You put your beer back on the surface of the wobbly table in a half-empty candlelit bar. Check your phone again – 23 minutes early. You put your phone back in your pocket. 12 seconds later, you retrieve your phone from your pocket and browse tinder while you wait. This isn’t just any date: you’re tinder dating. This is a tinder date.
Tinder dates are the new normal. When was the last time someone approached you in a bar? Sure, it can happen, but tinder is there for you on a Sunday evening when you can’t do anything but eat pasta and swipe right. Now you’ve matched, and briefly cyber-chatted and you’re sitting in a bar waiting for the love of your life to walk in.
You can’t be blamed for being over-excited. Remember when your date-to-be wrote “let’s get married and move to Bolivia lol”? Surely this is the one. The trouble is, from the first point of cyber contact until the moment you actually meet this person, they have been nothing more than a one dimensional figure behind a screen. You’ve probably filled in a lot of the gaps with your imagination.
Don’t think too much – you’re on the date. Now don’t blow it.
What to ask
There are many questions you could as, like ‘how many siblings do you have?’or ‘what do you do for money?’ but these are likely to be followed by the sentence ‘classic question I know’. They’re not bad questions. They’re just obvious. Instead go with something off the cuff, presenting yourself as someone ‘random’ and ‘kooky’.
“Have you ever seen an alien?’’ – If they answer yes, you’ve struck gold. If the answer’s no, just truthfully reply ‘me neither’ and swiftly move on.
“Do you have any tattoos?” – makes you seem current and offers an opportunity to talk about personal tastes in a safe way.
“Remember when you used to spend your Saturdays playing Sims?” – If they don’t, leave immediately.
Where to go
Of course, a bar makes sense. But don’t drink too much. You’ve already proven that you’re capable of partying by expressing it in one of your tinder profile pictures.
A more adventurous choice would be either a countryside day trip, for which you should pack homemade hummus and a couple of beers.
If you want to stay in the city, afternoon dating is still advisable. Head to Ikea for the hot dogs and theme-park-esque atmosphere. If you can weave grocery shopping into any part of your date, you’ll almost certainly write an anecdote of the future.
One overarching pointer that’s worth mentioning is that everyone is aware of the potential awkwardness of cyber dating and pre-date stalking. Address the elephant in the room! Your date is just another [hopefully] friendly human looking for love. They exist just as much as you do and once you’re on the date, the cyber-ness of your relationship is all but in the past.
Good luck tinderer!