It’s a perfect summer’s day and we are with a group of women at a bar in Camps Bay. We’ve promised them we won’t use their real names and in turn they’ve promised me the dirty details. Besides being career-driven women in their 30s, they all have one thing in common: Tinder.
“Do you know how difficult it is to meet a decent guy?” asks one. She’s a partner in a law firm with limited time for dating.
Tinder is a location-based mobile dating app and it’s simple to use: download the app, connect it to your Facebook account, and fill in your preferences. We pick up one of the phones on the table and give Tinder a test drive. An image of a good looking, muscled guy pops up. He’s only 2km away. “Oh, he’s hot,” says the owner of the phone. “Swipe right!” she instructs.
We’ve changed their names but we can’t change the fact that some of the most bizarre dating stories come from Tinder.
A right swipe means that you like someone; if you’re not interested, you must swipe to the left. Only users that have both liked each other’s profiles will match up, making the app an addictive game of dating roulette.
“You can’t take it too seriously,” says one of the women, a creative ad agency type. “Tinder doesn’t make it easier to meet guys, but it does make it easier to have sex.”
I ask about love. “It’s too convenient for love,” says Ad Agency. “Great love stories are about overcoming challenges.”
Law Firm agrees.“When it comes to finding love, the odds are against you.”
I question the cynicism of judging a stranger’s potential based on a picture.
“It’s all about the risk,” says the Hairstylist. “You chat, you go on a date, and if there’s chemistry, that’ll take care of the details.”
The details are what I’m here for. And the ladies aren’t shy to share. Here’s where I tell you that all names have been excluded to protect the rules of the game: Don’t Kiss and Tell.
“I went away for a weekend with a man I met on Tinder. The secluded mountain cottage had no electricity, and he didn’t know how to make a fire. He also refused to wash himself in the available water, let alone drink it, because it came straight from the natural springs and was slightly brown. Chalking it off to him being a metro city guy, I set about building a fire and cooking a spicy meal to match the hot getaway I’d imagined.
“Fast forward to dinner: my date was shoveling food into his mouth like a Neanderthal, sweating from the heat of the chillies and sniffing loudly. When, to my absolute horror, he pulled a jersey from his backpack and blew his nose into it, I was done! Not the kind of dirty weekend I had envisioned.”
The Biggest Disappointment
“I matched with a cute guy on Tinder. He contacted me immediately, and we chatted for a week before meeting. He was kind and funny and after three amazing dates, I was falling. I invited him for dinner, which ended with us in bed. At one point he paused, and looked deeply into my eyes. It was a beautiful moment. Until he spat in my mouth!
“I was so shocked my mouth was hanging open, which he took as an invitation to spit in it again. I faked a bellyache and managed to get rid of him!”
The Christian Grey Guy
“Our first date was at a prestigious restaurant. I was keen to see if the chemistry we had online was real. He was suave, confident and very difficult to resist. He’d pre-booked a hotel room for the night, where he innocently smacked my bum. According to him, there was a glint in my eyes that told him I was into that sort of thing. This had never happened to me before, but I was totally into it.
“Over the next few days, we agreed on the terms, including my limits and a safe word. One week later, I was in another hotel room having a night worthy of an EL James novel, complete with handcuffs, whips, vibrators, and blindfolds. It’s the most powerful thing I’ve ever done for myself.”
“I matched with a "shy" professor who was only in town for two days. We met for coffee just before he had to fly home, and I was surprised by how quickly we connected. An hour later he was gone, and I was bummed.
“Two days later he started texting me: innocent at first, and then more suggestive. By the end of the day, the texts ranged from cute curiosity to downright porn. I had to block his number and get rid of him on social media. Lesson? You never really know, until you know. Call me a cock block, I’m good with that.”
The Boyfriend Guy
“I’d never really taken Tinder seriously, but after a few dates with a guy, 10 years younger, he changed his Facebook status to “in a relationship.” With me!
“On our fourth date, my new ‘boyfriend’ wanted to move in. He’d pursue his ‘promising music career’ while I took care of us. I eventually told him I was only in it for the sex. He admitted he was broke. I paid for our dinner and ordered him an Uber to his mom’s place.”
- Tell your bestie that you’re going on a Tinder date – give her all the details.
- Google him! It’s fair game.
- Don’t get drunk.
- Ask questions about his family, upbringing, work and values.
- Trust first, sex later. Much later.