Tab Tries Tinder

OCTAVIA SHEEPSHANKS went on a mission to find a date on Tinder. This is what happened

Cambridge University Dating Octavia Sheepshanks Tab Fails tab tries Tinder

Back in Cambridge early to rehearse for a play, I was on Tinder before term even began.

I derived hours of amusement from swiping left, then left, then RIGHT, (oh, no match, sad face, back to swiping) then left again, then RIGHT, (OH MY GOD A MATCH oh no it was a group profile picture and he’s actually the weird looking one with no nose, back to swiping). I loved that I could objectify my way around the Tinder circle (men, aged 20-30, 2 mile radius) surrounding my college from the comfort of my bedroom. This just wouldn’t be possible in person! Plus, I had a legitimate excuse; I needed to get myself a date because I’d agreed to write an article for the Tab about it (never mind that it was my idea).

For the first few weeks I assumed that a date would simply develop, organically, and I invested most of my TinderTime™ in building a portfolio of matches. Having assumed that everyone on there would be far keener than I, I also assumed that they’d start conversations. But only a third of my 180 matches actually did so, and over half of those that did referenced the fact that my first name (fortunately the only name they could see) is also a type of car, ruling them out immediately.

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Not the most seductive chat up line

It steadily dawned on me that nearly everyone has Tinder for the same reason (a reason best described as ‘lolz’), and that I was going to have to start making an effort if I wanted to get anywhere. Tiring quickly of thinking up chat-up lines, I began to recycle ones that had been used on me. ‘Is ur name really [insert their name here] cause if it is that so hot’ worked surprisingly well, even when the man in question had a particularly dull name. ‘We have Eating as a mutual interest!! Lol most compatible lol’ and ‘Ill sort you out if your ever in northampton’ proved less effective

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Seems like Ian is the only one

But when I say ‘worked surprisingly well’, all I mean is that they actually replied. Dates remained a far off promise. It was then that I heard that Mollie Wintle also wanted to write a piece, a piece which would inevitably be funnier than mine. My determination soared. “Tell Mollie I’ve got the Tinder piece covered”, I lied to the editor, soothingly, “I’ve got several dates lined up this week”. The pressure was on. I scrolled through my matches, desperately. Spotting someone of passable attractiveness, I clicked on his name. Ah. I’d messaged him a week earlier, using the classic chat up line ‘Oh hey’, without success. He had clearly joined for a joke, so I decided to explain my own reasons for joining in the hope that he’d meet up with me for a joke. Maybe he liked jokes. I selected the following form of attack: ‘Q: would you be willing to go on a ‘date’ so I can write it up for the tab? Things are getting desperate, editors pressing ETC. have lost all hope of getting a date via normal flirting tactics/ it being anything other than pretence ..’, and sent it off. Astonishingly, the response was a positive one:

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A surge of hope, maybe he is ‘the one’

Unfortunately, after being subjected to a stream of messages from me containing my number, proposals for breakfast dates, and suchlike, he then ceased to reply. When I saw him in Fez last week eye contact was not made.

The other possibilities followed suit, crashing and burning one by one. Actually-extremely-attractive Nathan just stopped replying. Bryn, who worked between London and Cambridge, announced that he was only working from London these days. Jack, who had a funny bio, refused to let me pay for my coffee when I encountered him in a cafe in town, permanently establishing his status as a massive creep. And everyone else lived in London; it turns out the two-mile radius setting doesn’t work.

So for entertainment value I cannot recommend this delightful app enough. For sex and/or love value, I have absolutely no expertise to offer. If you want to change this, feel free to try.