Tinder, PoF & Bumble (14 months of Online Dating ) What Happend?

Tinder, PoF & Bumble (14 months of Online Dating ) What Happend?

Tinder, PoF & Bumble — 14 months of Online Dating — What Happen

Average Jim thinks ‘Woah! Tinder is like natural selection on crack…’

Every tale needs context. In October 2014, I had come out of a 3 year relationship. I was in Bristol, she was in London. The break up was protracted. Although mutual, it hurt deeply. It felt like physical pain; I lost a true friend. imagine a lot of people can appreciate the emotion that comes from severing ties with someone you have developed such a psychological dependency on. remember vividly calling one of my best friends a few months after the break up and arguing with him. I said I didn’t want to let go. His words were simple…

‘Mate you need to at least try being single. You might even enjoy it!’

The honest words I needed. The ‘grieving process’ had begun…

Anyway, enough of the Sam Smith stuff. I started the story as a neither unattractive nor a particularly good looking 24-year old male. Confident in some situations (usually alcohol fuelled). Painfully shy in others. Working a 40+ hour week, best friends scattered round the globe and back living at home with my Mum.

I was hardly a Casanova Cocktail.

Like most singletons of our generation there was one obvious route for an ‘Average Jim’ to turn to. Free and accessible via a 30-second Facebook link up I plunged into the online dating world. Daring to ask myself Would this Average Jim find love? pof account recovery phone number

Here, looking back over my sporadically kept diary and texts, I have managed to piece together a collection of anecdotes from just over a year of online dating. I will refrain from referring to the lovely ladies by name as they don’t have a chance to give their side of the story.

Girl 1 (The Rebound)

I thought the term rebound was an unrealistic cliche. I was wrong. After spending a couple of weeks on the ‘all you can eat buffet’ of Tinder swiping, I thought it might be sensible to actually try and meet a girl in person. Girl 1 had the name of a delicate flower but looked anything but. After some promising ‘chat’ we progressed to Whatsapp. I was undeterred by the multiple tattoos and piercings on virtual display. I remember showing photos to some friends at work. Some said go for it. Others that the septum piercing was a step too far. I asked her on a date and thought a posh bar like Browns would suit.

She was taller than me… Great start. We got on relatively well and things quickly escalated, first into the local Weatherpersons, followed by All Bar One. Before I knew it we were making out, in the pitch black, by the Bristol Suspension Bridge. I ran for the last bus in a complete daze. Maybe my friend was right? This could be fun.

Hours of stilted online conversation later it fizzled out. Moving into 2015, I was back to square one but had rebounded.

Girl 2 (The Burner)

I soon found that Tinder was like a sweatshop and I was the kid. Each new match brought an equal dose of dopamine and unrealistic expectations. Like any child in new territory I was about to get burnt. Multiple times.

2a) A brief encounter – a recent graduate who was smart and pretty. I was a bit nervous and driving so only had a half pint, watching most of an England rugby match with lime & soda. She was more ‘my type’ and it seemed to go well. Afterwards I politely dropped her home. A couple of unanswered texts later, she was never to be seen again. My first ‘ouch’ experience.

2b) I met in town (shockingly enough) after attempting some conventional ‘chirpsing’ in Mbargos. We made out in the club and got a Jason Donorvan to conclude the night. I walked home with a mate who remarked how I was “definitely in there”. Hungover I looked back over some cringey texts (don’t judge me we’ve all done it). She later claimed to have forgotten about even meeting me. Once again, Date Two did not happen 🙁

2c) Another graduate, another burn. We had a decent first date at Start the Bus. I chose to drive and again there was the awkward drop home. No kiss but there seemed to be a spark… Eureka! We even arranged a second date and I sorted a lift with mum to avoid driving this time (again… we’ve all been there).

However 20 minutes before said date I received a text notification from 2c – “Apologies, might have to bail tonight…” Alarm bells rang and I replied “Why what’s up?” to which she responded “moral dilemmas”. I wasn’t that bothered (we’d only had one date) but my ego was knocked. I couldn’t resist probing what moral dilemmas meant in this context. She text back “I’m seeing this boy-ish and don’t really see it as serious but don’t know what he thinks and feel a bit sneaky going on other dates etc.”

Yes I kept the texts and here was some of my riposte.

