MELISSA SMITH*, 29,
My Tinder adventure started with downloading the app after a heartrending break-up and far too many glasses of wine with my girlfriends. Tinder is huge in places like the US and Europe, but it seems to have taken on a different meaning in South Africa. Many people seemed shocked to hear that I was on this ‘hook-up’ app. I was logged on during peak tourism season in Cape Town and I very soon realised that most of the eligible guys I had right-swiped were not locals. One day they would be within four kilometres from where I was, chatting up a storm, and the next they were 15 000km away. I don’t have much time even to get my car washed, let alone go out somewhere and hope to meet someone who has any characteristics I find attractive. So after breaking up with my boyfriend I thought it would be a way just to meet people, a distraction of sorts, and soon enough the joys of right-swiping and left-swiping followed by the thrill of a match had grabbed me. Besides the general intrigue of discovering new people, the small talk helps you decide whether or not you want to meet up with the guy. I always made sure I chose the spot – usually a casual bar and always with a plan to be somewhere afterwards. That way the message is clear before meeting up: I was not there for a hook-up. Bars like The Power & The Glory, Cabrito’s and Lefty’s were perfect – trendy, busy and loud, saving us from any awkward silences. The twist for me was that after a few dates and great conversations with different guys, I actually missed my boyfriend. I appreciated him more and realised that what I was looking for in a right-swipe match was what I had all along. Eventually, we got back together. And while that isn’t completely Tinder’s doing, the app certainly fast-tracked the answer to the ‘What’s out there?’ question that many people my age face – without the tedium of having to go out and find new people. Luckily, sometimes it leads you back to where you’re meant to be.
‘I realised I shouldn’t have broken up with my boyfriend’
MELISSA WEARS DRESS, R1 399, MARI AND ME; SHOES, R700, ZARA.