Love, Tinder and Everything is Terrible

FINN MCREDMOND tells us why it really, really is

“I want to thank you, for giving me the best days of my life …”

Shut up Dido. Everything is terrible.

Once James asked me to be his girlfriend and dumped me 6 hours later; with the words “never speak to me again”. 6 hours. I didn’t even communicate with him in that time. I was asleep! What could I have possibly done? Remember when I said everything was terrible? Yeah – that.

Then a best friend sat me down and gave me a serious talk about how I was not to fall in love with him. That just because he was my friend it didn’t mean he couldn’t do better than me. We’re not friends anymore.

My face during that conversation

And back when I was 17 and bright eyed and still had faith in life I met someone called Peter. He was arty and deep and misunderstood just like me, except he was 23. What’s the male equivalent of a cougar again? Oh, yeah – a creep. Three months down the road of this incredibly naivety it was his turn to reveal that he was living with his actual girlfriend. An actual adult. Who he was living with. Not me. And everything was terrible.

You see, I really believed in the rhetoric of Rom Coms, the High School Musical soundtrack and perverse teenage glossies. I, no sorry – we, were led to believe that the cool popular boy who’s smart and great would inevitably fall in love with the weird spotty girl who really (really) likes horses.

They lied to us

Public Service Announcement: That does not happen, that will never happen – and for good reason. Stop believing that. Stop it right now.

But that’s not the real issue. I think the ideal they present creates a serious problem. We’re conditioned from our preteens to believe that garnering the interest of men is indicative of our value as a person. That the happy ending accompanied with your very own 90s montage can only exist with the attention and affection of these boys.

And so many of us end up deriving our self worth from men, constantly requiring this perverse external validation. Because how else can we be anyone that matters?? Who we are and what we’re worth becomes inextricable from who fancies us and for what reasons.

It’s not our fault. But it is shitty. And the consequence is that when something goes wrong, or when there is never anything there to go wrong in the first place, we’re so often left sitting around asking what’s wrong with us.

[quite a lot in my case – but that’s merely incidental]

Taylor Swift gets a bad rap. And it’s unfair – labelled as obsessive and vindictive. But if I was Taylor Swift and had the capability to sell millions of records capitalising off the fact that when my heart is broken I lose part of my identity I would. It’s like revenge porn for 14 year olds; think Beach Boys meets Cruel Intentions. I would be all over that shit.

Taylor busy making money off terrible men

Because when we’re led throughout our whole teenage life to believe that our value hinges upon men, and it goes wrong – why the hell shouldn’t we capitalise off of it? Because being led to feel like less of a person because once someone pretended they were going to take you to a Noam Chomsky lecture but really took you to a mountain to try and get off of you is a) hilarious, but also b) totally fucking shitty.

Lol everything is fine hahaha. ha.
SO at this stage, because of course our human worth is dependent on love interests – we’ve been told that all our teenage lives of course – the only logical step was to download Tinder – right? Right. Well that’s what I thought, truly believing it would solve everything. As it transpires, Tinder does not solve everything. I lost myself in a melee of right swipes and terrible men. And now everything is so much worse.

But then we’re given the very legitimate advice, from those same people who have already told us our whole lives where our value comes from, to just be ourselves. That seems nice, right? ‘Hey! Things haven’t worked so far – that’s okay! Just do you! You’re not that bad.’ (I am that bad) (but that’s not the point).

So I backtrack and realise that boys aren’t all that, and that it’s no ones fault that I don’t have a boyfriend and that I should just be myself and everything will be fine.

But then I’m not really sure who that is anymore and I’m back to square one.