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Opinion piece

Navigating the dating world without a map

Is it just me or has “boobs” replaced “hello”?

“Hi, I saw you liked my profile. I-”

After a very brief stint on a selection of dating apps and websites, I decided to delete my accounts and return to the real world. I’ve tried a lot of dating apps-well, all the free ones because girl doesn’t have the money to spend on meaningless conversations and dick pics. I first signed up to a rather well-known dating site when I was 18. I didn’t have a lot of luck with dating or relationships during my time at secondary school. I had horrific acne and an even more horrific sense of self. I thought I was unlovable because of a genetic predisposition to spots that was entirely out of my control. * 

However, at 17 and ½ my skin started to clear up and I “grew into my looks” as the saying goes. After setting my profile photo and putting a few other well-orchestrated snaps up I received an influx of messages. Far from romantic, the majority of the messages I received were straight up asking for hookups, for a picture of my tits, or were from older men with a thing for very young women. Needless to say, I was a bit put-off. When I asked girlfriends about their experiences of dating apps and sites they told me they’d received similar things. It seems there is no chance for a hopeless romantic who’s grown up on Casablanca and doting on Gregory Peck types. 

Accounts deleted, I decided to take to the real world. First port of call, university. This may have been a mistake. I found myself involved in Fresher’s hysteria; a breeding ground for sloppy kisses on sticky dance floors. It wasn’t until the second year that I went on my first proper date with a finalist. I was punching up. The real-life dates, actual IRL dates, have so far proved best. Yes, I’m still single-but it’s complicated, as everything is. As the dating world is!

I feel like our grandmas had it so easy. No tinder to contend with, no catfishes. My nan went to dance halls, said something witty in clipped English, flashed a bit of calf, and landed a man by the end of the night. I wish it was that easy now.

Is it just me?

*To any readers currently suffering from acne, it does not define you, your worth, or your beauty. Anyone who tells you different is an idiot and is not worth an ounce of your time or energy.

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