LOUISE O'NEILL: I'll explain some of the reasons why I’ve rejected people in the past so that you can learn from their mistakes

Dylan: Strong. Very strong.
Me: I feel like this is a trap but I’ll ask anyway. What’s very strong?
Dylan: Very strong chance you have a cracking body. Unreal smile in your profile too.

Me: You’d be wrong, Dylan. My body is covered with unsightly scales underneath my clothes. Bye now.

There are a few of reasons why I decided to delete the Tinder dating app from my phone. The above exchange is one of them. 

A man telling me that he had pleasured himself over my photo (my good deed for the day — check!) was another. 

A date so terrible that I contemplated setting both myself and my phone on fire before joining the nearest convent.

“But how are you ever going to meet anyone?” my friends lament, clearly unaware that when you’re as amazing as I am (true story) that the company of others (less fortunate, less amazing) isn’t as desirable as they may might think. 

But they have a point. 

Tinder and similar dating apps have completely changed the dating landscape. 

Before I embarked on my last serious relationship back in 2007, there was only one correct way to start a relationship in Ireland.

Random Saturday night:

7pm: Have pre-drinks with your friends. Start to feel a bit woozy.

9pm: Hit a bar. Start with ‘normal’ drinks like vodka and tonic/white wine/beer.

10pm: Start to get worried that after about six to eight drinks thus far, that you’re in danger of facing a night sober. Start calling for rounds of Jagerbombs.

Midnight: Can no longer feel your legs. Go to nightclub. 

Throw your very expensive coat and handbag containing your new iPhone into a dirty corner and ignore for the next few hours. 

Sure, what’s the worst that could happen? More rounds of Jagerbombs.

1am: Is that guy/girl cute?

1.15am: No. Hideous. Another Jagerbomb.

1.30am: Actually, you may have been a bit hasty. They’re pretty cute.

1.40am: THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL AND GORGEOUS AND YOU WANT TO MARRY THEM.

1.45am: Start mauling each other.

Next morning: Pretend nothing happened. See each other out another night. Ignore them until 2am, then proceed to kiss again. 

Keep doing this for a few months until one of you finally caves and relinquishes the power in the relationship by suggesting the cinema. 

Congratulations! You are now ‘in a relationship’.

Now? It’s all instant, quick, and brutal. Swipe right. Swipe left. Repeat again and again and again.

Readers, I love all of you. Most of you. OK, I like a very, very small proportion of you. But I still want you to be happy! 

I want you to find love and in order to help you, I’ve decided to explain some of the reasons why I’ve rejected people in the past so that you can learn from their mistakes.

You. Are. Welcome.

A stupid name. Or just a name I don’t like very much, like Darren or Declan. But if you’re spelling your name ‘Whane’ when it’s obviously supposed to be WAYNE, then bye-bye.

A photo with a celebrity. (Katie Taylor seems to pop up a lot here.) 

The Tinder version of name dropping and just as annoying, especially that time when I thought Romeo from Home and Away was actually on Tinder. 

Then I noticed the sunburnt eejit in a GAA jersey next to him and my dreams were dashed.

Speaking of which, wearing a GAA jersey or any type of sports uniform unless Croke Park is in the background is a complete no no.

Photos of you with someone who is clearly your girlfriend — unless you’re just really fond of your sister. (Do I really need to add incest to this list of reasons you’re being rejected too?)

Photos of you on your wedding day. Eh, thanks but no thanks.

If you’re wearing anything with an Ed Hardy slogan on it, I not only don’t want to date you, I also want to hunt you down and burn you and your Ed Hardy paraphernalia on a massive bonfire.

If you’re naked. I don’t care how amazing your body is. 

Wow! You go to gym and/or take a lot of steroids. I’m impressed! Now please put some clothes on, you complete deviant.

If you’re in a photo with a promotions girl, looking over excited at the proximity to someone with blonde hair and a gorgeous face. 

She’s getting paid to try and make you buy more whiskey/beer/whatever. Leave her alone.

If you look too much like Niall Horan in your profile photo thus making me depressed every time I see you that I’m not with the real Niall Horan.

If you’re holding a gun in your photo. (No, that’s not a euphemism.)

If you’re holding a gun in your photo. (Yes, that is a euphemism.)

If you photo-shopped your red-eyes and now you look like you have two lumps of coal instead of corneas. I don’t have any devil snowman fetishes, thanks very much. Move along.

If your profile photo is you on a motorbike in all the leathers and a massive helmet. I can’t see your face. Do you not understand how Tinder works?

If your profile photo is you on a motorbike in all the leathers without a helmet. Health and safety, please.

If you’re wearing high waisted jeans tied with a dark leather belt and a checked shirt tucked in. You need to be locked up, you monster.

If your profile photo is of your car or your motorbike. Is this some sort of Transformers magic? Does your car have a secret penchant for pina coladas and taking walks in the rain? Tell me! I need to know more.

If all of your photos are of you in a big group of lads. Are you trying to look popular? 

And while I’m praying to the Tinder gods that you’re the 6’ 4” model type who is, coincidentally, in all of the photos, I’m thinking it’s more likely that it’s the bald 65-year-old with a beer belly who is, coincidentally, also in all of the photos.

And if you’re wondering why all this advice is directed towards men, it’s because women are naturally perfect in every way. 

(Please send angry hate mail decrying me as a misandrist c/o the Irish Examiner.)

Good luck! It’s a warzone out there.



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