Tinder. Bumble. POF. Hinge.
What do these dating apps (and others) have in common?
Text messaging has become the primary mode of communication and, I have to say ladies, this is a HUGE issue for so many reasons (poor grammar as a pet peeve of mine topping my list, but I guess miscommunication/suspicion/death of social skills would be at the top of others).
What happened to subtle body gestures, nuance in tone of voice, and the excitement of getting to know someone vis-à-vis? Apparently, for most women, the days of being approached by a stranger in the street, being bought a drink from someone across the bar, or having a casual conversation initiated by a cute boy at a cafe – are gone. (Cue: Sarah McLachlan – Angel)
I am not being hypocritical – I’ve used dating apps, texting, emails, basically any electronic form of communication – but I use them to my advantage. Strategically. Texting should only be used as a supplement to, not a replacement for, in-person contact/conversation.
Like with Trey. You’ve read about our first date in the Champagne And The City Series, but now I will discuss how exactly that first date came to be.
It all started with a romantic right swipe.
Sometimes I have a way with words
– sometimes words have their way with me.
Tuesday. As I walked out of my condo building and into the crisp morning air, the glass towers of Montreal’s Golden Square Mile shimmered before me and I couldn’t help but smile. A full year had passed since I moved here from the West Coast, yet the city line was as beautiful to me now as it had been on that first day.
The early morning sun was warm against my tanned skin, which I accentuated with a white sheath dress and light grey blazer. Chocolate brown hair framed my bright, gold-flecked dark brown eyes, currently hidden behind a pair of gold Ray-Ban aviators. My shoes lacked the delightful click that only a pair of heels could provide, causing me to look at my feet with disdain. The laboratory where I was completing my required McGill MScPH summer practicum was casual, meaning that I was overdressed even with the concession of flats.
I had to compromise, I kept telling myself.
That didn’t mean I had to enjoy it.
I was on my way to the Royal Victoria Hospital where I worked full-time as a Research Assistant in addition to completing my practicum. It was situated at base of Mont Royal, where lush green foliage created the perfect backdrop to an old castle which had been transformed into a clinical institution. McGill sprawled below the hospital, looking more like an European city than a top tier university campus.
I had almost made it through the grand wooden doors of the beautiful stone structure, a building which had once been a stable but was now the office of Clinical Epidemiology, when an unexpected name flashed onto my iPhone screen. Dismissing the notification, I continued into my office and fired up the out-dated computer at my desk. I took another sip of my coffee while waiting for the desktop to load and thought idly of the male who was initiating this impromptu conversation.
It had been almost a year since Trey and I last saw each other; he was my favourite Tinder encounter to date. Chance circumstances had led to us matching on the dating app in the first place. Three months prior to our first date in Montreal, fate would have it that both Trey, a Vancouver boy, and myself happened to choose Kelowna as our summer vacation spot.
I was visiting family and had decided to see if Tinder could provide some entertainment over the few days I would be in the city. It was rare that I engaged in Tindering – more often than not the app was deleted off my phone. I preferred meeting men the old fashioned way. You know, when someone walks up to you and strikes up a conversation, or perhaps sends you a drink across the bar.
Typically, it was a girlfriend who prompted me to download Tinder, likely so she could live vicariously through the dating aftermath. I had to admit, it was a source of entertainment for everyone, not just me. I chose men unconventionally – I wanted to have a single night of fun that would not lead to a relationship. In my mind this is what Tinder was made for – sex. No need for glamorizing it or believing you are the unicorn that will find ‘the one’. I know it happens – but it is about as common as finding your future husband in a nightclub.
While Tindering I am an aggressive swiper; my decision is based purely upon how good-looking the male was in his first photo. I couldn’t be bothered to read the profile or look through subsequent photos in an attempt to decipher details about any prospective date. I wasn’t looking for a husband, I was looking for a good time. I did have a few criteria: no shirtless jocks, no steroid monkeys, no sensitivity-seekers, and certainly no marriage material.
So, imagine my delight when I found a good-looking Arab with a level of arrogance that could be captured in a still frame. I think you can guess what I did next.
Have you dated online before? Maybe you made a profile on a dating website, or perhaps downloaded an app hailed as the ‘new’ way of speed dating.
If your answer is yes, did this go well for you?
Was the interaction fluid and authentic, or were you overthinking every single message. Interpreting silence as disinterest or certain words as insults. We’ve all been there ladies, some of us more than others.
I tend to avoid this dating pot hole by avoiding texting and driving all together.
I meet in person, because there is one online obstacle that is almost impossible to overcome: not being able to read someone via text.
Hi ladies, welcome to what I believe is a universal problem when participating in a text conversation. Why? Because texting is inherently devoid of any emotional valence, behavioural cues, and all other factors associated with real life interaction. No emoji, or bitmoji, is going to fill that void.
My advice: go out and meet them.
Go on a date. Get a coffee. Or in my case: a glass of bubbles, followed by about two more bottles of Champagne and more often than not an Uber ride back to his place to have another bottle of wine, or bubbles, and sex – because hey, he was hot, so why not? I truly believe that women (and men, but that is a different story) are creating an unnecessarily complex situation and, to be honest, it is working against them. I have often opted against texting overall, in favour of vis-à-vis interactions. That is why I meet my Tinder dates instantly, not after weeks of back and forth messaging.
Do things always work out perfectly? Hell no. But that is exactly how it is supposed to be. As Cara Alwill Leyba said perfectly:
“You won’t be everyone’s glass of Champagne – but you don’t have to be.”
So – how did that right swipe go? Find out in next weeks post Texting – The Demise of Dating: Part 2.
Illustration credit: Megan Hess; @meganhess_official
Quote: Cara Alwill Leyba; @thechampagnediet
Quote: Atticus; @atticuspoetry