Six degrees of travel tinder


 Artwork by Joel Matheson 

Artwork by Joel Matheson 

Tinder dating can be a minefield. But if you are travelling it can also be your ticket to interesting and varied entertainment in a city you don’t know. Of course all of your matches will be special individual flowers who are unique and doing something new with their work and lives, but ultimately, they’ll all fall roughly into six categories. So what are you waiting for, grab that bus or plane ticket and let the petals fall where they may. 

Guy #1, the Slightly Creepy Guy
The Slightly Creepy Guy seems pretty good on paper (or on screen). He is a human rights lawyer or works for a not for profit, so he must be very moral and chill and in no way creepy or unhinged.   But sure enough, five minutes in he’ll notice your phone is nearly flat and will offer to take you back to his place so you can charge your phone.  He’s always thinking of others.  Then he’ll manage to throw into the conversation that he isn’t wearing any underwear. I mean, impressive really, that someone can weave that into a conversation about their career. (I love what I do, but I still love having time off. I just don’t bother wearing any underwear when I’m on holidays. Actually, I’m not wearing any underwear now. *guffaw*) He’ll talk about the hardships of paying rent in [insert your travel destination here] and mention that he has a spare room for rent right now.  He’ll look you deep in the eyes and say, “we have a spare room for rent. Right now” which is disconcerting because he’s only known you for an hour. You’ll begin to wrap up the night, feigning a yawn and rubbing your eyes to really drive home how tired you are. “Do you want to come back to mine and smoke some weed?” he offers, his face showing his pride at having saved the most enticing kicker until the end.  You explain that when you smoke you just tend to laugh a bit and then pass out so it’s probably a good idea if you just went home. “Well I’ll probably just pass out too, it’s OK, we can pass out together.” He’s giving you the same look as when he asked you to move in…

Guy #2, the Open Relationship Guy (also known as the Playing The Field Guy)
In all honesty, you’ll probably enjoy the Open Relationship Guys’ company more than all the others, just because there is little to no pretence. He HAS a girlfriend, he’s just looking for interesting / hot people to hang out with and with any luck, have sex with. Open Relationship Guy will send you pictures of the gig you’re missing or bring his new puppy by to meet you when out for a walk. He’s courting you without the pressure of a potential relationship. “As long as we are open and honest with each other, we have a lot of fun and are able to meet a lot of interesting people we wouldn’t otherwise be able to” he explains. By “meet a lot of interesting people” he means “have sex with as many people as I want” but he called you interesting, so you’ll roll with it. He works in music and plays in a band (of course he does) so the Open Relationship Guy will be your best ticket to cool gigs while you’re there. At 1am he’ll turn to you and say “I have a rule, I’m always home by 5am, so we should split” and it’s probably at this point that you’ll really begin to realise that you’re on a date with someone else’s someone.  A few nights later he’ll show you the scratches on his shoulder caused by your last encounter together and say “it’s OK, we have a cat, I just said the cat scratched me” and you wonder how much of this open relationship is “open and honest” and how much is just sneaking around.  The last time you see Open Relationship Guy you won’t even remember to kiss him goodbye, just a strong hug for all the entertainment and friendship he has provided you.

Guy #3, the Wannabe Hipster Guy
The Wannabe Hipster Guy will work in music or something to do with videography (of course!), but won’t be directly creating the art himself.  More a “sort of business development and management type of role” is his gig. His less hip friends will look up to him as the token hipster of their group.  You’ll overhear his mate say to him “Wannabe Hipster Guy, you are such a hipster!” to which he’ll respond “no way man, you are the real hipster” and you’ll immediately know you’ve got a #3 on your hands.  He does have pretty good connections and is most of the time a genuinely nice guy, so closely following Open Relationship Guy, he’ll also be a lot of fun to spend time with.  When the following sentence comes out of his mouth, "I leave my French press in the fridge overnight so it becomes cold brew then I keep it in a mason jar and add just a dash of almond milk when I'm ready to drink it" (a real sentence which I had to react to, and which you will too) you’ll realise you’re neither a coffee snob nor a hipster and can’t take this conversation much longer and suggest you undertake an activity that requires less conversation. By which I mean go and watch a comedy show. Keep it clean you guys. 

Guy #4, the Tinder Virgin Guy, or the I’m About To Fall In Love Guy
The Tinder Virgin Guy is probably the one you want to date the least, and the one you are going to have to consult your friends back in Australia on how to let down in the least hurtful way. He’ll organise a date five days out and suggest a place that you need to book in order to get into. It’s a real date you guys.  Once again you’ll be running late, and he’ll admit he asked the waiter whether it was appropriate for him to order a drink before you arrived (the waiter said it wasn’t so he didn’t order one. Bless).  He will ask you about your family and your dreams and in turn will tell you about his. After a couple of hours, you’ll realise he is definitely more drunk than you. He repeats the same story about making some music the day before with a guy he just met and how he was really feeling it you know? It just felt right.  You realise you probably need to bail soon rather than later. But wait! Not before he tells you how he has never gone on a Tinder date before and you are his first and he is LOVING it! As you hug him goodbye at your corner (no kisses for this overexcitable gent) he is already listing the nights he can see you again this week and the things you can do. “Sure”, you’ll reply, “umm just let me know what you want to do and I’ll see if I’m free”, which he seems to take as a positive reaction.  Exactly an hour and fourteen minutes later you’ll hear from him, excitedly listing the more cemented in options for the next three days.  You won’t reply until the next afternoon, with an expert rejection text crafted by your Tinder King mate back home. Thank god for rejection experts as friends. 

Guy #5, the Don’t Even Bother Showing Up Guy
There will come a time when you are probably pretty worn out by all the Tindering and repeating the same story every second night. “Yeah I’m here on holiday, yeah my friends have headed back to Aus, yeah I’m doing some courses and just exploring.” So when a super friendly and lovely looking gent invites you for wine and snacks on a Bushwick rooftop that night or the next, you’ll say that sounds like a great idea, you’ll be in touch as soon as you get back to Brooklyn that afternoon.  And then you’ll promptly unmatch him, without any explanation. You’ll lock the doors, put on your pyjamas and pick up a book. 

The Special Mention Guy, the elusive #6
A special mention must go to the Wing Man, who after spending three hours with you, admits that “when my buddy said that some girl he met on the internet was coming along tonight too, I was pretty sceptical. But you’re awesome! And very fun!” He doesn’t work in music or photography or design or vintage clothing and he’s the real gem.  I’d advise him to get Tinder and get out there.