Back when I was first dating online there were like, seven men in my area to choose from. You had to sit down at your computer to make your profile, and your profile pic was taken on your shitty webcam. You’d read everyone’s (in-depth) profiles meticulously and select people after you truly felt like you’d connected to their very soul and you matched on all lifestyle questions and scored a 90% on compatibility. Your opening message would have PARAGRAPHS.
Now there are plenty of fish in the sea. Maybe more than plenty. Too many fish. There’s not even any ocean, really, no room to swim about, just massive piles of fish in a big ol’ fishy mountain.
Honestly, there are SO MANY APPS. And yeah, yeah, I could just pick one and focus my energies, but I have massive fomo and don’t want to think there’s someone I’m missing out on somewhere else. You know, someone kinda cute, kinda hot, kinda sexy, hysterically funny, but not funny-looking.
I joined Tinder, obviously, it’s where one begins. I found that they were all named James and all had tight white pants on and very coiffed hair, which I think looks simply marvellous but seems exhausting as a lifestyle choice. These fellas provide no biographical information, they just list their height like it’s a personality trait. No, I lie, some of them do something novel where they put emojis to show what they like, but it’s always just beer and coffee and a bicycle, and big whoop Jimmy, we all like beer and coffee and bicycles. (Isn’t this disheartening? I know this because MY profile was like, “dogs are great and I like beer”, and then I realised that all of humanity is exactly the same, we all just like cute things and nice drinks and the weekends, and anyone who says they don’t is a liar trying to differentiate themselves in a saturated market.)
So I went to Bumble and found they were all also named James and had looser fitting pants on but still didn’t really have any information, usually just a dad joke and a picture of a dog, sometimes not even their dog. Just using a pup for puss! This is very disrespectful to the canines, who were gifted to the goddess’s green earth for noble and pure reasons.
(Funny story, I found one guy on the apps, total babe, French, gorgeous eyes, bonjour bonjour monseiur. I sent his pic to Ashton and my sister, Emma. Emma replied with “woah… is he strangling that dog? Doesn’t even look like it’s his dog, someone else is holding the lead. Red flag”. When I looked back at the picture, she was right. He had his hand firmly on the dog’s neck to hold him steady, and the lead was held aloft, off-screen. When I told Ashton this, he sent back, “what dog”. Priorities.)
So next up was OkCupid, where I was delighted in getting to comb through their entire LIVES before even swiping, but then they are all polyamorous pan demisexuals (this isn’t even an ‘either or’ situation; this is an ‘and’ situation). This is fine, as a lifestyle choice for others; but much like the coiffed hair of Tinder it seems like a lot of effort and time to maintain. Also they are all called James over there too. No lie, at one point, I was talking to four different Jameses at once. What HAPPENED in the 80s, Australian mothers?!
I applied to join the Inner Circle because I thought it’d be funny when my application was rejected and I could make a Facebook post about how I must be in the OUTER Circle (the comedy was clearly just writing itself), but then they let me in. I saw my boss on there, levitated a metre out of my chair in sheer-heart-attack-terror, and exited the app for good.
So where does that leave us? Well, I’m currently running a policy of “no new swipes in October”, which is going extraordinarily… badly. Do you know how fun it is to open an app and see a face? And then judge that face’s favourite artists on Spotify? Oh god. It’s incredible. How do married people cope without getting to send “hey good looking! Pizza or tacos?” to a COMPLETE STRANGER? I think I’m beginning to understand why so many people are poly pans.
Back pre-ghosting my profiles were pretty loosey goosey. I literally said I wanted “cute dates and pashes”, and this was a red flag to a bull, I can tell you that much. They swarmed on me in droves, their mouths already open, tongues waggling at me. Men would open with “hi” and a completely blank profile and I would say hi back! I would ask what they were up to! I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted, so I just chatted to all of them to figure it out. In saying that, I learned very quickly that if they are opening with nothing but “hi” then what they are up to is “not much, u”, and the conversation is not going to get any better from there.
(As another aside, an extraordinarily beautiful man matched me on OkCupid, so good looking that I asked him if he was a piece of automated software or simply confused. It later unfolded that he had also matched with every friend I have in Melbourne on the apps. And despite his beautiful face – seriously, a real jawline and symmetry sort of fella – he’s managed to bore all of us out of talking to him. Chat with him was less interesting than conversations I have with checkout operators. “Hi. How are you. I’m ok. Not much is going on. Just work. What about you.” I got exhausted with him and ended up asking one night if he was “swimming in puss”, which he didn’t understand; so I rephrased to “are you fighting the fanny off with a stick”, and that was the last I heard from him.)
After The Ghost suddenly my standards whooshed back in and I was no longer interested in wasting time going on dates just in case they weren’t awful. No more blank profiles, no more 26 year olds calling me “a hot older woman”, no more replying to men who think that meeting at “Starbux” would be cute. I’m living my Shania Twain That Don’t Impress Me Much best life, not taking no crap from no one; swishing my hair about demanding they live up to my standards.
As a result, please look forward to the next instalment of this blog: “Yes, obviously I am still single” in six months time.