By a series of strange, not totally positive happenings, I have found myself in Melbourne, city of my birth, for a while. Three and half weeks in I was getting bored and decided it would be fun to get laid. Specifically I was thinking of storming sex with someone who was interesting and on the same wavelength. For the modern traveller, Tinder is pretty much an extension of your passport. The pictures are just as bad as passport ones except with added animals. In Australia, it is motorbikes. I was thinking that potentially that it might be surfboards, however I kept getting motorbikes. Some were on motorbikes, some were next to motorbikes and one was standing in a motorcycle repair shop. I guess this might be alluring to women who are looking for a guy who knows a good motorcycle mechanic. Some of the men with motorbikes did not have a full mouth of teeth. This is, presumably, one of the risks of riding motorbikes. Many had full beards (I fucking hate beards) and tattoos and I didn’t need to know anymore. I changed my Discovery Settings. There was never going to be the critical mass in Melbourne that you find in London or even Paris but I can tell you now, they will not be doing a compilation of The Best of Tinder Melbourne. After a few fiddles with my Discovery Settings I arrived at a new block of men. Again they seemed to have one thing in common: this lot were the loving fathers. It was the first thing you read on their profile.
As my wise pal Suze has often said, ‘Men use the loving father thing on dating sites thinking it will make women think they are sensitive and understanding, but it has a tendency to work against them.’ Guys, you may as well put up a sign that says ‘Keep Off.’ See the thing is, if you tell us first up that your kids are the most important thing in your life (and boy do you repeat it) we can’t see any room for us. We can’t see any fun. These men might be trying to say “I don’t want a serious relationship,” but they come off sounding uncertain, pious and no fun at all. Melbourne has a disproportionate percentage of men carrying their relationship wounds on their sleeve. I would suggest they remove themselves from Tinder forthwith. There are few clear laws of dating but one of them is, that if you’re not ready, don’t do it. That applies to all genders.
If I meet a man who is just separated or newly divorced I don’t go there. In almost all cases I’ve found men in these situations are simply still picking themselves off the floor. The last thing on their mind is the fun of a date (and yes it should be fun) though they’ve convinced themselves that they should be out there looking. If, as I’ve been, you’re unlucky enough to be the first women they’ve met since they fell onto the relationship scrapheap, I can tell you now, that you are the transition woman: you will be the one that makes them realise they are not ready, they will get scared and scurry back. Usually this will be accompanied by something like, ‘I’ve realised I need to focus on my kids.’ It’s got to the point where, if I connect with a guy in this psychographic, I’m the one who says it first. It’s usually about the moment I sense they are trying hard to banter without a care in the world, but it’s just so painfully obvious they are out of their emotional depth. So I save them from themselves and save me from being the shoulder to cry on. “Look, you are clearly not ready for any of this. I think you need to leave the dating game and just focus on you.” And then they thank me for being so nice and understanding. “You’re gorgeous,” they say, “Maybe when I’ve recovered I can call you and we can pick up where we left off.” No. The moment is all. Miss it and you don’t get it back.
This does not solve the pressing problem of alleviating my boredom and my occasionally furious sex drive. Tinder Melbourne also has a high number of married men (no photo, no date guys) and men who have no syllables. I know you all joke about Aussies speaking in monosyllables but I’m serious: on Tinder here they can’t even manufacture one. So I give up. Truly. I need to go back to the UK to have storming sex.