There's a very real danger that this could disintegrate into a Single Lady post, but I'll do my best.
So get this: the kids these days are using their Smartphones to pick up. You go on Tinder, you choose up to 6 pictures that get displayed on your profile, you put up some kind of descriptive thing about yourself if you want.
Then you set your parameters - age limits and distance from you limits. I selected 25 to 40 years of age, and 150 kms away - I had it set closer but you really can't be picky when you live in a rural area, you know?
Then you sit back and while your iPad figures its shit out, it displays the message above and completely demoralises you.
Once the people in your area are located by some form of wizardry, you get to make a decision on whether you like them based entirely on their up-to-six pictures and short blurb about themselves. It also lists any Facebook friends you have in common and any if any of your Facebook likes match theirs.
Best Facebook 'Likes' in common so far: Commonwealth Bank, Bubble O'Bills and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
Most awkward: 12 friends in common. Because if we have that many friends in common, we have probably met in real life and not had any interest in each other, so why would the romantic glow of Tinder be any different?
You proceed to weigh up all these factors and then either Like or Nope the person. Seriously. If you decide they don't look like the person for you, you click the red X or swipe right and it stamps a "Nope" on them. A digital Nope, not a real life Nope. That would be weird.
Once you've made a decision on them, you move on to the next person. Be sure to judge them too, and judge them hard, for they are possibly doing the very same to you.
What I like to call the "Tinder Magic" is the part that happens next. For lo and behold, when you "Yes" someone and they also "Yes" you, you have a match!
This is where the fun truly starts, because then you're allowed to chat to them.
"Hi, how are you?" "Hey ;-)" "Hi Hellen. I mean Helen"
My brothers suggest it's an opportunity to polish your 'game', and mostly I suppose I agree. I've found that I end up chatting with the ones who live around 100kms from me (which it also handily displays against their profile for reference. Disconcerting when they're listed as 2kms away).
Last night I found myself advising a perfect stranger that he really should do something fun to celebrate his 30th birthday, and extra points go to me, because he completely agreed!
I confess that if you get your to, two, too / where, we're, were / your, you're / they're, their, there 's wrong I am going to quickly lose interest. I'm just a picky bitch that way. Mostly it's a bit entertaining and honestly, a little like the banter you swap with people at the pub when you meet strangers in real life.
Here's why it's worse than real life pub banter: you have to effectively go out into the world admitting you're looking to meet someone, or at very least get laid. Everyone knows why they're there. It's impossible to tell if they smell bad. It's another way to get competetive with the world and end up feeling like you're not good enough, somehow. Sometimes you see someone on there that you know has a girlfriend.
Here's why it's better than real life pub banter: it's words on a page. You have control over it. You don't have to make eye contact with strangers. They don't try to touch you while you're talking. You get to use your imagination. I fucking hate when men in pubs try to touch me when they're delivering their lines. Inappropriate physical contact is a huge no-no with me. Men never seem to quite get it. So I'd rather deal with their lines over internet messaging, where I can just block them if they get creepy.
Have I met my soul mate yet? Well, it's only been a week. I've had a lot of guys called Andrew and many guys called Ben match me, but the only promising one has been a Tom. There are those nice moments when a stranger says you sound awesome, and you get to smile and appreciate that fact before writing back "Yeah, I am awesome".
Because I am, even if it's gotten to the point where I need to meet my men on Tinder.
And I'm not sure how many things are wrong with that sentence.