Even the most courageous adventurer has their week spot, a boundary one just can’t break. To me, who will do a ski jump, no problem, one limit is the highest: starting a relationship. I just can’t easily throw myself into dating and all that jazz finding the love of your life requires. Instead of actually doing something I wait for the prince to come. You know, the white horse and riding to the sunset etcetera… But let’s face the facts: I’ve been single for two years now, and no princes have appeared to offer me a ride.
It took a journey thousands of miles away to Las Vegas, a challenge from my friend and… well, the quite tempting possibility to find a rich american millionaire.
It was the last hours of 2015 and I could hear the words of my friend in my ears:
”It’s time for you to take your destiny into your own hands. Go on Tinder. Now.”…
* * *
iphone. That’s what I’ve got in my hands right now. Would this thing define my destiny? I’m uploading an application with a little flame sign on the phone. I feel sick. Never in my life did I think I would have to fall this deep. In my mind I see the white horse trotting beyond the horizon and falling down dead. Bye, bye, my princess dreams!
It’s just too much for me. Up comes a picture of a man and I’m supposed to choose whether to reject him pressing a red cross or to choose the green heart that tells my interest. If the person in the picture would give his heart to me, we would become a match and’d be able to start getting acquainted.
No. Yuck! I hand the phone over to my friend and for the next day’s he’ll be the one (plus his wife and his two young daughters) taking care of the business. I’m lurking from a sweet distance. I’m afraid.
But then something happens. My first match!
Some surgeon from Vegas wants me! I’m in heaven! He must have money! And there I go: now I’m ready to take the destiny into my own hands, and the first days of 2016 swipe by sweetly on Tinder.
And at this point, this is me…
They say Tinder’s a market for the women. One thing is bothering me. I’m giving red crosses to 97 percent of the faces and I’m getting a little afraid: Have I become the awful Tinder Bitch, the picky and bitter chick they, back in the day, used to call spinster?
My profile pictures are the posed kind, some of them taken by a good photographer, and I find myself looking for the same effect in the pictures of the men I see. No beer cans (OHMYGODTHEREAREPLENTYOFTHEM), no wedding rings on pictures (YES, OHMYGODTHEREARETHOSE), not this, not that, not a guy with pretty blondes with big boobs (OHMYGODTHEYPOSTTHOSETOO!) or men with dogs (OHMYGODTHEREARETOOMUCHOFTHOSE) or a koala bear on their shoulders (OHMYGODWHATISUPWITHTHATRISINGTREND)!
No, no, no.
But what’s wrong with me; why am I, who actually just wants to find a real, genuine man, looking for some weird hunks on Tinder? What’s the right strategy here? How can one adduce themselves for what they really are and not just how they look on Tinder? Because that’s the thing that should matter.
The white horse is risen from the death and riding in my mind again.
Why don’t I give a chance? What could men do different? What could I do different?
* * *
The surgeon is long kissed goodbye. Now there’s someone else. I give my phone number to him. He’s amazing. OMG! Probably not a millionaire, but that criterion is not on the top of my list anymore. There’s just something to this man that attracts me. He’s handsome, oh yes, but something in the way he presents himself is very appealing to me. He tells straight-forward who he is. We’re talking on Whatsapp now. He tells a little more of himself. I know his name, where he lives… My heart is bouncing. OMG!
And every time I get a text from him, this is me…
We’re planning to meet before I leave.
With my little Tinder assistants beside me, this is me now…
One limit crossed. This is not that serious. I’m back to Finland to swipe. Yes, surprised myself, too. I was supposed to go off Tinder because I don’t want to get caught doing this in Finland, someone might recognize me. But it’s the six-hour layover in Norway that brakes the camel’s back. I’ll just look real fast, I mean, I don’t have anything else to do.
Same thing continues in Finland. I’ll just look. Only if someone interesting…
Tinder is interesting. No question about it. Addictive, I’d say. A game? Quiet night home alone and phone too close for the hand to reach. I’m watching TV and swiping heads to left and right.
I don’t have any kind of aim in this. I’m just swiping. Still a Tinder Bitch? Now I’m at 95 percent with the reds. What do I really want out of this, I stop to think. What do these men want, what are they looking for? A goal. Should there be one on Tinder? I examine the profiles on my Tinder feed and realize not many of the men tell who they are and what they want. Me, I don’t even have a written description of myself. Instead, I’ve chosen to show my Instagram feed to everyone on Tinder. That’ll tell a lot more about me.
If I could give an advice to a man, what could it be, I ponder. Maybe I’d say:
Think what you want and let that come out.
* * *
But what do I want?
Even though I still don’t have a specific goal and am swiping most of the men off, I do find men I like. I even get matches. One thin is bothering me. I guess in America I got used to men starting the conversation, I’d say roughly in 90 % of my matches this happened. But in Finland! Out of all my matches, only ONE guy starts talking to me!
”Hi”, he goes and leaves the rest up to me (OHMYGODHOWAREYOUSUPPOSEDTOREPLYTOHIORHELLO AND THEREAREALOTOFTHOSEWHOONLYSAYHI).
But despite the information-lacking and not very conversation-motivating opening line, I’m jumping up and down.
