My friend Tanasha and I were lying down in bed on a gloomy Sunday morning. We were both heartbroken from our different encounters the previous night, and the weather was doing nothing to cheer us up. We had sworn to ourselves that this would be the last time we were tolerating nonsense from our significant others and that it was time to move on.
“Let’s join Tinder,” Tanasha said, and I looked at her like she was crazy for a moment. But on second thought, she had a point. I had been wondering how to get back into the dating scene, and this seemed like the right answer. Kind of stupid, but the right answer.
It was stupid because all my life I had wondered how possible it is to actually meet ‘the one’ on an online platform. What were they doing there? Why couldn’t they just go out and meet people? I spent my whole life convincing myself that there was something wrong with people who used Tinder, and now here I was. We downloaded the app as fast as we could with bundles and not wifi. Safaricom was quick to send that message, “Sorry, you do not have an active data bundle…” but that was not going to stop me. I bought more.
I met the first guy, a Portuguese who was studying his master’s at a local university in Kenya. He seemed nice, but I couldn’t move past the small talk. I wasn’t enjoying the “What’s your favorite colour?” conversations at all! So, when I discovered that he was well over 15 years older than me, I decided to make a joke about it.
“Damn, you’re so old!” I said, jokingly of course.
“Insult me all you want. You will also get there one day. Maybe the reason you’re on Tinder is that you’re rude. Good luck finding someone to deal with you,” he answered.
I looked at the text and burst out laughing. Tanasha was busy figuring out the app, but when I told her the story we had a good laugh. Maybe it’s true, online dating is not for everyone. Anyway, on to the next one.
I spent the next thirty minutes swiping left. Why? Because I sure do judge a book by its cover. I had no profile picture, just a blank image. Yet, when I saw people without profile pictures, I instantly concluded that they were catfishes.
Then came the second guy. He was nice and good-looking but definitely not my type. I decided to give him a chance anyway. There is no harm in gaining a friend. It doesn’t always have to end in wedding bells. I talked to him for a couple of hours, before he said something that took me off guard.
“I’m not really interested in dating. I just want someone to hook up with and haven’t been very successful in my past,” he said.
Okay, I get it. Some people are actually not interested in dating. That’s okay. But for someone, I barely knew, who didn’t even know what I looked like, or if I had some sort of disease, this was crazy. I unmatched him as fast as I could.
I was almost giving up, but the loneliness started to creep in as soon as Tanasha left. I was used to being in a relationship and having someone there for me whenever I needed him. So, I went back on Tinder.
The third guy I met seems a perfect fit. We had a lot in common, and he was good-looking. I liked him. He spoke good English, had his profile picture on, and seemed kind. Until, two weeks later, we went on a date.
He asked to pick me up, but I declined. I didn’t know him like that. So we agreed to meet at a Café in Westlands. I was excited until he walked in and I realized that I had been catfished. He looked nothing like his Tinder profile picture. He had a feminine voice and was much much shorter than I had imagined. Not that there’s anything wrong with these traits, just that he was not what I was expecting. I was shocked. I stayed an hour, then pretended that I had received an emergency call and had to leave.
I was still in the Uber when I uninstalled Tinder. I know that this application has matched people who went ahead to become lovers, but I’d much rather be single than talk to complete strangers on the internet with hopes of a happy ending.
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