So, after a week on Tinder and 7 dates (medal for my dedication to the cause of entertaining my readers please?) I have learned a couple of things:
1. A lot of the gorgeous young chaps in their mid-twenties have not inexplicably fallen in love with my photo, but are after something that they call ‘fun’ but those of us who are more elderly would term ‘a casual encounter’. Actually we wouldn’t, that is reminiscent of “Brief Encounter” – stop crying Mum – and bathes their intentions in an in accurately romantic light. Perhaps, then, we would say “a one night stand” although even that phrase implies a time commitment that they wouldn’t honour. It appears that many young men use the location services to find ladies nearby and to proposition them, as witnessed by this Tinder message exchange I was involved in last night. Bear in mind we had never even exchanged messages before:
Nick, age 25: Hey beauty
Nick: Come to my hotel for some fun. I’m at the Quality Hotel in Wembley
Me: That doesn’t sound very fun. It’s not the Savoy is it?
Jack: No, well, my company are quite stingy
Me: Thank you for your romantic offer but I have to go home and watch Springwatch
Other offers of ‘fun’ are sent in the middle of the night. Some mornings I wake up to messages in my inbox, offering ‘fun’, and occasionally there is attached photographic evidence of the implement of ‘fun’ – some impressively large. Not, in fact, ‘fun size’. Is there a store of stock photos that these boys are choosing from, or are the photos real. If these are their real ones, they must be so pleased with themselves at possessing such large implements that they just want to show them off. Some of them are so gigantic that I don’t know how these boys are able to lead normal lives: they must need wheelbarrows to push their willies around in – as that man with the ten stone testicles had in the Channel 4 documentary.
2. People lie – on their profiles and in their photos. Of course they do, you are probably thinking. People lie about the cars they drive – one chap had a Lamborghini in his photo and on close questioning it turned out that the car belonged to a client.
And people lie about more important stuff: I met someone for a first date who, it transpired, lived with his wife and children, and didn’t plan to change that: “I don’t want to turn my life upside down, but I would like some fun,” he said.
But I’m hiding stuff, I think. I am not disclosing my mental disorder or my breast cancer. Those are bigger things to lie about than whether or not I own a Lamborghini (why don’t I anyway? Life is cruel). In fact the ‘About Me’ section of my profile is blank. I don’t want to scare the boys away.
On the Breast Cancer Care ‘Younger Women Together’ weekend in May, I met someone who had just started seeing a chap she’d found on a dating site.
“I wrote on my profile that I have breast cancer,” she said, “I put up some before and after chemo photos.”
“And you met him on there?” I asked.
“Yes,” she said.
Surprised, a little bit impressed, I congratulated her on what seemed admirable honesty. I couldn’t do it though. It is not my way to admit weakness: to put up a post-chemo photo where I have short hair and am half a stone heavier than I like to be. She was older – early forties – and maybe that makes a difference. Or maybe I should just put up some photos of my hump on Tinder and some some shaved-head-no-lashes-no-brows ones. I wonder if then the offers of ‘fun’ would dry up.