As you may or may not know dear rinsers, earlier this year the RS of A decided that my expertise as a ‘sex blogger’ were CRITICAL to the country’s economy and decided to grant me the great honour of continuing my research into the unique species of Tinder men found in the area surrounding Table Mountain. Ha! But this was not before they decided to send me packing back to homeland for an indefinite period of time (and in the middle of winter – ugh! how can people be so heartless?!). Despite lots of initial bitching and moaning about the weather, the sad state of affairs that was/is my life and having no option but to move back in with your parents in your 30s (karma just kicked my ass for all the times I laughed at those mummy’s boys #stayhumble!), I eventually decided to make the best of my time in exile and do some explorations into dating in Brexit Britain. Considering the last time I was single in Blighty was almost a decade ago, I knew from the get-go that things were certainly going to be interesting and a much needed change from small world dating in the Mother City that I had become accustomed to. Today peeps, let me enlighten y’all about my discoveries from London Town:
Online Dating/Mating is So Mainstream (So Much So That They Want To Take It Offline Again!)
Let’s start by stating the obvious. Everyone and their dog is doing online dating these days. Even if you have your heart set on meeting the woman/man of your dreams organically, you are likely to have come to terms that without some sort of online dating presence you are pretty much resigning yourself to a lifetime of sad Spinster/Bachelorhood.
That said, I still find there is an element of taboo when it comes to revealing that you are actively Tindering. Even established couples and married folk get a bit sheepish when you ask them how the met and the story somehow involves the internet. But in case you didn’t get the memo that internet dating is totally legit and not only for ugly trolls sitting behind a computer screen wearing dirty PJs, in London they’ll spell it out for you. Tinder is sexy (apparently!) so much so that they’ll plaster that message on the side of double decker London bus. You can’t even escape it on your commute to work – dating platforms bombard you with their advertising all over the Tube too.
And if that wasn’t enough, if you are a bit of Billie No Mates you can now even legitimately use dating apps to find new friends. No jokes. Bumble BFF, anyone? It really is an actual thing! Oh, and if you’ve tried it all, then buck the trend and take it offline and head to Valentine’s Day Lock and Key Party. Sure, you’ll probably find some French bloke shouts at you for attending such an event the day before your return to deepest darkest Africa but it’ll at least provide a good LOL if nothing else.
London Has Something For Everyone
We all know that Londoner’s like to brag about living in cosmopolitan bubble within the god-awful Brexit island. But Cape Town’s diverse too, right? Yeah But No But. Cape Town being the small world that it is, if you are someone who has a particularly niche type e.g. religious fanatics, OAPs, guys that are 6’0 and over (yes, I admit I’m a height Nazi) you’ll exhaust your options here pretty quickly.
But not in the Big Smoke. In London, you’ll find specific platforms for every type of person imaginable. If you ask me it’s a good thing. You know my views about being unapologetic about your deal breakers rather than wasting people’s time by being overly PC. Basically, having so many niche platforms means : a) people are more likely to find what they want/need/fantasize over and b) it frees up the regular apps for those of us that don’t really have a clue about setting deal breakers. I mean if all the Bible Bashers remove themselves from Tinder and head over to JesusSingles.CO.UK it means a godless chick like me is less likely waste precious childbearing falling for some closet happy clappy church bunny who’ll only reveal his #TeamGod membership card 6 months down the line. Win/Win, I say!
London Chicks Have It Good and It’s Expensive Being A Single Guy In London
London is ridiculously expensive, we all know that. Call me a gold digger, un-feminist or whatever you want but I’m not going to lie…part of the reason I justified Tindering overseas was a) just as a form of an entertainment and b) I figured if the wealthy Tinder men of London were willing to ply with gin cocktails at ten quid a pop who was I to complain! Chatting to one old lothario mate of mine, I learnt that as a rule of thumb guys in London are expected to fork out at least £100 on a date with a chick that they were really interested in. And it isn’t too hard to do I suppose.
