Monday 24 April 2017 / London, UK

Why I'm Giving Up Tinder...

Tinder, Bumble, Happn, Plenty Of Fish....

you name any dating app and the chances are, I've probably tried it. And yes I am aware of how embarrassingly tragic that sounds, but the shitty reality is that when you are a single 23 year old woman (*girl?) living in London in 2017 where the probability of a man actually standing infront of you and eating his own shit is significantly higher than a man actually approaching you in a bar to chat you up, you are left with little option but to throw away what little ounce of dignity and self-respect you have left, spit on it, and then resort to downloading that ever so lovely dating app we call Tinder.

Oh Tinder, I remember when it was first released in 2012, 2 years into my University degree. The online dating world was strictly a taboo subject then, with the mere mention of enough to provoke hysterics amongst those in their twenties. A tragic dating world strictly reserved for 50 year old divorcees desperately searching for their last shot at love...or so we thought. A dating app we asked? The word "app" had instantly cooler connotations than "website" and something about this minor difference triggered a staggering difference in perspectives from those under 30. Fast forward just 5 short years since the app's release date and I believe you'd struggle to name any single (or not) male or female under the age of 40 who doesn't have the Tinder app installed on their iPhone. Tinder  is now so casually dropped into conversations with friends, family members and hell, even work colleagues! That sense of shame and secrecy about belonging to an online dating site has thankfully been destroyed so much so that that once taboo Voldemort word (Tinder) which would never be mentioned out loud in public as little as 4 years ago, is now shamelessly dropped into many a conversation. People openly swipe in cafes, on the tube, on crowded trains, in bars, and heck we're not impartial to a cheeky swipe during our lunch break at work either. Online dating has come a long, long way. 

After all, why go to all the painful and humiliating effort of actually having to approach a girl, spend £5 £10 on a drink for her (we live in London remember), practice your best small talk, hell maybe even buy a round for her mates as well because girls love a generous guy right, and after ALL that effort not even be guaranteed her number, or even worse, to be told "sorry you're a lovely guy but I have a boyfriend, but thanks for the drinks, have a good night" whilst you're typing your pin into the card machine...So why then, wouldn't guys prefer to sit at home or in the pub, or even on the toilet midway through a shit and with a few swipes to the right, a few cheesy chat-up lines and a few GIF's later, have a guaranteed date secured and all without having to step foot outside, spend a penny, or risk being humiliated infront of your mates. Sounds like the dream right? 

Us millenials are meant to be all about instant gratification after all aren't we? According to every person over the age of 30 who so loves to critique our generation and harp on about how we don't understand the true meaning of a connection anymore, we are apparently obsessed with immediacy, are spoilt beyond belief with options and have access to anything and everything on our smart phones, including the search for love. Well I will tell you something, yours truly is a millenial, but I couldn't be further from this escapade. I may be one of few left who don't hold all those values of a typical "millenial". Because you know what? I actually don't want to find my future boyfriend, life partner or fiancee on Tinder. I just don't. I have been there, done that and got the ghosted T-shirt. I've been on fun Tinder dates and I've been on god-awful Tinder dates. I've been on and off Tinder throughout the 5 years it's been around and I've seen it evolve from an originally predominantly innocent dating app to a seedy and degrading one.

I've been hurled abuse at when I've refused to tell a seedy stranger what my favourite sex position is. I've been told to "lighten up" and been called "a stuck up bitch" when I haven't reciprocated a guy's (pathetic) attempt at a dirty message and I've lost count of the amount of times I've been greeted with a welcoming message of "sit on my face". I've felt degraded and used and as much as I'm not a fan of throwing the "sexist" word around, I have experienced a disgustingly shameful number of sexist encounters on the app, which have left me feeling really bloody shit about myself to be totally honest with you. It's so easy for men (and women) to hide behind an app and to talk derogatively and disrespectfully to women in a tone that I'd like to think they'd never dare to use if they were approaching you for the first time in person. Tinder gives people the platform to explore other parts of their personality they'd never dare to explore in person. They can be dominating and they can be powerful. They can explore fetishes and they can be dam right bloody rude without having to face the consequences of doing so, because oh look, there's an 'unmatch' button. There's a dangerously fine line between admiration and objectification on Tinder and sadly, many people challenge that line and thrive off it on a daily basis.

