Get off the App and Get Yourself Out There

Pryzm, Monday night. The Vengaboys are playing, the lights of the disco floor are lighting the room with a cascade of rainbow colours. The dancefloor is packed with beautiful happy students, dressed in their best and belting out the 90s classic like there is no tomorrow.

Yet the mate I’m out with has his face glued to his phone. Now, understandably he could have been texting his mum, or his sick gran at half-past 1in the morning, but no, he was on Tinder, swiping away.

What irked me most about this situation is that this young man had spent a fair portion of his evening at pre-drinks, complaining to me about the lack of female company in his life. I questioned him and presented the idea that maybe he should get off his phone. What he said next astounded me.  

“ Nah mate, I’ll get way more matches on here ”
– Pete (19)

Is this what it has come to? Young men like him have become so reliant on convenience technology that they have given up all hope on approaching the fairer sex in the real world. In just the disco room alone, there were at least 200 people; around two-thirds of whom were girls. Odds alone imply there might have been someone in there who would have let him buy her a drink and listened to his passionate and compelling four-levelled deconstruction of the last Wales game. I’m sad to say that we will never know.

Tinder is not good for you. Unless you look like Leigh Half-Penny’s better looking younger brother but then I doubt you would need Tinder in the first place. If you’re like me and my swipe addicted friend and gifted with comfortably average looks and the body of a man who hasn’t the inside of a gym since Nick Clegg was politically relevant, then it’s not a positive place. Sure, I get matches but, even with the ones I do get, I must compete with Mr Shirtless-Photo McChiselled Jaw. What we have to rely on is our chat and those weak few opening lines that occasionally lead to boring small talk, which always ends up on the same topics. Time for “What course do you do?”, “Where are you from?”, “Do you have any pets?” - shoot me. 

“ Guys never seem to approach girls much these days in real life … speak to your gender and sort it out! ”
– Ruth* (21).

Points for Bravery 

I completely respect that, for some of us, it might not be the easiest thing in the world to approach a girl you don’t know. However, providing you’re respectful and not just being a creepy asshole, you would be surprised how often the girl in question will be impressed that you had the balls. Don’t just listen to me, I took to the dreaded app myself and asked a few of my current matches where they preferred to be approached from, Tinder or in real life. Of the seven that replied, they all said they preferred face to face interaction.

“ Someone having the confidence to come up to me in person and even start talking to me in the first place is a bold move and, on top of that, having the confidence to flirt with me? That’s pretty astounding and super flattering, plus it would make me feel like a million dollars ”
– Emily (24)

Hear that gents? Now that sounds pretty positive.

I can admit that, sometimes, even I can hear my heart beat pounding in my chest before I go over to the attractive girl I have been psyching myself up to talk to for the last ten minutes. However, nothing beats that feeling when it goes well or when you leave with their phone number… or even more. Also, to be fair, even the harshest most brutal rejection I ever received, felt better than the feeling of complete self-loathing when I completely bottled it. 

Not Going Well

Instant rejection 

…At first, that sounds terrible but it is a blessing in disguise. This year I matched with a girl before heading home for Christmas. We chatted for the entire six weeks I was away and agreed to go for a drink when we were both back in Cardiff. As soon as we both got back into town, though, she suddenly had too much work to do to even dream of a few pints down The Flora. In her defence, she might have been telling the truth but she also might have just been enjoying the attention and never actually had any intention of going out with me. We shall never know.

If we had met in a bar and she’d shot me down straight away, or even given a polite but obviously lukewarm response, then I’d have known it was not going to happen. Instant rejection, no wasting of anyone’s time, no false hope; better off for everyone. 

“ I'm just super busy right now ”
– Christmas Chatter

Chemistry 

It’s impossible to fake and, when you feel it, you both know it. That sizzle, that moment of mutual attraction; unfortunately, the good people of Tinder have yet to find a way to digitalise it.  When the incredibly cool girl with purple hair you met in Live Lounge is laughing at your terrible jokes and telling you that she doesn’t mind your posh English wanker accent, you almost see it in the air. That feeling gives you confidence, it tells you that this is going well. On the other hand, if you’re chatting to your object of affection online, she only loves your carefully constructed lines and creative yet delicately suggestive gifs. You agree to meet up and, before you know it, you are sitting at one of those high seated tables in Peppermint, quietly sipping a raspberry mojito, with an atmosphere less sexually charged than your last visit to the dentist. This situation would have been avoided if you had met in person the first time.

“ You lose so many elements which attract people on Tinder. The smell of a man, the mannerisms… you just cannot put this across on an app. ”
– Lizzy* (23)

So please gents, take my advice and get off Tinder. We know the girls on there would rather hear your voice and then read your corny lines. The next time you’re out and you see the girl of your dreams, reach down into the depths of your masculine pride and go for it. If it goes badly and, to be honest, it might do, smile to yourself and be proud. You stepped up to the task, tested yourself, and found that you have the confidence to do what most of the guys out there don’t right now.

If it goes well then, trust me, you’ll feel like a fucking champion. 

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Written by John Baker, 9 months ago