‘How did you met your boyfriend’, I asked my yoga buddy Franka while having coffee after morning class. ‘Oh, we met on Tinder’ she answered. ‘Really’, I frowned. “Is Tinder not just a hook-up app app rather than dating?” “Well, that was what I thought too as I started Tinder back in Germany. But then I arrived in NZ and it seems to be a bit different here or let say the Kiwis use it differently in a way”, she replied. She then shared some of her experiences with me and ended by saying: “You really shut try it, put yourself out there”.
A few days later and another rainy Sunday on the couch with nothing better to do, that conversation came back to me. I downloaded the app and created an account. I’d tried dating sites and such but honestly, it never worked for me, so far! Anyway, important in life is to stay open minded and try something new now and then.
Downloading a picture isn’t that much of an effort is it? A bit more thinking is necessary when it comes to an introduction. What do I want to give away on information? What is funny and interesting, not just plain? After some minutes of hard thinking a quote that I’d read on the net popped into my head: “Beautiful, intelligent, talented, charming hell of a woman”. I figured maybe there are some smart men on that platform, who would look closer and discover. Discover what? If you just connect the first letters of each word you will find out yourself!
So that was that, I officially was a Tinder lady, ready to date!
I was redirected to the page where you’ll find all people – in my case men – whom are living in the same area. I started looking and sweeping – a lot of sweeping – after 45 minutes of staring on my screen I had not found any interesting looking guy, so I stopped for the day. The next morning there was a message from Tinder on my phone. It was a list of possible matches, Tinder sends one daily, so sweeping started again. Plenty of Kiwis but for me it only made sense to meet a native guy – as in Maori – while in New Zealand and find out what they’re made of.
This being said, I checked those Tinder alerts daily getting quicker and quicker at sweeping through my daily matches. A week passed and I still hadn’t found a match. Sure, there had been some ‘Hellos’ or ‘nice picture’ messages, but after reading their profiles, I didn’t feel compelled to start any chats.
So the next ‘lazy Sunday’ I changed tactics and took some more time to swipe through all the masses of available men and finally found some profiles from men with Maori or Polynesian roots.
I pressed the ‘like’ button on a few profiles and waited to see what might happen, not much at first! I kept on sweeping and liking profiles and slowly the reactions started to trickle in. To cut it short, in total I had numerous likes and requests, seven chats from which I met two in real life.
Here is my list ‘of shame’ (to you guys):
The bouncer – liked my picture and although he wasn’t Maori we started chatting extensively for about two hours. Then he said that he had to go to work in a club downtown that he thought I was a very nice lady and if I want to pass by that day, no worries. He liked what I had told him about me and my lifestyle, but as I didn’t react to his invitation he said: “Ok then, have to go, bye”. No need to say that I never heard from him again. Well, I guess I didn’t ‘bounce’ in fast enough..!
The V.I.P. guy started the chat by asking: “Do you really look like your picture?” ‘Sure’ I answered and because he was Maori I was interested. We exchanged phone numbers and after a video call (I guess he wanted to be sure that I really look like my picture!) he invited me for lunch. I’ve to say the date started off well. He showed manners, was nice looking and as tall as me. But man could he talk! And the only thing he talked about was his life achievements and what a ‘big fish’ he was!
After lunch we had a walk on the beach and by the time it started to rain, I already knew all about his family (4 kids and as many estranged wives!), his former career as a cricket professional, all travels and – of course – his job. Well, at least I did get some more insight about the culture. As the rain got heavier I agreed to a cup of tea at his house. First surprise, he had a roommate! What self-pronounced ‘top business’ guy shares his house with a roommate? Second the house was a mess, it was unclean and worn out. His excuse? The cleaning lady hadn’t shown up this week! Yeah, sure! After another hour of listening to his glory tales he grabbed his guitar and started singing a song – just for me! A song he had written himself, because – you guess it already – yes, he also was a musician and songwriter. He even played in a band and performed regular in a local pub. Well, well, well what a guy he is, is he? After he finally finished the song I was desperate to go home. In the car on the way home, he said that he never had met a more unconditioned woman and other men – not he of course – probably could feel a bit frightened by me? Why I wondered, just because I am independent and no fool? Well, it didn’t matter anymore. By the time he dropped me at my doorstep I only said ‘Bye’ and rushed into the house. Next morning, he sent a text: “You’re a wonderful woman and I enjoyed our time together but decided not to meet you again.” Well, at least we had that in common!