Men in London seem eager to flash their cash. And its not all talk like here in Cape Town. I mean I’ve had Cape Town boys tell me all about their Porsche (that’s in for a service) and their lavish holiday home in Hermanus, etc but you are always left wondering if they are rolling in it why they still insist on living with mummy dearest in Edgemead! London geezers on the other hand, will pull out all the stops. Tell them you’ll have a glass of house white (seriously, never do that if you are accustomed to good SA wine!) and they’ll present you with a bottle of the finest French champagne. And if that’s not rinse worthy enough, ask nicely enough and you may even find a fella to fund your boob job (no jokes!).
A Change of Scenery Can Work Wonders
LOLs aside, wouldn’t it be nice if we all could afford to take an Eat Pray Love type holiday every time we went through a break up? Sadly, I’m not Julia Roberts and the best I could hope for when trying to get an ex out of my system would likely be a weekend away in Pringle Bay. And even then Cape Town being as it is, you are bound to bump into the ex you’re frantically trying to forget at some point in your everyday life. But sometimes by a weird twist of fate, you get exiled to the other side of the world. As much as you might be bitter about being forced to leave on someone else’s terms, you might find the change of scenery to be just the thing you needed.
They always say the best way to get over one guy is to get under another. That’s all well and good, if you are actually ready to move on and actually have the physical space to do so. It’s not so easy if that ex is still on your radar. In such cases, as much as you busy yourself swiping and dating up a storm chances are each mediocre date will leave you feeling blue at best or throwing precious gin at racists because its the only way to deal with your frustrations (I truly regret wasting that precious resource!). But travel to the other side of the world and you may suddenly notice the switch flip – and without having your past within touching distance its far easier to date again without being an A-grade bitch and unfairly comparing every guy you Tinder with to the one that broke your heart.
It’s Always Easier To Chase Stories When You Know You Are Not There To Stay
Whether it’s inviting the Winter Fling you’ve known for 10 days to meet 4 generations of your family at Christmas, taking a Bumble date to a Valentine’s Day Lock and Key Party and promptly ditching him for a better option, or just dating as a form of market research when considering future relocation options, it’s always easier to be a bit silly and chase stories when you know you aren’t really staying somewhere long-term. Maybe it’s something about being in holiday mode that makes us all a little more care-free and less worried about the repercussions of our actions. Sure, you’ll accumulate some bad karma by playing the fool but at least you’ll return home with a few stories for all those bitching and moaning sessions you’ve missed out while trapped in exile.
BUT The Universe Always Has The Last LOL
As always no matter where in the world you go, the moment you think you’ve got got this whole dating malarkey under control, the universe will be sure to rear its ugly head. You mentally prepare yourself to have a bit of fun, nothing too serious, a few expensive bevs and a bit of good British banter. You’re even decent enough to tell the Tinder folk that you are only in town for a short while and simply looking for some holiday entertainment (not a hook-up!). And then BOOM! Just like that you land yourself a lucky swipe. A magical Tinder date with a real life unicorn so different from your usual type (a guy who actually reads books and doesn’t just spend his life listening to gangster rap!) that you pat yourself on the back and start believing that maybe you are finally winning at adulting! All you asked for was a freaking Christmas Special but here you are reconsidering your life path…the universe sure knows how to pick its moments. doesn’t it?
And if this wasn’t comedy enough. Just as you busy yourself telling everyone you’ve finally found a magical unicorn and BOOM! (again). The Unicorn gets cold feet, overcome by the fear of Brexit and long-distance relationships he decides that Mike Atherton is more attractive than a chick in a short skirt and flees into the wilderness never to be seen again. Sigh. Oh, but of course, the world needs to keep on LOL’ing so it ensures that you are left single, lonely and rejected by said Unicorn on the most horrific day of the year AKA Valentines. And just for shits and giggles, let’s end your vacation off in style by putting you right in the acquaintance zone (only in bloody Blighty could such a place exist!) where you belong. Seriously, I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.
Sigh. Thankfully, the universe is no match for your buddies who put things into perspective by reminding you that your greatest fear about returning to you motherland was that of regaining your virginity by having to live through an extended sex drought (ever cloud and all…) and that there are plenty more emotionally stunted Brits in the sea, if you should care to find one.
Ever tried swiping in a different city, Rinsers? What were your experiences? Does the dating market really differ from one place to the next or is it a case of same shit, different place? Give me your insights in the comment section below.