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Adventures in Online Dating

Quarantine has been getting to me lately. I tried the usual advice: I gave myself a haircut, screwed up giving myself a haircut, shaved the whole thing off and dyed the ruins purple because no one can see it anyway. I wrote bad poetry—haiku, black-out, slam poetry, you name it. I tried yoga, fell asleep. I ate my greens and spent the night on the loo. I binge watched three series in a row until my legs fell asleep and my blood pressure down, so when I tried to stand up, I passed out. You are my witness, dear reader, that I tried everything this quarantine to feel like a person, but I’m only human. I want to love and be loved; to Netflix & chill with someone; to share chocolate bars equally after measuring them with tape; to have someone look at the purple ruins of my hair and say, “Wow, babe, you look amazing!” So I registered to Tinder.

Some might say I’m not cut out for Tinder. I’m shy and introverted; it takes at least three years for me to reach past the habitual “smile and wave” milestone in a relationship. My hobby is finding excuses to avoid social activities and the only friends I have are the ones I met in primary school. Yet, when I registered to Tinder, I felt like a god. There’s nothing more exhilarating than swiping people left or right, deciding their fate like a king dismissing peasants with a wave of their hand, saying “Off with their head!” For maximum efficiency, I recommend having a friend nearby, preferably with the same mean streak as you, so you can laugh together at the people who do their best to peacock their way into the heart of their potential One and Only.

The tactics they employ in order are:

1. Posing with fish.

Apparently, some guys think holding a mass of dead eyes and damp scales is a sure-fire way to hook the ladies. There’s something to say for this argument though; women’s magazines have argued vigorously throughout the years that women are more attracted to men who are still stuck in the hunter-gatherer phase of life. Catching fish makes a man a good provider. Buying fish at the market and going out to a lake to snap a photo works just as well. And if not – there are so many more fish in the sea, am I right?

2. Posing with motorcycles.

Based on the same principle, holding an overpowered metallic beast between your legs really shows you’re the alpha male. (I’m thinking of motorcycles here, don’t let your thoughts wander.) The sense of danger and the controlled trespassing of society’s boundaries thrill the ladies to their core; you can’t really go wrong with a motorcycle. However, not everybody can afford one, so here’s a tip: there are a lot of parked motorcycles. Who’s to stop you if you want to take a photo with one? Or if you can’t find a motorcycle, a bicycle painted with flames works just as well. Or an overpowered scooter. Being eco-conscious is cooler than danger, anyway.

3. Announcing they’re in a relationship and are just looking for friends.

These people are truly a master of disguise. Appearing non-threatening, they’re effectively convincing you to strike up a friendly conversation before you begin the delicate dance of extorting love in the name of friendship, while being desperately friendzoned. The more advanced type of this tactic is announcing in their bio that they’re not here to look for the One and Only – they’re here to find their partner’s profile. Claims like that are born of a spark of true genius, providing exciting conversation starters for trolls and the most desperate of men. We wish them the best of luck in their endeavours.

As for myself, after I have been thoroughly seduced by all of these brilliant people twice over, I really want to find my One and Only to ride with into the sunset on their motorcycle, so we can then browse Tinder together for new people after a hard day of fishing. I am excited. Heart’s palpitating, hands are sweating, breathing’s picking up. I swipe left and right like mad; I refresh Tinder every hour. There’s love somewhere out there for me, I know. I just need them to swipe me right. And after two hard days of waiting, I finally get my first message. It says, “Hey,” and I’m flooded with emotion.

That emotion is weariness. God, I am tired; the thought of having to talk to new people exhausts me to my bones. I subsequently delete myself from all dating sites and make a career out of being a hypocrite, because my two hard days spent on Tinder did give me something valuable: a false sense of superiority and shallow insight into the world of dating. Therefore, to help my fellow men, I wrote this guide with love to encourage you not to give up hope. Even for the most morose of us, there’s always someone eager to carve a place for themselves in our hearts; we just need to have the strength to answer them.

(Featured Image Credit: Pratik Gupta on Unsplash)

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