There’s a video currently doing the rounds on that there internet that shows a man wandering around London trying to get a date without resorting to modern day tactics like Tinder or other online dating profiles.
Shot by a Bafta-nominated film-maker, Offline Dating is twee-fully edited with an instagramised filter tracking the progress of bumbling (but also charming and relatively handsome) actor, Tom Greaves approaching various beautiful women around London.
The results are, as you can expect, not the most encouraging. The whole thing is mostly just six minutes of Tom getting knocked back, or in one instance, being threatened by a guy with a beard who seems to be the boyfriend (or older brother?) of one of the girls he approaches.
The point of the whole thing, I guess, is to point out that it’s difficult to talk to people. That we all rely too much these days on apps like Tinder to get all cosy with one another and that the skilful art of romance (or ‘picking-up’ if you’re one of those types) is a lost skillset - and if we behave like we do on Tinder in real life, it's just plain creepy.
The message? ‘Woe is us, we’re all going to die alone.’ Either that, or something about nice guys finishing last.
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It’s a well-trodden concept that’s about as shocking as the prospect of another tube strike, one that tries to offer the plight of one man as consolation to those thousands of lonely hearts out there.
‘It’s OK,’ the video is saying, ‘it’s not your fault that you’re going to die alone, it’s Tinder's fault – we just don’t know how to talk to each other anymore.'
Well I have news for you, it’s not Tinder's fault at all. It’s our fault.
The fact of the matter is that online dating hasn’t killed our abilities to talk to prospective partners face-to-face, it’s that we are, and always have been rubbish at it.
Dating has always been hard, uncomfortable and awkward. That’s why there are so many rom-coms released every year, it’s the same reason why TV shows like Friends and Sex & The City lasted so many seasons. It’s a subject rife with comedic value and conundrum.
Something that’s only further highlighted by Tom’s approach to getting a date, which could be kindly summed up as sickly-sweet creepiness with a touch of desperation.
The whole video might as well be renamed from ‘Offline Dating’ to ‘Man scares women in parks’.
Everything about it is wrong. Of course approaching a women on her own and screaming: ‘ARE YOU SINGLE’ in her ear holes is going to freak her out. The fact that it didn’t end with a nice trip to the cinemas on cheap Wednesday doesn’t mean that ‘IRL Dating’ is dying, it just means people don’t like to be scared.
You want to know how to meet people in real life? Talk to them properly. Say hello, get to know them a little bit, ask questions and more importantly: listen. If you’re funny be funny, if you’re not funny, just laugh when they try to be funny. Then say: ‘It was good to meet you, we should get a drink sometime.’ And that’s it. You’ve probably got yourself a date. Probably.
The only people that actually find ‘chatting-up’ someone in a bar easy are people like perma-berk Dapper Laughs and look at how well that’s worked out for him? There’s no shame in being knocked back by someone because they don’t want to get frisky like disco at your place. It’s called life, you win some and you lose some. Take it as a sign that it wouldn’t have really worked anyway, that they’d probably have never truly understood your collection of vintage magic tricks, your intense hatred of sprouts or the fact that you cry at Little Miss Sunshine.