Tinder, PoF & Bumble — 14 months of Online Dating — What Happen

Unusually punchy for me. It felt good though. Ironically, she text me 6 months later to see if there was a chance of meeting again. No ta.

Okay so I cheated. Girl 2 was actually three girls. Have sympathy though as, at this point (March 2015), I was left on the ropes and wondering if this online dating game was for me…

Girl 3 (The One)

Following my winter failures I turned to Plenty of Fish (PoF). I’ve had family members who have found ‘the one’ here. I spent a whole evening curating a profile which felt hugely self indulgent – a bit like writing this story. I tried to pitch it confidently using expertise from an article How to Get the Most Girls Online. The advice was things like don’t smile or look directly at the camera in your profile picture. After a couple of weeks of little to no matches I deleted it.

Back to Tinder. The Dating Tide seemed to turn with Girl 3. In her profile she looked fit! She played hard to get with long delays between messages and was clearly intelligent. When I finally got her number it felt like I’d reached Base Camp Everest. You know the feeling when you can’t help checking your phone at every interval. This elaborate online courting phase led me to label her ‘The One’ to colleagues. Eventually I pushed for the real life date.

I was early (very unlike me to be this keen). I chose a seat looking out over the bar… readied myself for that first glimpse of her 🙂 I then noticed my phone “Hey, I’m at the bar”. “Whaaaat?” I looked over, not sure how I’d missed her ethereal beauty. My heart sank.

I was simply not attracted to her. Although clearly the person with which I had been conversing online, she could not compare with the angel I had imagined. A perception I had unfairly built – granted. I tried to disguise it and we played out a pleasant evening. A few drinks down the line she actually went for the kiss and I tactfully brushed her away. I wanted to walk home, alone.

She tried to intiate date number 2. I cowardly made up a couple of reasons to be ‘busy’.

A few weeks later ‘The One’, was gone.

I was no longer the virtuous victim. I hope Girl 3 found someone better than me. It did though teach me a big lesson of online dating. Real life attraction is far more important – too much online conversation is a waste of time. I vowed not to form any attachment via the app. It was to be a foot in the door. Nothing more.

Tinder, PoF & Bumble — 14 months of Online Dating — What Happen

Girl 4 — (The Fling)

I took a month off dating as my job got seriously busy around the end of tax year. Suddenly it was May/June 2015, and the promise of summer seemed to have brought a new cohort of eligible (supposedly single) girls to Tinder. The only real result was more unanswered messages for me.

Learning from Girl 3, I noticed Girl 4 on the app, was immediately attracted and after a few evenings of solid chat (mainly terrible Harry Potter innuendos) I boldly stated “I’m not really into this online thing. Do you want to just go on a date and take it from there…” I thought she was too hot to say yes straight up but I was wrong. Jackpot.

It was a Thursday evening and I had a few days off. I told mum I was meeting friends for ‘a couple of beers’. I went in completely open minded. Shock, Girl 4 did not look how I’d imagined. However, I was interested this time. We got on well and made each other laugh. It turned into a bit of a Bristol bar crawl — never a bad thing! The final destination was a Yoyo burger and her abode.

Tinder, PoF & Bumble (14 months of Online Dating ) What Happend?

During the date I had deliberately not mentioned living at home. When I saw Mum calling at 7:30am I lept out of bed to cancel the call. Suspicions aroused, I was later forced to come clean to both parties about my antics.

We spent a splendid 6 weeks ‘together’. It felt quite couple-y with a number of summer walks and even a date with my sister and her boyfriend (who gave the thumbs up).

Despite all this her days in Bristol were numbered and a return to her northern home was soon looming large. I decided to call a halt to proceedings. I think she was a little hurt. Unfortunately battle scars from a previous long distance relationship could not be ignored. It was over. pof helpline phone number

Tinder, PoF & Bumble — 14 months of Online Dating — What Happen
Girl 4s’ melancholy prediction proved right…

The summer fling felt like a massive boost and key milestone in moving on from my ex. For that I was grateful. The ease and speed with which things progressed was a shock after the torturous process involved in some of the earlier rendezvous. Girl 4 is now globetrotting in Australia and Asia and I wish her well!

