Dating apps are stressful, aren’t they? It starts off all pleasant enough, but before you know it you’re up all night, sweating, suffering from face-blindness and repetitive strain injury from swiping through thousands of people, boarding a bus in the dead of black to try and move a mile down the road because you can’t bring yourself to increase the radius again and none of them like you and it’s dreadful, dreadful, just hideous, and then you get a match and it immediately disappears like they did it by accident and screamed when they realised what they’d done, and not only did they un-match with you, they shot their phone point-blank with a gun to make sure they would never have to interact with you in any way, you are a monster, a monster, leering at your greasy screen, covered in bits of Pringles, unloved, unloveable, unhappy, undeserving of happiness.
Like, obviously, some people have good experiences on them too, though.
However, one man is taking a seriously novel approach to increasing his success rate, without having to resort to the bus trick mentioned above.
A Dutch “positivity guru” and minor celebrity is attempting to legally change his age in order to have more success on Tinder.
Emile Ratelband wants to change his birthday from 11 March 1949 to 11 March 1969 (nice), taking him from 69 (double nice) to 49 years old. He wants to do it legally, and has involved the courts, which are currently leaning towards a verdict of “er, no”. There is no legal mechanism to change one’s birth date, they say.
Here’s Mr. Ratelband two years ago.
Ratelband claims that ageism is forcing him out of work, as well as reducing his luck on the dating app - which is probably accurate.
“When I’m 69, I am limited” he says. “If I’m 49, then I can buy a new house, drive a different car. I can take up more work. When I’m on Tinder and it says I’m 69, I don’t get an answer. When I’m 49, with the face I have, I will be in a luxurious position.”
Ratelband is not a modest gentleman, describing himself as “a young god” with the face and body of a 45-year-old.
He is also somewhat problematic, comparing his age-changing folly to people identifying as transgender.
“We live in a time when you can change your name and change your gender. Why can’t I decide my own age?” he said, missing some points. Names are given to people when they are babies, and in adulthood they may wish for a different name. Gender is a social construct and metaphysical concept, a continuum along which there are many places people might identify themselves. But your date of birth is your DATE of BIRTH, the DAY YOU WERE BORN, the objective, actual, real day. It’s an unchangeable statement of fact, not something you can just willfully choose to ignore. If a 90-year-old claims they’re 25, they’re still 90. If a 10-year-old says he’s 30 and you sell him a bottle of whisky and some porn, you’re going to prison.
What Ratelband is missing, apart from the callousness of comparing the struggles of a marginalised community of people to nobody on his telephone wanting to date him, is that he doesn’t need to be young or godlike to attract anyone. He’s slightly famous, enough so that he voiced Vladimir Trunkov in the Dutch dub of Cars 2.
Come on, anyone with “I voiced one of the baddies in Cars 2” in their Tinder profile is headed to Bang City in no time.
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