“The Game”

Apologies for the two-month break, but I have been busy playing games… Before Christmas, and after a rather ridiculous time personally, I decided I needed some distraction- and a a few LOL’s- so I gathered some fellow single girls and we began playing. Like all games,  there were rules. Rules that we collectively pooled together in order to, well, gain some  kind of order in the madness that is online dating. Dating is already a messy and ugly affair; first date nerves and awkward fumbly greetings, and that’s after you’ve struck up some kind of conversation with someone that doesn’t either bore you senseless, involve messages that mainly contain numbers or suggestions that you meet for ‘A ruck’ before you’ve even shared coffee. Sigh.

The game we decided to play is Tinder. Tinder should come with a pre-dowload health warning- warning you of the madness that is about to take over your life, and also for the regular need to shower that will overpower you when playing. Yuck. Just flicking through faces and rejecting every one you fall on will cause you to lose the will to live, some of the creatures you come across are enough to put ANYONE off dating- for life. Tinder is however wonderful, for those looking to embrace their inner judgemental ‘Judy’s’, flicking through picture after picture of mostly disgruntled faces and horrendous selfies in bathrooms, torso-only snaps and even the odd full frontal (is there NO SHAME!) I really struggled to see how anyone could be taking it seriously when you first have to approve a face (sounds easy, was NOT) then wait for that face to approve yours before you could even send a message! Gah. Rules Rules Rules.

So, our rules! Collected together with all participants, we agreed on the following to guide us through the madness that is online dating: photo

Most of you reading will hopefully see these rules are just good sense! And they were, for the most part. The exes were a big NO-NO, married men or with children tend to complicate life- and life is already complicated! We felt these rules were adequate enough to guide use through the wilderness, and that they did! They assisted me through 3 weeks of Tinder play during December, in which I mainly spent my time swiping left (Rejectsville. Population: ALL men within a 5 mile radius of me in Cardiff) and only right when they adhered to the above rules AND were Jamie Roberts (google. Welsh rugby player) a personal trainer *shudders* or a rather smiley windsurfer. With abs…

I could not get my head- or fore finger- around actually approving faces. Unattractive, hairy, newly-wedded-with-their-wives or generally dull-looking faces. AND SO MANY OF THEM. I began to think I would never find anyone that didn’t make me want to throw my phone out the window in despair. Swiping right only seemed to happened when I got together with my girls and they had done it for lolz, saying yes to people I would never say yes to, and eagerly awaiting their ‘HI! Nice smile/ cute jumper/ Nice hair’ etc. message that invariably followed, before falling about Nandos like it was the funniest thing. Scamps.

Sometimes I would say yes, in a moment of weakness (read: hungover and sad) conversation would strike with a fellow single, and presumably hungover, man which either led to suggest we meet to reinact certain rugby moves (Actually happened. Ugh) or I would actually meet for a civilised coffee, which turned out to be 50mins of him talking and me trying desperately to think up a reason to leave without seeming mental. Or sick.

The last scenario made me seriously consider deleting the whole sorry app altogether, I had heard only success stories from ALL of the girls that were playing, and as they enjoyed dinners, cocktails and nice tea-and-cake dates, I was quickly losing the will to live. I persevered with the app for three weeks in total.

This was long enough to reject every man within a 5-mile radius, experience one horrible date and block far too many offers of ‘extra-curricular activities’, whilst hearing my friends actively embrace- and date- off of Tinder. It was also long enough to say yes to someone who not only looked normal, interesting and was not a rugby player (decided to change this pattern) but who had the wit to open conversation with a christmas cracker joke. Excellent timing, as it was Christmas afterall. The aforementioned windsurfer had not only began a conversation that led to weeks of riveting conversation- not involving any messages written with numbers- but he was funny, charming and witty. HOW could this gem be hidden so deep in the dark depths of Tinder, but also- what was wrong with him that had led him to use Tinder?! And what was wrong with ME to start thinking there was anything wrong….