I always read dating app biographies. Whether I remember them by the time I get to the date is another story… but, I like to see that someone is serious enough about their search that they think about the best way to describe themselves to the hundreds that will potentially take the time to read those 300 characters.
Singledom in this day and age has shifted. We no longer go to bars or clubs with the sole purpose of conversing with a potential lover, no. We go to bars/clubs/pubs with friends, we are social but we stick to our cliques. There is no cross-pollination… there is no fear of face-to-face rejection because we’re not even trying to begin with.
Dating apps are safe. You’ll never go up to a love interest who is potentially married or in a relationship – because by default, if they’re on the dating apps, then they’re single. So we dress up, we go out, we drink espresso martinis and we dance. We get tired, we go home and then we open up our phones and swipe away for a lover.
Then depending on the app you’ve registered with… you may need to come up with a flattering or witty opening line which needs to get conversation going… then you need to keep that conversation going, into something that could officially be called “good banter”.
The word ‘banter’ is something of a buzz word in dating apps, followed closely by ‘sapiosexual’, and the four-letters that make up your Myers-Briggs personality profile. For the record, mine is ESFJ… and no, I don’t reference it on my profile.
There are profiles where the person is either lazy or trying to be mysterious, so there’s only one or two photos and no biography. Next you have those that love emoji’s so much that they’ve described themselves with beach-burger-gym-book-beer emojis.
Further along you get the guy who puts a list of his interests down, has a few photos which look reasonably up-to-date, and up next is the bloke who’s done a proper biography with full sentences; grammar nazis eat your heart out.
Lastly, you have the poor cynical male, who’s obviously been on the app for a little too long, and barks out orders like “will delete if you don’t chat”, “no timewasters or pen pals”.
If the conversation is going anywhere, there will be a mention of a first date. Too soon? People are busy. Too far in advance? Your date is likely to flake and forget completely that he or she has made somewhat concrete plans to meet you at a bar on Lygon Street at 8pm on Wednesday.
You can always tell the social beings, they find a way to get your number and arrange a phone call before your first date. This is an excellent way of working out whether the two of you have good energy and can sustain a meaningful conversation. For the record, the best dates I’ve been on have broken the ice prior with a phone call or two.
Some will get your number prior, but not call. Once you’ve sorted the day, time and location of your date… they disappear. I think this is usually because they don’t want to cover first date material before the date and then run out of things to say… but they could just be talking to others. Who knows, right?
When you get to your date, you need to break the ice quickly. A big smile and a hello with a quick following question will generally do the trick. I find that on a date, I do a lot of the talking. I am friendly, warm and charming. I am genuinely interested in the other person’s life and what they’re passionate about. I love to hear them talk about their relationships with their families and friends… I find that a man who can hold his own will be able to ask me questions too and a conversation will flow. At times I’ve left a date completely depleted because I carried the entire conversation, and other times (albeit rarely) I’ve felt energised and excited.
Inevitably, there’s the progression to the second date. Sometimes this is something discussed on the first date, sometimes it’s left for the less-confronting platform of a text message. If I left the first date depleted or put off for one reason or another, I’ll say no. I think of the 30+ dates I’ve been on in the last 21 months, only about 6 or 7 have made it to the second date, and I’ve pursued a relationship of sorts with only two… nothing has really made it past the 4 month mark.
It’s exhausting, putting in the time in the evenings to swipe-converse-date, and to some it will feel like insanity: doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different outcome. But you do it, and you go on that date, because when you spark with someone for what feels like the first time in ages, that excited feeling that you get when you walk away and get into your car… well that’s unbeatable, and in that instant, all the failed attempts are worth it. Someone said to me this week “you can’t argue with chemistry” and you certainly cannot. That spark of energy that we call chemistry, that’s the base on which you build love, and how can you not get excited and feel hopeful about that?
Ahh love. Back to the swiping I go.