Date Matched: 2 April 2016
Date Met: 5 April 2016
Icebreaking Message: “I think we have the same love for tassie :)”
As I was Tindering in Tasmania, I wrote in my profile that Tas was my favourite Australian state. When I encountered matches, like this one, who agreed with me, I automatically felt more drawn to them.
This match in particular had the best description of the Tasmanian landscape that I have ever heard. His words exactly: “In a simple phrase: it’s like New Zealand and Australia fucked and Tasmania was birthed ;)” He was bloody hilarious, I was instantly hooked by his humour.
One of the reasons why I was drawn to this match in particular wasn’t necessarily his appearance, but rather his line of work. He was a professional photographer and almost all of his pictures where of him hard at work, aka pictures of him shooting high-profile music festivals and other awesome gigs. As a self-proclaimed music and photography buff, I was so intrigued I had to learn this guy’s story.
I naturally am drawn to more creative types, especially when they are talented enough to make an income from their creative pursuits, such as this match. I don’t know how you other readers feel, but I am so envious of people able to support themselves purely on their creative genius. I am a creative wannabe compared to the professional creative. Deep down I hope that being around those types of people will lead me to learn more about their secrets and how they live “the dream”.
I was stoked to have this interesting guy match with me. I was even more ecstatic when he flicked me a message shortly after matching. It also helped that he talked to me like a normal human and wasn’t a sleaze. He was easy going and genuine. Talking to him was just, for lack of a better word, easy.
There was one particular moment, which drew the two of us together and cemented a special friendship between the two of us.
I had experienced a night of drinking at my Couchsurfing host’s place. As I do after a night of drinking, I woke up in the middle of the night to get some water so I wouldn’t have a killer hangover the next day. As I was attempting to fall back asleep, I flicked through my phone and checked my Tinder account. I discovered that this match was also up and online as well. Considering it was just before 4am, it was a bit strange. But there was no one else to talk to, so we just talked with each other.
I liked this line he used to get the ball rolling: “Well since we’re both still up, you want to talk some banter?” He continued: “And I talk a good talk and I’m not a weirdo even though that sounds cliché as fuck but if you can hold down a good convo at 3:57, I’m totally down.”
I agreed that some banter would be good fun so long as it was limited purely to messaging. I didn’t want to talk on the phone at 4am and be incredibly rude and inconsiderate to my host. There was also a Welsh girl from Couchsurfing staying in the same room as me and there was no way I was going to wake her up. She had just come back from living in a tent for several days doing grape picking for her farm days to get a second year Working Holiday visa, she deserved a long disturb-less sleep.
So with these terms and conditions set, this match sent the following message: “Sooo tell me a story? … I want love, destruction, epic, adventure, go!”
So I told him this story, the story of how I came Tasmania, as it has all 4 of those elements, in my opinion:
“Well I’ll tell you a true story that has a bit of it all. I came to Australia for love. I met him in Canada. He was from the Netherlands working under the table at a farm 100km away from my city, but he drove in every weekend to see me. I thought I was going to go to Japan to teach English once I finished my degree, but I wasn’t successful in the interview stage. So I took it as a sign of fate that we were destined to be together in Australia; he had started his second year visa by this point. So I finished my degree and stuck it out in a long distance relationship. Three days after I graduated I flew to Melbourne. It was a constant struggle the whole time trying to work and travel together as a couple. I waited for our luck to turn around but it never did. I had some of the lowest rock bottom moments of my life. I also realized how different my priorities were to my boyfriend’s. He wanted kids and a house sooner than me. He was tired of traveling and I wasn’t. He wanted his future kids raised in a religious environment and I didn’t. After seven and a half months of trying to make a decent living in regional mainland Australia, my boyfriend set me free because he could see I was miserable and our irreconcilable differences were always going to be there. I was always curious about Tasmania and I finally had my chance to go. So I spontaneously booked a cheap fare on the Spirit of Tasmania and spent my Valentine’s Day seasick on the Bass Strait. It was the hardest thing to admit failure in a relationship and start over from scratch, but it had to be done. My first sight of Tasmania was one of those love at first sight moments you never forget. But I knew once I saw the mountains and the sea, that for once in my trip I made the right decision.”
