Dating has never really been easy for me. Unfortunately, I’m the kind of person who’s very particular about what she wants. It’s a bit difficult to itemize the qualities I look for in a man, but I recognize them when I see them. And when I see the opposite, I run for the hills!
Abuja is a relatively small city in the sense that there’s usually six degrees (or less) of separation between you and almost anyone you meet. That’s an over-simplification of course, but the point is- if you’re of a certain age and have a moderate to an active social life, the dating pool can seem extremely shallow. When you go out to a club/bar/restaurant/social event, it’s almost impossible to turn around without bumping into someone you know.
Under normal circumstances, that isn’t such a bad thing (it sort of means you’ve earned your social butterfly stripes), but it can be a huge hindrance to successful dating. I’ll explain. I’ve lived in this city for about a decade and I’ve dated three men and had dalliances with at least three more who are quite popular. Well, I don’t really have to paint a picture. Using the six-degrees equation, I’m sure you can figure out how this isn’t ideal.
I took my concerns to a friend who told me that I needed to get out of my comfort zone, move into different circles, spread my wings a bit and see that Abuja isn’t so small! So I decided to take his advice. Didn’t exactly go as planned. Over the past two years, I’ve slowly become a bit of a couch potato. When faced with the option of a social event/night out or a comfy sit-in with a good show or movie, I always pick the latter. I sort of lost the will to participate in such activities because I just felt it was always going to be the same people in the same places, doing the same things. As a result of this, I had a very dry spell for a couple of months. My only semi-romantic interactions being with ex-lovers or some persistent non-lovers from my past. And for a while that was enough.
Until one day it dawned on me that I was going to get stuck in a rut and never meet new people from the comfort of my couch/bed. Also, I watched one too many romantic movies and I started craving intimacy once again. And with that realization, I decided to start actively dating again!
To be honest, I still felt like I had seen the best Abuja has to offer in my immediate, physical social circle. Yes, they might be good-looking and fun and interesting, but I always felt like I was having the same conversations over and over, just with different people. I’ve been curious about Tinder for a while, but I just assumed it isn’t really a Nigerian thing (Nigerians are sort of averse to straightforward Internet-dating but that’s a topic for another day). Tinder seemed a lot less complicated than typical online-dating websites. There was no need to build an elaborate profile, and by simply swiping right to indicate interest, it ensures that only people you’re also interested in have enough access to message you. It seemed like the perfect app for me! Simple and straightforward.
Just one little, irritating problem though. You need a Facebook account to sign in. Womp womp. My Facebook account has been extinct since about 2012 ever since all the older people in my family discovered the website. But it was a minor obstacle. I created a new profile with a new email address strictly for my Tindering. I have no ‘friends’ on my profile and it’s super private and doesn’t even show up in searches. Hey presto! I was in!
Ignoring the fact that we don’t have unlimited data in these parts and the app is like a little demon baby sucking up my megabaytes, I can happily say downloading the app is probably one of the best dating decisions I’ve ever made! At this point I’ve been matched with 13 users and I’ve taken the conversation off the app and to Instant Messaging with 5 of them. And I’ll tell you this for free, there are so many attractive men of all races using the app in this city that it’s almost overwhelming! Seriously, I’ve had to suspend use of the app for now because talking to 5 people at the same time is a bit stressful!
Now I know you’re wondering if their Tinder profile awesomeness translates to real-life awesomeness. (Un)fortunately, I’ve only officially met one of them. Let’s call him ‘S’. S doesn’t live in the ‘buj, he lives in the western part of the country, but he comes here occasionally for work. He is what Nigerian Tweeters refer to as an ‘IJGB’ which is an acronym for ‘I just got back’ which is a term for people who have been living/schooling/working in other countries and are finally moving back home. Met up briefly with him at a club which we just coincidentally happened to be at the same time. The music was too loud and we only spoke for a few minutes, but it was enough to get a good look at him, and my goodness! he is a beautiful specimen. He has the physique of an American NBA player and really nice teeth (For some reason, I’ve started to take notice of people’s teeth. hmm). Met up with him for a late lunch/drinks the day before he left town, and I’m pleased to inform you that his beauty at the club wasn’t as a result of my ‘champagne goggles’. He looked even yummier. He was also very polite and down to earth, articulate and just a generally interesting and well-educated man. Will definitely be seeing more of that one! 🙂
And then there’s ‘Y’ who is middle-eastern, lives and works in the buj and has some interesting-looking tattoos. Just like S, we were at the same club one night and I ‘almost’ met him. I’ll explain. Now I’m about 5’7 and I consider myself to be of average height and maybe even tall for a woman. So I like my men taller, not necessarily the NBA-esque height of S but at least have a few inches on me. At least be able to kiss the top of my head, thank you very much. Alright back to the club and Y. I spotted him not too long after I went to meet a friend who was celebrating her birthday. He was at the table next to hers. Man looked about 5’5. I was disappointed to say the least, so I just put my phone away and pretended like I didn’t see him. I was in 4-inch heels you know! It would have been mad awkward looking down at him or stooping a bit to give him a hug. Not my finest moment, I’ll admit but a girl likes what a girl likes. I’ll definitely still go on a date with him but I’ll be sure to wear flat shoes.
You know, I might just make this a series of posts dedicated to ‘Tindering’. Yay or nay?