Blind dates and set-ups may be things of the past, but are the dating apps that have replaced them any better? Three twentysomethings tell all
Modern love is digitised. Letters and unrequited love have been replaced with modern iterations (saucy pictures and ghosting). You do not go on blind dates, you go on dates with people whose best photos you deem, at best, attractive and, at worst, passable. No one asks each other out in person any more, probably.
There are merits and disadvantages to Tinder, Happn, Grindr, Bumble and the rest. They dismantle the high stakes normally associated with the terror of asking someone out, but in doing so they also cheapen the act. Post-Tinder, love feels disposable; people become something to consume. This is what love online looks like.
I asked the first guy out after exchanging three sentences
Libby, 27, customer services assistant
In January this year I downloaded Tinder, Bumble and Happn. It seemed like the only option to meet someone these days if you dont work with, or hang out with, men.
I asked the first guy out after exchanging approximately three sentences on Tinder. He announced he was emigrating the moment we met. I realised we were mismatched after approximately three minutes, anyway. He now lives in New York; I stayed in the country.
One evening I got chatting to someone: skip forward three hours and I had agreed to meet him in central London. I stumbled up the stairs at Oxford Circus, spotted his bad shoes and realised that I just wasnt Samantha from Sex and the City. I promptly ran across the road and down another entrance, and texted him to say: Im so sorry something has come up, I cant make it tonight. He sent me a lovely response that it was totally OK and we should go for a drink another night.
We did. He had just been diagnosed with ADHD and they were experimenting with his medication, which tended to wear off at the end of the day, so he didnt like to sit still for too long. But I really liked how weird he was and was totally thrilled when he texted me the next morning: That was fun, we should do it again some time. We did; three days later he hadnt texted me. A week later, I was drunk and I sent him a meme of Celine Dion letting go of Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic whispering, Jack, Ill never let go, Jack because his name was Jack and I thought I was hilarious.
The worst part of online dating is the first awkward face-to-face hello. Your preconception of the person you have been speaking to is always very oddly different to whoever it is you meet. And I also seem to make my mind up very quickly on how the night will go.
I once heard a story about a man who turns up to dates early and buys himself a drink, so that when the girl arrives, he can send her up to the bar to get a drink and do a runner if he thinks they arent up to his exacting standards. Thats almost a reason to give up.
One evening, I started speaking to a man really interesting, engaging, all very effortless and after three hours of constant messaging, we arranged a drink for the next day. He asked for my number taking messaging off Tinder is a big deal and then texted at 5pm to ask me where we should go. I texted back suggesting a bar, washed my hair and never heard back from him.
Many, many people agree to a drink and then never reply. Im almost not sure how to deal with any response to Do you want to discuss this over a drink? that isnt silence. One guy asked me which person I was in one of my profile pictures; he said my friend looked like a much hotter version of me. I replied, Oh, really? He said, Youre an angry woman, you would fall in love with me but also hate me a little bit. I bet you would slap me during sex. We went on two average dates.
I have never been on a Bumble date. It is rumoured the app has a hotter population of men. But it doesnt actually put the female in control: it simply means vain men can read and smugly ignore your overthought openers. Happn is trying to add the cute fate dimension to app dating, but it just means you find your flatmates boyfriend on it as he is upstairs and the location tracker lands you in a dubious situation. I deleted it on Valentines Day.