Internet dating has a stigma. Hiding behind a LCD screen allows a person a certain amount of anonymity not afforded in the public sphere. After a short lived foray into Internet dating (in the name of research, of course) I’m starting to understand why that stigma is warranted.
For those that have been living under a rock, or, say, in a relationship, Tinder is a dating application that works on a very simple, brutal premise. Swipe right for yes; left for no. That’s it. Five photos which stand between you and your potential soul mate.
I entered the realm of the unknown after a few too many margaritas. Buoyed by a friends’ positive experience with several young gentlemen she had been “matched” with via the app, I brazenly picked 5 of my most worthy pictures and set up my profile. To be judged. And to judge. Damn, was it addictive! Suddenly the power was back in my hands. After years of sheepish, coy glances across the bar, waiting for texts and taking the back seat in the dating game, it was finally my choice, my swipe, that gave me the opportunity to potentially pursue.
There were a few good men, but one particularly caught my attention with a few cheeky exchanges and, after successfully stalking his Facebook page agreed to meet up. For all those attempting to Internet date, let what happened thereafter serve as a guide:
Always meet the match with a friend in tow. That way, if he is a serial killer, at least someone would have copped a look at his face. Small comfort.
Remember photos can be photoshopped, cropped, filtered, darkened, lightened and just downright fake. Grain of salt when basing your opinion on the photographic variety of evidence.
Speak on the phone before you agree to meet. Wittiness can be manufactured over text, but is very difficult to replicate in real time conversation. Once you’re on a boring date, you’re stuck there for what feels like eternity.
While a few drinks under your belt can help with the old Dutch courage, being blotto is not really advisable. And under no circumstances should you follow my lead and meet up after midnight. Nothing good can happen after Cinderella’s curfew.
The second a guy admits his baby blues are due to contacts: run. Briskly, towards the nearest exit.
While the power of the swipe was certainly a thrill, I’m not sold. Nothing can recreate that first rush when meeting someone in the flesh. Back to the meat market for this little Miss Piggy.