Harvard Hero Moment #21: Valentine’s Day Edition – Tinderella

Hayley Busby

14 Feb 2020

In the past decade, Essex has built itself quite a reputation, which undeniably is down to the TV show TOWIE. But as much as I cringe at the thought of going on a night out to Sugar Hut to sit on a crushed velvet sofa, pretending to like Moët, I can’t deny that once upon a time I was that girl.

Don’t get me wrong, I love living in Essex and nights out were so much fun, but whilst I watched everyone meet their boyfriends on these nights out, I couldn’t help but feel I was becoming the Bridget Jones of the group.

Why couldn’t I just meet someone as well?

Because outside of my bubble of friends, I was still in the closet. The world thought I was straight, including my family!

I was living in a world of planning trips to “Ibeefaa” and hearing the catch phrase “Reem” when really, I wanted to be hitting the streets of Soho, go to Two Brewers to watch Drag Queens and maybe, just maybe, if I was lucky … actually meet someone!

Fast forward about four years and I was, indeed, still single.

I had however, gained a handful of gay best mates (all guys) but was always presumed as just the ‘straight friend’ to the ‘gay best friend’. I did prove to be quite the Wing Man though 😉

With the only relationship in my life being the year long one I had with my Gay Beard* back in school, the worry definitely started to kick in!

*For anyone unaware of what a beard is, here’s Urban Dictionary’s definition:

“The boyfriend or girlfriend of a closeted homosexual, used to conceal their sexuality.”  

What a title to have aye!

Swipe Life

I decided to risk getting repetitive strain disorder in my thumb and downloaded the most talked about online dating app around, Tinder.

After wading through the carousels of photos – where half the time you’re trying to guess who the person actually is because they’ve uploaded group photos – you have to make the decision to swipe left (being a no) or right (being a yes), then wait to see if it’s a match!

But let me tell you now, the app is full of questionable characters. If it is a match, prepare yourself for some of the messages you might get… Head over to the Instagram page @tindernightmares to see some truly awful opening lines!

I also came across these common profiles:

  1. The Couple looking for a Throuple – Absolutely not
  2. The Experimenter (wants to see if the grass is greener) – Yeah, I’m gonna pass
  3. The ‘I’m in a open relationship’ girl – It’s a hard no
  4. The Age Liar who turns out to be 20 – Abort mission, I repeat… ABORT MISSION

One thing I didn’t think about when signing up to online dating was making friends through the app, but two of my dates did end up that way. Bumble does have this as an option alongside the dating side of it called Bumble BFF – great for anyone who’s moving to a new city or just wants to broaden their circle.

Single Pringle

Once in a full moon, however, you do come across someone who seems relatively normal. Nice photos, good chat, doesn’t make you feel on edge every time a notification lights up your phone. This is usually when the organising of a date starts – and for me, raises the questions of what if this person is A) really a man or B) a woman using old photos who’s actually old enough to be my mum.

The doubt was overwhelming yet there I was sitting in Nightjar downing a rum and coke for some Dutch courage. Luckily, she was who she said she was and five hours into our date we were still going strong with the cocktails.

The only questionable thing to come out of the date? Well… her last name was Pringle… like the crisp! Could I really have that last name if this actually went somewhere?! But let’s not be picky now 😏

My Hero Moment in tech is without a doubt discovering the online dating app Tinder. Not only has it brought new friends, countless funny stories and memories, it’s the piece of tech that has had the biggest impact on my life.

Thanks to Tinder I’ve now been in a relationship for two and a half years, which in lesbian time is actually around seven years. Lesbian time you ask? Here’s how it works ….

1 min = 3 hours

1 week = a month

1 month = 3 months at least

Apparently our relationships move at a rapid pace and time passes a lot faster for us according to the Urban Dictionary!

But after all of that, it turns out I didn’t need to look far at all because she’s actually from Bas Vegas in Essex!

Thank you, Tinder…