The pondering guy was a Kiwi not Maori but after my last two encounters I’d decided to widen my range. Promising features on the picture and a good description made him sound initially interesting. He liked the outdoors, was sportive, good level of education and just a few years younger than me. No kids for a change (bonus), so nothing that could interfere in having a real live date. We chatted over two weeks and one day I asked what he usually does when he’s not at work. “Pondering,” he replied. Alright, now I understood why our chat had been so chewy. Infact that was what he did all the time we chatted, pondered his next answer and what I might think about it. Well, what can I say? Boring. Before long I just stopped answering his messages. Not that he was ever rude or unfriendly, just too hesitant and indecisive. In a way he just talked – or pondered – himself out of having a real-life date with me! On to the next bloke!
The Betterer – that’s how he introduced himself. Not really understanding what he meant I asked for an explanation. He told me that he worked at a University helping to improve the communication between the Maori culture and Kiwis. His picture was promising; nice face and very long black hair and after a few days texting we agreed to meet for a drink in Wellington. It was a fun first date. We laughed a lot and had some interesting conversations about the Universe. Remember, Maori culture is based on ‘living by the stars’. Later that day he invited me for dinner at his house. Guess what? He also shared a house with another Kiwi and only had a room. “Is that normal?” I wondered. “Fully grown men in their mid-forties not being able to afford their own apartment? But he prepared a delicious meal and we spent a nice evening chatting with his flatty. The next morning, he drove me to the station before heading for work.
So far it had been fun, and he really did know stuff about culture. The next Friday he was supposed to pick me up around 7pm. Never expect much ladies, finally he showed up at 9pm explaining that he had to help his flatty with something! Whatever, I didn’t care much. I never let anyone ruin my day! He brought a half empty bottle of white wine in and we started talking. He looked out of the window and said that he grew up here and knew the area well. Then he suggested hitting the nearby pub where live music played each Friday. “Sure, why not” I answered. He sculled the rest of the wine and we left.
The moment we arrived at the pub he started searching, as if he was looking for someone. But eventually with a whisky in our hands we walked outside and took a seat at a table where he started to tell me about his youth. After a while, more – mostly younger folks – joined the table. It was turning into a fun evening so when he went to get some drinks and didn’t come back for some time, I just kept on talking to the others. But when he came back he stood opposite the table and started accusing me of talking to other men! “What?” I looked at him. “What’s your problem?” Why should I have to explain myself to him? I didn’t even know him that well! By now I was a bit tipsy, so I waved it away and he sat down to re-join the conversation. I moved on talking to a young guy about Maori culture as the ‘Betterer’ got up and went inside for another – at least – thirty minutes. When he returned, he created the same scene again; I don’t know what you mean,” I said. “You walked away, “of course I’m going to talk to other people until you get back. What’s the problem?” Starting to think that this guy surely has some issues.
By the time the live band inside began to play again he had calmed down and asked me if I wanted to dance? Cool, I thought, and we danced for quite some time but with the next break of the band he vanished again! I looked around, waited a few minutes and as I couldn’t spot him anywhere, went outside for a smoke. Outside I got caught up in a conversation with some native girls. The ‘Betterer’ was nowhere to be seen so when one of the ladies invited me for a drink I accepted. She just was back with the whiskey when this guy suddenly appeared in the door looking at me angrily and started arguing again. I, meanwhile, seriously drunk, didn’t understand any of this. “I’m done,” I said and left the bar, wondering why this guy was acting like an idiot.
On my way home, realising that I had no cigarettes left, I took a detour via the petrol station. Happily-drunk, I had almost forgotten about that guy when I stood in front of the entrance door which would not open automatically. I looked up and guess who was standing on the inside? Yes, that ‘Betterer’ looking me straight in, the face, munching on a sandwich and obviously as surprised as I was. He pressed a button and the door opened. Both drunk – as we were – all we could do was smile. He couldn’t drive home anymore and so we walked to my place, discussing the evening events. The next morning, he dropped me at my yoga class and said that he had his daughter over for the weekend so no time to meet. Fine by me, I needed time to think about last night. I couldn’t brush off the feeling that this guy had some not so nice attributes and was kind of manipulative.
Had it not been for my charger – the one he ‘accidentally’ – took, I doubt I would have met him again. My phone was running low and I couldn’t find the charger anywhere. Realising that he was the only person who might have it I heavy-heartedly dialled his number. “Hey, tell me, did you take my charger with you last time?” I asked as he answered the phone. Grudgingly he agreed that he would look for it and get back to me when he could, maybe the day after tomorrow. I wasn’t very impressed by his attitude and told him as much then hung up the phone, thinking that charger is lost forever.
