Is my single life the high life? Part five

When the desire to date can be mechanised at the push of a button, how easy really is it to move yourself onto the dating scene in 2017? Charlotte Jiggins reflects on her experiments with Tinder and Bumble this year, and talks about how the single life feels as a modern experience.

In a modern world, how on earth do you ‘get back out there’ after some bad experiences with men? (Being honest, it is questionable whether I have ever been on the ‘dating scene’, but we’ll just presume for a second). This semester has been an absolute mental rollercoaster for me, and led to the decision to get ‘myself out there’. However, as does often happen, it turned into a hilariously tragic experiment.

Lesson 5: Be picky.  

App dating is a whole new ball game. You have to present your best self in seconds, as someone swipes left or right. Bearing in mind I am someone who once fell over and ripped my jeans whilst doing a pull up to impress a guy, presenting my best self is often difficult. Firstly, you need to decide five photos which fully capture you at your best. That’s terrifying, particularly as I don’t take good photos. Then you have to write a bio - what on earth do you put in a bio?! I just left it with my age, what I studied, and my height- at 5ft I can’t date a giant. I know, credit to me for being so creative. With that all set into the world of app dating I went.

After swiping through what felt like a thousand people on Bumble and Tinder, I got some matches! However, then you have to message them, and what do you say?! No one gives you a manual for these things. I was pretty pleased when a guy messaged me first, but then the first thing he said was: ‘because you have a bikini pic that must mean you’re only into one thing ;)’. My word, this was going superbly…my first impression was that I was easy. It’s safe to say we didn’t chat for very long. I did chat to a couple of people but I didn’t really know what I was looking for, and none of it felt quite right.

A lot of the time, I think the reason I’m eternally single is because I’m too picky. A few nights ago in the library my two best friends were talking about how they want to set me up on a blind date with a Navy Officer at a ball I’m going to soon, and wanted list of criteria. What was my criteria? At first I thought anything would do, and then went on to list at least ten different specifications. Yet what it all comes down to I would just really like someone who wants to message me, and ask about my day.

Well, still with my single status, I deleted Tinder and Bumble, and haven’t been on any dates this semester. I may be picky, but after being with people who have left me feeling worthless and sad, it’s definitely okay to be picky and know exactly what you want to protect your heart a little bit. Equally, I went into all these crazy dating apps hoping it would make me feel better mentally and although at times it was hilarious (I would definitely recommend it for some comedy value), overall it didn’t work. Actually, it made me feel worse. Guys weren’t exactly queuing around the street, and I still haven’t been on a date. More importantly, it made me realise that right now I’m not really ready to be out there actively on the dating scene.

So, we’ll leave the dating apps in 2017 and the actual dating for 2018, at the moment.