[Re the title, I refuse to apologise for my puns]
I’ve been convinced to join Tinder, and it’s become a fun little game. As someone who complements creative manipulation of the written word with a love of rules and statistics, I have my set process: Are they attractive? If ‘no’, swipe left, ‘yes’, check their bio for sufficient interesting chat and then decide, or ‘massively’, swipe right (though in reality I read their bios anyway in case their personality matches their great looks and I can be disappointed when we don’t match). There are a few further rules – smokers are a no, excessive pouting rules you out and capitalising Random Words in a Sentence is an Unpardonable sin, but basically, that’s my game. Stick to the rules, debate long and hard on their qualities and finally make my judgements.
Putting so much consideration into each potential match has strange effects. Any swipes right that don’t result in an instant ‘It’s a match!’ bring a twinge of disappointment and maybe even betrayal – how could she not say yes to me? – while matches that do pop up suddenly bring pressure – I took the time to handpick her, and now I have to impress her. Plenty of my opening lines fall flat. I remember panicking after seeing ‘say something more interesting than hi’ on a girl’s profile for the first time, having used the scorned greeting on several occasions already. Was that an unwritten rule I’d been breaking?
More imaginative openers soon followed, and a few favourites emerged. It helped if their bios or photos lent themselves to an interesting topic, though I quickly realised that almost every girl in the country has posed with a drugged tiger. I began to wonder if the tiger hadn’t done a tour of the UK just to make the acquisition of the seemingly-essential photo easier…
If nothing instantly jumped out, I had a fallback,
“Just to check, you do believe in true love, right?”
What a line! Funny, quirky, and subtly implies that I’m clearly a nice, romantic guy who won’t instantly request that you take your top off. Worked a charm on several occasions and got ignored on several more. After a little while, when conversations had gone beyond the first few sarcastic remarks and flirty jokes, I came to realise an important truth that would take all the stress out of the opening line conundrum:
[Note: I’m not sorry at all for stopping here. Who doesn’t love a cliffhanger?]