The Online Dating Minefield

It has become the norm, perhaps even passé (are you over online dating yet?) to find love, or even just casual sex using social media and the internet. Wind back a few years and you’d be getting bewildered reactions and cautions against creeps and freaks if you mentioned hooking up with someone through the web.

Nonetheless, pitfalls and embarrassing moments still wait to entrap us. I’ve been using dating apps on and off for a few years now, sometimes with ‘success’ and other times with atrocious, but thankfully fleeting dating experiences. Here are some of the aspects of using apps like ‘tinder’ and ‘happn’ that I’d be happy to have terminated, lovingly illustrated by the stars of Ru Paul’s Drag Race…

1. People with embarrassing, arrogant profiles

I genuinely don’t understand this. Perhaps I’m being too harsh and finicky for my own good, but I just find some people’s online descriptions of themselves far too embarrassing to comprehend.

One gentleman had a series of presentation slides as his photographs, with each slide listing reasons why he would make a good date/boyfriend, overall urging me to ‘swipe right’ or regret it.

Another profile proudly said that if one didn’t find him attractive then it was necessary to ‘raise ur standardz.’ Okay.

Just be concise and honest about yourself.


And if you’re truly struggling to sum yourself up in a couple of sentences then you may need to spend some time alone, reflecting on your own character and personality, before you lunge face-first into the dating pool.


2. The ‘Bug-a-Boo’

So you’ve matched up with someone or whatever. Soon enough, you receive a message:


It’s short and uninteresting, and you’re probably too busy or not in the mood to reply to it right now. I mean, first of all there’s no effort put into that sort of greeting at all, as it leaves the direction of the conversation with only a muddy, vague potential. Where’s the friendly question to get things going?

So you choose to ignore the message for now. That’s fine. You don’t owe this stranger anything. But they seem to view this situation a little differently, and deem it appropriate to message the heck out of you until they finally get a response to their desperate, one-sided communications.


Oh and get ready for the possibility of sudden volcanic bursts of anger and vitriol directed your way . Or in the worse case scenario a butt-hurt round of guilt-trippery:

“I guess I’m just not handsome enough for you m’lady. Which is a shame because were you to get to know me, you’d be able to appreciate me for the true gentleman that I am.”




3. The ‘Sexy Pic’ Pest

We’ve all experienced this. The eye-roll inducing, wheedling persistence for a ‘sexy photo’.  Even after you’ve said no. It’s downright pathetic. And not to mention that we’ve just started talking? !! You only learned of my existence on this earth a few hours ago!


There are plenty of reasons why a person might not want to send a suggestive or nude picture; a lack of confidence, a belief that ‘nudes’ are abhorrent or tacky, or by having the view that waiting until you are physically together to unveil themselves is the best route for a relationship. I have nothing against nude photos, or people choosing to send them to one another, but for goodness sake, respect a person’s wishes. People say no for a reason, and they shouldn’t have to justify why to the likes of you. Slime over to PornHub if you’re that desperate to see some naked flesh.


4. The ambiguous set of group photos

Just which one ARE you?! You’re already setting me up for annoyance by proposing a puzzle of deduction before we’ve even said hello.

And the sad thing is, when you do make the effort to work out which one they are, it’s never the ‘hot’ one.




5. No relevant photos at all.

Some people just have photos of memes. Honestly. Trying to showcase your dazzling wit, are we?

And one person I stumbled across on Tinder had only one photo, and it was of a bird of prey of all things. It was a very nice, high-res photo of a flying falcon, I must admit. But how am I supposed to navigate Tinder as it was designed, and make a judgement on you from such an image? Just one selfie would suffice. Please.



6. The Pseudo-Philosophical Twat

Textbook depth. From the very beginning it feels like a job interview, or an interrogation. But the questions are very weird, like they were ripped from the faux-deep cranium of a committed stoner-brain. And they come flying out of nowhere with no explanation or build-up.

“Do you feel the need for constant change in your life?”

“Are we both weird, or just wonderfully unique?”

“What do you think about the passage of time?”



7. That Awkward First Date

I waited with a friend of mine one night, having pre-drinks in Soho before she was supposed to meet up with a guy she’d been talking to via a dating app. This was their First Date and she was understandably a little nervous. When you’ve never been in the company of somebody before, you just have no clue what kind of dynamic is going to emerge. Chemistry could naturally bloom and result in a pleasant experience that you’ll want to arrange for again. Or, a pervasive, flat atmosphere could have you wishing for a black hole to suddenly squish your body and soul into oblivion.

Apparently my friend’s date walked like a clown and made no effort in conversation. Stellar.

Heed my warning. Being stuck alone in awkward situations with strangers, for prolonged periods of time, are SOUL-DESTROYING.

So before you summon the courage to ask, or respond with a ‘yes’ to the arrangement of a date, consider if this total stranger is likely to be worth such a risk. Or if you have the money to spend on enough alcohol to get sloshed into apathy.



8. Trying WAY too Hard

I’m so guilty of this. The amount of times I’ve socially sinned – making awful goofy jokes; replying back far too quickly and keenly; using a staggering amount of emoticons to seem engaged and cute. Ugh. Just push me down a tall set of stairs please. Where is that tiny voice in the back of my head to seize me by the lapels and tell me to cALM the FUCK DOWN?!


Unfortunately, when you’re attracted to somebody’s appearance and they appear to have a personality that you’re sure would gel nicely with you’re own, then it’s incredibly hard not to figuratively flail and prance around like a lunatic.

I know. Not only are they gorgeous but they seem genuinely interested in you too, and it’s amazing, I get it.

Trust me. Wind it back a few gears – you probably look like a giant twat.


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