Finding Love in the Mallee

Whenever I return to Melbourne, I always have extended family members asking me if I’ve found myself a rich farmer yet. Much to my mother’s pleasure, the answer is always a no (I think she still secretly hopes I’ll return to Melbourne one day and a farmer would only hamper this). I haven’t actually met many farmers who are of similar age and single- most of them have already been snapped up by someone, or are way too past my ‘desired age bracket’.

It turns out that I tend to end up dating tradies, and not farmers, since moving to the country. And this isn’t a deliberate move on my part, but I guess in a country town like Swan Hill, there aren’t many suit-wearing corporate types or hipsters (which were who I tended to end up with in when living in Melbourne). Though I did date one ‘white-collar manager’ and he probably ended up being the most complicated and commitment phobe person I have come across in Swan Hill’s dating scene, so maybe I’m best sticking to the tradies. However, where I work doesn’t lend itself to many tradies coming through on a regular basis and allowing me to have increased heart rate induced conversations. So I have found myself back on Tinder.

During my first year in Swan Hill, I played around with this app and had mixed opinions of it (read about it here). Then I started seeing a guy for about a year so that put my need for Tinder to rest. But when that ended, in low moments of needing to be ‘admired’ by someone, I would find myself logging in, swiping right, having a few chats with some matches and then nothing eventuating. Then I would get frustrated with the whole thing, realizing that things really hadn’t changed on this app since I had written about it in 2014. The next 12 months ensured moments of logging on and off, whilst dating a few people intermittently. But nothing serious enough for my mother to think that I was going to be a Swan Hill resident forever.

Matching with someone you already know on Tinder is an interesting experience- both of you a little embarrassed that you use the app, but also a little relieved that you know they actually are who they say they are. That particular match was probably the most suited match of two people I’ve ever experienced, however with his self-identified commitment issues, it was never going to be more than a physical relationship.

And then I actually met someone in person. We caught up numerous times over a few weeks and both marveled at how rare it was for people these days to go on a regular date, and not a ‘Tinder date’. Turned out (unbeknownst to me on our first encounter) that this guy and the commitment-phobic guy were actually good mates (the joys of dating in a country town…. the pool of eligible guys as you get older gets so small that they all know each other!) so it probably was for the best when these dates came to an end.

Whilst there is someone that I’m friends with that has interested me since I met him, I’m happy to hide behind my screen for the moment, rather than having to suffer the potential humiliation of being rejected by someone I see each week and making a friendship awkward. Which brings me to my new approach… Changing my attitude towards Tinder. Perhaps this is what I was doing wrong in the first place; instead of being so cynical about the whole judgmental nature of swiping people based on their looks, I decided that I would enter into Tinder dating this time with a more optimistic and hopeful approach (as much as it kills my feminist side to admit that!). I’ve decided that I will reply to anyone who has the guts to say hi first and see what happens from there. For those matches that don’t have the guts to say hi, I’m thinking I’ll give them a day or two and then I’ll initiate a conversation. And if there is no reply, I’ll unmatch and be on my merry way.

As to if I will actually go on any dates, that will remain to be seen, but I’m thinking that if someone has the balls to ask, I think it only fair I do go on a Tinder date with them and see what they are like in person, not just behind a screen. Let the swiping begin!

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