Kelly McAuliffe sheds light on the realities of dating apps and how they are shaping our expectations.
The average woman kisses 15 men, suffers two major heartbreaks, gets stood up once, has four one-night stands and experiences four disastrous dates before finding Mr Right. Well, so said The Guardian in research conducted at the onset of the mobile dating app revolution.
With new potential at their fingertips, singletons could be changing those statistics. Tinder launched in 2012 and in April 2015 revealed there are now nearly two billion swipes and more than 26 million matches a day. There’s a seemingly endless supply of (mostly) single people to work your way through and if one doesn’t work out, no worries, just swipe again.
In big cities such as London, New York and Sydney, it’s a given that most single people are present on two or three apps. This makes the pool of potentials rather large and you have a good shot at meeting people beyond your circle. And if things don’t work out, you are unlikely to bump into them again. New Zealand is a different story.
In a 10-minute swipe session, you’ll likely see at least one of the following: your little brother’s friend (swipe left); that guy from high school who hasn’t changed one iota (sorry buddy, swipe left); your ex (refrain from deleting app, swipe left); and the smirky babe from work (cringe, he’s seen you on Tinder, swipe left). If this seems like a navigational minefield, half the battle is knowing what’s out there, which is why we’ve done the research to prep you on ‘Tinder Types’. While great guys do exist on dating apps, when it comes to ‘types’ these ones abound:
THE NICE-TRY GUY
It’s a fact that people upsell themselves a little on dating profiles. But there’s a difference between posting a pic of you looking sharp from your very best angle at a recent work function and one from that holiday in ‘99 pre-bald spot. Lies, no matter how small, are discovered at some point and we may or may not give you the benefit of the doubt when you’re found out.
This guy ticks all the boxes. He’s attractive, has a good job, owns a dog (!) and, seemingly, has no baggage. He is charming and flirtatious via text and you stay up late messaging like teenagers. Before you even meet, you’ve picked out your wedding china but hey, you’re a realist so you’re also thinking he might prefer a relaxed beach wedding. Strangely enough, he lives up to expectations in real life and is a gent on your first date, insisting on paying for dinner, then holds your hand as you walk, rather smugly, to the fancy post-dinner cocktail bar. At night’s end, he tells you he’s had a great time and kisses you goodnight. You’re floating on air and as soon as you’re home, you ring your bestie to tell her that, ‘OMG, you’ve just found The One’. He’s a 10/10. Until you never hear from him again… What?
THE GRASS-IS-ALWAYS-GREENER-GUY (GIAGG)
This guy tends to be a bit younger, although there are older GIAGGs who believe they are Clooney, pre-Amal days. Only Clooney can get away with being Clooney, because he is Clooney. GIAGG may not have had much game in real life but is a hit in Tinderville and isn’t giving up his residency. He’s addicted to the swipe and it doesn’t matter if you’re Candice Swanepoel’s long lost twin… he’s going to keep swiping. This guy is a player – he’ll be on a date with you but on the sly, he’s What’s Apping the girl he met on the weekend, checking Tinder for matches, updating his profile pic on Happn and booking a date via Facebook Messenger. Worst.
THE JERK-YLL & HYDE CHARACTER
He set the scene on his profile, which is friendly and chatty and full of goofy, fun-loving photos. He looks like the life of the party, you swipe right. His banter is great and he has you in stitches. You can’t wait for what he’s going to come out with next and you eagerly anticipate each text. This date is going to be up there with the best ever. But when you meet, he has all the personality of the carpet in the pub he suggested meeting in.
THE DOWN DATE
If you’ve not been having the best luck and have been swiping only the model types, there might come a time when you change tactics and swipe right on a few guys that you normally wouldn’t go for. Also known as ‘down dating’ or selecting people you perceive to be less attractive than yourself. This type of date is usually a great confidence booster because he can’t believe his luck that you swiped right and he’ll bend over backwards to impress you. Unfortunately, this sometimes backfires. He’s nervous, has zero game and is not smooth at all. But you’ve got your mojo back and that’s all that matters.
THE BLAST FROM THE PAST
You see a familiar face. It takes a few seconds to place him but there’s no mistaking your former colleague/uni crush/the guy you used to make eye contact with at the café. This is when Tinder can work well. But heed our warning: if it has always been a case of rose-tinted glasses, proceed with caution.
This guy didn’t read the memo. The date was pants, there was zero chemistry and you sent him a ‘it was nice meeting you, take care’ text, which everyone knows is code for ‘thanks but no thanks’. But he is persistent. You tell him you’re busy, that you’re going away on holiday. He’s now sending messages telling you that he misses you (really, after one date? ) and you’re sensing the crazy. So you stop replying. You ignore his messages, but does this stop him? No. Now you get a little note saying ‘hi’ every two months, like clockwork.
THE MARRIED GUY
Research by GlobalWebIndex reveals that about 42 per cent of Tinder users are married or already in relationships – and most of them are men. Chances are they’re on Tinder for a bit of a laugh or an ego boost. Warning: just because someone is on a dating app, it doesn’t mean they are single.
THE HAPPILY EVER AFTERS
For every disaster story there’s a success story and they’re not urban legends – we all know of a love match that was lit by Tinder. Mr (Swipe) Right is just our type.
Done with Tinder?
Here are some other options to try:
Happn – This slightly stalkerish app shows people who you’ve crossed paths with, giving you the mapped location of where you brushed shoulders.
Hinge – It’s not available here yet, but this app uses your existing network to suggest people with whom you are likely to have mutual friends and common interests.
Grouper – Team up with two friends and the app will match you with another three mates so you can all go on a group date.
Spoonr – This app allows strangers within walking distance to meet up for casual, platonic cuddling.
Tindog – This cute app helps you find nearby dog owners and their pooches.
Coffee Meets Bagel – Using your Facebook network to seek suitable friends of friends, the app sends you one suggested match each day. You have 24 hours to respond and, if left unmatched, it expires and a new suggestion is made.
Elite Singles – An online dating service for 30-plus professionals.