Words by: Maria Odufuye
Romance makes me feel uncomfortably sick but I love dates so long as candles aren’t involved. My guilty pleasure is watching ‘The Bachelor’ and revamping my friends’ Tinder profiles during the ad breaks. These sorts of nights are all too normal for me because I have grown up in the time when pimpin’ your profile is in and panic pre-date shopping is out.
These days we are bombarded with unconventional dating shows such as The Bachelor, ‘Dating in the dark’ and ‘Sugardaddies’. Most of these shows are available worldwide, so if you’re lucky enough to be a contestant pretty much everyone in the world will know that you’re single and ready to mingle. Is it too embarrassing to use human words to ask someone on a date? Or is it just easier to fill out an online application during your lunch break in the hopes of becoming the next bachelorette to grace our TV screens?
Does anyone ever question why Andy is single? Why Andy is on Tinder? And why the hell does Andy need to simultaneously date 24 girls to find the right one? It doesn’t seem to really matter, you’re on the television and if Andy isn’t ‘the one’ for you, oh well, you gave it a crack.
Other people have found their soulmate by paying the two dollars to undo their left swipe on Tinder. Others, however, have had unfortunate Tinder experiences, with dick pics and boob snaps being the only form of love they’ve received.
It is unfortunate that if you asked a stranger on the street out on a date they would most likely be very confused (and possibly call the cops on you), although I must admit that I do find our new way of dating interesting.
Dating on the screen:
I think people who still have the confidence to write their number on the restaurant bill are brave. However, I think to show your face on television every Saturday night and publicly compete with other women just for a ring is beyond brave. Disclaimer: I do think the proposal at the end of the bachelor is a bit uncalled for.
I don’t think the participants of these shows are ‘desperate’ or unable to find love. They’re willing to be humiliated and to use gross pick up lines in order to maybe find the right person for them. However, I must admit that there does appear to be people on these shows who are simply looking for their fifteen minutes of fame, and undoubtedly there a few bachelors who are thrilled at the prospect of a polyamorous relationship that they can’t get told off for.
‘Taken out’ is another dating show I indulge in. Often the eligible bachelor approaches the stage and immediately all lights are turned off. You need really thick skin to walk off that stage still smiling when every viewer has just seen you be rejected solely on the basis of how you look. People may find these shows shallow, however, realistically, humans are usually attracted to others because of something physical.
I feel like ‘Dating In The Dark’ is a confusing concept. In this reality TV show the contestants are left in a darkened room and touch in order to find out the physical features of others. It could be more effective if contestants just spoke and fell for each others’ personalities, rather than being wooed by someone’s long legs. But I guess nothing beats watching someone react as their arm brushes up against the mullet hairstyle of the person next to them.
To set up a profile and not match with the guy you’ve been eyeing up all month in the coffee shop, or to have your confidence knocked when the match you do get is the mistake swipe on the perv who lives below you, can be disappointing. This, however, is also brave. Online dating is generally something that is more relatable and accessible to everyday people. Evidently you need to be a certain type of person to get onto the kind of shows I’ve discussed previously, but online it is anyone’s game.
Technology is now a huge part of our lives; we use our smart phones to check our emails, to video chat, as a camera, an Ipod, and so on. Therefore it also seems logical to use it for dating. For example, you can get specialised phone dating apps or use your internet browser to save your login details on various dating sites. At 18 I was embarrassed when people told me they had signed up to dating sites, but by 20 I was all over it.
I always thought it was just weirdos, old people, and people who were just ‘hell desperate’ that used apps and websites to find prospective partners. I used to think: “why not just go to a bar, join a club?” You think this when you’re young because you don’t have too much else to do other than go to bars and join clubs. But when you’re 20 plus and you have assignments falling out of your arse the days fly by and then suddenly you realise… “I don’t have time for bars anymore.”
Rather than spending your few free hours on a Sunday drinking at the local ‘guaranteed to pull’ bar my friends and I would message the guys we’d been talking to on Tinder and invite them for a more grown up evening of drinks at the ‘I’ve already pulled’ bar. Tinder, Happn, Plenty of Fish, and any other site you use, give you the chance to see what you like and go for it.
I do love Sex and the City, but I’m no Carrie Bradshaw – this is just my opinion, I’m actually no good at dating.
Dating in the 21st century hasn’t lost romance and it isn’t sad that we’re buried in our phones and laptops. I think it has just become easier. Some people don’t have the confidence to walk over to the cute bartender and this new dating ‘system’ gives people a chance to be confident.
Someone once asked me on a date to a nudist beach, which I can guarantee would not have happened if we had met in Woolworths. I can now approach guys in a way that I couldn’t before and that is thanks to all the practice I’ve had online.
So I do believe dating just got a hell of a lot more fun. Enjoy it. Make a profile, I dare you.