Not satisfied with breathing in exhaust-fume scented air, I recently dove onto 9gag and discovered a rather relatable post, the crux of which was this: share your Tinder advice.

One should immediately note that advice for Tinder is in and of itself a bit odd. How hard can it be? What advice does one surely need? Upload some pictures, write an appropriate biography and swipe away, only to match with a Russian algorithm that will clone your search history and threaten its release unless you pay the national debt’s equivalent in cryptocurrency. Life was easier when you posted Lonely Hearts adverts in the village well among several dead fish.

Actually, nothing has changed. It also turns out there is a lot of things people should know when using Tinder.

It is important that I outright state, as with all opinions, this is purely subjective. Some people ride the social media wave well and as a result can use it as an effective tool to meet and get to know people. I am not one of those. The best I have ever done is Yuri, who continues to hold my family hostage until I pay him three kilograms of preserved pork and enough Bitcoin to destabilize Turkmenistan.

Yuri, if you are reading this, call me.

I do not want to address the successes of online dating, of which there are many. It is (ironically) more socially acceptable to meet people online than ever. However, having plumbed the depths of this particular 9gag post, I could not help but wonder whether online dating is feeding into some negative behaviors.

Mine included.

Firstly, it was very clear that the large majority of those posting their “advice” (a synonym in this case for “complaints”) were men. I sadly cannot give a womxn-centric angle to this. That is not to alienate womxn, just to point out the sources of this article comes from a some deeply sexually frustrated willy-owners.

The advice largely stemmed from negative experiences users had with online dating apps. There were no comments that I could find where someone posted “Hey, I find that people respond well to writing such-and-such or if you post so-and-so type pictures.” Everything was rooted in Eastern European levels of disappointment and ennui. Stories were predominantly structured around what to look out for in terms of fake profiles or catfish and, worse, whether someone actually looked like their profile pictures would have you believe. The most relatable of these comments was one individual who stated that all he had were matches, with nobody replying to his opening message. Without fail, I had experienced varying degrees of every complaint and comment I read. There were definitely girls who did not so much as respond to an opening message (as a rule, I try and lead with a funny opener, never the tepid, “Hey, how are you?”); girls who looked nothing like their profile would have you believe and then worse, the ones who you would have a lovely conversation with, only to vanish like a witness to Epstein’s death.

In fact, the whole depressing thread became so relatable that I couldn’t help but feel the black fog of millennial self-pity waft into my room and not leave because it couldn’t afford rent elsewhere. It was at that point I realized I had used Tinder on and off for some time, and it never worked.

For me. I need to stress this. It never worked for me.

Yet I kept deleting and re-downloading it. I found that the deleting happened when I was happy and self-content, the re-downloading often happened late at night. Notice anything? Yes, you should. I turned to Tinder when I was feeling lonely.

I live alone and as anyone who does so will tell you, it is not a daily fight, but more of an ongoing grapple. Some days you are perfectly contented in your own company, others, the act of walking into an empty house is tantamount to a quiet death. This is not a complaint, just an observation. Everything is where I want it to be and there is no water on the bathroom floor so I think it’s a pretty sweet deal.

But that doesn’t change the fact that I want my solitary existence to end. And like any periodically lonely person, I turn to those things which wont necessarily offer me companionship, but rather the hope of companionship.

I am willing to stick my neck out and say that the complicated relationship so many people have with dating app’s is not because they work, but because they offer hope. Like the lottery, you have to play to win. Also like the lottery, you very rarely will. To this end, of course people alter their profiles, change their pictures and talk themselves up to more than what they are; their inadequacies in real life manifest as confidence digitally. They are hoping to find their connection, hoping to meet someone who does not conform with them, but conforms with who they believe themselves to be.

We basically behave on dating apps the same way we do in real life, behind a manufactured façade. All that dating apps do is offer another iris for rejection.

An iris for rejection? Surely you have to be openly rejected to feel rejection?

Nope.

You just have to be ignored.

Which anyone who has matched with someone they did not hope to can attest, is very easy to do. I have been a monster this way to someone else, I am not proud to admit it. Others have been the same to me.

I refuse to play the role of that monster any more. I have not succeeded where others have with dating apps and that’s okay. It does not make them terrible or me a pariah, it just means I am unable to play the game because I suffer from the sin of hope. And it is a sin. I am not saying this to point out that hope, when squeezed through the butthole of loneliness, makes you do stupid things. It makes you uncomfortable online and in waking life. The way I see it is this: there are men who go drinking at a bar hoping to meet womxn. All that happens is they drink alone. Instead of meeting womxn; they develop a drinking problem. I am not that person, I know I am not that person; but the possibility my behavior by attempting to address my infrequent loneliness may hurt others like me is a risk I will no longer take.

To that end, I have resolved to remove myself from the gaze of dating apps. I fail enough in real life when it comes to meeting women, perhaps I need to keep my failure there, where it is polite enough to happen in person.

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