Monday morning at 8.15am and am settled on my bike at the gym. The sky is a cloudless blue. This is becoming a regular part of my Monday morning routine, which is brilliant.
Thinking about what I’ve learned from nine months of dating:
1. When swiping through Tinder profiles at the rate of sixty or so per minute, one sticks to usual aesthetic type. My list of matches were, by and large: 6 ft 2 to 6 ft 6, dirty blond, lots of shaggy hair, tanned, blue/ green/ grey eyes. This raises certain questions and demonstrates that, of course, these dating apps are shallow. But maybe it helps with the whole will-I-fancy-this-person issue.
2. One also sticks to usual socio-economic type. If a boy is on a yacht or a horse or in a Land Rover, or wearing red trousers or a long sleeved shirt with rolled-up sleeves in summer, I’d swipe left. So if chaps are wondering whether it’s a good idea to showcase their lifestyles in profile photos, it is. For the purpose of initial matches anyway. You can’t go wrong with this profile quote: “I fly little planes for fun.” Unless you don’t. Actually, even if you don’t it’s a good one.
3. Despite making an effort to match with chaps my own age, or even a bit older, the Tindersphere is packed full of youngsters. So, set my age range 25 – 45 and matched with so many 25 -28 year olds, and remarkably few chaps my age or older. So, on one hand, my type is boys-a-bit-younger-than-me. On the other hand: a chap in his mid thirties ought to have a lot of success on Tinder as there are a lot of mid-thirties girls just waiting for someone their own age to flash up on the screen.
4. When encountered ones in their mid-thirties and older, they were far less charming than the younger chaps. Chaps: if you’re thinking of banging on about your ex-wife’s mental problems and how she never lets you see your little princess, don’t. Or not on a first date. And don’t moan about how hard you work either. No-one is forcing you at gunpoint to work in finance.
5. If you arrange to meet a lady at 7.30pm and are thirty minutes late, don’t then say. “We’ve only got forty five minutes, I’ve got a dinner reservation at eight.” Behave as if this is your important plan of the evening.
6. If a chap is a gentleman, he will go out of his way to meet a lady, so she can feel safe on her home turf. Whenever found self trekking across town for a first date, the chap turned out to be not a nice person (see The Polo Player, The Twitcher and a couple of others).
7. To mention children or not on a dating profile. This is a tricky one. The Captain was upfront about his teenage children on his profile. That was good as was in possession of that information so could decide whether or not to meet him. On a few occasions, chaps disclosed small children once we were on a first date, and this was less good. One even said “I have a four year old daughter who lives with me full-time.”
So I reckon: either put any children in your profile or leave it a few dates before mentioning them. Of course: some ladies of my age like the idea of a ready-made set of part-time children. So if you are after one of them, by all means scrawl “my little princess is my world” all over your profile.
8. Tragically, never got any feedback about WHY some chaps are all enthusiastic about a second date, and then never call (see The Priest, The Captain, many others). Would urge chaps not to say “let’s go out next Wednesday” unless they mean it.
9. People may tell you that Internet dating doesn’t work. It does. Many of the dating bloggers I follow are now in relationships, after months of first dates etc. Although I’ve now acquired a boyfriend in Real Life, the process of all the Tinder dates may well have made him realise he wanted to give our relationship another chance. We can’t know. The process of putting-yourself-out-there, meeting new people, having different experiences, is valuable in itself and, like any other hobby, gives you something to do and to talk about.
10. If you’re a bloke in your thirties or forties, don’t write off dating apps. Several of my male chums have found love in Tinder: a couple with the first girl they’ve dated. Boys: there are So Many girls wanting to meet you online.
11. Writing a dating blog has brought so many people and experiences into my life. Have made connections with some fascinating bloggers. You know who you are (going to write a separate post on “what I’ve learned from blogging”). It’s also brought TV, radio and film work, and even a newspaper article. Plus, of course, thousands of words and readers. Thank you for reading.
Happy Monday everyone!
*2006. Harley Jane Kozak. Crime novel.