Virtual love

With the takeover of social media, ‘organic dating’ is a thing of the past. No longer do you go to the pub and get offered a drink whilst standing at the bar, nor find a girl exhaustively flirting to get your number. Instead we’re finding love (or a quick bit of How’s Your Father) in cyber space. It’s a rarity to actually be chatted-up because we’re so busy numbly gaping at our phones and vigorously swiping.

Everyone’s doing it but no-one’s actually doing it.

You spend what feels like forever filtering through your Facebook photos to find five that represent you; that make you look flawless but not high-maintenance. That make you look cool but not too quirky. That show off your figure without looking like you’re showing off your figure. That make you look like you’re into fitness but also down for a greasy pizza.

I accept the shallowness of dating-apps by engaging with them myself. My problem is that I’m disregarded by most good-looking men.

Attractive in a ‘cute’ way, I don’t hold up against the drop-dead gorgeous Amazonian women that are also active on dating sites. Although I wouldn’t call myself ugly, I don’t often match with the men I find attractive because I’m their thoughtless swipe to the left. But can you blame them? Wouldn’t you also choose a flute of Moët over Jacob Creek’s Sauvignon Blanc?

Yet, in real life I can attract the good-looking boys.

So why is it I meet them out and about and can’t on dating apps? It could be down to the chemical release of endorphins when you meet someone you fancy, but I like to think it’s because my personality booms in social settings and I have the confidence to actually talk to men face-to-face.

How can I dumb my personality down to a hundred character ‘About Me’ statement and do myself justice?

And it’s not just the lack of magnetism on dating-apps I struggle with, it’s the predictability of them. You swipe right, match with someone and a few days later you receive a message that starts:

“Hey, how’s it going?”
“Hi. You’re cute :p.”
“Hi. Good day?”

It’s boring. Our conversation is a stale and regurgitated procedure.

During last week’s tube strikes, when my little legs couldn’t carry me any further, I got on the number 25 bus at Bank. Sitting at the back in standstill traffic, a man walked past and we locked eyes. I assumed he’d continued his commute but actually he got on the bus and sat directly opposite me. You could call it creepy but I thought it was brave and refreshing. Throughout the somewhat awkward journey, we sporadically caught each other’s looks and when we it came to my stop I made my final glance – he had a look of fear, expectancy, defiance and shyness all at once.

As sickly as it sounds, it was like something out of a film. Until, of course, he watched me walk away without taking my number. And even though our passionate thirty-five minute romance ended as abruptly as it started, it was so exciting.

Technology has in many ways enriched our lives – now I can order a takeaway without moving from my bed. But is it also a hindrance? Are we forgetting how to make a connection? Personally, I’d sooner tell my prospective Grandchildren I met their Grandfather on a delayed train to Essex than on Tinder.

What happened to the spontaneity of courting?

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Instagram: @PippaBugg
Twitter: @PippaBugg

Images via Giphy.

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Relationships, controversial ramblings and ongoing internal feuds - this is an uncensored account of a twenty-something's mind.

4 thoughts on “Virtual love

  1. Heya Pip,

    So i was a Tinder skeptic. I incorrectly assumed it was a ‘fuck finder’ app, but my friends told me it was actually for serious dating too. I wasn’t entirely comfortable with the idea of rating people based entirely on a single photo (5 if you want a closer look), and a very short supporting statement. I was using the app for a few weeks, maybe checking in once a week, but not really feeling it and likewise, feeling i wasn’t very well represented on their as on a site like Guardian Soulmates, where users sit a long question and answer process that determines there compatibility with potential matches. But one day I was swiping away and up comes an alert telling me I had a match! We got talking and it turns out we have a great deal in common. We met up for lunch a few days later, after being unable to put our phones down. That was about 6 weeks ago and we’ve been inseparable ever since. All because we both swiped to the right on each others photos. It’s a really bizarre situation. Without us both doing that, and being within a certain distance of each other, the meeting would have never happened.

    But you’re right the art of courting as we knew it is fading fast. And its certainly way more exhilarating that texting a stranger and over-analysing each others remarks.

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