Come off it. Tinder isn’t killing relationships.

My friend posted an article on my Facebook wall. She said it makes some interesting points and that she likes the style of journalism. I can only assume she was trying to bait me. It worked. The article is “This Is How We Date Now” by Jamie Varon. Here’s reply to my friend:

It’s polemic, not journalism. It’s a bit shouty for my liking. I don’t like all those short sentences declaring ‘facts’, rather than thoughtful sentences building up a fair and cogent argument. And, um, I disagree with the argument itself.

The writer makes three mistakes. First, she takes an old-fashioned view on relationships by implying that ultimately what ‘we’ all want is a committed life partner. I don’t want this, so I’m worried that she wouldn’t find me acceptable as a person or genuine lol. Second, she argues that modern life (Tinder etc) doesn’t make the kind of relationships that she sees as the gold standard possible. It’s a classic mistake that ignores all the millions of people who have found what they want while living this modern lifestyle (yeah, people even find ‘true love’ on Tinder). I don’t know who she is to say what the gold standard relationship should be. She implies she’s talking about something universal, which is obviously not true. It’s not true because there are people who don’t need what he seems to think everyone needs. And it’s not true because even those people who do choose what the writer says she thinks they need, ie a conventional relationship, often end up having profound sexual or emotional relationships outside of that anyway.

Third, she wraps the whole thing up in the idea that we’re all empty really and we just need love from another person, a life partner, to make us feel whole. I don’t doubt that’s true for a lot of people. But to imply that the only way we can feel whole is by having one special person isn’t fair on those of us who don’t feel like that. I feel like I can take on the world by myself. I feel that I’m stronger when people stand with me, but I don’t fancy the idea of being expected to lift one person to become the Chosen One out of the pack of my friends, lovers and family members. Yes, we are all empty really and we seek love from others to fill us up, and there are some people who want one person to do that and some who are happy to lean on several people.

To judgmentally criticise technology like Tinder, which connects us to so many people and has led many of us to have deep and beneficial friendships and relationships, is just classic anti-technology claptrap. Maybe the poor gal just needs to get laid?

Man hunt: the words men use to attract their partners

Grindr logoThe things that men say on dating sites when they’re trying to attract other men are witty, clichéd, terrifying, sweet and depressing—sometimes all at the same time. Here are a few I’ve come across recently. I wonder if straight men use the same sorts of headlines on their dating profiles. My comments are in italics. Thanks to all the men on Grindr 🙂

Half man half amazing.
Does this mean you’re in touch with your feminine side?

I’m the curiosity that killed the cat.
Mysterious. Love it. Continue reading

Desire, somewhere between me, you and the billboard

Being desired took me by surprise. It happened later for me than for most people. I’m 30, so I’m just a little bit too old to have grown up taking selfies and posting them online. Like most young men I worried off and on about my stomach, which isn’t flat, and my paleness, which stops below my upper arm and then becomes freckles. These worries were off far more than they were on. ‘On’ has never lasted for more than a second; I am always more interested in reading another chapter or having some ice cream. I honestly don’t care: I am not desperate for love or sex, I prefer thoughts over clothes, laughter over straight teeth.

Continue reading