Over a month ago I introduced The Enigmatic Flaneur to the team of Experimental Daters, and whilst he’s kept us all hanging for his first contribution to 30 Dates, I promise he doesn’t disappoint, with an article about dating in London in 2013 that is extremely close to the nail for a lot of us!
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx
Since moving to London 4 years ago, I’ve dabbled periodically with the world of online dating, with varying levels of interest, and consequently, to varying levels of success. Tinder is the latest instalment which is proving to be targeted and misleading in equal measure. It’s pretty revolutionary though, make no mistake about that. It’s also very revealing about what we are now like as human beings.
With the advent of this 5-photos-a-few-words-and-no-frills app, people are now like carrier bags – you couldn’t possibly get attached to one because you’ll get a brand new one tomorrow, a new one that’s probably better. Swipe on, and keep swiping. Recycle the carrier bag with the slightest blemish, or chuck it away.
And like Twitter, Facebook, Linked In and other forms of social media, that complicates things exponentially – even for the most strong minded and attractive among us.
The simple reason for this is because London (and other truly global places like NYC and HK) is now home to a trans-patriate cadre of individual that is well-educated, has travelled a lot, seen a lot, met a lot of people, probably worked overseas at some stage as well, and still keeps in touch with their contacts – either directly, or indirectly. As a result, they can literally see everything in the world.
So what has this got to do with dating?
Well, a hell of a lot actually. I’m guilty of this, just like a lot of the people I see in London.
Unfortunately the days are now gone of meeting a childhood sweetheart on your own street (although Tinder could help this…) going to school together, and living happily ever after in the same village. At least, this is how it appears because of how visible and accessible the world now is. And the world is in London.
That fairy-tale has been replaced by a ruthless global marketplace – nightclubs, bars and the London dating scene provides you with a conveyor belt of transient opportunity every week, every day even. It’s the city where in a lot of cases, everybody is a nobody, and nobody can be everybody – the tube itself epitomises this. And so does Tinder.
What happens here, is that a lot of people end up being extremely choosy, paralysed by the sheer wealth of opportunity. The reason I know is because a whole host of my 28-35 year old friends are single. Male and female. Don’t get me wrong, they’re having a bloody good time doing it, although there is a shelf-life to promiscuity just in the same way there arguably is with monogamy. You start seeing this mental transition in people’s late twenties. The problem is that in a lot of cases, they’ve trapped themselves into a global corner; they’ve seen so much, done so much, and been with so many, that all of a sudden that match on Tinder or message on MySingleFriend is irrelevant and not worth the investment. Another match, ignored. Another perfectly good opportunity passed up, because tomorrow there’ll be a few more.
We’ve become so throw-away with our attitude to online encounters that a lot of highly successful and attractive people are still single as they approach 30 and beyond. They’ve traded the village pub for the world, travelling and working overseas for a while – and yet – they may realise their true dream by heading back to just that – the village pub.
I do believe that the global jackpot is always possible though – if I didn’t, I wouldn’t still be playing the game. Having said that though, the irony of all this is that with Tinder in London, or in fact anywhere, the person of your dreams may literally just be waiting, next door. The trouble is, will I be happy with the girl next door, or will I still be forever looking out of the window.
The Enigmatic Flaneur