Alternatives to Online Dating: Part 3 (perhaps the last in the series)

I have a confession to make… I briefly went back on Tinder in a moment of loneliness. I very quickly remembered what had caused me to delete it, but only after getting a few dodgy messages and arranging an unsuccessful date. Unsuccessful because it never actually happened. We messaged, we whatsapped, we arranged a date and then rescheduled it because the guy was unwell; he seemed genuinely disappointed not to be able to make it and was keen to rearrange another time, then on the day he chickened out and said it wasn’t a good time for him. So then I got angry (again) and have now deleted Tinder (again).

This unsuccessful date above follows a series of unsuccessful non-dates from a guy I met at the speed dating event (described in Part One). This guy would sound like he was making an invitation, such as by messaging something like, “Are you free in the day time on Saturday?” or “What are your plans this weekend?”, only to then reply to my answer with “I’ve already got plans” or not to reply at all. Very strange behaviour, very puzzling, I just couldn’t work out whether he wanted to see me or not. I’m assuming not seeing as I haven’t heard from him in several weeks.

Anyway I have digressed. The brief interlude where I went back on Tinder precedes my second attendance of a ‘Speed Dater’ organised event, the same company who organised the Cookery Class described in Part Two. This time I had signed up for a wine-tasting event. I love wine and I’ve always wanted to do wine-tasting – here was my chance and the prospect of meeting someone whilst doing it was an added bonus.

Luckily this time there seemed to be a more even spread of men and women (although as always there were slightly more women). There were also a couple of familiar faces from the Cookery Class I had attended.

We were offered a glass of wine on arrival and after a little time for mingling, we were grouped at 4 tables. Women stayed in their places, men rotated to different tables after one or two wine tastings (six different tastings in total). We had a selection of 3 white, 3 red. A wine expert talked to us about the wine, we smelt it and tasted it, I thought perhaps we would swill it and maybe spit it out as I have heard about wine tasting before… but at this event, there was no spitting out, just drinking the wine (although there was the option to pour it away if you really didn’t like it). As you can imagine, after the glass on arrival and several different tastings, I (and the other attendees) got a little bit tipsy. As the evening went on, everyone was noticeably more relaxed, sociable (even rowdy…)

It was a fun evening and I would recommend it if you like wine, but you really don’t have to be particularly interested in wine or an expert. You can just turn up, have a few drinks, get chatting to different people and see if you meet anyone you like…

Unfortunately for me there was no such luck; with these Speed Dater events you have the opportunity the next day to message the other attendees online, which I did but have sadly had no reply…

So, three events so far, the search continues… but I haven’t signed up to anything else yet as I am losing the will to date. This may be the last in the series of ‘Alternatives to Online Dating’ unless I decide to do any more organised events. I’ve just lost my P.M.A when it comes to dating. The apathy of the guys I have met lately has seriously frustrated me, as have the false impressions created by people’s profiles, and the fact that people seem to want to socialise with a screen rather than face-to-face with a real person. This is a symptom of the technological world we live in, but it makes me seriously despair. There is a lot more to my anger and frustration than the fact I am struggling to find the right guy for me. The anger and frustration I feel are part of the wider issues and worries I have about an apparent total reliance on technology and online “socialising” as a preference to talking to someone in real life; of self-promotion through false images and instant gratification through technology rather than investing and building relationships through face-to-face encounters.

I honestly just don’t know what more I can do other than to go back online and play these silly dating games of messaging someone online for weeks on end because that is the apparently normal thing to do now before you can even suggest meeting in real life. Only for your real life meeting not to happen because the other person gets freaked out that the relationship is moving off-screen, or for one or both of you to be disappointed by the real life meeting because they don’t look like their profile picture or have a weird voice or quirky habit that you never would have known about if you had just kept messaging online.

Perhaps I sound bitter; perhaps I am. Perhaps I am seriously worried about what these trends I am noticing on the dating scene mean for the future of our world – there is a huge over-reliance on technology, a kind of fear of meeting a new person in real life, and an assumption that a new person will be available with one swipe for your instant sexual gratification… but where does that leave people who want a meaningful and long-term relationship?




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