Sex Confessions of a midlife Tinder user Now that she has mastered Tinder-talk, Lucy Cavendish is pleased with how the popular dating app is reenergising her love life Lucy Cavendish isn't the tpyical twentysomething Tinder user By Lucy Cavendish 8: As a year-old mother of four, you can imagine that logging on to this dating app felt like a last resort — strange, weird and somewhat desperate.
So, at first, I kept it secret. In fact, the figures showed that 3 per cent of Tinder users were between 45 and 54, which meant there were a lot of middle-aged people in its dating pool of 50 million users. Having been struggling to find a catch in what felt like shallow waters for some time, I decided it was worth a plunge in the depths, however murky.
Since my long-term relationship with the father of my children ended more than three years ago , I had tried various other dating websites ones I paid for and been on a handful of dates, but found them all soul-destroying in their own way. Lucy Cavendish, back in the dating game More used to evenings on the sofa with my eight- to year-olds, these dates — and the fact I was even back in the dating pool — felt humiliating and upsetting.
There is nothing much worse than having built up a relationship online to then meet the object of your interest only to find them as exciting as a mollusc. It feels as if you are constantly putting yourself on the line, showing off your wares, only to reel in another damp squib.
I must have been insane Lesson No 1: By the time I got home, I felt like crying off men for good. So when a fortysomething friend suggested Tinder, I was appalled. The smartphone app finds your location using GPS, then uses your Facebook information to create a profile with your first name, age and photos of choice, before matching you with other users in the vicinity. You swipe through their pictures, right for a hit and left for a miss and had garnered something of a reputation for where twentysomethings went to look for instant sex.
The thought of taking my clothes off with a man whose name I had barely registered, seemed ludicrous, not to mention terrifying. But my friend, to my surprise, told me she dipped in and out of Tinder all the time. At first I loved it. Enthusiastically, I began swiping when I found someone attractive and it felt great when they did the same to me back.
Soon text conversations started and dates were arranged. This is where the problems began. Tinder is all about being quick, fast and available. I am none of those things. As busy mum, it takes me months to arrange to meet up with friends, let alone strangers. Somehow, I managed some dates. These incidents left me feeling sad and tired. Having gone from taking things too seriously, no one seemed to be taking things seriously at all. I got that one. Some men asked me what sort of relationship I was looking for?
I was too old-fashioned, too straight-laced and too out-of-the-loop to understand the unwritten rules of Tinder. So why, despite the above misgivings, did I log back on, three months ago?
It occurred to me that although I had found Tinder confusing, at least I had actually gone on some dates. Not all the men were dreadful. So it has proved. I know that if the chap in the photo is heavily disguised in baseball caps and sunglasses, he is probably attached elsewhere. Anyone in full football kit, holding a giant fish or who refers to their genitalia, even euphemistically, is out.
Having set my limits, I have met several men in their fifties that I actually liked. Richard, was a stunt motorcyclist who took me to shows where daredevils jumped their bikes over cars. Jonathan was a mad jazz fan who still knew all the best clubs in London. Alex was very into spirituality so we went to the odd day retreat. None led to love, but each brought something new and enjoyable into my life, which I would never have found by myself. One I really rather like.