”Oh, you so will get my eternal love for this”, I babble to him excitedly and marvel why ”no other man has taken the action and STARTED THE CONVERSATION, and that this probably tells a lot about the equality in the Finnish relationships and of the fact that it means WOMEN are always supposed to take control of everything, also it comes to being the initiator an that bothers me because I’m a traditional girl who thinks man should be in control.”
D’oh. Wrong answer.
This is exactly what I’ve been afraid of. I wait for the man to start the conversation because I’m too afraid. And I’m afraid because I have gotten a book from the friend of mine who made me go trough this madness in the first place. The book’s called ”Tinder Nightmares” and it tells the most terrible stories of the humankind of the opening lines gone bad on Tinder. And if I was to start the conversation I would probably begin with some feministic-ish line that would totally go wrong. Like I just did…
No, I won’t start the conversation. Instead, I’m googling for hours if there would be some kind of an application that could match a face to a name just based on a picture. And when I can’t find such, I spend more hours trying to find a person on Facebook just based on his very common Finnish first name. I want to know who he is.
But no. I won’t start the conversation and ask him. Like, what’s your name and who are you?
So, if I could give a man some advice it would probably be something like:
Be active. Be bold and start the conversation. Ask questions, but don’t forget to tell about yourself. You don’t have to try to be interesting. You are interesting. You being active and straight-forward is the most fascinating thing about you. The form of your muscles or the adventures you can tell me about don’t make you any more interesting to me.
Your every-day life interests me because I might be sharing it with you some day.
There are no wrong questions nor right answers. If you’re interested, be it bravely and let me know of your interest. Because, even though they say us women are complicated and that there are many twists and turns in our brain, we can’t see inside your head.
* * *
But inside our own heads we sure can come up with all kinds of things. Inside my head, I’m convinced that everybody hates me. I’m sitting in my living room, my phone in my hand. My favorite thing nowadays. TV’s playing a show called ”Too ugly for love?”, how convinient. There are no more matches. Nobody wants me. The one, THE ONLY ONE, whose been messaging me, is not doing that anymore. He hates me. That’s for sure! I’m ugly! That’s for sure! NOW I’ll go off Tinder.
That’s for sure!
Like. NOOOT! I’m kidding. Ain’t gonna happen because I’m addicted.
* * *
The prince riding a white horse and all that crap, no such picture in my head anymore. But on Tinder, then again, there are all kinds of pictures. The best ones are those of men with dogs who mention in their description:
”Ps. Note, the dog in the picture is not mine.”
Adorable. Like I’ve read my book of the worst Tinder nightmares, I think there has to be a DIY-book for men that teaches:
”Woman likes dogs. You get a woman if you have a dog picture. Use a dog.”
There are also fish, koala bears, cows, horses (not white, though!), cats… There must be also a book that says: It’s very funny when you say you’ve studied in the ”hard school of life”. And even though it will make me stop for a slit second, I’d say the book that advices to replace your picture with that of Brad Pitt’s or Justin Bieber’s needs to be burned. And what it comes to naked upper body (OR THE LOWER, OHMYGODTHEREARETHOSETOO), the is answer is no.
One can seek attention in many ways.
If I would to be giving an advice, I’d probably say:
Don’t bother copying others. Have your goal in your mind. Become aware of what your picture and written description will tell me, how do they look in MY eyes. If the most important things in your life are gym, selfies taken through a mirror and the well-trained abs, go ahead, fire on with those pictures, but also think if there’s something else that’s interesting to you. Because, even though I will stop to imagine how it would feel to wake up in the morning next to your muscle when I see a picture of it, I will swipe you to the left because I can’t see YOU behind your abs. I’m looking for a man to date with, not a muscle, a beer can or a yacht – even if you want to protect your face, please, consider giving me one picture that tells me who you are. Tell one thing about you, might be a good idea to do it in your own words, not those of someone else – especially if you’re about to say: Carpe diem.
I don’t want to seize the moment. I want to seize you. If you only give me something to seize to.
Remember, every choice you make is a message to me. Make sure, the message is something you wish me to understand. I mean, you want me to give my heart to you, right.
And you’ll have my hear if you just let your story come alive.
* * *
I’m not a Tinder-Bitch. I’ve been on Tinder for a month now and I’ve cleared my own goal. I’ve chosen not to stress out. I’ve chosen to give it a go and not take it as seriously as I would have before. The dream of the prince and the white horse and the sunset and the riding still comes alive in my head at times. I mean, that’s still possible but I don’t think Tinder’ll do any harm. I’ve decided to there’s nothing to be ashamed of and write about my experience of my first month on Tinder.
I’ve decided this is the place for me to give that one advice.
You, yes you, man, are wonderful. Just that way, the way you are, you’re the most interesting to me. Don’t care about the guides and advice, just be aware and active, give me something to grab onto and let your story come alive to me. Be just the way you are at your best: bold and confident, the kind who will most definitely find the love your life. On Tinder or somewhere else.
Because it’s you I’m giving my heart to.
* * *
If you’ve run into me on Tinder, maybe even liked but not gotten my response, don’t you worry, that’s happened to most of the others too. I guess I just haven’t believed the thing I just tried to tell to you myself yet…
Ps. Note, the kids in the pictures are not mine.
And Pps. Tinder doesen’t pay for me for writing this post. This is something I want to share with you out of my pure heart.
This blog in Finnish here.