So I’ve set myself a challenge – I will be my realest self on Tinder for seven days and see what happens.
Let’s be honest, Tinder is a bit of fun. I don’t expect to find my future husband on the app but sometimes I wonder… I hear stories of happy couples who *shock horror* met on Tinder, so why can’t it work for me too?
I decide if I’m going to meet the ‘one,’ I probably need to reassess my approach. Generally when I use Tinder I’m incredibly shallow; I swipe left without shame and I have no hesitation in sharing an amusing profile with friends. But, for this to work, I know I need to present an accurate representation of myself to the Tindersphere. Not the Insta-worthy, Snapchat filtered version, but the real Ash. So I’ve set myself a challenge – I will be my realest self on Tinder for seven days and see what happens. Who knows, maybe in the process I’ll meet the lover of my dreams?
I choose four makeup free photos and write a short bio about why I’m using Tinder. In the spirit of honesty I settle on this: “Aspiring journo / food writer. Looking for someone to hang out with, who knows maybe we’ll live happily ever after. I also make really good cookies – I’ll share?”
I also consider popping a filter on some of my images, but I know if I am going to do this, I need to do it properly. Embrace the under eye bags and blotchy skin. You got this, I tell myself.
If I am going to get serious with anyone on Tinder, it’s important to be myself. Quite often I don’t wear make up and I try not to apologise for who I am, so why should I be any different online?
I wake up to a message! He turns out to be a total flop, but at least he appreciated my realness (or seemed to). Today is Independence Day and I think it could be a sign. Perhaps I should crank up the Destiny’s Child and embrace my inner Independent Woman. Maybe I’m happier without Tinder?
I match with a couple of new guys today and, to my excitement, they’re ticking some of my boxes – and they’re cute too. I’m brave enough to message two of them, but they don’t reply and I’m back to being sad or more correctly wallowing on the couch, watching Netflix and feeling sorry for myself. It seems that on Tinder, my happiness directly correlates to my ability to match and converse with fine specimens. I’m definitely not okay with that.
I spend my lunch break and commute home, on Tinder. On the tram, I silently pray that the hottie sitting next to me will pop up (he ends a phone call with “love you too” and I lose a little hope).
I match with someone called Sam* and he messages me! Maybe my authenticity appealed to him? Sam seems very genuine as well, which might be why we hit it off. It’s not until now I realise the point of this experiment isn’t to sleep with every sexy match; it’s to meet fellow real people who are looking for similar things.
I continue to message Sam and discover that he has an apartment in Docklands – I could be onto something good here! As the day continues and I force myself onto Tinder at every opportunity, I realise I don’t enjoy the app. In fact, I’m bloody over it. I never use Tinder on a daily basis so each swipe eats further away into my soul.
I didn’t think about Tinder until after work today and it was the most glorious 18 and a half hours of the week. Sam seems to be very keen, but it’s actually putting me off more than anything. I feel very vulnerable when I realise that anyone who likes this me on Tinder likes the real me. I don’t know if I’m ready for that yet – maybe all that makeup and filtering is a shield.
After a lack of results over the last five days, I decide to share the love and swipe right on everyone to see what happens. I’m pretty particular on Tinder so it’s a struggle at first, but I push on. After about three minutes of constant swiping I run out of likes! Who even knew that was possible? If nothing else this week, at least I’ve learned this.
I spend the morning unmatching all the matches from last night’s swiping spree. They just keep coming but unfortunately there are no ‘the ones’ in there. As I return to normal swiping, my results also return to normal. AKA dismal.
I’ve all but given up today. If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that I’m over using Tinder on a daily basis. I’m sick of making small talk with guys I’ll probably never meet and I’m over not being confident in my profile. For some reason, it’s much harder to be myself online than it is IRL.
Was it worth it?
As much as I’d love to, I don’t think I’m going to meet ‘the one’ on Tinder. I certainly don’t have the stamina to sift through so many choices – I’m terrible at decision-making as it is.
Single or not, I’ve realised there’s probably a better use of my time than judging others through a screen. And that’s what Tinder is all about; the app is wholly based on judgement. I’m guilty, my friends are guilty and if you really think about it, you’re probably guilty too. The point of Tinder is to judge someone instantly, purely on how they look – that doesn’t leave much room to discover what a person is actually like.
Words by Ashleigh Whitehill
IG – @ash_whitehill
Art by Esperanto Magazine
IG – @esperantomagazine