It seems only a short time ago (hello the Noughties’) that the only people ‘looking for love’ online, were perverts and murderers. Yet in 2018, Tinder has very much become the new ‘normal’ with more of us heading onto the internet in an attempt to find ‘the one’ or ‘the one right now’. With the knowledge that we’re all collectively less likely to be chopped into tiny bits and found in a suitcase if we dare to dip our toes into the web dating pool, it doesn’t make some of the experiences on Tinder any less…disturbing.
Anyone who has spent a little bit of time online trying to sieve through the porn bots and catfishes will tell you, dating on Tinder can be a minefield of slightly weird and mildly troubling events. And there are things online, that if they happened in real life, you might be ready to pack your bags and move to an isolated cabin in Alaska for. So lets pull on our Hazmat suits, disinfect our eyes and get ready to delve into the wonderful idea of if online dating was real life.
The ‘Can’t Be Arsed’ Daters
So you’re standing at the bar, espresso martini propped in hand, pinky finger pointing nonchalantly to the sky, when someone pops up behind you, taps you on the shoulder and shouts “HELLO’ at the top of their voice, winks and then screams, “I can’t be arsed to make conversation, you can ASK ME!” What would your response be to this?
“Oh yes, please let me think of things to ask you about your life that is apparently so mysterious you lack the ability to form it into anything vaguely interesting within a 200 word format and now expect me to start this conversation since you can’t communicate in anything other than emojis and sign language”. Nope! You’d swill them, hide in the toilets and tell you’re friends about the cocky dick who has no chat. You would never approach someone in real life, say ‘Hello’ and stand there awkwardly for 20 minutes until they answer, so why would you expect someone to respond to that online? No thank you, next!
Remember when you and your mates used to pile into your local chemists, do a quick one quid whip round and then squeeze your arses into the one person photo booth to pout together with the under the sea filter on? Well, Snapchat made all our teen dreams come true, and now we can be cats, bunnies and rainbow tongued goddesses 24/7. Sure, it’s cute when we’re spamming our besties with our favourite rendition of Celine Dion as a high-pitched panda, but filters of any sort should stay on the platforms they were created on.
Bug eyed, Kylie K lipped, anime characters do not make great Tinder pictures. Not only do you look bloody stupid, there is no way you would turn up to a real life date looking like that. Imagine if your date wandered in looking like a Frankenstein monster, with bulging pupils the size of saucers, glitter flying from their bum, topped off with twenty different pairs of squirrel ears in their backpack. Unless you’re looking for a fellow furry to floof with, keep your face filters on Snapchat and off Tinder.
I have written about how much I hate ‘ghosters’ on this blog before, but recently I came across orbiting and realised there is genuinely an online dating term I hate more than the people that fuck off indiscriminately in the first place. It’s the bastards that hang around. Orbiting is the practice where people dump/ghost you but then remain snooping around all your social media spots. They like all of your photos, watch all your stories first, and are retweeting your Love Island quotes before you have had time to screenshot how hilarious you are to your girl gang.
Orbiting is essentially mooching around like a bad smell in case the person you’ve dumped might get a better offer (and you feel the need to swoop in once you’ve realised they’re a catch), or to keep that person hanging around just in case nothing better pops up. Orbiting is subliminally saying “Hey, let’s be friends”.
In real life though, ‘orbiters’ are the guys who arrive at every event your mutual pal has invited you too, despite them stating they never really liked them in the first place. They don’t acknowledge your existence but you catch them popping to the toilet every time you do, and then acting like you’re the crazy person when you bump into them in the corridor. They’re the kind of person who in an episode of Criminal Minds, you’d be sure is the ‘good guy’ only for them to turn up 10 scenes later wearing a jacket of human flesh and pouring over the paparazzi shots of the victim pinned together with bits of string and colour coded tabs. There is only one way to deal with an ‘orbiter’, and that way is the block button.
Sliding into your DM’s.
Dating apps are so 2017. Generation Z have ditched Tinder in favour of stalking people that make their genitals tingle on social media. Sliding into your DM’s used to be something only fan girls did to spam their one true love or for YouTubers to harass under eighteens, but ‘sliding in’ is the new ‘swiping right’ and everyone’s doing it.
The premise of DM sliding is that finding someone you like on social media gives you the opportunity to get a much fuller picture of who they are and what they like, rather than a bio on a dating app. However there is still something a bit icky about private messaging someone you don’t know.
Talking to someone online, @ing them, commenting on their posts is one thing. It’s a communal area, a public arena like the park, where you pop up to someone at a party and say, ‘Hey, I like that thing too.’ But sliding into the DMs is the equivalent to turning up to someone’s house at 8am on a Sunday morning singing carols, selling Tupperware, whilst holding the bible. It’s a bit creepy, a lot invasive and you just need to stop doing it.
The Dick Pic
You’re walking down the street, and in front of you, you notice a cute guy striding along, fresh trim, stylish clothes, and those eyes, you are done. They get closer, and you smile, perhaps say hello and before you can ask their name he’s whipped down his under crackers to display some squashed up looking genitals through his zipper.
Like sure, a well placed penis at the correct time and event will not always be rebuffed, but sending what looks like the discount shelf at a Greggs sausage roll counter whilst I am munching down some muesli and catching up on my online messages is not the way to my heart. What happened to a little bit of wooing, a lot of bit of compliments and saving your exposures until you’re up close and personal and you’ve gained some enthusiastic consent.
When I was at school, random men used to get their dicks out whilst we walked back through the forest. We used to call those men flashers. When you send an unrequested dick pic, you’re a flasher, and you’re as sexy as that bloke, wanking solitary in the forest with only his trench coat and porn magazines for company. Noppity no.
So those are my ‘Tinder in real life’ highlights. Online dating really is a shit show isn’t it? If you’re a single pringle, how do you prefer to find love, online or in real life? Are there any online practices you have found that would weird you out if someone tried them on you in real life? Let me know in the comments or over on my socials.