So, there’s an acquaintance of mine I know through frequent flyer circles whom, when chatting recently, happened to mention a really nice friend of hers in Perth who seems to be perpetually unlucky when it comes to love.
This friend pointed me in the direction of a photo, and a blog she runs (linked above), and I was quite intrigued. I laughed along at her writing, and some of the interesting things, behaviours and hygiene issues she’s encountered over a few years of dating.
And, as any reasonable person would do, taking a wander over to her public Facebook profile, she looked quite nice and seemed to be a pretty sane and sorted person.
Ticks all the boxes so far.
I was being egged on by this friend to try and make contact with this women. And I don’t blame her really, who wouldn’t want to be a virtual wingman for a single friend when they know people also struggling to find a decent partner (big hint there friends).
As luck had it this evening, I’d fired up Tinder after putting away this evenings haul from Lakeside, which included Season 1 of The Two Ronnies on DVD, and The Fat Duck Cookbook by the legendary chef Heston Blumenthal.
And wouldn’t you believe who popped up – but this very lady my friend had suggested.
I wasn’t quick or eager to respond, took me 10min to think of a message. I didn’t want to seem creepy having prior knowledge or her blog, or cliché with a hi or hello.
Her Tinder profile was devoid of any interests or profile description as well, so I winged it. On a limb, I went with this – to the best of my recollection, which will become apparent why I’m doing it from memory in a moment:
“The problem with replying to a Tinder match, is that you want to lead with something that you hope starts a conversation. Hi is too boring, hello is used too often, and when you’ve got a profile without interests or an idea of who they are, it makes it hard to find something common to try and start from”.
Except, she didn’t see it, or read it.
Barely less than a second after finally hitting send – the message vanished from the screen.
And here is the problem with dating via technology these days – nobody takes the chance.
Too easy to tick, or flick, when we’re not interested without giving it another thought.
It leaves me to posit the question – how can you have the cheek to complain there’s no decent men out there, when the ones who are decent aren’t given half a chance to say hi.
It leaves me to ruminate, and wonder that if, in at least the case of this lady, she is fickle. In her tastes, desires, wants, attitudes, her approach to life and to those around her.
Suggesting she might not care about those she crosses the paths of may be unfair. But to not stop, and spend a few seconds saying thanks but no thanks, let alone giving someone the opportunity to engage, speaks to an attitude of a person whom, in some respects, I’m glad not to have made the acquaintance of.
But it also speaks to a wider problem. How often do we not take a chance, or give someone the chance.
Yes, there are people who do take the piss, and milk the leeway they are given for everything its worth, giving no effort or results in return.
But how hard it is to stop. To breathe. To invest. To say, you know what, let’s see where this goes.
If you don’t like where it goes, then you can walk away easily. Block, report and ignore – depending on the person of course.
But at least have the decency to show someone the courtesy and respect of a hi, a hello, an attempt at trying to make a conversation.
It’s why, if I match with someone or get a message where I’m not interested – I’ll at least have the courtesy to tell them. To not leave them hanging so they know i’m interested, or not.
Because if someone isn’t interested, who are you to not be polite and respectful, so the other party isn’t waiting around for an answer.
And this pivots to the greater point – being that technology has, for all intensive purposes, allowed us to be mean without consequence.
And to do so, without a second thought, or an undo button when we realise that we made a mistake.
As an example, block lists on phones exist for a reason. I know of people who’ve had genuine needs to use them because someone doesn’t understand No. I don’t suggest for a moment that things like block lists shouldn’t exist, but we as a society – in a reversion to the mean – use these most of the time without having the courtesy, or decency, to explain why we’re using them on someone.
Technology has made it too simple for us to be mean, and be mean spirited. To show discourtesy to others without giving that persons feelings a second thought.
I don’t claim to be without sin in this area, as I too have done it, and I feel ashamed when I do.
But, I do try to espouse the values I want to see in others as often as I can – remembering that the person on the other end of the conversation is also a human being, with feelings, and deserves some decency and courtesy when you’re not interested.
Sometimes, the silence from someone saying nothing speaks more loudly than anything they say could.