Why online dating isn't for girls like me

Tinder has neutralised the strongest relationship glue known to mankind: laziness.

 |  5-minute read |   26-10-2015
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Bad decisions.

We all make them. They're necessary, because they keep us from delusions of grandeur. Like even a fine specimen (oh, that wicked 'stache that features prominently in one's fantasies) like Ranveer Singh must feel stupid dressed, as he often is, like a space cyborg.

I made one recently. Tinder.

I was forced onto it by friends who were fed up of me trawling through their Facebook friends list for available, non-cheating, clean-shaven, showered, cologne-using single men between the ages of 30 and 35. A man who came without the trappings of a dull blog about life lessons that I'd be expected to dutifully read, praise and RT. Someone who could hear the words "period blood" without dissolving into epileptic seizures. As one Punjabi friend put it, "Tenu toh munde vich jigra chahida. Very difficult, babes." Or in the words of a more eloquent writer friend, "The only universe where a guy like this is single and available is the one where married reindeers get lucky with completely-out-their-league unicorns and together they make babies as pretty and confused as Prateik Babbar."

And that's how I found myself on Tinder one bored night with a bowl of frozen carrots and yucky yoghurt dip (ice-cream is for the movies. Reality is made up of sluggish metabolism and calories that seem to multiply like clostridium perfringens) and a friend who had taken the night off from motherhood to remind herself that despite all its incoherent grunts, nose hair-singeing farts and other general disgustingness, marriage was still better than internet dating. Spoiler alert: The carrots and yucky dip were the best part of the night.

Also read: Why I fear dating apps lead to people feeling used

Here's an inventory of the kinds of men I encountered, by and large:

Chest so closely waxed and shiny that it could double up as close-up of baby's bottom in a J&J ad: Swipe left. Side note: Why am I even seeing so much chest?

"Willing to lie about where we met": Swipe left.

Photos with multiple cars, no bio: Ugh. Swipe left.

Good bio but no photo: Hmmm. Maybe. Swipe right.

Living life king-size/ Live and let live/ Simple living high thinking/ Other clichéd life philosophies: Blah blah blah. Swipe left.

I lyv by mah rules, prty animal, nyt bird : Vomit. Swipe left. I need that ice-cream.

Reasonably hot photos. Happily married. Looking for no-strings-attached flings. Promises to be "discrete": Sigh. Swipe left.

"I will not marry you"/ "I am not your husband": Oh no! Whyever not? Swipe left.

Variations of globe-trotter/ foodie/ adventurer/ nomad/ traveller/ photographer: No. Just no. Swipe left.

IIT somewhere, IIM somewhere: No one gives a f*ck. Swipe left.

Decent photo, witty bio, looks like he showered recently, three kilometers away, likes dogs: Jackpot! Swipe right.

They start a conversation, you reply with sufficiently coy answers. Each party plies the other with bullshit answers to equally bullshit questions as part of the getting-to-know-each-other step of the mating ritual. It's a lot like dating in the real world - until the day you think to look and spot that damning "Active 0 minutes ago". From then on, it's all downhill.

Because unlike the real world, when it comes to online dating, people - shopping is not limited to the confines of the bar you're sitting at. It travels the distance to the bar next door, the one next to that, all the bars in the neighbourhood... F*cking hell, the bar travels with you as you travel across the city, country and even the world! You don't decide to ride out the rough patches because it's too much effort to put on a bra and decent clothes and go meet new people when you're single. In the online world, when you encounter a brand of psycho that's different from your own, you simply unmatch and resume swiping. Tinder has neutralised the strongest relationship glue known to mankind: laziness. It's like asking Batman to function, minus the Batmobile.

Which is why, I have concluded that some things simply don't belong together. Chetan Bhagat and literature. Uday Chopra and acting. Internet and dating.

Also read: How sex via dating apps is drilling a hole in 'good' Indian culture

At least not for women like me... Those that belong to the pre-internet generation of dating. We're women who still pause for a second and recall mom's stern "stranger-danger" lecture before allowing Tinder to access our Facebook profiles. Women who are spellbound by how easy it is to stalk a potential love interest in the online world, but don't know how to unknow, ignore or be blasé about the details we didn't necessarily want to have this early in the game. Who want to like the men they have it-means-nothing sex with on a basic human level. And most importantly, women who are horrified at the thought of a close friend sleeping with a guy you just slept with, last week! Eeeks.

I lasted 30 days on the app before giving up and going back to pestering friends to find me that reindeer-unicorn love child. While sitting bra-less on the bed and judging a person for his looks and grammar is fun until you get bored of their shit, ignore them and turn to Masterchef season 500, I realised that that's what marriage is for! Dating is for first impressions... For putting on lipstick, wearing tummy-tucking underwear, meeting for dinner at a nice place and laughing on jokes that aren't all that funny. It's about the hints of cleavage in a carefully chosen dress instead of the boob and di*k pics on Snapchat. And it certainly isn't about going to bed agonising over why he was "Active 0 minutes ago".

Writer

Radhika Gulab Radhika Gulab @msgrannypanties

Current relationship status: planning a romantic vacation for two. With Rob, the vibrator.

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