So I decided to join Tinder. Not out of need, but out of curiosity. Having witnessed Anastasia bursting with excitement a few days ago after she had installed the app, I couldn’t help but wonder what the fuss was all about. The only thing I knew about Tinder was that it was used mostly for hookups, both in my community as well as in the “vanilla” (monogamous and missionary) scene and was widely seen as an easy and fun dating app, mostly for those not really looking for serious relationships. And it’s mostly not a rumor. I mean, I don’t really know any couples that are romantically involved, who met on Tinder.
But hey, never say never!
So, being loudly encouraged by Anstassia and after a few minutes of hesitation, I went ahead and installed the app on my phone.
And let me tell you- No one will ever be the same! An experience was waiting to unravel, I could just tell. Hanging on the edge of my seat, I logged in and started my journey through an ocean of cookie-cutter selfies and pictures that can pretty much be divided into the following 4 categories:
1. Selfies of dudes in/on/around/on top of their cars (always a bad idea).
2. Mirror selfies at gyms sporting not much more than abs (head cut off, weird angle, as though he’s suffering from some sort of side cramp- are you kidding me?)
3. Dude holding a pint of beer. Or holding a bro and a pint of beer.
4. A jumble of all kinds of hipsters and their promises: beard, surf, a rescued dog, a remote travel adventure.
How is a girl supposed to feel about all of this!?
As I flipped through the buffet menu, I noticed myself being strangely attracted to guys with a serious need for a shave, individuals placed in what seemed to be their natural habitat – nature, and also to the techy tattooed types. While my usual cute-good-boy type was quickly swiped to the left- a No on Tinder. Someone holding a jug of beer – definitely gets a not! On a bike somewhere in the nature- fuck yeah! Suits and ties- no way! Tee shirt and sun bleached hair- hello ovaries! I feel my female organs responding to five day stubble and eyes you can look right into! I also often find my finger hovering over an age mark of 27-29. Add above-mentioned qualities to this age group and you get my idea of perfect fun!
TINDER SURPRISES AND DISAPPOINTS.
But as I swipe through dozens of photographs, I try to be open and turn the maximum age for my suitors to be at 42. I’m sort of proud of myself for this. Being open, you know. Trying new things, dating older men! 🙂
Photo credit – Julia Pogodina, http://www.juliapogodina.com/
Bracelet – Banana Republic (old, but another option here and here)
An hour later I realize that I have almost a dozen matches (because I keep on swiping left, a No, to most pictures) and no real Tinder profile yet, so I take time to fill it out. With only questions. I think this way I am setting the right vibe to weed out those outside of my circle of interest.
“I am probably not who you think I am” is the opening line in my profile, followed by a few questions to confuse those seeking a quick fix. And given my tendency to go for the 27-29 year olds, I add “cougar” to my profile. With a question mark, of course! Now the fun begins!
Two days later I am in full conversation with about 20 people, two of whom actually sound interesting. But over the past 48 hours I also got a proposal to be kissed on the Brooklyn Bridge at sunset and to re-enact that famous pottery wheel scene from the movie Ghost. I mean, girls, does this shit really work? They must be using it because it works or I am really confused about the state of reality I live in. I begin to get a feeling that there is some sort of manual on how to get laid on Tinder floating around the Internet, filled with cheesiest quotes in human history.
I also find myself being completely unburdened by the need to get anyone’s interest here. I don’t need Tinder for sex, thanks to my wonderful lifestyle; nor am I interested in a serious relationship at this time. I’m just having fun, or how my mother would put it- wasting my time, listening to my biological clock tick! 🙂
At the end of my fourth decade I actually feel more free than ever before. For the first time I’m not actively looking to pair myself with one partner for an entire lifetime, because I know there are other options and I am completely open to all kinds of unknowns. I have everything I need to satisfy me, from sex to emotional stimulation. I have big plans for the next year of my life that include exploring, growing and building some amazing things. All these variables can only become reality if I let myself be my only priority and completely free to direct my energy where it needs to go. Only a very specific partner can merge perfectly with this and I am open to having this person enter my life, but I am not actively looking for him/her. Everything else is not a priority. Time is scarce. Time is of the essence.
