The tinder diaries…

A year or so ago, my girlfriend – my baby’s mamma – decided that our 10-year relationship was to be no longer and unceremoniously kicked me out of my humble abode. Living in a different country to my place of birth, I decided to house share – the idea being that I would get free … Continued


A year or so ago, my girlfriend – my baby’s mamma – decided that our 10-year relationship was to be no longer and unceremoniously kicked me out of my humble abode. Living in a different country to my place of birth, I decided to house share – the idea being that I would get free company/friends for the price of a reduced rent, a foolproof idea if ever there was one. My search for such an arrangement was short and very successful, I found a house two minutes from my daughter’s house, and I was to live with two lovely girls in their late twenties.

I decided that starting a relationship with either of them would be an unwise decision, not wanting to sh** on my own doorstep and all that, but they came in very handy for going on nights out and cosy nights in watching TV. After a while, watching re-runs of the Kardashians started to wear a bit thin, and I also realised that I had needs, mainly human touch. So I was discussing this with one of the girls and she suggested I join an online dating site called Tinder, so I whipped out my smart phone, downloaded the app and within a few swipes I was hooked. This was like going out without the hassle of having to go through the whole effort of grooming, getting drunk, dealing with the inevitable hangover the next day, and the options of available, good looking women surpassed anything one is likely to come across on a night out.

The mutual likes were coming in thick and fast: this really was the greatest invention ever. I texted a few girls, some texted back, others didn’t, some seemed boring, some needy and others aloof. I texted all of them – I tend to be an equal opportunity texter like that, but one girl in particular caught my eye, and our correspondence lasted more than a few texts until we arranged to meet in a coffee shop within a week of first making contact. The date went swimmingly, and a second date went even better and then she dropped the bombshell that she had to go back to Scotland. We kept in touch for a while after that but I knew nothing could ever come out of it. However, the whole experience did give me the required confidence to try again – perhaps fail again, but this time I would fail better!

I realised that I had to approach asking for dates in the same way that I approached texting – equal opportunism was the name of the Tinder numbers game, so the first girl who texted me that day got asked out. We went to an old man’s pub in the middle of Dublin. Girls tend to choose such places for a first date for two reasons: first of all they feel safe in highly occupied spaces and, secondly, the probabilities of meeting people they know in such haunts are highly unlikely. So I met this purple-haired, tattooed and pierced girl, who was surprisingly well-spoken, and after a couple of pints we were both relaxed enough to discuss what we were really after: sex. But I also discovered that she had a high sex-drive and was into super kinky things and I’m not into the whole humiliation thing so I made my excuses and ran – oh boy, did I run!

This did not deter me from going on more dates though. The next girl I went out with was a fellow red, bona fide Liverpool fan. I tested her knowledge and this girl could discuss the merits of a 433 formation against a 41212 diamond formation, or if Raheem Sterling is better deployed behind the strikers or on the wing – in other words, the girl was not a pseudo fan but a real life, Anfield-attending aficionado and she looked amazing in her profile picture to boot. She was also braver, as she invited me over to her house for our first date to watch Crystal Palace v Liverpool: an incredibly important match for all Liverpool fans as the first league title in 25 years was within reach.

Google maps is an amazing app for finding the most obscure places in Dublin. I arrived in what looked like a neighbourhood time had forgotten since the 1980s. I saw two women in leopard-print leggings, and a woman pushing a pram whilst smoking and I swear to God that this lady was rocking a perm. After a quick shudder, I recomposed myself and saw the Liverpool fan’s house. The place looked like it hadn’t seen the hairy side of a paint brush in about 60 years, but I proceeded nonetheless – not being materialistic and all that. I gave the door a sharp wrap of my knuckles and it promptly opened. The second I saw her, I realised that Liverpool fan had another set of expertise other than football formations: Photoshop! She was at least 40kg heavier than her picture, the lovely auburn locks where no more than frizzed ginger pube-like hair and her teeth were more crooked than the coast road. I froze. Never had I been put in a situation like this before, but she had seemed nice enough on the phone, and there was also no way I was missing the Liverpool match, so in I went, bottle of wine in one hand, Liverpool scarf in the other. This was a present for her – I don’t usually walk around with football scarves wrapped around my hand.

