BY LISA SMITH
A cold January saw two queers in a coffee shop searching for love… A tale inspired by Lisa & Luke
Most days are the same, but recently we have noticed a change. Maybe it’s the January blues? Maybe we are all so poor after the extravagance of Christmas? Or maybe it’s because so many people are taking part in dry January? For whatever reason, the humble coffee shop seems to be the ideal place for dates. People kissing over soy lattes or holding hands next to a long black and a cinnamon bun, romance is everywhere… Except behind the counter.
We work for a Brighton chain of coffee shops and apart from finding ground coffee everywhere (seriously it even gets in your socks!), the thing we find most frustrating is serving these happy couples when we are both single, eligible and make a great morning coffee. We decided to do something about it and took on the world of online dating. If anyone could find us true love it would be a trusty app. Surely our perfect match would be nothing more than a swipe away…right?!
He set up Grindr a dating app aimed at people identifying as male. Grindr consists of setting up a profile which includes your age, height, weight, body type, hobbies and interests, what you are looking for, and your tribe (twelve categories including Bear, Daddy, Twink, Otter, etc). You add your best pictures and, looking at most profiles, a shirtless picture is a must! You then see grids of people and it gives you their information and location. Unlike other dating apps you don’t have to ‘like’ each other to be able to message each other.
She set up HER, a dating app aimed at people identifying as female. Your profile consists of basic information including your age, gender, relationship status and sexuality. You then have a small box to write a headline or a couple of whimsical comments but no in-depth information. You can then upload your favourite filtered pictures with great lighting and angles. You then swipe to like one way, or dislike the other, and if you have a mutual like you can message each other. Unlike other dating apps if you ‘match’ and don’t start a conversation, the app will send you a question to get the party started. Her favourite was, ‘Do you like carbonated water or does it just make you gassy?’
We then both decided to set up Tinder just to make sure all bases were covered. Tinder consists of your age, location, job and not much else. You then add pictures again with the best filters and clothing optional. Similar to HER, swipe left and right on potential matches and can only message people you match with.
We then waited for the matches and messages to come through. As the saying goes, the path to true love never does run smooth. It seemed on all the dating apps it was quite hard to get people to actually meet up. There were a few messages back and forth and then people seemed to disappear, or maybe they came for coffee and saw us from a normal angle? After tendonitis from too many swipes we eventually both got dates. We both picked out our best outfits, the one we all own that says, “hey, look at me! I am interesting and I have great assets”, and… She got stood up. He, however, was early. He eyed eagerly up and down the road checking each passerby against the picture he had become accustomed to. From his peripheral vision, he heard someone meekly say, “hello”. To the creator of filters we salute your artistry; he looked nothing like his picture. There was one date where the person came straight from the pub and was already slurring words, another date that after one drink we were invited back to theirs for fun with them and their partner, we had three no-shows in total and many people who had dated our exes.
And so, we decided that after January being about as useful as an artisan chocolate teapot, during the spring we would do things a little differently. He now has her dating app, and she has his. We are setting each other up on dates and are even inviting people to attend double dates. Since we clearly cannot be trusted to make our own dating decisions, maybe we can help each other succeed in the turbulent road to love? So, queer folk of Brighton, if you receive a message inviting you on a double date or a setup, it’s not a joke, it’s just a pair of lonely baristas looking for the perfect foam to our macchiato.