Reading that back to myself I was impressed that I was able to convey such deep and honest emotions and feelings via text. This match also seemed to like my adventurous tale. He wrote back, “Wow that is an incredible, epic and incredibly honest story, I love it! I too have a similar story with Tassie.”
The story he told was, in his words, “an epic tale with an unfortunate, tragic end…”
So here is the story, word for word:
“Part 1: It was a orphans Xmas my good close friend invited me along. I hadn’t met her house mates before and I fell in love at first sight with her housemate, she had such a powerful presence. I even remembered asking my friend, “Where have you been hiding this girl?” Anyway, we connected and talked, drank and smoked cigarettes until I couldn’t remember any more. The next morning I woke up in her bed. I was fully clothed and slightly confused as to where I was, but I rolled over and there she was beside me sleeping. She looked like a goddess with the sun shining on her as I watched her for a moment or two. I was ready to leave but as soon as I made the move to go she grabbed my arm and pulled me back to bed and we cuddled for hours. Nothing happened sexually between us as this moment was so perfect. An act of sex would have ruined that perfect moment. As the morning slowly turned into the afternoon we both hastily parted ways to do family commitments.”
“Part 2: We forgot to exchange numbers but I left a note with all my details and a, ‘Please we must do this again!’. I told my cousin what had happened and I thought this might just be a one-off perfect moment with a girl. If she didn’t contact me it still would have been one of the greatest mornings I have ever had and it would be a fond memory I would have for years to come. But she did contact me that day and invited me around that evening. I went around, I was nervous as all hell. I had never felt so nervous in my life. I stood outside her gate for a bit just to calm my nerves. Eventually I went in, she embraced me like we had known each other for an eternity. We talked art, theater, politics, life, till we couldn’t talk any more. That night we went to bed and held each other. She had to get up to fly down to work at Tassie Falls festival and I had to leave to work at the Byron Bay Falls Festival. We maintained contact during our Falls festivals giving each other heads up which bands to watch or not to watch.”
“Part 3: But with all the banter we exchanged at Falls Fest she kept telling me how incredible Tasmania was. I had been to Tasmania once years back but I was only there for a few days photographing a wedding so I didn’t see much of it. Fast forward a year later, we had fallen in love with each other and had an incredible year of creating theatre, music and photography. Basically we were ready to take over the world. We went our separate ways again during Falls, I was at Byron Falls and she was at Marion Bay but had planned to meet up and work at MOFO together. We had an incredible time; I fell in love with Tasmania and fell even more in love with this incredible girl. 8 days wasn’t enough but I had to head back to Brisbane and she had a theatre conference in Sydney. But something had changed when she got back to Brisbane and we were slowly falling out of love. I couldn’t put my finger on it. In the end, once we conquered the Melbourne Comedy Fest, she ended our love.”
“Part 4: It was a hard pill to swallow; I had never loved someone as much as I did her, but I didn’t fight it. We remained friends, but as the months went by love turned to friendship, but friendship turned nasty to the point of having to completely cut contact with her and this is something I regret for the rest of my life. But the love for Tasmania remained and I was set to work at Marion Bay Falls Festival, MOFO, Cygnet Folk Fest and was kidnapped by the crew from Party in Paddock. We ran into each other at those festivals but never spoke to each other and the last time I saw her was at Faux Mo this year. Again we didn’t talk, but she looked happy and full of life, it was good to see her that way.”
“Part 5: 3 weeks later I got a call from her close friend, my first thoughts were, ‘What have I done now!?’ But it wasn’t the news I was expecting. She had taken her own life. I was so upset, I never thought she would go out that way. I knew about her struggles but this incredible girl had all the support, no one would have denied her if she just asked for help. She was an incredibly gifted actress, musician, producer, mentor, and leader. Most of all, she was the most fearless woman I had ever met. I found out she was supposed to start her dream job the following Monday here in Launceston. I regret not trying to patch things up between us, but I have no regrets with the time we had together and what she taught me will be forever entrenched in my own art.”