…“I realised that liverpool fan had another set of expertise other than football formations: photoshop!…”

She introduced me to Gerrard – her fish, not the multi-millionaire, heroic and slip-prone Liverpool captain – opened the wine and sat down to watch the football. She was a good watcher of football too; she didn’t utter a word in the important bits where the players needed our full concentration. The first half flew by, Liverpool one up, happy days, second half starts, and we start our 3rd bottle of wine.

Soon enough Liverpool are 3-0 up, and this meant that my happiness index levels were at an all time high, so we get really chatty and she’s actually quite funny. Then disaster strikes: Crystal Palace get two quick goals with no more than five minutes left, five minutes of torture. We couldn’t let a three-goal lead slip like that surely? And then it happened: Palace made it 3-3. I slouched back on the couch, I closed my eyes in despair, and that’s when it happened. A vice-like grip held my face, I felt something touch my lips, then something that felt like a tongue trying to break into my mouth. I opened my eyes to find my equally disappointed fellow fan trying to make us both feel better by kissing. My jaw dropped, allowing her tongue to firmly lodge itself between my tonsils – an action which, coupled with the Liverpool result and the copious amounts of wine I had consumed through the evening, resulted in me pushing her off, running to the closest thing I could deposit a sizable amount of vomit in, and doing the deed. Unfortunately for all involved, the orifice I decided to puke into was the fish tank inhabited by the lovely Gerrard. Needless to say, I was kicked out of her house, never
to be seen again.

This escapade made me realise that Photoshop is one tricky monster to contend with when one is internet dating, so I devised a plan. I would become Facebook friends with any potential date prior to our first date, then stalk her Facebook pictures and if she had 30 photos where she looked the same then it would be deemed safe enough to go on a first date. This made getting dates a harder process and, to be honest, the first few dates I went on were very vanilla: boring, forgettable dates. I know I went for a walk in a park on one of them, walked on a beach on another, and walked up a small mountain on a third – walking and I don’t really mix!

‘Tinderella’ is a term I use to describe the dream tinder girl. She has to be pretty, funny, in gainful employment or actively searching for a job, and understand that time with my daughter is very important for me and vast amounts of it will be spent on her. I also do promise that any time I would spend with a date, my whole focus would be on them. And I finally met a girl who ticked all those little boxes! She was drop-dead gorgeous, a laugh, and a lecturer at uni. We texted constantly for four days, all her Facebook photos corresponded with each other, so a date was set up.

We met at a one-day music festival, and the date was magical. We laughed, we danced, we drank and we kissed – but like all good things, the date had to end because I had to catch the last bus home (drink-driving is very much frowned upon away from these shores) and then she spoke the words any man in my position would love to hear. She said: “You can stay over at mine if you like.”

I pretended to think about it for a minute but the decision had been made instantly. We got to her house, drank some wine, one thing led to another and it was beautiful. There I was, thinking I’d hit the jackpot, and then the inevitable happened – it all went sour. It started when she said she wanted to have kids and I said I was happy enough with one. She started bawling, saying things like “I thought you were the one” and “how can you be so selfish” and “I wouldn’t have slept with you if I knew this before”. I did my very best to calm her down, and when she finally seemed ok, I told her that I had to get some sleep. She offered me her bedroom but I said I would stay in the spare bedroom, and as I’m walking to said bedroom, she managed to freak me out even more with one short quip: “Don’t worry, I won’t come into your room and stab you for what you’ve done to me tonight.” That’s a comment that guarantees a sleepless night. I lay in bed, eyes akimbo, and when I finally started drifting off I heard the door creaking open. I saw she wasn’t carrying a knife, so pretended to be asleep. She got into the bed beside me, started lightly rocking me and asked if I was awake and if I wanted to talk about stuff. I politely declined and left.

I’m possibly a slow learner, but I do have a Tinder date coming up shortly. This was meant to be more of an experiment to be honest. I was trying to get a date with the least number of texts used and I managed to get one with just two. It went something like this: “Hi, have you got any raisins?” The girl in question answered: “Raisins? No!!” so I said: “How about a date?”. She found this hilarious and said yes. We are meeting next week and she could be the o…. – never mind!