Rory Carrick’s latest Tinder date went well, but in the aftermath it got a bit ‘Fatal Attraction’. Maybe it’s something to do with a central problem at the heart of the way we use dating apps.
While casually swiping through Tinder I came across a familiar face. I’ll call him The Nurse. We had met briefly before. I swiped his picture to the right and he said ‘hi’. We chatted and he suggested a date. I wasn’t really sure he was my type; I thought he was a little too camp. (Yes, that’s very shallow, but I’m admitting to it.) Nevertheless, we chatted back and forth over a couple of weeks and were still talking about actually going on a date.
Then I won a couple of tickets to a movie in Brooks Hotel cinema. Taking the proverbial bull by the horns, I texted The Nurse to see if we wanted to go. It was short notice but apparently the stars were aligned in our favour and he was also free. We agreed to meet for a pre-movie pint. I had no idea what to expect, but I was fully loaded with unfounded, preconceived notions of what he would be like in person. Shame on me.
When we met in the bar, he went to find a seat and I went to grab some pints. His style was far more flamboyant than mine but he was very comfortable in his own skin, which is a really great quality in a person. We had a good chat about families and friends and all the usual first date topics. Turns out he was quite a nice chap.
I’m a fairly straightforward person so I did tell him that I had an idea in my mind that he would be camp as Wham’s ‘Last Christmas’ (the 7” Pudding Mix). In fairness to him he laughed and told me he had also pre judged me and decided that I might be an arrogant prick. Touché. I wasn’t in the least bit offended. I had judged him and he had judged me right back. I did also say that I wasn’t too long out of a relationship and was happy just having some casual dates. I figure it’s best to be up front about that.
We drank up and headed to the cinema. When we were picking our tickets up at reception, The Nurse, clutching his jacket closed, said he felt a little underdressed. I couldn’t help but think of the scene in Pretty Woman when Julia Roberts character first walked into the Regent Beverley Wiltshire and did the same with her jacket. I had a little chuckle to myself and reminded him I was as casually dressed as he was, and it was just a pint and a movie. On reflection I guess he was just nervous.
We grabbed a few seats in the back row and settled in to watch the movie (a good old heterosexual rom com). We got up to a bit of smooching during the movie, much to the amusement of the heteros who were nudging each other as they caught a glimpse of real live homos having a kiss in public. They got their money’s worth, anyway – I’m no prude.
The Nurse was very complimentary, I have to say, and apparently hasn’t exactly had the best track-record when it comes to positive dates with guys. The evening came to a close and we were both walking the same way, me to catch a train and him to stroll home. We had another smooch at the traffic lights (again in public) and went our separate ways.
I was only on my train about five minutes when I got a message from him. It said: ‘So, where does this leave us?’ Odd, I thought. I responded along the lines of, ‘It was a nice evening and thanks for meeting me’. His reply seemed a little hostile: ‘I don’t want to waste my time if this is going nowhere’.
I was a bit baffled and didn’t know how to respond. Up to this point I would have been happy to meet again. We had one date, which had literally ended ten minutes before. I didn’t really know the guy, so it came across all a bit too Kathy Bates in Misery for my liking. I was as polite as I could be in my responses, but The Nurse’s replies were all a bit too demanding and laced with aggression.
I did also point out that I had made it clear earlier that I was happy to just go on some casual dates. I hadn’t misled him. He got a little stroppy and a nice evening turned sour.
I was in no rush to get back in touch with him after that. To his credit he did message me a couple of weeks later and apologise. His experience of dating was pretty bad and he did enjoy the date, thinking I treated him well, but he was used to guys treating him like shit and didn’t really know how to react.
I’ve chatted to quite a few guys on Tinder and found two interesting things. One is that there is a massive level of rudeness and disrespect among men. It seems commonplace to not bother sending a response if you try to start a conversation. Having the manners to send a short, simple, ‘I’m sorry I’m not interested’ reply seems to have evaded quite a few people.
The second thing I noticed from speaking with different guys is that many of them are looking for that elusive Mr. Right. Statements like ‘I can’t find anyone decent’ or ‘where are all the good guys?’ are common, yet these guys frequently respond to attempts at a conversation with silence or rudeness.
As far as I can see both of these Tinder behaviours are working at odds with each other. How can you find Mr. Right if you’re being Mr. Rude? And if everyone’s a Mr. Rude, where’s Mr. Right?
As a community it might be an idea to take a moment to think about being slightly kinder to each other. I’m probably just as guilty of all of the above, but as a result of my date with The Nurse I will be making a concerted effort to be nicer to my fellow app users. I also learned that despite the fact I am quite an open person, I’m also prone to prejudging people based on scant information. I’ll be working on that too.
I had a nice date with The Nurse, but really my Tinder experiences so far haven’t really set me on fire. Rumour has it Plenty of Fish (POF) has lots to offer. Maybe I’ll download it.
© 2014 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.