It was one of the most gripping and chilling stories I had ever heard on Tinder. I was instantly hooked as each part of the story came through in these incredibly long but detailed messages. From his words I felt the emotion and pain that came through in his words. I was intrigued by this love that had started off so natural and strong, just as you would expect from some film. When the twist of the story came and the love suddenly faded away without explanation, I had a flurry of questions in my head. Maybe there were other details he chose to left out, but my heart broke for him. Having just left a boyfriend, with whom I had the longest relationship of my life, the first of its kind where marriage and children were discussed, I was able to empathize and understand what it felt like to lose a relationship that seemed impenetrable to outside forces.
The only difference was I was still able to communicate with my ex, he was still alive. I have never been confronted with the pain that suicide brings. I could only imagine the pain that this man was going through. I found it somewhat strange that he was on a dating app so shortly after a suicide happened that affected him deeply. I asked him why he was turning to Tinder. I wondered if he had given himself enough time to process his feelings. His response was:
“My reasoning as to why I’m on Tinder is that I’m doing a documentary/photography compilation for an exhibition on Tinder users, I’m only 4 days into this, so I’m 4 days fresh to Tinder and am very much overwhelmed by it already. I think I have opened Pandora’s box. I started working on this project with my friends last night that is it. All I can say is, ‘Wow!’ and it’s only 4 days in”
He wrote on,”So my next question is would you like to be a part of ‘Project Tinder’? I’m just hoping this doesn’t come off as creepy. The premise of the project is ‘What is the meaning of love in this day and age of social media?’ The exhibition will be part of a photography exhibition accompanied along side it with a quote from a small interview I’ll be conducting with the likes of people, like you, who use Tinder.”
I was so excited to learn about his project and in turn, I shared my Tinder project, this blog, with him. After reading some of my blog posts he wrote:
“This is great! It makes me cringe in a very good way 🙂 we need to connect!”
I was overjoyed by this response. I found a professional creative who wanted to hang out with me and collaborate. I was on cloud nine! In particular, he liked reading about Date #13, which reminded him of a girl he dated from Saskatoon.
I was incredibly flattered when he continued to write, “I can think of a few mates that could learn valuable etiquette from a blog like yours.”
He showed me his photography blog on BlogSpot, which was amazing. I would love to link it but it would break my rules of keeping each of my posts completely anonymous. Seeing the stunning quality of his professional photos made me feel even more excited to meet up and potentially collaborate with this interesting artistic man. He also told me about another photography project he would be working on in the States. I was intrigued to learn more but we agreed that he would tell me more about it once we met. The crazy good vibe we both felt from talking to each other was too good to pass up. We both were so keen and had to meet in real life!
It took a bit of time to coordinate a suitable time to meet up. Eventually we settled on meeting up for a drink at St John’s Craft Beer Bar, a favourite watering hole for both of us. At the time I was waitressing at a restaurant but I was always stuck on the dinner shifts, so my mornings and early afternoons were almost always free. The plan was to meet up with him one afternoon and grab a sneaky before-work-drink and later I would head off and work my dinner shift at the restaurant.
I decided that since I had a lot of time before my shift, I would give it a go with walking to work. Even though I wasn’t exactly close to the CBD, I was keen for a good long walk and Launceston as a city is not at all that big. It seemed doable to attempt the trek from my Couchsurfing host’s place in Ravenswood to the CBD.
I was incredibly lost on my journey. I walked down Henry street, but once I got up to the bridge at the North Esk river, the walking path diverged from the main road into this park area. I followed this walking trail, which went along the river. I assumed that somewhere along the trail, there would be other trails that would lead into the city. I kept walking but nothing came up. The entire side of track that ran parallel to the CBD was blocked off by the rail tracks that ran parallel to the river. Eventually the trail spat me out onto the A3, the Tasman Highway. I hadn’t made much progress in my walk to work, in fact I had backtracked quite a bit, but it was a beautiful nature walk through these gorgeous wetlands. I made a note that it would be a nice walk to go on again, perhaps on a date.
