It's a well known fact that you can (more or less) find anything online, and relationships aren't an exception.
With over 7500 dating sites and apps to choose from there's an endless selection of people literally at our fingertips - so what's not to like? Whether you're after a casual bang or the father of your kids, the internet has it all. Or maybe like me, you're just bloody bored.
It's been a couple of weeks since I got back to the U.K. after travelling, and the novelty of sleeping in a bed that isn't mouldy has worn off. I am underwhelmed. After catching up with my nearest and dearest, job hunting and walking the pooch, the monotony of my grey home town has driven me to something I said I'd never go back to: dating apps.
Admittedly I dabbled with Tinder while I was away. A mixture of curiosity and a lot of free time led to hours of entertainment with my friends as we swiped absent-mindedly. I went on a few dates, which proved my original theory that I will not find the love of my life online... Or perhaps I am too picky.
|Having a swipe in Nicaragua|
Back in London with a spring in my step, I vowed to stop wasting time swiping through distasteful men with their pecks out.
Then the week of blizzards and nipple-shrivelling temperatures happened, and I caved. As another house-bound day passed I sheepishly downloaded Bumble with my tail between my legs, hoping for some amusement that wasn't my Dad doing circuits in the front room.
You might be thinking, what's with this girl's dating app shame? I'm sure you can tell that I'm a little reluctant, bordering on sneery. But the fact is I'm not judging anyone but myself. The notion of swiping people based on their looks is all fun and games until you meet up with someone who has the personality of a fish. (Don't get me wrong, I have met some goodens, but there's never been a real "spark".) Trawling through the likes of Rodger, 28, who is clearly in his 50's becomes depressing surprisingly quickly and I am back to square one.
I'm not doubting that dating apps can lead to love, because a lot of my friends are evidence of this. But I can't help but wonder what Tinder/Bumble/Bristlr (an app for beard lovers) etc. says about us as a society. It seems odd that we have progressed so much in certain aspects - see the body positivity movement or growing acknowledgement of non-binary genders for example - and yet recent research says 50 million of us are still active on Tinder and therefore judging people on the way they look.
|Incognito in London. Photo by Serge Kabanda|
A profile picture can't condense character. This week I'm going on a date with someone who I've already met in real life, who I might not have swiped yes for on an app. At the rate that I flick through and disregard people online, it's a split-second change of destiny that could cost me my soulmate!
I think it's time to hang up my dating app shoes as quickly as I put them on. While browsing the human catalogue of online profiles is undoubtedly fun, I've realised that subjective attraction doesn't necessarily equal chemistry.