Two days later a knock on my door and there he stood grinning while dangling my charger in front of him. “I don’t have much time,” I told him. But he had brought his lunch planning to eat it at my place. Well I am a nice person and so he stayed. After lunch as we were sitting on the terrace, he finished off a bottle of wine I had in the fridge. Then, lazy from the sun he asked if we could get some more booze, so we walked down to the Bottle-O store and shared the cost of a bottle of whisky. On the way back, he wanted to go into the pub. I didn’t. “I’ll just have one. I’ll meet you at your place in ten minutes,” he told me. Hours passed before I sent him a text saying that it was getting late and he needed to collect his stuff. Minutes later he walked in telling me proudly, that he had won a thousand dollars on the horses, spreading the money out on the table. “I am happy for you”, I said watching him as he walked over to the cabinet took out a whisky glass and looked for the bottle. “I’m not up for any more drinking,” I told him. “I’d like you to go.” This wasn’t what he had expected. But now it was his turn to surprise me: “Do you have another bottle, where I can fill up half of the whisky?” he demanded. My jaw dropped: “What did you just say?”, I asked. “If I cannot stay, I want to take the half bottle of whisky I paid for”, he repeated! Is that cheap or what? Asking to take his share of the whisky when he just had won a thousand dollars? Well, I shared my thoughts with him and as you can imagine things went sour from there. As he left angrily, I knew I wouldn’t be seeing him again! But the idea of no more dates with this self-absorbed, manipulative attention seeker with a drinking and gambling habit, didn’t bother me. Instead I poured myself a generous ‘two thumbs’ in and raised my glass to that.
The Propositioner! This guy started out by telling me that he liked my naughty look on the picture! Well, whatever your fantasy is dude, but I decided to give him a chance. A few days in to the chat he suggested dating. ‘Why not I thought, thinking we could go for a drink. Well, he had different ideas. “Let’s meet in a hotel, take a room and have a ‘little naughty party,” he suggested. I need to meet in real life before I even think about ‘having a naughty party’” I replied. I wanted to see what he was made of. But as the date came closer he sent a text stating that he – suddenly – had to go on a business trip for a few days. I grinned and thought he’s backing out. But no, a few days later he called: “Hey sugar, I am back can we meet today”, he asked in broken English, his voice a pitch too high for my liking. “No, have plans already”, I said, “what about the weekend?” “My kids coming tomorrow for all week, you know it’s school holiday”. So be it! Honestly, it is such a turn off for me men always talking about their kids. Well, I sure didn’t say that to him. Instead I suggested that he get back to me when his kids are back with their mother(s) and blocked his number after he hung up. Well it’s hard to be naughty and nice!
The ‘In-charge’ guy presented himself as “I work hard; I play hard”. I, not easily impressed, thought that this could be fun to challenge, giggle. So I sent a text and indeed he replied. His profile had no picture and as I asked him for one. Next he tried to convince me to give my phone number. Then we can use what’s app instead and he’d send me a picture he said. I’d like that idea much and replied that I first want to chat a bit more. His texts mostly were about that he was a business guy, working in the financial field and dealing only with big investors, so he calls the shots. Intriguing isn’t it? After a few days in to the chat I gave him my number and he sent a picture as promised. Not bad I thought looking at a well groomed and good looking guy in his late thirties I assumed. Ok, bring it on, I thought. Next thing he set up a day and time for our first real-life date and then Mr ‘In-charge’ asked me if I can host the event. Why would I do that? I texted back. Simply because, my house my rules, right? What followed was a stream of messages in which he explained that he didn’t do that anymore, because of a very, very bad experience he once had. “I got stalked very badly, I even had to call in police,” he told me. Yeah sure, the world is a big stage, is it? Or is it more that this guy is in a relationship and just seeks a bit of adventure to spice his ordinary – love – life? As we texted back and forth the explanations of why I should host the first date became increasingly incredible. This guy was not living up to the impression he created on his Tinder profile at all. By the end of the exchange I couldn’t help feeling that guy was probably a fake from top till toe and not ‘in-charge’ of anything!
With some more lame chats and questionable characters over the six weeks I’ve been on Tinder, it seemed to me that there’re way too much ‘frogs’ on it. Heaps of players, liars, cheapskates, storytellers rather than real men, let go prince charming!
Now I’m back to what – for me – still is the most effective way to meet a guy. Going out and see what I can get in real life. Not that I am saying it never works meeting a decent guy on a dating app. It’s just that I think people are different, and what works for one person, won’t work for another.
Hopefully by sharing my experience with you will help you to be more selective while still having fun doing it. And for those who do relate to this post, I’d love to hear your comments and stories. After all ‘men’ are the one thing we women never stop talking about, right?
P.S. Not one time a guy was asking me about my quote, never! So I guess it’s true that there really is no one these days looking further than the eye meets!