As a happily single woman who’s just about to enter her late twenties, the hints from friends and family to 'settle down' are slowly beginning. With four years ‘til the big 3-0, the nickname ‘fun aunty’ is being tossed around like a Cobb salad, so it might be time I start scoping out some potential plus ones for the family BBQ. Now, I’m not one to stress about my single status; however, in dipping my toes back in the dating pool it's come to my attention that the traditional boy-meets-girl at the bar has suddenly evaporated. And in it's place are late night notifications and online booty calls.
Go on boys, hit me with a “hey ;)” at 3am, it’s a real panty dropper.
What’s happened to the chat?
As a person whose job involves a heavy amount of socialisation, I can safely say my chat is on point. I’m not afraid to strike up a conversation, can hold my own in a crowd of strangers, and have pretty much no limits on conversation topics - yes, I am that person at a party who will ask your thoughts on the Missionary Jerk. So, why is it so difficult to go up to stranger, especially after you've been sending out some serious eye-contact for a solid five to 60 minutes?
How is it I can catch a lift home with a man I barely know who I’ve met on the Internet, give them my home address, confess to them my deepest darkest secrets - yes, I use my Uber driver as a confessional - but I can’t go up to a guy I find attractive and say, “Hi, how are you?”. I’ve been out for drinks with friends, and during my favourite live sport - people watching - I have seen countless gents standing around staring at their phones doing the tell-tale one-two-swipe. They're either scoping out the online selection or are still trying to navigate the new Snapchat update. But alas, it seems singles are more interested in scrolling through potentials within the surrounding 80km than risking actually speaking to someone face-to-face.
So what’s happened Perth? In a city where everyone knows someone whose cousin went to school with your sister’s best mate, how come we’ve become so shy when it comes to the art of in-person conversation? With the widespread use of online dating apps, has the good old fashioned way of asking someone out become null and void? I hope not. I’m not sure how much more “hey baby” and “french underwear or g-string?” - a phrase that still has me puzzled - online salutations I can take.
Live Tinder - A social experiment
This past Valentine’s Day, my calendar happened to be wide open, and instead of sitting at home in my food-stained, oversized men’s T-shirt watching "netflix", I decided it was time to put my money where my mouth is and ventured out for a spot of Live Tinder. This involved me and a mate dusting off the LBD and heading to the local for a spot of speed dating. Why limit yourself to one man when you can have 10 in one evening? Having never sped on a date before, unless you count the times I was running super late after spending too long picking out an outfit, I went in eyes wide open. If recent dating app experiences were anything to go by, I’d be thrilled if nobody asked me to call them daddy.
A sausage fest sans snagga
Hosted by Rad Events, it was eight rounds, six-minutes each, one-on-one, having a conversation. I was concerned when a few over forties sat down that “daddy” would be back on the cards, but thankfully it seems that's just a trend with men at the top of the Millennial age bracket. From said “daddies” and a youth wearing a seventy-year-old woman’s sunglasses, to a very energetic reading of “Drumset Valentine’s Day” - an original slam-poem by a guy who looked like Jemaine from Flight of the Conchords - the range of men and women was as vast as it was entertaining. Look, I tried my best, but I’ll confess a small tear of laughter did slip out whilst I was trying to keep a straight face during the poetry reading.
I can’t say I found love that night, but I did have a great time. Having not been on a date recently, dating eight men in one evening could have been seen as excessive, but I like to think of it as making up for lost time. Whilst ‘the one’ wasn’t there this time around, overall I’d have to say my first speed dating experience was a success. Not a success as in finding the love of my life, but a success in the sense that someone asked me if I’d been paid to be there. I’m sure there’s a compliment in there somewhere.
So Perth, next time you're out and about in our beautiful city - put yourself out there: talk to someone new, make a move, ask a question, or better yet, ask someone out on a date. But please, perhaps leave the slam poetry until the second date.