Posted On: 12/09/2014
By: Natalie Wade
Dating websites: Tinder. Plenty of fish. Grindr. Match. Badoo. SugarDaddies (really).
I’ve been with my other half for going on six years and prior to that I was with my previous boyfriend for almost three, so usage of the above dating websites has escaped me. However pretty much all of mysinglefriends (which is another site) are using them; some for love, some for sex, some just for an ego boost with no intention of ever actually meeting people.
A lot of people in similar situations to myself (long term relationship with no experience of online dating) think it’s ridiculous. We’ve all heard them ‘they could be psychopaths’, ‘you could get raped and killed’ ‘what if they’re not who they say they are’ aaaand ‘what’s wrong with meeting people in real life?’. I like to think I’m a bit more open minded than that, I can definitely see the reasoning. We live in a world now where everyone is always looking down at their phones with their headphones in. How often do we make eye contact with people in public? People are more wrapped up in themselves than ever and haven’t got the patience for the slow build up and the ‘what ifs’, it’s much more time effective to swipe right and suss out if the other person is on the same page without wasting time, money and your good underwear on them.
As for the lies they could tell, ANYBODY could do this. I once club necked a lad all night and swapped numbers just to find out he was engaged the next day. And whose to say instagram filters and photoshop are any worse than beer goggles anyway?
Where my feelings do differ though lies in the romantic side of me. A good old fashioned ‘our eyes locked across the room’ story is far sweeter than ‘he poked me on Facebook’. Surely the best bit about dating is the anticipation and the getting-to-know each other. With online dating you can know each others mums birthdays before know if you have any physical chemistry!
Three of my best friends are currently doing the online dating thing with aplomb. All three were very much settled down at Christmas, and within the last 6 months one by one they’ve had the proverbial rug pulled from under their feet so off into the dating world they go!
They’re all doing it in a completely different way and it’s so interesting to watch. Friend one is looking for someone to give her butterflies, someone to make her laugh and sweep her off her feet. Friend two is looking for a companion to make babies with and who will be a stable presence in hers and her daughters life. Friend three is looking for good sex, and that’s it. She’s the most recently split of the three and doesn’t want or need a partner. I discussed friend 3’s approach with somebody the other day because he was telling me his friend uses Tinder to meet up with women in hotels for sex. Remember when Carrie asked if men were ‘disposable’? Seems everyone is these days.
I sometimes worry that my friends are rushing themselveves, that they would give themselves some time to enjoy their own company before they settle down again. I one case in particular LEARN to enjoy her own company. But that’s easy for me to say from my position, and if I was in their place I’d probably be the same. I definitely feel envious at times of the barrage of men telling them how gorgeous they are all day! What’s not to love about that! Ultimately though I don’t care how slow or fast they take it as long as they’re happy.
So from an outsider looking in, it looks scary, flattering but not very romantic. Who knows if ill ever use it, I hope not, but if I do I wont be using sugar daddies!* Eeee!
[Sugar Daddies is a dating website for rich men to hook up with attractive young girls and ‘take care’ of them financially]
Follow Natalie on Twitter here.