What’s your ideal first date?

Yes, somebody actually put this on their bio. Does this count as copyright infringement, or fair use under the copyright law?

After many, many, many – possibly way too many – years stuck in monogamous relationships that weren’t good for me, I’m finally experiencing what some might call “freedom.”

For some months I did the “self-grounding, self-exploration” thing – you know, that thing where you binge watch sitcoms from the early 2000s on your parents’ Netflix account, drink more than you should every day, and declaim to anyone who’s nice enough to listen that you’ve finally “reconnected with your true self.”

It gets really boring after a while though, so despite the fact that I’m one of those “old souls” – read “granny-spirited people” – who have always found dating apps allegedly repulsive and “unnatural”, guess what I did? I signed onto a dating app. And then a second. Then I deleted the second app. Then I found another one. Then I downloaded a third. You get my drift – YOLO and all that, right?

I bet you think you know where this is going. You think it’s going to be one of those blog posts where people talk about how hard it is to start dating again after the break-down of a long-term relationship in the middle of a pandemic. Well, no, not really. I mean, that’s also hard, I suppose, but I’m here to whine about something else – the profiles. Oh God, the profiles!

The men.

“I am spiritual and open-minded, looking for someone I can grow with. Swipe right if you want to attain harmony and align our chakras.” This guy is Nirvana on a dating app – I mean the Buddhist one, not the band, though who even knows anymore? Anyway, sorry, but the only thing I want to align my chakras with of an evening is a bottle of red wine. Chilled in the fridge, no less! Now that’s my path to enlightenment!

“I’m a gentlemen in the streets, and a viking between the sheets!” If that means you can recite skaldic poetry for me when I have trouble falling asleep, then by all means, swipe right! If not, then you might need a therapist to help you with that split personality, and I’m afraid I’m not qualified.

“I own my house, car, and a dog. ๐Ÿ ๐Ÿš—๐Ÿถ” Good for you. I own three typewriters, enough books to build a house, and my mistakes in life.

“Looking for my Queen.” This guide seems helpful: http://www.southgippslandbeekeepers.org.au/uploads/3/9/8/0/39802773/ways_to_find_a_queen.pdf. Apparently, if you look inside the hive (presumably while wearing the appropriate beekeper’s gear), the “centre of the brood nest on a frame with eggs is the most likely place to find her.” Good luck!

“No drama queens.” Then you’re probably looking for a queen bee! Please see above.

The women.

“You should *not* date me if you like coriander. I hate coriander.” My thought when I first came across this on a profile was: “Oh no, honey, who hurt you?” Then it happened so often that I realised it was a thing, so I turned to trusty old Google for an explanation. I tried to type “why do some people not like coriander?”, but it apparently only speaks American English, so it defaulted to “why do some people not like cilantro?” Anyway, it’s no joke, apparently! According to the Encyclopedia Britannica: “for those cilantro-haters for whom the plant tastes like soap, the issue is genetic. These people have a variation in a group of olfactory-receptor genes that allows them to strongly perceive the soapy-flavored aldehydes in cilantro leaves.” Who knew, huh? Unfortunately, that’s a major incompatibility for me, as I like to add coriander to every other dish I cook. Also garlic. And dill. And parsley. If you don’t like any of those, swipe left!

“If you have a dog, I will love your dog more than you, sorry.” I am also sorry to inform you that you’ve fallen down the wrong internet rabbit hole. You don’t need a dating app, you need a dog-sitting app. Apparently, Rover has a 5-star rating. There’s also a marginally creepy initiative called “Borrow My Doggy” that you may want to check out.

“I’m sapiosexual.” And I am looking forward to spending many evenings reading you my PhD thesis. Maybe you can give me some tips on how to turn it into a monograph.

“I love nights out and days in.” Yes, I can tell by all the blurry photos that barely show your face yet focus clearly on your alcoholic drink of choice. This caption often comes in a package with… (see below)

“I geek out on house/ techno music.” I’m assuming this comes down to how important club culture has been in queer history, because it comes up with almost the same frequency as Snapchat-filtered photos. (Not sure what culture or history Snapchat-filtered photos are central to, though.) Sadly, house and techno have the gruesome effect of making my ears bleed and my enthusiasm shrivel and wither. Does this mean that I should change my own profile to read: “Looking for a lapsed Catholic former nun?”

The men and the women.

“We’ll get along if you don’t take yourself or life too seriously.” Sure, I’ll be your sock puppet, why not? I’m not a real person, anyway, I’m a slightly blurry photo on a cracked iPhone screen just waiting to be loved by you, and nobody else but you, offer available for a limited time only, order yours online now.

“I like adventure, food, hiking, and the gym. My ideal first date is a spontaneous trip to South America. Let’s get lost together.” See, I blame all the Hollywood rom coms for this one. There’s nothing more romantic than the thought of getting lost in the Amazonian rainforest with an utter stranger who might just be a serial killer.

“I’m looking for a partner in crime.” Speaking of serial killers. Also comes in the “looking for the Bonnie to my Clyde” variety. Honey, it’s not wise to advertise your criminal intentions on the internet. Who knows who you might come across! We live in Big Brother times, it’s impossible to keep a dirty little secret, let alone find someone to commit to a life of discreet pillaging with you.

“I’m not looking for a pen pal, let’s take this off the app and get to know each other over a drink.” Leaving aside the whole lockdown/pandemic thing, if you won’t put in the effort to exchange a few text messages to try and gauge whether or not I’m a real person in the first place, then how interested are you, really? Give me something to make my trekking through the cold to have a pint with you worthwhile. If you can’t be bothered to type on a touchscreen, why should I bother fitting you into my schedule? Plus, I already have a great drinking pal in Casper, who I can always count on to show up on time.

“To go out with me you must – love banterzzz…” I assume that by “banterzzz” you mean the ancient art of verbal sparring that employs tasteful witticisms in lieu of actual blows and punches. If so, you got the spelling wrong, but it’s O.K., Grammarly can help you. As for me, see section 3, point 1 of this blog post.

As you can probably tell, I love ranting about dating apps – so much so that many of my friends have asked me: “Are you quite… picky, would you say?” Now, what gave you that impression, I wonder.


I Will Probably Die Alone Among My House Plants

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