same old, same old
We all know that dating apps are a burning trash heap. That much is clear. But the more I swipe (left, mainly) the more I wonder if all of this feels a tad familiar. Time and time again I stare at my screen, and staring back is this guy…
1. You love to travel. Everybody is so keen on travelling that I am actually surprised London isn’t empty 90% of the time. People want to tell you how many countries they have been to as well, sometimes by listing flag emojis. Fun.
2. You have specifically been to Thailand and/or Vietnam and you want to go back. #takemeback. Or maybe you did a Thai cookery course that you can’t wait to tell me about. Great.
3. You hate slow walkers
4. You are fluent in sarcasm
5. You are a stand-up comedian and/or DJ
BUT WAIT, that isn’t your real job because
6. You are actually an entrepreneur working in fintech (unless you are on Bumble in which case it is mandatory that you work for either Deloitte or KPMG)
7. You like dogs or “doggos”, maybe you are even looking for somebody to get a “doggo” with on this app. Sigh.
8. You want a “partner in crime”
9. You want a snuggle buddy
Sorry I just vomited
10. You love banter
Now I must clarify that I am not just trashing all over Mr Average whilst thinking I am the queen of dating. I am very much not. I am a low-level baroness at best. I include myself in this critique wholeheartedly. My dating profile is nothing special, nobody could read it and glean anything that exciting from it, and I imagine that it gets swiped away like the rest of them, unexceptional in the vast, infinite deck of female faces. But it is becoming increasingly hard to sift through the stack of potential suitors when faced with a Groundhog Day of people parading the same stuff about themselves over and over. So (in my best Carrie Bradshaw voice) I can’t help but wonder, when did we all get so dull?
Of course, in the good old days we simply walked up to a stranger in a bar and propositioned them, or signed in and out of MSN messenger so much they had to acknowledge us. We had no idea if the person we were throwing ourselves at (often literally) at the Guildford ice disco was any more interested in dissecting the feminism of Thomas Hardy than we were (they were not), so you might argue that Tinder is no different.
But I feel like in dating apps we have been given an opportunity to show off those bits of ourselves that we are most proud of, that make us most interesting, and I truly hope that isn’t just the fact that you like David Attenborough documentaries. We have been given a chance to curate a whole list of things that make us weird or extraordinary; a place to write about the things we actually enjoy, the things we want from life, the music that makes us cry and the TV shows that make us laugh. It can’t only be Alan Partridge.
I honestly believe that everybody has something about them that is remarkable or unique, everybody has a story, everybody has something to offer. And that something isn’t simply a recipe to a fairly mediocre red Thai curry.