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Wednesday, 17 January 2018

I Gave Dating Apps A Go, And This Is What Happened...

Untitled It all started in the middle of last summer. Two of my friends from home moved to the city and after a bottle or three of white wine, we decided to embark on what we coined 'the summer of fun.' We were all single at the same time. And yes we were all probably drunk. But the principle went like this: by the end of summer, which we went off the seasonal calendar, so September 21st, we'd see who'd put themselves out there the most. And no that didn't mean sexually, but talking to people, going on dates and seeing what happened.



I'd played around with dating apps before but that's all I'd ever done - played. I'd never taken them seriously, and to be frank, I'd never felt the need to "actively look for someone." But I don't like to lose and I do like to try new things. So with a month deadline looming, I thought I'd give it my all, and write about it on the internet, naturally.



Now we've all heard about Tinder but in a bid to make this a fair experiment, I downloaded Bumble and Happn too. If you're new to the dating app scene, hi. As far as the differences go, there's a few. You use the swipe functionality across most, but on Tinder - once you've matched, either of you can make 'the first move.' Whereas on Bumble, it's up to the girl to speak first and you've only got 24 hours to pluck up the courage otherwise the match will be lost. And Happn is centred around people you've crossed paths with, which I know, sounds a lil' bit creepy. As far as design goes, Bumble was my fave and that and Tinder were the two I got the most 'progress' out of. I have to say, being quite busy, I lost a fair few guys on Bumble. And across both, I used the same starting line. And yes it was quite basic b*tch but I thought I'd start off slow and work my way up.



My aim was to try and go on one date a week so that once my time was up, I'd take the crown with ease. So off I went. In total I probably juggled around a dozen chats, some more successful than others, some moved onto emojis (serious stuff) and despite the app having a reputation for hook ups rather than regular dating, I swapped numbers with one guy almost immediately.



It's ironic because I've always eye rolled at those people who patronise you with the whole "when you find the right guy" one liners. But hands held high, it's true. Guys, like your friends, you'll make time for if you click with them. If you get on with them.




At this point, 'the summer of fun' was still a bit make believe. I'd played with the app before but I'd never followed through with a date. That would make things real. So, a date we set. Luckily I went to a charity United football match that day so took full opportunity of the bar and used watching Ruud Van Nistelrooy on the pitch for 90 minutes as a distraction to not catch any nerves for later. My friends were going out for girls night so I knew if sh*t hit the fan, I had a plan B. It was only when I turned up at the bar (first I might add, he was late, or 'latER' if you ask him...) did two big possibilities enter my mind. One, what if he doesn't look like his pictures? And two, what if he doesn't turn up at all? I'd not been nervous, and I'd been naive and not thought either scenario could happen, so when the bartender asked me for my order, I delayed in getting my wine, just in case I had to make a quick exit.



He eventually turned up - one nightmare scenario outta the window. And two, he looked like his pictures. I'd never dated a stranger before so wasn't too sure how long this whole first date thing was meant to last. One drink, two drinks, three drinks? What time would we call it a night? How do you end a first date with someone new? I won't bore you with a play by play, but we had more than three drinks. And we were out 'til the early hours. There were no awkward silences, and he wasn't bad to look at. I didn't feel like I was out with a stranger, so as far as first dates go, it was a winner.



I'd heard countless tales from my friends about their horror stories, and that was what I was expecting. To come to you guys with an array of anecdotes. Funny, sad, good, bad. The ups and downs of app dating. To come to you with advice, tips and tricks. But dear readers, this is where my story ends. Because for once in my life I didn't see it coming. My app dating adventure ended just as quickly as it started. I'm with the same guy who's still listening to me laugh at my own jokes for far too long, has to cater to my picky food needs and has to get used to me saying (and lying) that I'll be there in five minutes.



So whilst I didn't really date like regular people do, what I can I tell you? Enter it with an open mind. Put yourself out there, even if at first you don't really want to. You don't know if you don't try. I didn't start this experiment expecting to actually like someone. I wanted to humour you with my dating fails and who knows, make this article a must-read. But instead I came out of it with a decent guy. So if anything, my summer of fun continues, just with this one bearded guy with semi-okay banter.


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1 comment

  1. Aw what a lovely ending! I tried dating apps too when I was single but only went on one date. It wasn't awkward until the end, how are you supposed to say goodbye to them? I wasn't sure so I ran. Actually ran to my car to get away. xx

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