Last week was pretty rough on me. Without going into details, I’ve always believed that if you want something you simply work extremely hard at it until it comes your way. Off the top of my head I can list three life altering “dream come true” moments that I’ve had in my time, simply because I just kept working at it, even when people told me it was impossible or couldn’t be done.

Last week I learnt a tough lesson: sometimes no matter how hard you work and no matter how much you give or do there are things that just cannot be beaten. It means giving up on a dream and relinquishing control is not something I’m very good at. To get my mind out of the hula hooping of regret, of sadness for what could have been and and and… I joined Tinder.

Yup, that’s right. In order to remove myself from a reality I was not too impressed with I figured I’d delve into the world of “online dating”. Kind of. This is my story.

So what’s Tinder?

It’s a free app for your smart phone or tablet. It uses your Facebook data and constructs a profile using 5 of your Facebook profile pictures. It records your age, allows you to write a few lines about yourself and then searches for men and/or women in your area.

You then browse through a host of photos. You can tap on the picture to see more, swipe left if you don’t like what you see or swipe right if you think you’ve spotted a babe. If said babe decides you’re also a babe and swipes right… well then you have a match! Once you’ve matched you can message each other on the platform and “get to know” one another. If the person you liked doesn’t like you they’ll never know that you swiped right, so you can judge to your heart’s content. Also, Tinder conveniently shows you if you have mutual friends or interests as recorded on Facebook.

Pretty useful right?

The Facebook shared friend thing works a treat. I can judge you in all of 30 seconds based solely on the company you keep and how many of your five pictures consist of you drunk. Don’t get me wrong, I’m well aware you’re doing much of the same when browsing my profile.

Should you download it?

Within the first five minutes of swiping around on Tinder I was presented with the profile of a friend’s husband. Another friend’s hubby popped up a little later.While both marriages are on the skids, it’s possibly a little tactless – not to mention premature – to advertise that fact unless you’re sure there’ no way back.

There are a few other golden nuggets, like the guy who posted photos of himself… with his wife.

On their wedding day.

Add in at least four pictures of guys in various states of undress (my one mate got a full bum shot in her feed, luckily it was a nice bum) and at least one person has selected a group shot for EVERY SINGLE PICTURE on their profile. It’s like dating roulette: is he the one with bad teeth? The one giving the camera the finger? Or the one passed out on the floor?

Oh, and then there was that guy in that band who I have actually interviewed for the radio in the past and decided to let me know that I was beautiful like a dolphin. I’m still trying to work that one out.

It’s not all bad

There are a few really rad things about this Tinder business. Firstly, it is really fun to come across good friends’ profiles, screen grab and then tease away. Also, turns out most of my friends are mutual friends with single hotties. So there’s hope.

I haven’t “met” someone off there yet though. As my friend Anne eloquently put it “We’re all basically on The Bachelor”, except roses have been replaced with your thumb moving to the right. Plus personality counts for none on your initial decision.

The verdict’s still out on Tinder. It has aided in keeping my mind off real life stuff and assisted in me realising that I’d like a rose… given to me by a dude… in real life…

And not on a virtual reality show.

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This piece was originally published in a slightly different format on Sam’s blog, That Place In My Head.