Early Conclusions

By July 2015, I’d seen both sides of Tinder. Personally, I disagree with writing which suggests a ‘Pick & Mix’ environment for guys. If anything, it is the guy who has to put serious effort in to pitch for the girls’ attention. Tricky when starting out as you don’t want to look too weird, cocky or keen. I hear that, unfortunately, this challenge is taken crudely by some guys. However most I have spoken to feel they rarely get given a chance by girls they find attractive. This leads to an arms race for the perfect profile. With ‘perfect’ also being unattractive for many girls. The end result can be a lot of time wasted. For both sides.

With this greater supply of males comes more power for girls? Interestingly I feel the power can quickly shift once you’ve met in person and true natural selection kicks in (making things more equal). So I guess Average Jim’s claim that Tinder is like ‘natural selection on crack’ has some merit but is not the full story.

Girls 5–7 > TBC

To save this being a novel, the story is to be continued. I will describe how I approached the online dating game with new found ‘confidence’. Would Average Jim find real love? Two new apps were thrown into the mix and things were about to get interesting…

Tinder, PoF & Bumble — 14 months of Online Dating — What Happen
Uh oh!

Thank you for reading so far. Apologies if it’s clunky in places. I just fanciedgetting something out there.

Lots of online love,

‘Average Jim’

Tinder, PoF & Bumble — 14 months of Online Dating — What Happen

Tinder, PoF & Bumble — 14 months of Online Dating — What Happnd? (Part Two)

‘Is meeting someone online, the same as meeting someone in real life?’

If you missed Part One it will help – https://medium.com/@JimRoberts09/tinder-pof-bumble-14-months-of-online-dating-what-happnd-dff549681367#.7vc45e9eb

Apologies for the length of Part Two, I really tried to cut it down but it would have ruined the story. I thought you’d prefer all the gory details…

Girl 5 (The Disappointment)

In the mid summer heat of 2015, after ‘the Fling’, I took a break. I even deleted Tinder. Yet two weeks later it had somehow crept back onto my Iphone. Before Average Jim knew it he was organising a date with Girl 5.

Okay, again I’m cheating because it involved three individuals. All three unsuccessful.

5a) Was a deceptive one. Unfortunately Instagram had been used heavily and who I met was a complete visual stranger. My lack of interest may have shown and it felt like she had similar disappointment seeing me. We were not compatible. The conversation was stilted. When I suggested for us to go to a second venue she remarked ‘I’m not feeling too great, maybe we can do something another time’. Another time was not on the horizon.

5b) I went against my instincts and planned a dinner date. I chose Pizza Express, utilising a 2 for 1 voucher. She was foreign and we’d only exchanged a few messages on Tinder. During the meal, it became clear this was more of a chance for her to practice her English. It did need practice. Not that I can talk about second languages, having never really got past ‘hola’ & ‘bonjour’ in French & Spanish. She ate about half a Romana (real waste in my opinion). When the waiter came to pick up our mains, I was distraught when she said yes to the dessert menu. Despite my subtle protestations she was determined. She took over half an hour to finish a sorbet. When I offered to pick up the bill I remembered why a less formal first date is preferable. Oops.

5c) Was probably the tip of the iceberg, in terms of despair. I had extended my range on Tinder to cast the net a bit wider. This stretched to the beautiful town of Bath. I was intrigued to see if the girls matched the location. I had great chat with 5c. She was a writer and worked in a gluten free restaurant. She picked a great pub location. On paper it all looked ideal. However I experienced the now familiar surprise at the girl who greeted me. I now think honesty is a better policy. That works both ways — I wouldn’t claim to be tall, dark and handsome when I’m 5 foot 10 and alright looking.

That aside we did have a delightful stroll round Bath and got on quite well. Then things took a turn for weird. She asked to see the sort of girls I was matching with on Tinder. She then revealed she was actually bisexual. Taking great delight in displaying some of the girls she had matched with. I have no problem with this, but when she told me she preferred having sex with girls, I was in real flight mode. She offered her couch for the night as I walked her home. I glanced down at the Trainline app and realised the last train out of town was in 20 minutes. Uh oh. I gave her a polite kiss on the cheek and waited for her to be out of sight. As soon as the front door snapped shut, I literally pegged it! It was one of those bizarrely joyous moments jumping on the train just as the doors shut behind me. Phew.

