunken, older couple beside us.
I’d finally remembered who he looked like. Spiderman himself. Andy G, solid 10/10.
‘Do you KNOW how often I get that? I mean, its not even funny anymore, fuck.’
You’d honestly think I’d told him he looked like Ed Balls. He wasn’t happy, at all. He was disgusted that I’d brought it up and repeatedly rolled his eyes. I had just told him he looked like one of the world’s most attractive men, and he was explicitly pissed at me.
So we were sat there, awkwardly chair-dancing to some sort of 70s disco song and making small talk. He grabbed my shoulder and twisted me round, squinting his eyes as he done it. My tattoo, he was checking the tattoo. I awkwardly smiled as he mumbled something about it. The next thing I knew, he was looking at my hand. He grabbed it, and LICKED the back of it. My face must’ve been a picture. I assume, now, that he was trying to be flirty and get the rest of the salt from the previous Tequila Slammer. At least I hope that’s what he was doing, I’ll never know.
But still. Homeboy, no. Just no.
A few more beers and another tequila later, we called it a night, and I -being a regular at the bar- said goodbye to my favourite bouncer, who replied with ‘Bye, Michael!’ (A personal joke.) Kieran* scowled at me, questioning why I was being called this. And continued to walk ahead of me in a huff. Nevertheless, I walked 5 steps behind him to his subway stop. I had just stepped onto the escalator when I could see his face hurtling towards mine and him confidently going in for the kill. How could he think this was a good idea? Maybe it was a last ditch attempt to save the date. I closed my eyes and thought of Adam Levine. The kiss passed. He smiled at me, smugly. And all I could think about was the coffee I’d need for the train home. I waved him off, and made a swift move for my station. On my walk, I must’ve looked like a psychopath as I was laughing out loud at the thought of what had just happened.
The next day, there were no messages until 8pm. A text saying how he felt in a ‘funk’, and ‘not sure if we were compatible for a relationship.’ No shit, Sherlock. I responded with an aloof, easy-breezy message. Basically, I told him I thought he was mad to even be thinking about a relationship and that I was in total agreement about the compatibility statement.
One date. One date and he was already writing off our future marriage and children. I was devastated. Obviously.
Alas, I proceed to tire my thumb out daily by swiping left. I don’t even know why I still use the fucking thing, call it boredom or an undying need for flattery when you’ve matched with ‘Ben’ from East Kilbride. Or your ex’s best friend. *cough*
The thing with Tinder is that it can either go swimmingly, and you can have a swell evening with your date and possibly strike up something lovely. Or, you can meet someone who is the polar opposite from their interactive impression. This was my first poor experience from using it, and I’m slowly but surely starting to see why people give me that awful look when I tell them what I’m focusing so hard on during lunch.
Don’t hate the player, hate the game, right?
The reality of it all is that, nowadays, you’re becoming less and less likely to meet anyone organically. I’d love to be sitting in a bar and have a guy approach me with fantastic chat and ask for my number, or to have the confidence to approach someone myself. But unfortunately, these things rarely happen. The scene, now, is that single people are sat in their rooms at night sleepily swiping through hoards of strangers. But, c’est la vie. It’s all for fun, and I’ll maybe worry more when I hit 40 and start adopting copious amounts of cats.
I swayed with the idea of writing this post, out of respect for Kieran* and pure shame for myself. But then again, if you can’t laugh, you’ll cry. Tinder is a freak’s playground, and unless you’re savvy, you’ll end up having your hand licked by a huffy, middle-class brat who doesn’t like cake.
I mean, come on…