Late last month I was asked to attend a focus group for a German company that was keen to develop its dating website. I went down to central London and attended along with 11 other women.
It was a real mix of women. There was a young law graduate, a journalist, a self-employed mother of 6, a BBC employee, a forensic scientist for the Met, an actress, a holistic therapist, a social worker, a lady who had just moved to the UK from Australia, a retired lady and me.
The experiences with internet dating were very varied. Mother of 6 was very active and met up with quite a few chaps that she’d met online. She was gentle and softly spoken and had a very open and honest feel to her. She had not met anyone that she was still with but had had a yearlong relationship and made a few friends along the way.
Actress said that she gave most guys a chance and had had many dates but just never met the right guy.
I confessed that I’m extremely lazy when it comes to internet dating. I lose interest with playing ping pong messages after a day or two but I’m also too chicken to meet up with lots of different people. In fact I’ve never met anyone from a dating site.
One thing that we all agreed on is you get out what you put in.
It’s like everything else one has to work at it.
You have to put some effort into building rapport with as many people as possible until you find someone you feel you would like to focus on.
Part of the day was taken up discussing our opinions of other dating websites. We talked about Plenty of Fish, E-Harmony, Match.com, Ok Cupid, Sugardaddie.com, Grinder, Zoosk and Guardian Soul mates (for some reason everyone referred to this as guardian soul destroyers?). Many others were also mentioned in passing. We were asked who we thought the stereotypical user was for each one.
It was during this discussion that Tinder came up. I had never heard of this before; and I wasn’t the only one.
Tinder is a phone app. It’s very simple. You sign up and the app locates people in you set area (distance) their photo comes up on screen.
If you like what you see you swipe to the right….yes
If you don’t you swipe to the left………..no
The Guardian dubbed ‘tinder as the shallowest dating app ever’ last November. It most possibly is! It’s all based on a couple of photos and very limited profile info. Just a few lines at best.
So of course I signed up there and then!
Well it’s free.
Free to sign up. Free to search. Free to communicate.
It’s like a game of people snap!
As soon as you hit the like button on someone who’s already hit the button when your picture popped up on their screen, you are informed of the match. You can then send them a message straight away.
So last week I spent time merrily swiping to the left; mostly.
So far I have about ten matches.
I have started up conversations with three people. Two of those conversations have already tailed off into nothingness.
But one conversation seems to be going fairly well. Now it’s been a couple of days and it may well sink without a trace soon.
But maybe my bluff is about to be called!
I have a feeling he may ask me out pretty soon.
Now I just have to have the guts to follow through this time!