Long term relationships are a function of time, work, patience and commitment. Any relationship based on love should not be instant because, as they say, love grows. On the contrary, dating apps and dating today have made relationships instant – like coffee. And in the short term.
One Saturday afternoon, I am in the village under a tree watching my son and his cousins play. I’m back at my dad’s compound for yet another December vacation after several boring dates in town. I clearly felt I had to give online dating a try after a friend told me that the boyfriend she found on Tinder was a wonderful human.
I quickly download Tinder and create an attractive profile. Do a few swipes on male profiles to find a match; I hear you pick a number and then (delete) one by one until you finally “settle” on “the one”. Seven minutes inside the Tinder house and a character is already asking if we could swap nudes! For example, my profile is only seven minutes long; brother, naked?
Another is here to ask if we could Netflix and Chill. I’m tired and I just decide, okay, I’m staying here to watch how people manage to stay sane in this Tinder world of weird characters. Responding “hey” to all the boring and exciting “hey beautiful” messages from strangers, swiping to check their profiles and photos, fake or not.
Finding the right dating site and a genuine person for a relationship is almost as difficult as the dating itself. Old school humans like me find it more appealing when things happen in real time, in the real world. Suppose I meet a random man on the streets, in a restaurant or even a pub, in a queue at a supermarket or a bank. In this case, she’s a person I’ve seen and making the decision to respond to her “hi” is based on the fact that I did find her attractive, everything else remaining constant.
For example, if you walk into a party or room and cast your eyes over the occupants of the room or the party attendees, there are those you would find attractive. Two or three. Or just one. By making a detailed observation of these two attractive people, you will limit yourself to the one you think is approachable.
It doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with how they look, what they do or like. It could be a character issue – something you quickly noticed about them, personality and all. The real little things Tinder can’t show.
Online, Tinder, let’s say, you must have the best. Fake it until you get it. Everyone on the app does their best to grab attention. And in most cases, that best foot is not an honest foot. Filtered fake photos or old ones from their youth lie about personality and character. A 5.2 could even pass for a 6.2. Fake lifestyles and unrealistic standards. Well, those few are real, but still very rare information about someone you can connect with, for dating.
You keep auditioning for complete strangers in hopes of finding love for a happily ever after life. It’s like gambling. Look for the most basic attributes that you find attractive (which could still be as fake as possible), then go out and meet. Three minutes into the realtime date and you already know this thing will never work. This cannot, will not work! But you agree to play and be polite and pleasant, smile shyly and laugh at their very dry jokes throughout a date.
So here I am thinking of those people who use these dating apps to look for serious love. life partners. Wedding. Because statistics show that an average person has three dating apps on their phone. Now let’s say we have 5 potentials out of three Apps. Tinder. OK Cupid. Afrointroductions. You meet all these 15 strangers, or 10 of them, say, two months and none of them are good enough. Nothing clicks. You dated an entire village of strangers and risked being murdered and robbed, all in the name of finding love.
Waste of time and money hanging out with a group of people you just met in person at a party or at a matatu, local bar or in the elevator. Deciding to meet a 42 year old based on an old photo when they were 32, young and luscious is quite interesting. Old school is sexy. See someone and like them, then decide if you want to meet them on a date. Blind dating and online are for the lazy and the coward.
If the worst becomes the worst and we don’t have the time and the chance to meet and date the people we want, then social media is even better. Facebook and Twitter. Because here you can read their tweets, Facebook posts and comments on several hot topics. A like or a simple comment can go further than just reading a short, fake biography of someone who just wants to get laid.