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Being on Tinder wasn’t a problem in itself. My boyfriend knew that several of my friends were on there, meeting different men weekly, sharing hilarious stories and Facebooking screenshots of potential suitors or legit serial killers.
He even knew I was on it, because I thought it’d be fun. I liked looking at the pictures. He was good with that. He believed me.
When I tell this story to my friends, they think it’s hilarious, because like WTF, aren’t you dating someone? Yes, yes I am. And he’s great. I’m certainly not looking to replace him any time soon and don’t need the trouble that comes with having multiple persons of interest on the go at the same time.
But when I tell this story, even though I shouldn’t, because finding it funny makes me a bit of a douchebag really, there’s usually a little bit of shock mixed in with any laughter, because the person listening is thinking about what would happen if they did what I had, or if their partner did it.
But putting that aside for the moment, going on Tinder is fun whether you’re single or not. It’s everything great from all the other social networks boiled down to bare essentials.
What do we really need to know about a person? Well, just their face really. And a short statement of intent doesn’t go amiss. I’m not alone in loving the way Tinder browsing works.
It’s a great time-filler: swipe left on 20 suitors while you wait for the bus. Can’t sleep? See if there’s any fresh meat in your area. Not being on Tinder, when all my friends were talking about it, felt like not being on Whatsapp: it was a foreign language I hadn’t conquered in time to fully comprehend it, and now I was screwed.
Obviously, it wouldn’t matter if I missed the boat on Tinder. I’m kinda, like, proper into my man right now and even though I know there are millions of men and women online that I could meet or, at least, browse, I don’t need to. I’ve got a person. So why I am so curious?
I’m sure some serious psychoanalyst would say that it’s a less-than-subtle way of showing that I’m not as settled as I say I am, that I’ve got my eye on the door. It’s true that I’m terrible at commitment (the only thing I’m committed to these days is my auto-immune disease), but despite swiping right on some guys, I never intended to meet anyone.
So I probably shouldn’t have messaged them after that.
Matching with someone is a lovely feeling. Someone swiped right on a picture of your face! The airbrushing job clearly worked! Like getting a friend request from a person you actually like (so rare), except in this case, on Tinder, they’re a stranger you’ve never met and know nothing about.
Which is probably why I messaged one of my matches, out of Tinder-curiosity. Instead of leading with the usual, “Hi, how are you?” I wrote, “You’re proper fit.”
Now, what possessed me to write that, even though the picture in question was of an aesthetically good-looking gentleman, when I have a boyfriend I actually like, is probably a good question. And it’s the exact point I got into trouble.
I wasn’t keeping secret the fact I was on Tinder, and was enjoying chatting about it with everyone, so while out for coffee with my boyfriend and a friend I thought it’d be totally funny to tell my Tinder stories. Looking back, this seems like a kamikaze move, but at least 40% of my brain thought it was a winning topic of conversation.
I started off by showing my boyfriend and friend some weird and wonderful photos I’d come across on Tinder. Then I chatted shit about a conversation I’d had with someone purporting to be an outdoorsy chef that liked reading, and how funny that was considering I can’t cook for shit, hate wildlife and choose TV over books every time.
And then, I don’t know how it happened, but before I could magic my phone up my sleeve or into a nearby bin, my boyfriend was in my Tinder inbox, reading my exchanges with aesthetically good-looking gentleman #1.
I guess something snapped in his head (rightly so) when I joked about messaging these strangers ON A DATING APP. And he wasn’t pleased with what he saw.
So I told this guy that he was “proper fit” (who even am I?!) twice, and he’d tried to strike up a conversation about other interests. What my boyfriend didn’t know (though might now, I guess), was that there were other messages from other Tinder matches I chatted to, again, not romantically, or in the hopes of meeting up, but just because it was something to do.
Why couldn’t I just go on Facebook or watch Netflix, you might ask? I don’t know! Both great ideas, thanks!
But I was on a mission to learn Tinder, like it was some cool new word that all my friends were using and I just needed to find the right sentence to drop it into (“Stop trying to make fetch happen. It’s not going to happen!”).
The other messages I sent were nowhere near as bad as the “proper fit” ones, but I guess your girlfriend chatting to any guys online isn’t ideal, especially when it’s on an app renowned for hook-up potential.
I chatted for about 10 minutes with a guy who also thought he could teach me to cook (err, hello, stop trying!) and a person I swear I didn’t swipe right in the first place who I shut down immediately.
Me and my boyfriend joke about everything. That’s why it works so well. Unless one of us is in a crappy mood, we take the piss out of each other constantly, and I never let go of the fact that I know about each and every of his exes, and find total comedy in reminding him about some of his hilarious past exploits.
But, boundaries. I needed to learn some.
Because online is so unreal, akin to chatting to a bot to pass time, I never thought about how my boyfriend might feel. Or how I’d feel if he’d been on Tinder the previous night telling random girls they were fit.
I know, it’s like teaching kindergarten, I’m just a slow learner when it comes to this stuff. But I would definitely hate if he did that and would make his life hell, as a person should.
I deleted Tinder and now my boyfriend likes to remind me about it constantly, the way I remind him about all of his disastrous exes (one of them was a historical reenactor, just sayin’). I think I’m probably done with online dating, for now.