Like most single Millenials, I’ve used Tinder (and other dating apps that have proven even more unsuccessful) to see if there truly are plenty more fish in the sea. Ironically, I’ve never used PlentyOfFish.
After almost 2 years of being single and using the app on and off, I can tell you that through my personal experience, the answer is no. Maybe you’ll hook a fish that seems pretty tasty but they’re one of (or a combination of) the following: just travelling, have commitment issues, traumatic pasts, don’t believe in monogamy or maybe I’m just not that into them because I’m pretty (read: really) fussy.
Ain’t no-one got time for a sub-par relationship. It’s either got to be magic or nothing.
Maybe you’re rolling your eyes at this statement because no one out there is ‘made for you’ and I know that. I don’t necessarily believe in ‘The One’ as I think that there are probably a few people out there who could potentially be ‘The One’ at one point or another but it’s finding that spark and hoping that it won’t fizzle out. No one is perfect and you just have to work out whether their imperfections are things that you’d be willing to deal with and vice versa.
Chatting with friends about Tinder dates, especially the terrible ones, is always a hoot so I figured I’d share a few of my most memorable dates with you.
1. The one who had a mental breakdown on the Great Ocean Road
While I was in staying in Melbourne for 2 months, I decided to see if there were any cute locals to guide me around the city. This was the third guy that I’d been on a date with in Melbs. Our first date went really well: we met at a café, he showed me his favourite parts of the city, ate some delicious ice cream, met a few of his university friends and had drinks on a rooftop bar. We went on a few more dates before I travelled the East Coast for a month with Tash.
Back in Melbs, we met up and he offered to take me along the Great Ocean Road which I’d been keen to visit before I left. And thus began the most difficult date I’ve ever been on. First of all, there was a lot of road rage. Then he started recognising old spots he’d been with his friends and reminiscing on how they’d drifted apart. He also decided that the first day of the trip, trapped in a moving car, miles from home, would be an excellent opportunity to inform me that he had severe depression and suicidal thoughts.
We chatted through it, although I’d just come out of a difficult relationship and wasn’t in the right frame of mind to deal with this again. In the end, he realised he wasn’t in the right place to be dating. I truly hope he’s gotten the help he needed and feels happier now.
2. The one whose mum had bought him playing cards with his face on them
I matched with him in Melbourne a few days before my travels in New Zealand for 3 weeks. The first date went really well: we met at a cocktail bar and chatted and laughed pretty much non-stop till the early hours. Unfortunately, I couldn’t fit in a second date before I was due to fly but we had it when I came back to Melbs. As I’d mentioned my love of fried chicken in my Tinder bio, he took me to his favourite fried chicken joint (Belle’s Hot Chicken) and we went back to his to watch Lars and the Real Girl (side note: I’d been meaning to watch it for a while but didn’t really dig it. It’s a sweet idea but it just annoyed me that people would treat an inflatable doll as a person even when Lars wasn’t around).
After the film, we decided to play Snap, the most erotic of card games. That was when he brought out the playing cards that his mum had bought him for his birthday and they all had his face on the back, because that’s the kind of guy that I’m wildly attracted to. Anyway, one thing led to another and we ended up in his room and y’know there’s nothing better than when you think you know someone, only to realise that they have a big panther tattoo on their back…that was the last that I saw of him.
3. The one who didn’t believe in monogamy
Just before I left for New Zealand, we matched and chatted quite a lot while I was away. I’m not a fan of chatting to people for a long time before meeting as I feel like it could be a waste of time. If I think that they can make me laugh and the chat is going well, then I’d prefer to meet them in person to see if there’s a spark there. However, he was really interesting and funny so we were both pretty excited to meet. He’d mentioned that he didn’t believe in monogamy but that didn’t really bother me as I’d only be in Melbourne for another few weeks before heading back to Hong Kong so I was just curious to see what he was like.
Apparently, he wasn’t really the ‘dating’ type – more of a ‘come straight to my house’ type but I didn’t want to risk meeting at someone’s house, realise there’s no spark and it just makes it so much more awkward to leave. And as my girl, Nikki, reminded me, the risk of murder should probably have been my top priority.
