As our loyal Rinsers may already know, the latter half of 2018 was not the greatest period in #englishrosiee’s romantic life. Following the long-awaited break-up with the second major love of my life, I decided to get straight back onto the dating horse and fall onto faces at Mavericks (keeping it classy, right there!). The universe intervened and had me basically deported to my beloved Blighty. In hindsight, this was probably both good in terms of preventing my own social suicide/general self-destruction and also for the safety of the unsuspecting Tinder men of Cape Town. Of course, #englishrosiee being her unhinged self continued to keep things interesting with her failed intention of tindering up a storm in London Town. As fate would have it, the light and fluffy entertainment that she had hoped to find in her motherland didn’t materialise and instead she had quite the epic winter fling which ended as quickly as it began. Thankfully, before she had time to cause any more drama and bring shame on the family, she found herself on a flight back to Cape Town!
And breathe! After all that, as I’m sure you could imagine, it came time for me to take stock and call a time out on the whole dating business. Not only had all this drama made me bitter, twisted and hateful about dating but I found myself lacking the strength to engage in any meaningful conversations with humans in general. So, as I stood in long AF passport control at Cape Town International Airport, I decided I needed to take a proper break from all forms of dating paraphernalia and so there I stood deleting Tinder, Bumble and the like for the first time in +/- 3 years and with no handsome male specimen to fill the void that that those apps would leave behind.
Welcome to the Tinder Hiatus, my friends. An interesting social experiment, some might say. I’m not sure. Jury’s still out on that one. But it was certainly a introspective learning experience if nothing else and here are a few of my findings :
Swiping Is A Time Killer…
Once upon a time #zlotybaby and I would laugh as we’d be out with friends and suddenly all take a break to swipe simultaneously. Of course, it seemed like a LOL at the time but the novelty quickly wears off. Swiping is time consuming. And it’s not just the swiping, it’s all the repetitive conversations you need to have. Most of which don’t lead to anything (soooo many TALKERS). Then if you eventually make it onto a date, factor the time spent getting ready for the date (I’m usually very minimal effort these days, but the first time I popped on a pair of heels, it worked in my favour), time travelling to the date (unless you become a pro and start suggesting the pub next door for happy hour drinks – it’s great for making a quick getaway), then the time spent on the date itself (yes, there have been magical first dates but let’s just say it’s a numbers game and the bad dates outnumber the butterfly-inducing ones quite dramatically!). So, all in all, modern forms of dating are time-consuming. Well done, #englishrosiee, for stating the obvious.
And You Can Achieve Great Things When You Remove ‘Swiping’ From Your To-Do List
So, the moment I stopped swiping I suddenly had a tonne of extra time on my hands. Add to this the fact that I took a break from booze (that friendly enabler that stopped me putting a gun to my head after many a bad date) and much of my social life went out the window. So yup, instead of living in a constant state of hungover and striving for a gold medal in the dating Olympics, I did lots of nice things. I inhaled lots of books (also scouted for boys at the bookshop, mind you!). I started planting vegetables (hopefully, they might survive longer than most of my relationships). Oh, and I did an infuriating 1000 piece puzzle. And also indulged in far too much Netflix. But follow my instabrag (englishrosiee_rinsebeforeuse) to see more of the good things I did when I wasn’t swiping my life away.
Finding A Date Without The Internet is Hard
So when I decided to delete my dating apps I had no intention of not dating. I was just tired and bit disillusioned by all the groundwork. Of course, there are some guys that cut to the chase and after you’ve established they aren’t likely to be a serial killer you’ve got yourself a date within the next couple of days. But there are all those that need complete rundown of your life including what you favourite colour is and what your parents do for a living (no jokes). It got to the point when I just couldn’t deal with all this BS, but I was still up for a real-life connection.
Ha! But where to find such a thing? I initially had to romantic ideas of meeting the man of my dreams at a bookshop (well… until a friend had me watch the creepy Netflix series, You). All I did was spend money on books. I tried my old stomping ground aka the gym and as much as there is plenty of eye-candy, getting your flirt on when you can barely breathe and covered in sweat isn’t the easiest task in the world. Then of course you are told to try meeting someone through your friends. Most of my friends are a) smug married couples who just hang out with other smug married couples, and I don’t have the energy or inclination to be a home-wrecker or b) singletons themselves and too busy hustling to get lucky themselves that they have no time to concern themselves with the sad state of my romantic life. And with Cape Town being Cape Town, the one potential set-up that was on the cards has yet to materialize! So ho hum!
It really does baffle me how our ancestors managed to get by without modern technology to assist them on their path to happily ever after? I suppose back then they just had to settle for the boy next door, lie back and think of England.
There is a bit of FOMO
I’ll admit at first I only missed swiping when I was really bored having exhausted all the ‘fun’ apps on my phone and I just needed another distraction. But at some point, you do begin to wonder what you might be missing out on. Although, having now re-downloaded all these apps, I can honestly tell you that it’s not much. And Cape Town being the small world that it is, you’ll soon see guys you swiped/dated years ago are still doing the rounds.
But Eventually You Realise That You Are Doing Yourself No Favours By Being A Hater of Apps
So yes, while single life (read: not proactively dating but also not resigning yourself to life of sad spinsterhood) has its perks, and I can see it becoming increasingly comfortable and stress-free (I’ll write more about that in a follow-up post), its basically just a happy middle ground and nothing more. While it’s certainly OK to take a time out when you feel you are getting a bit disillusioned with the world of modern dating, I don’t think humans are meant to abstain from romantic relations for too long (because as my fave WISO always told me that is how you regain your virginity!). So…unless I missed the memo and someone out there knows of a more productive, organic way of finding happily ever after (or even just a bit of attention), it seems to me that dating apps are a necessary evil when it comes to modern romance. So must just accept it for what it is, take the good with the bad and continue plodding along.
So Rinsers. Have you ever taken a similar break from online dating? Did it do you any good? Do you agree that dating apps are a necessary evil when it comes to modern dating? Or do you have some alternative suggestions of ways to find #happilyeverafter? And how the hell did previous generations manage without such things? Pewk on the page in the comments section below. Please and thank you.