sex & relationships

Tinderella: A year in the life

calendar with lipstick on it
Written by Aoife Bennett

I’ve been enthralling and entertaining you with my tales of wooing and woe for the last few months now, and my online dating career spans the last two years. As the new year dawns, time to do what everyone else is doing – eat my body weight in Pringles (because I’m a single Pringle) and reflect on the triumphs of the year past.

Since I’m running a little low on triumphs, let’s settle instead for some of the lessons online dating taught me last year.

  • I’ve noticed a lot of guys in the UK are single fathers. Has anyone else picked up on that too? I don’t have a problem with dating a guy who already has a child/children, but it’s a far more relevant thing on Tinder in the UK than it is in Irish Tinder. Maybe that’s because we still have that whole Catholic Shame thing going on in the Emerald Isle, and to even think of bearing a child out of wedlock will result in chains for eternity.

  • Know what else there’s a lot of in the UK? The wonderfully named “fuckboys”. I’ve met my fair share of them on both sides of the Irish Sea, and you can tell instantly when they’re just out for one thing. Especially if you’re a seasoned pro like me.

  • Sometimes guys aren’t just out for that, and that’s wonderful. But they can think you’re only after one thing. And guys do not take to rejection at all kindly.

  • Some guys will still search for Mrs Right, even when they think they’ve found her. (Seriously. My ex, who’s with his girlfriend of six years, text me to ask if I’d like to come spend the night with him for NYE. In the words of Cher Horowitz, AS IF.)

  • Catfishing is real. Not everyone is going to look as they do in their online pictures. Be safe when you go to meet them. Have a safety word with your friends. Get one of them to phone you to make sure everything is going ok.

  • When it comes to online dating, you’ll never know what you’re doing. Not really, anyway.

  • It’s not just us – guys have their moments when they can be very full on too. I’ve got one really big story to tell, but you’ll have to come back later to hear the full account. All I will say now, is it involved a LOT of phone calls.

  • No matter how many of them you go on, a first date from an online meet will always be awkward as tits.

  • But, maybe someday, you never know who you’ll meet. And your whole opinion on the experience will change forever.