When we’re out for cocktails at our favorite bar – where the bartender loves us and the waiters are always slightly scared – we always end up discussing the Big Questions. Like, how much citrus does the week’s special cocktail need? Are fantasy books real books, even when you know the author personally? Why do Friend’s friends always drink more than her, yet she is the most happily drunk of the group? And why do guys on Tinder always start a conversation with, “Hi, how are you?”
You see, Friend has been Tindering for a while, and I like to watch people interacting with each other. And I really, really, reallllllllly think that, in order to stand out from a fuck-buddy platform, you need to up your game a bit and, I don’t know … talk to the other person as if they are actual humans? “How are you, where do you live, wanne make sexytime?”
I tried to explain this to Richard later, quite drunk – that’s the state of mind where I am most passionate about stupid ideas like this. At the bar we had collected the guys’ best and worst chat-up lines, and most of them were lacking exactly this realization: No matter whether you want to sleep with the people you are talking to or not, it pays off to treat them like a real person. You know, fake interest in their hobbies, ask them questions about themselves, discuss books or movies. Be a real person yourself instead of trying to impress them into making sloppy love.
(I am rambling. I know. I had less than four hours of sleep. I still think this concept is worth exploring.)
Richard, “If all you have is a picture of another person, how are you supposed to start a conversation?”
Me, “I don’t know – maybe comment on something that is in the picture?” (Referring to Friend’s Tinder profile:) “He could write: I see you like 50s dresses. Or: That green dress looks really pretty on you. It’s not exactly rocket science.”
Richard, “But what is so wrong about writing: How are you?”
Me, “It’s only half a step about going to someone at a party and asking them whether they are at this party, too.”
Yeah, I did not get the point across. I also tried to explain that, when we first met, I was under the impression – or maybe under the illusion – that he considered me a real person. And that this was what made our dates fun: That we could talk about all kinds of topics and be hilarious together and share childhood stories and plan outings without trying to get in the other one’s pants. (This happened to be on the third real date, which is a coincidence, because I totally do not believe in the magical romance of threes. Basically I made him dinner, dragged him out for a walk and then threw myself on top of him until he kissed me. I am subtle like that.)
Of course regarding people as people helps not only when you are flirting. Everyday interactions become much easier and rewarding when you think of the baker not as bread-machine-man but as a guy who may have the occasional bad day, maybe hate getting up early and fearing that his wife does not love him anymore. Even if he never tells you about it. Even if on the outside he is just this guy who never smiles and does not talk much. (It is possible that he is just an asshole, yes. Or he has a deep personality and Thoughts All Day Long.)
I think I am going to stop here and weep into my tea mug because the day is just so damn day.