But the part which I've found the most disgusting of all throughout my years on Tinder...can I get a drumroll that I've come across at least a dozen people I know to have a girlfriend on Tinder...girlfriends who I went to school with and know very well and the same girlfriends I see posting pictures of their partner on Facebook seconds after I've swiped left to their other halves...the same other half that I've been coming across on Bumble and Tinder for the last year now *insert Kermit the frog meme here*. I've just this week discovered a guy I've been speaking to on Tinder for the last two weeks actually has not only a serious girlfriend...but a 5 month-old baby with said girlfriend too. Yup a baby. I hope you feel as sick as I do, because discovering that honestly made my skin crawl to the point where it left me somewhere in-between wanting to vomit, wanting to cry my eyes out for this poor woman and wanting to hurl my iPhone out the window simultaneously. It didn't exactly take much investigating to discover the scumbag's identity. He'd flaunted his Snapchat name containing his surname in his Tinder bio, meaning no MI5 stalking skills were needed (this time). A quick Facebook stalk (thanks to our 20 mutual friends he was very easy to find) and bam, within 2 minutes I was on said girlfriend's Facebook page and scrolling through their family pictures of the 3 of them. But maybe they've split up do I hear you ask? Oh no, that's not possible. Why? Because he updated his profile picture of the 2 of them captioned "My World ❤️"just 3 days ago. 3 days ago. On the exact day he triple messaged me and asked for my mobile number.

The thing that shocked me the most about this situation, was not that 1. this guy had a girlfriend, or 2. this guy had a 5 month-old baby with said girlfriend, but it was the fact that he appeared to have absolutely no shame and carried a disgusting amount of arrogance in what he was doing. He'd made zero attempt to disguise his surname, so not to make himself trackable on Facebook and he'd made zero attempt to disguise his appearance in his photos, so not to make himself recognisable. Either he was a complete and utter fucking idiot who doesn't know how us girls have stalking capabilities to rival those of MI5 agents, or he was just such an utter scumbag that he didn't care if he got caught. And I really, really hope it is the former. I felt horrific for days after discovering his other life and although I had absolutely no reason to feel guilty as I had thankfully not yet met up with him, I was riddled with guilt that I had been a part of his cheating. And yes I know he may not have kissed or slept with me, but he had approached me, complimented me, flirted with me, got to know me and asked for my number, all whilst being under the same roof as his partner and 5 month-old baby, and that to me is disgusting. Absolutely disgusting. 

So I think it's fair to say that was the absolute final straw for me. I felt sick, I felt used and I felt riddled with guilt that I'd been unintentionally involved in a father's cheating. So now do you get why I've had enough of Tinder? I've had enough of discovering boyfriends of friends of mine doing the dirt on them. I've had enough of talking to a guy for 2 weeks, getting to know them, organising a date and then them disappearing off the face of the earth a few days before the date with no explanation. I'm fed up of going on a date, having a ball, them feeding me all the "I can't wait to see you again/I've had the best night" bollocks and then bam never hearing from them again. I'm fed up of each date destroying my confidence that little bit more. I'm fed up of absolutely sick of being ghosted and being left in tears questioning myself and my appearance. I don't want to have to use my iPhone and swipe left 12910831 times and swipe right 873 times before I find "the one". If you have to search and search for "the one", then the chances are that they are probably not "the one". The biggest deal-breaker for me is that I do not want to be disposable. I do not want to be another "match" in the list of 1231 other matches on somebody's iPhone. I don't want to be number 873, I want to be number one. I don't want to have to tell everybody that I met my fiancee on Tinder because he thought I looked hot and swiped right. I want to tell everybody that we met because of fate. We met because we were meant to meet, not because we forcibly swiped through thousands of other possible matches and held hundreds of shitty "how was your weekend? where you from?" conversations with people we will never see nor speak to again. I don't want to be ghosted again, because hell that last ounce of self-confidence is hanging on for dear life. I don't want to be bailed on, or played. I don't want to be told to "sit on my face". I want to be respected and if that's too much for a "millenial" (God I hate that word) to ask for in 2017, then looks like I better get making myself a time machine then, because Tinder, you are not for me...

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