You see a pair of laughing eyes,
And suddenly you’re sighing sighs,
You think there’s nothing wrong,
You string along, boy, then snap!
Those eyes, those sighs, they’re part of the Tinder trap …
Ol’ Blue Eyes would have been 102 this May yet it seems he was way ahead of his time when it comes to modern matchmaking. Of course, I’ve paraphrased Sinatra for the digital age, but online dating is not really that new.
Since the abbreviated textual refrain ‘a/s/l’ (age/sex/location) rang through the chatrooms of Yahoo! Messenger in the late 1990s, singlets, the polyamorous, and the pathologically cheating have been laying internet foundations for doing the horizontal hula, with gusto.
Jump-cut to 2017 – a strange, always-plugged-in future where the activity of digital dating is way more prevalent and certainly a far more socially acceptable thing to do. It’s also assumed that this opens up a plethora of new opportunities for those experiencing a bit of a drought. Yet, with profiles on POF (Plenty of Fish), OkCupid, and Tinder, my own experimental forays into digital missus-meeting feels laborious, inefficient and time-consuming. Consequently, my increasingly overstuffed notifications list currently reads as follows:
“hi-mntnc_D4Queen checked out your profile.”
“blunt_bombshell winked at your nudge.”
“Do you want to lurk on YogaChick23‘s page?”
“Flatula*2 left a disinterested sigh on your profile. Sigh back?”
“You have received a Profile Restraining Order from megirlosaremadbitches_1.”
“Your Subscription to Single, Left-handed BBW Irish Ladies Daily has expired.”
And so on. Okay, it’s not exactly like that, and I lied about the last one (as if I’d let that expire), but it’s not far off, leading this singular fish to come to the conclusion that online dating sites and apps are, essentially, designed to keep you occupied with, well, online dating sites and apps …
This intention to keep users hooked (the wrong way) is also part of the reason why none of the sites or apps allow you to cut to the chase and simply type in what you do, or don’t, want from a partner and filter results accordingly.
The end result being that you’ve to spend half your life winking, nudging, poking, swiping and waiting in the hopes of landing that illusive catch. All the while being bombarded with increasingly targeted ads and notifications.
Add to that, the notion that out of hundreds of thousands of random users you’d be able to pluck out a perfect prince/princess is a pretty far-fetched one, and you’d be forgiven for thinking that you might be better off walking around town with your profile printed out and stapled to your jumper; maybe not, but it would have to be easier than trying to create chemistry through screen encounters.
That said, I just got winked at by a ROZ_prcll_88, sure I might just wink back …
Trying to attract a guy online? ‘An exceedingly grumpy man’ shares his profile tips …
1. “Im selfish, I’m insecure … if you can’t handle me at my worst … ” etc. If you were actually Marilyn Monroe, well maybe we could make allowances for your appalling behaviour, but you’re not.
2. Ah, I see you ran around in muck for hours, wearing smelly lycra. Fair play and everything, but not really feeling it. Peace out.
3. You’re ‘addicted to the gym’. Bye!
4. You are in a dressing room in a shop, trying on different outfits for your profile pictures on a dating website. That’s not weird at all.
5. “I’m not sure what to say here, I hate filling these things in …” You shouldn’t have bothered then.
6. Just the one profile picture, and it’s a photograph of an iguana? How could anyone resist.
7. All of your pictures are of you and your mates and I’ve to guess which one you are. Nope.
8. “I love me mad bitches to bits!” Righto …
9. No one is interested in how you look as a bridesmaid. We don’t care.
10. WE DON’T CARE ABOUT THE YOGA.