Zofia Niemtus | Contributing Author | Monday, 9 February 2015

'A 24-Hour Support Group And A Penis Video. Here's What Happens When I Tried Tindering When Heartbroken'

The Debrief: After splitting up with my boyfriend of seven years going on Tinder seemed like a great idea. What could go wrong, right?

I joined Tinder for one reason - to find a boyfriend. I wanted somebody to ask me how many of my five-a-day I’d eaten and to visit castles with on holiday. The problem was that I started this search about a month after splitting up with my previous boyfriend, after seven years and many, many castles. 

I was hurting, badly. The break-up had been like a blow to the head and I was almost catatonic. But I reasoned that adding a left-right swiping action to this repertoire wouldn’t be too much of a stretch and I was convinced that the sheer number of men on Tinder meant that it would present me with the next love of my life. It did not. But here's what Tindering when heart broken did give me: 

A 24/7 support group: There are a lot of heartbroken people on Tinder. Its reputation as hangout a pervs isn’t completely unwarranted (more on that later), but I found a rich, sad seam of devastated guys who were happy to rake over their relationship wreckage with a stranger. None more so than Cameron - we would message each other at three, four and five in the morning, talking about our insomnia, song lyrics and whether we even wanted to be in love again because it hurt so much.

A terrifying glimpse into my psyche: After a few weeks, I started messaging Tom. We arranged a date, but for a reason that I can’t remember now - and cannot check because I no longer have access to his messages, for reasons that will become clear - there was a delay in meeting, so we had two weeks of near-constant back-and-forth beforehand. As an online dating ingénue, I did not know that this was A Bad Idea. In that period, I discovered that he was basically my perfect man. We both liked Alan Partridge! We both laughed at our nu-rave pasts! We had broadly similar GCSE results! The clincher came when I found out that a friend of mine used to work with him and said he was ‘a nice bloke’. This was definitely it.

Three hours before our date, he cancelled with a vague excuse about work. I was gutted. I sent a livid message about how he had fucked me around, deleted Tinder from my phone, blocked him from WhatsApp and cried on the stairs at work. Then I unblocked him and sent a string of increasingly hysterical messages about having overreacted. He did not reply.

I wish that story ended there, but no. I messaged again a few days later, with no response. The following week I got drunk in a park with my friend Emma and called him from her phone to see if he was alive. He was, so I hung up. Weeks later still, I found him on Facebook and messaged him in mock shock about having a mutual friend. He did not reply. I am totally cool about it now and definitely do not look at his Twitter feed sometimes.

A bit of bespoke pornography: Unsolicited penis time! Me and Ed, 31, had arranged to meet on a Saturday afternoon. On the Thursday night, after an exchange that I would call ‘flirty’ but he had clearly read as something else, he sent me a video of him wanking while saying my name, which he mispronounced.  He seemed surprised when I cancelled.

A heap of jokes: After repeatedly getting stuck in banal exchanges about work and flatmates, I decided that I would only message men who made me laugh. I changed my tagline to ‘tell me a joke’ and the gold rolled in. What does C S Lewis keep in his wardrobe? Narnia business.

A drunk history of London: Men kept proposing cocktail bars for dates and I soon realised that my bank account wouldn’t withstand this £9-a-drink kicking for long. So I started suggesting old (cheap) London pubs and, as a result, have now raised a reasonably-priced glass in lots of genuinely interesting spots. One lovely guy even created a walking tour of old-time Fleet Street boozers, complete with trivia (and then met someone else). Lesson: pubs trump bars and history is a better conversation starter than how to make a Dark’n Stormy.

I left Tinder for a few reasons - dating was becoming an expensive and often disappointing habit, I found myself repeating the same stories in the same order like a wannabe stand-up comic and, mostly - obviously - I realised that I wasn’t ready to meet anyone. But I had some fun, heard some stories and learned a shitload of jokes (What did the pirate say on his 80th birthday? Aye matey). My only regret is that I deleted the wanking video, because I still can’t quite believe that actually happened.

Liked this? You might also be interested in: 

The  Disappearing Men Of Tinder 

Tinder Opening Lines That Won't Make You Cringe (Much...)

Meet The Guy Who's Replaced A Prostitute Addiction With Tinder Dates 

Follow Zofia on Twitter @zofcha 

 

Tags: Sex, Sex O\'Clock, Dating Confusion, Tinder