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Making my escape — not my finest hour, apologies Girl 5C

Girl 6 (The Close One)

On the evening of running back for the train, a little tipsy, I decided to call the other girl I had been messaging on Tinder. I had an honest rant about Girl 5 as if Girl 6 was a friend of many years. Fair play, she actually agreed to meet me for a date. Shockingly, for one of the first times ever, I thought my date was better looking in person. It can happen! It was a surprisingly chilled date, including Turtle Bay cocktails. The night ended with a kiss, by the docks, under the stars. This all sounds very romantic but it didn’t feel special. Something made me feel uneasy about that… Maybe too much online dating is bad for your health?

Date 2 we mixed it up with a run around the docks in the late evening sun. No kiss this time. Date 3 was a last minute decision as we both had a free evening. We went for a drink at the Harbourside and then went on the hunt for food. I somewhat generously bought us both a £5 falafel king. I dropped her back to her own flat. There was no invite in. We did have a kiss but it wasn’t hugely pleasant due to the mutual overdose of hummus and tahini.

Date 4. We were both out on Friday night so I suggested we do something chilled on the Saturday evening. Maybe a meal and film at her place. I guess what is now termed the ‘Netflix and chill’ routine. She declined the offer, I can’t remember exactly why. Girls reading this may have their suspicions..

Clearly feeling like I’d made a mistake I thought let’s try something a bit more neutral. There is a place called Warleigh Weir where you can swim in a ‘waterfall’ near Bath. She seemed keen. However the night before I got a text to say she was ill and wouldn’t be able to make it. This may have been the case but my gut told me this wasn’t the full story.

I was then put through what could only be described as a polite and gentle freezing out. She would text back but there was little substance. I wanted to know why, not because I was attached (this takes me a while), more out of interest. Was it the hummus kiss? Was it the presumption of staying at hers? Or was she just not that into me? I squandered a few weeks waiting for a change of heart. It didn’t come, no explanation or justification. Girls 3 and 4 may highlight what goes around comes around. Not one for confrontation, I decided to move on. Average Jim was back at square one.

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Time to Retire from the Game? plenty of fish username recovery

Don’t despair, Average Jim was soon back his feet and September 2015 would herald a new chapter. I quit my corporate job and embarked upon a 3 month part time business course with Escape the City in London. This would radically change my mindset on a number of things. I met a network of interesting and refreshing people. Suddenly I was spending time more naturally with members of the opposite sex. Something so hard to find in previous months.

Although the frequent yo-yo trips up and down the M4 were tiring, they gave me a buzz again. I was indebted to friends already living in London. I performed some tactical couch surfing (ideally finding a bed rather than couch). Some were particularly kind, hosting me on multiple occasions. One house were close to charging me rent by the end.

Bizarrely I also attended a ‘Sexpo’ as part of a mate’s entrepreneurial project. His idea not mine! Not the worst afternoon I’ve had but quite a sensory overload for my poor little innocent brain. Google it, it’s not as weird as it sounds. I don’t think anyway…

Tinder, PoF & Bumble — 14 months of Online Dating — What Happend
Scary stuff!

All in all, this was a pretty unstable position to be dating. Especially if a girl was to ask where are you living or working at the moment? Well not quite so with online dating. If you have a phone, you have a chance. It was at this point I added Happn to the fray. Another dating app which for me was a complete waste of time. I love the idea. You match with someone you’ve walked past or caught eyes with. The reality is very different. It includes people who have randomly strolled past your office while your staring at a computer screen or drunkenly strolled past on a night out. When I opened the thing in London it went haywire. Hundreds of girls apparently! Not matches I hasten to add, simply girls using the app. This was far too much for me, a fruitless paradox of choice.

Yet a bit like all social media there is a strange addiction inherently built in. With each new location there is a tendency to pop on and see who you might find… Not necessarily in a sexual way (never happened for me like that) but for some kind of weird social gratification. Boredom can also be a factor when it’s easier to type into your phone than make conversation with a stranger.

I had also tired a bit of Tinder with girls increasingly girls demanding your full CV and life story before risking a date. Plus the new super like feature screamed CREEPY to me. The further option to pay for the Tinder ‘service’ was no surprise. No idea if anyone has actually tried this?

As the cold of Winter approached I realised I didn’t actually want a relationship right now. I was finally content being single again. Or so I told myself…

Girl 7 (The Special One)

Cue Girl 7. It is often said that things come to you when you least expect it. That is true here, kind of.

It was at this point of aimless and occasional browsing that a friend mentioned I had to check out this new app. It was called Bumble. Minus the cringey name, I was intrigued by the concept. The same mutual swiping system as Tinder but the girl has 24 hours to initiate the conversation or the match is lost, forever. Undoubtedly this led to a lack of originality from some girls who would simply say Hey. However others seemed to relish the challenge.

