Men: they’re fucking everywhere, aren’t they? God, I had almost forgotten they existed. I used to walk down streets past men every day and barely give them a second glance, but suddenly now I am starting to notice them. Men. Everywhere. This is a post written loosely off the back of a pep talk I gave to a friend, in which I urged her: shoot your shot. (hat tip to @Oloni for introducing me to that excellent phrase)
The problem with suddenly becoming single is that it throws up a bunch of dating problems that I very much hoped I would never have to deal with. I appreciate that absolutely none of these are serious – they are all things I’ll happily overcome, about which my whining is intended to be no more than a brief and amusing distraction as you trip down whichever path your Wednesday happens to be taking. My current mantra, as life gets harder, is ‘I like doing difficult things.’ Doing difficult things is incredibly empowering, and having the freedom to do those things excites me. Nevertheless, as I start to explore the ways I will throw myself into the exciting hard stuff, I can’t help but bump up against dating problems that I genuinely do not want to tackle. Here is a brief (and likely non-exhaustive list) of things I can’t be arsed with.
I love a good dating story – the more unusual the better. As a now-mostly-monogamous person, I like to live vicariously through singletons, remembering the heady days of internet dating and the weird and wonderful things that can happen when you match with someone on Tinder or OKCupid. This week’s guest blogger – Fran MacLaine – is here to tell you about her first three hours on Tinder. And it’s a rollercoaster, so strap in tight…
Names and identifying details have been changed.
I always hated the common dating site question: ‘what are your favourite books/films/bands etc?’ It struck me as a bizarre way to help encourage compatibility. Sure, if you’re going to be with someone for a long time you don’t want them to be constantly swapping out your punk rock tunes for dance anthems, but it’s more than possible for people with differing tastes to want to jump each other’s bones. Is there anything more useful I’d have asked?
About five years ago when my online dating activity was at its peak, and I spent at least as much time checking OKCupid as I did checking Facebook, I didn’t have a profile photo. Nothing.
I had previously had a profile furnished not just with a picture of my face but a couple of online dating photo ‘action shots’, by which I mean ‘pictures of me in a pub drinking’ and one awkwardly posed ‘full body’ shot. Because having just one photo meant I got messages from people asking for more. They kept asking, though, and eventually I got rid of all the photos – roughly around the time I started this blog.
When you don’t have a profile photo, most of the messages you get will be from people demanding one.
“What do u look like?”
“I won’t date u without a pic.”
“How do I know you’re not a man tho lol.”
They will explain to you, in patronising terms, that you will get far more responses with a photo. Like they think you simply forgot, and you’ll slap your forehead and go “Of COURSE! Thank you kind stranger for telling me what OKCupid tries to tell me every FUCKING TIME I log in!”