So I continue talking to my Tinder-interests, old and new, for the next 24 hours and eventually decline two dates. But on day three I get a proposal for a drink from a 42-year-old world-traveling lawyer, who seems to have an active lifestyle, calls himself a philanthropist and may actually be very interesting to meet in person. My first Tinder date is set.
As I arrive to the restaurant, I see him from the back: chin-long hair, wide back, dressed in a nicely fitted suit. He turns around and says hi. Physical difference is actually not that big between his online profile and the real thing, so I am relieved. My biggest turn off is people who misrepresent themselves in their online photos. This guys actually looks like his pictures!
However, about seven minutes into this conversation I already clearly see how different we are! It’s obvious even from simply talking about the things that we do on regular basis and interests. I quickly realize that there’s no possible way in hell that this could lead to anything, even friendship. And while I’m sitting there, planning to escape I realize that this exploration might actually turn out to be fun. This guy is so self absorbed and enjoys hearing himself speak so much, that I decide to open up about my own life as soon as the opportunity comes. He obviously thinks he has the upper hand in “my life is awesome” department. With abandon, his supposedly ocean sunburned lips, kept on telling me about everything he has achieved (meaning bought!) in the past 10 years, including a condo, a nice car, retired acting and modeling careers with current focus on what he calls “helping people”, translated as “ambulance chasing lawyer”.
To make long story short, after a long monologue on his own awesomeness, he finally asked what I do for fun, since I don’t drink, don’t eat meat or go to bars! In a couple of sentences I summed up my lifestyle, my business situation and my two side projects and suddenly conversation changed direction. The man was interested! Suddenly, a new horizon opened and he became attentive and even invited me to continue to a bar for another drink as it was approaching 11 and we just started talking about me! At this point the game became predictable and I’d have to spend the rest of the night, telling him that no, I’m not going to take him to one of the best sex parties in the world and yes, I really don’t want to get married. So, I used my exit strategy (I always have one for first dates) which is my late night session with a coach in Siberia, that I confirmed in the bathroom earlier, at dinner. The reason is, by the way, absolutely true and I do often have those late night sessions with Siberia. This was one of those nights, except my session didn’t start until midnight.
As I exited the scene of the crime, leaving the Tinder Prince in the middle of Williamsburg, I smiled at this experience in the backseat of the cab. My first date ended up being the most stereotypical date of all time and I am writing about this as it happens, in real time. I’m taking notes as I go, like a true reporter! :)) That immediately makes me happy. A potentially bad and discouraging date, turned into a great writing experience!
As I walk through the door I’m greeted by Anastassia who is finishing up her session on Skype with our Siberian friend and coach. Immediately the attention of both is focused on my story and as I tell them all the fun details of my first Tinder date, we all bend in half laughing. Our Siberian friend on the other side of the world suggests that Anastasia should’ve send me out in the fairy makeup she did on me recently. To scare off the normals, of course. I honestly look like a fairy forest princess in those pictures and I love them. Anastasia replies: “See, if I did that, this one would have come home with an elf and a unicorn!” Very true. I have a tendency to attract magical creatures these days!
The next morning my friend Rael texts me. Apparently she also had a bad internet-date last night: “We need magic people!” – she says after she’s done venting. Then adds:”Big-hearted, magic people! In fantastic bodies! 🙂 “
Indeed we do! And they are out there. Even on Tinder! I believe that!
In a few moments Tinder Prince from last night texts me.
“Should we repeat that?” he says.
I tell him the way it is: no attraction, no point, I wish him well on this amazing and wonderful journey. He replies with a smiley emoji and “At least now I have a story of a girl rushing out on me on Tinder date because of a Skype session with Siberia!”
“Ha ha true that!”- I text back.
And I slide right with my finger and choose “delete” next to his number in my phone Contacts .
I’d say that for the first Tinder experience, this was a good and eyeopening adventure. I have since changed my approach to swiping right and ended up going on a really good date where I actually had to cancel my exit plan. But that’s another story. 🙂