Tinder, PoF & Bumble — 14 months of Online Dating — What Happend
Crikey, I thought my chat was bad!

Against this backdrop I was starting to have banter with one girl who looked particularly HOT. It was sporadic but enough. We had matched in Bristol apparently. After finally procuring her number I was able to get things to date territory. I can’t remember whose idea it was but we decided on an afternoon coffee. A bit out of my comfort zone. Although it had been suggested to me by an old work colleague that this was in fact a better ‘strategy’. You have a brisk first date which leaves the intrigue for further contact. Hmmmm.

We met at Boston Tea Party and it was all very polite. She looked different to her Bumble photos but I was attracted. As the conversation developed she was clearly grappling with my new lack of defined career status. On Bumble you are asked to display your occupation from a drop down list. I didn’t fancy lawyer or investment manager, graduate was too vague and unemployed was unfair. Instead I picked ‘pilot’. I had recently taken up the pursuit of drone flying. I literally thought nothing more if it (my friends were not so convinced). However Girl 7 needed more and I found myself trying to describe my now fictitious profession in huge detail. I was eventually forced to admit I couldn’t actually fly a plane.

It was a coffee date so the latte was soon dispatched. As we went to leave the venue I think both of us felt the date had all happened rather quickly. An awkward hip hug ensued and she went left (up Park Street) as I went right (down Park Street). Walking away I felt more like I had come out of a job interview. As with any job interview I had no idea how it had gone — was she attracted to me? Was she put off by my pilot chat? Was she ‘right’ for me? I’d probably stick with drinks next time. how to do pof username recovery

Girl 8

Intermittently there was a Girl 8 who I had a date with in London. Genuinely good fun — she accompanied me to a startup event. Despite this, there was no real spark. I left it a while before texting back and it didn’t go past date 1.

Girl 7

Zipping back to Bristol. Girl 7 rather than being put off by our rather cordial introduction was now interested in Date 2. It was a Friday night and she called me minutes before. I was fearing the last minute bail. She had some elaborate (yet true!) story about how someone had bumped into her car. Something in the way she said it won my trust immediately and suffice to say we were soon enjoying drinks at the Bristol Beer Emporium.

We moved onto more bars, then enjoyed some monster munch and a dodgy Quigleys burger. Now that I felt less defensive I could appreciate how kind and attractive she was. It all felt different; different in an exciting and mutually felt way. I wasn’t expecting that.

The rest they say is history. She has since told me that my photos were pretty misleading (in a good way) and she would not have swiped right if I had chosen graduate over pilot…

Tinder, PoF & Bumble — 14 months of Online Dating — What Happend

The End…

Looking back this all reads like a series of micro relationships, which neatly fit together in one story. In reality it was much more haphazard. There was also the occasional ‘real life’ date that happened in the 14 months I haven’t described; including one memorable person.

Overall user experience =

I found Tinder, PoF and Happn a frustrating game. A view shared by many I feel. It will be interesting to see how new kids on the block like Smeeters, Play Date and Zojul can engineer a move towards greater serendipity in dating. Nevertheless I met an eclectic mix of girls, at my own pace and saw both sides of cupids arrow.

Ultimately I located a ‘special’ person who I simply may never have come across in the real world. For that I am grateful to Bumble (100% record on the app!) and all the experiences of the past 14 months.

Thanks so much for reading some or all of this.

Lots of online love,

‘Average Jim’ x

Tinder, PoF & Bumble — 14 months of Online Dating — What Happend

P.S. — I wrote most of this on the week I (properly) deleted the Tinder app from my phone and asked out Girl 7, who for some unknown reason chose to accept. Subsequently real life did intervene, I had a house fire, amongst other things, which set back the writing of the stories. Interestingly these events have brought Girl 7 and I closer together — she even allowed me to post this blog!

How do I know she is the one? Well I guess you never can but I feel Mark Marson articulates this far better than I possibly could in his ‘Fuck Yes or No’ approach to dating —how to contact pof customer service phone number

I am now looking forward to a future outside of the online dating world, let’s see what Happns 🙂 Tinder, PoF & Bumble (14 months of Online Dating ) What Happend?  Tinder, PoF & Bumble (14 months of Online Dating ) What Happend?