So he ‘made an exception’ and we met at a cute café and bought some sushi and pies to eat on the grass outside the library. The date went well and I did go back to his (after deciding that he was cute and interesting) and we went on a few more dates before I left for Hong Kong – my personal favourite being our picnic at the park, going for scones at a tearoom, showing off my majorettes skills and eating outside a great Japanese restaurant in the evening (basically food, food, majorettes, food).
We chatted as friends for quite a few months and he’s now actually in a monogamous relationship so I was basically right all along: polyamory can’t be sustained long-term in our society. Please feel free to discuss!
4. The one where my best friend came along to the date
Back in Hong Kong, I got chatting to an Argentinian guy who was a pasta chef at an Italian restaurant but he worked really long hours, 6 days a week. We were both keen to meet but on his only day off that week, he also wanted to meet his friends who were leaving HK so he suggested that I come along. Seeing as I’d be outnumbered by people that I didn’t know but wanted to meet him, I did the only logical thing in that situation: I asked my best friend to come along.
Of course Sophia said yes because she’s my favourite YES-WOMAN and it went pretty well. We all had Chinese food for dinner and played some video games back at his flat. He seemed like a nice guy but due to his insane work schedule, we only went on one more date for ice cream during his lunch break and that was it.
5. The one who was travelling to deal with grief
We went on an impromptu first date as he messaged me while he was on a date in the area where I was having dinner with Sophia. He said that it was going terribly and asked if I’d be free for a drink after dinner. So I said yes. I didn’t actually have high hopes for the date but he was so much better looking than his photos and was really funny and interesting.
On our second date, he told me all about his past, his challenging ex and how he was travelling to deal with grief (I won’t go into that). By our third date, he told me that he was in love with me, which, naturally, I dealt with it by getting massively freaked out and ghosted him for a week.
In the end, I decided to be honest with him. He was understanding and we went on a few more dates which went really well. I made a spontaneous decision to take a trip to Japan with a friend – he joined us for a bit too, which was lovely. The last time I heard from him, he was ‘fighting his demons’ in a Japanese monastery so we’ll leave it there.
6. The one who was 100% my type (at first)
Unless you fancy guys who look like they spend all their time in the gym and haven’t done much outside of Surrey, don’t bother using Tinder in Camberley.
I matched with him when I was swiping on the way home from Marwell Zoo. I actually remembered his profile and had hoped we’d match because he was 100% my type (tall, messy brown hair, cute smiley face, indie style).
We got chatting and he was really funny, interesting and actually asked questions (FINALLY)! We had the same sense of humour, both loved the U.S. Office and he knew what Craig David was up to on a day to day basis (basically everything I wanted in a partner). He didn’t live too far away, so we met within a few days.
The first date went really well and he said that he’d had a great time at the end of it and asked if I wanted to hang out again. Of course I bloody did. Things started off great: he was so funny and smiley, always keen to suggest doing things, offered to give me lifts even though it was out of his way and bought snacks I’d had difficulty finding.
He’d joked that he had commitment issues and was quite a flaky person but I hadn’t seen that side of him. Yet.
After a few weeks, things quickly went downhill. He didn’t really want to do much except sleep and watch Netflix. Things ended, and he told me that he had a much bigger drug problem than he’d let on and that he thought that he wasn’t ready for a relationship. I know, how do I keep finding these prize catches!?
In all seriousness, this ‘break up’ seemed so sudden and I was having a bit of a crisis about being back in the UK and working out what to do with my life. I cried more than I ever had over anyone. I’ve never really known what heartbreak feels like but, combined with my confused state, this felt brutal.
7. Ryan Reynolds
And finally, I’m going to leave you with a distinctly average date at a coffee shop in Devon. I just wanted to pop him in because his name was Ryan Reynolds.
Unfortunately, he looked nothing like this Ryan Reynolds.
Please tell me all about your Tinder stories: the good, the bad and the ugly!
Hope you’re all having a lovely weekend!