Tinderella and the Glass Ceiling

December 13, 2013
Ah, Tinder - the internet equivalent of last orders at 2am in a dark, seedy bar. The home of drunken flirting with strangers and awkward small-talk the next day.

It has the addictive quality of Candy Crush Saga, but instead of pressing tiny coloured cartoon sweets to make a winning combination, you heartlessly swipe through the profiles of real people in the hope that when you finally press 'like', you will be met with the ego-boosting announcement that you are in fact - a match. The match is never usually based on the fact you will be well suited for long, heartfelt conversations about your favourite subject but simply the shallow assurance that you both find each other attractive. (In up to 5 carefully selected photos, anyway.)

I've been meaning to write this post for about 25 days now, and despite loading up my poor bloodstream with oodles of caffeine daily, and sitting in front of the screen, my poised fingers can never seem to connect to my (exceptionally witty and hilarious) brain. I've even drafted in two of my friends (who are dating) to try it out, the end result being them cuddling on the sofa both robotically scrolling through all of what Brighton has to offer. He came across her and pressed no as a joke - rendering her angry enough to go about deleting the app.

Since beginning my Tinder experience I have changed my hair drastically, going from a sultry brunette to a peculiar shade which varies between pink and orange. Now, don't get me wrong - I really love my new hair, but I must admit I have noticed a difference in my success rate since changing my profile photo from a breasty, made-up dark haired me to a bare-faced selfie. This causes panic, leading me to be less selective in my choices. Perhaps this derives from a primal cry for attention and acceptance. Now, that's not to say that rule works for everyone, some guys will click yes to anyone because they are desperate, drunk, or maybe they are the one sat on the sofa with their girlfriend. Some men will do anything to attempt to lull you into a false sense of security by treating you as if you are the only one they are trying to chat up. They needn't bother - I've already forgotten his name.

I once signed my straight friend up to Grindr and a guy he didn't know flirtatiously winked at him in the street. Now, I might just be imagining it but I keep making awkward eye contact with people I've never seen before - and I anxiously begin to wonder if they have seen me on Tinder.

Two candidates that I paused long enough to (drunkenly) screenshot - before rejecting them

It takes me approximately 0.45 seconds to tell if I'm going to say no to somebody. On the other hand it takes me much, much longer to decide whether to press yes. If I don't say no straight away, there's still a 70% change that I will reject you after 10 seconds of being in limbo whilst I quickly scan your photos.

To make things easier, Tinder should come with a stats card, as it can be difficult to tell the difference between a flattering picture and an accurate representation. These guys tend to be a lot shorter in real life, and quite a bit chubbier. Maybe the photos were taken on a good day, now they look like they've had an over indulgent Christmas - despite the fact it's only the 13th of December.

If you are lucky enough for me to linger longer a second, I'll need a moment to see what I have to work with. If you only have one photo, regardless of how fit you are - it's a definite no. (What are you hiding?) If you're posing with an attractive female in your main photo (who you probably fancy but have been friend-zoned) - it's a no. If you're cradling a baby or puppy in your picture as an attempt to look all sensitive and paternal, I'm going to say no. If you're posing with friends in a club snap from Ibiza or worse - Oceana, it's a no go. If you can take a better selfie than me, forget about it. If you are posing in front of a mountain with your shirt off or with an elephant or in any other evident photos of your fabulous "gap yaaahr", then see ya later mate. Actually, no you won't. These are all very shallow things to reject somebody by, but when you are faced with such a high and fast turnover rate, it is very necessary to have a screening process.

My screening process is simple - I am very likely to press like if you (in your five pictures) are wearing sunglasses, are in a band, or look like you could be in a band. That's it. Oh, you also have to be slightly awkward looking, like you didn't quite fit in at school.

How do you know if you'll meet somebody great when your only shared interest with them is Marmite?

How many of your ex-boyfriends/partners would you have pressed no to?

 Is Tinder a vessel to find true love? Probably not. Am I going to quit? Never.

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