As I walked down the A3, I noticed the Coles at Newstead on Elphin road. I was keen to get some snack items so I popped in to the store and had a bit of a shop. As I was in the store I gave this match a call and told him about my walk and how I got myself lost. He found it humourous and assured me that it was alright. He was in the area so it wasn’t too much of a bother. So he made the plan to come by and pick me up from the Coles with one of his friends, who would drive us to St Johns.
As I was in the grocery store, I ran into the Welsh girl, who was Couchsurfing in the same room that I was staying in. I told her about my Tinder blog and how I was about to meet up with Date #23. She found the idea awesome and empowering, especially being a woman. She thought it was crazy that I had already had gone on more than 20 dates. She admitted to me that she had never dated that many people in her life. But she was one of those open minded hippy people who didn’t pass judgement and found it amusing and humourous.
The timing was perfect. As I had just finished paying for my items at Coles, my Date rang to tell me that he was there.
I saw him from the other end of the parking lot. He had shaggy hair and a massive beard dressed casually mostly in black. When I came up to him to introduce myself in person I noticed that he had the most striking blue eyes.
Even though he was Kiwi, he didn’t sound it at all. His accent didn’t sound Aussie either. It was the weirdest accent I had ever heard and I couldn’t place it. Sometimes the way he pronounced certain words sounded somewhat North American, which is a bit strange considering he had never been to North America at that point. He was friendly and extremely chill and relaxed. I felt a positive vibe from him instantly.
His friend was this American girl from New York. She was backpacking in Australia just like me, but she had only lived in Tasmania. She found Launceston quite boring compared to New York and was hoping to move back to hectic city life and maybe live in Sydney. I thought she was crazy for wanting to leave a place so beautiful as Launceston for the crazy rat race lifestyle you get in Sydney. But in retrospect, I am writing this in a bar in Sydney so I guess I followed that same direction.
It was convenient to have her there to drop us off at St John’s Craft Beer Bar. However, because of my silly detour getting so lost trying to get to the CBD, by the time we got to the bar, we didn’t have enough time to go in and have a drink. So together we walked to the restaurant so I could make it on time for the dinner shift.
This Date was such a good sport. I felt so bad that my first time meeting him wasn’t a proper date with more time on our hands to sit down and have a beer and chat, but he didn’t seem to mind.
We had a pleasant time exchanging stories of our dating experiences. I told him about how my blog began and the thought processes that occurred, which led to me putting my Tinder first dates out there on the internet for everyone to read. This then led to an exchange of stories of dates that we have had in the past.
One of the best stories he told me of his dating experiences was this process he uses for weeding out the fun girls from the boring duds, which he has used on a few girls. He told me how the process starts by meeting up with a girl at a seedy pub full of pokies, degenerate old men, crap carpets and even crappier furniture. If you have ever been to a pub in regional Australia or certain low key suburbs in Melbourne or Sydney you can imagine the type of pub it would be. He would get a kick from the girl’s uncomfortable reactions. Some girls were chill and relaxed and just rolled with it. He told me of one girl who was instantly offended and left the bar after ten minutes. If the girl lasted in the pub stage then he would then take her to a slightly nicer bar and if they lasted through that stage, he would then take her out to a concert. He told me only one girl ever made it to the concert stage.
I was intrigued and humoured by this process. It was funny and brilliant. I wondered to myself how I would go if I were on that sort of date. Have any of you readers ever made up a process like that to weed out dates? I can’t say I have ever come up with such an elaborate method to sort the duds from the eligible candidates.
I would have loved to keep walking and talking with this Date, but unfortunately I had to leave and work my dinner shift. He was nice enough to at least walk me to the front door and give me a hug before parting ways. Although this first meeting was short and sweet, I knew that this was just the beginning of other things to come. Whether it would be a great artistic collaboration, an intense romance, or a solid friendship, only time would tell.
Have any of you readers ever had an artistic collaboration from Tinder or know of anyone who has found an artistic match on Tinder? I would love to hear your stories in the comment section below.