Modern-day dating is like a battlefield…with unexploded landmines… Oh, and you left your bulletproof vest on your dresser. Add to that an abundance of dating sites and you’ll find yourself at the bottom of a trench 1917 style. As many of us do, I understand the desire for a relationship and the (dare I say it?) pandemic hasn’t helped singletons in the war against loneliness. Tinder, Bumble, Grindr or Hinge- other appearance-oriented dating apps are available – has been, for some, a way to form new romances in a time when finding love seemed impossible. But I do have to question, is it love you’ll find on these modern dating-apps? Or simply a large number of self-absorbed sexually deprived 20-somethings. Is Tinder fundamentally flawed and how do we overcome these flaws to find ‘the one’?
It has always fascinated me that the world’s most talked-about dating app is based, almost solely, on looks. Is this how the modern (and possibly future) generations are to find romance, by rating each other’s selfies? And if so, how do we not get so caught up by looks that we forget to actually like somebody’s personality? In an attempt to not sound like a complete self-professed dating guru, I’m going to share my tips to make picture-based dating apps work for you:
The bio is there for a reason, use it
A strong redeeming quality in the sphere of selfie-dating for me has to be the so-called ‘bio’. In a mere 500 characters (halved for more to-the-point apps like Grindr) you have an opportunity to present a future mate with your unparalleled wit and charm, whilst also including the most important must-know information. Not an easy feat, you’re thinking. And I’d have to agree. So, when you’re doing your usual 3am swipes and you read a bio that makes you smile, laugh or even blush you simply MUST send them a message. Equally, make sure your bio incites this same response from potential suitors. Let’s all agree now to leave the cliché pick-up lines at the door, no one has ever found true love from the words ‘I seem to have lost my phone number. Can I have yours?’. That said, ‘21, Student, Nottingham / Herts’ is hardly a showstopper. Be creative, say something fun… all your boring work, family and pet data can be exchanged later, but you’ll never get the chance if you don’t grab them before you’re another left swipe to add to the pile of failed romance-seekers.
Swipe right more than left
Which brings me neatly onto my next point. STOP swiping left! Is there anyone out there that honestly thinks you can gain enough information about a potential significant other (S.O.) from roughly 80 words? Cause if there is, contact me (seriously, that would make a great article). The truth is you can’t. Not everyone has a way with words, some are more physical beings (no Grindr references intended) and others simply grow on you over time. Ask your friends who have met their S.O’s in real life situations (pre-pandemic of course), I guarantee most of them would confirm if they saw their boyfriend on Tinder, they probably would have swiped straight past ‘em. My point is not that you should swipe for every Dick (or Tom or Harry) on your dating-app of choice, but perhaps take a few chances. Ask yourself, does your true love really have to have a fully formed 6-pack? And even if the answer is yes, then would your true love take mirror selfies of it for the whole of the online-dating globe to see? I’d suggest it’s maybe more realistic to go for your more average-looking guys, girls or theys, and see what hides behind the love-handles?
Don’t forget that attraction can grow
At the risk of reciting the synopsis of every Hollywood romcom ever made, sometimes love isn’t ‘at first sight’. Sometimes, and I’d argue more often than you’d think, once you get to know a person and really like them (internally) attraction comes easy. You may not see them across the room and instantly want to rip their clothes off, but after the fifth date, in a discussion about your McDonalds order and your mutual love for mozzarella dippers, you might realise the person sat in front of you is completely perfect for you (…and thus follows the ripping of clothes). The point can be made for the reverse too, I must warn, as your muscly Tinder date puts his shirt back on and the passion subsides, you may realise you actually don’t like the man underneath (underneath the skin that is, not the shirt).
Whichever way you decide to use Tinder, Grindr, Bumble or Hinge, do it your way and show the singles out there who you really are. You may get shot down a few times, but hey, you’ve got your bullet-proof vests for that. And remember, nothing good ever came from a topless mirror selfie or a cliché pick-up line.
Words By: Laura Cameron
Edited By: Alice Colton