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I Asked My Tinder Dates Why It Didn’t Work Out Between Us

This article originally appeared on VICE Netherlands.

Tinder is a blessing. It heals broken hearts, makes meeting new people really easy, and allows you to present the best looking version of yourself to potential lovers. Even so, not every date turns into a night of passion, let alone a lasting relationship. More often than not, things go wrong.

But why? Was it something I said or did? Did I have something stuck between my teeth? I got in touch with some of the girls I met through the app to find out.

The first girl I approached was Anne*. Back in October 2014, I remember lying in bed, flicking through Tinder while trying to overcome a hangover when I matched with Anne. She sent me a message. Eventually, she asked if she could come over, promising she would bring a bottle of wine. We had a great night, but we never spoke again.

I looked her up on Facebook and asked if she could tell me what had gone wrong. Half an hour later, she responded: “Hey, sure. But I honestly don’t remember you and I’ve spent the last half hour feeling really bad about that, and embarrassed.”

Screenshot of my Facebook Messenger conversation with Anne.

Awkward! Thankfully, I then managed to find three women who do remember me. Here’s what they said:

Santi, 28

Photo courtesy of Santi

Our first date was on October 23, 2014. We only had the one, but we’re great friends now.

VICE: What was your first impression of me?
Santi: Well, I already knew who you were because we had mutual friends who were planning to set us up. But we beat them to it by matching on Tinder. When we finally met, I thought you looked hot. I think you could work on your walk though—it’s pretty slow and nonchalant, and quite unattractive.

We went to the zoo on our date.
Yeah, I think we spent an hour talking about bacteria, and why dogs can eat their own shit and humans can’t. I’m pretty sure that after that, we only talked about politics and big philosophical concepts. Those are probably not the best topics of conversation on a first date. We should’ve been getting to know each other on a personal level. I had a great time, though. After the zoo, we drank beer at a pub and talked about feminism. Later, we ate pizza and played pool.

Do you think there was any sexual tension between us?
That’s hard to say now—not really, I guess. I was surprised when you kissed me in front of the pub. But our date had been going on for eight hours, so maybe it did make some sense. After we kissed, you wanted me to go home with you but I wasn’t so sure. I really liked you and I was worried that if we went there too soon, we would both quickly lose interest. But we eventually ended up back at your place anyway. I remember your room feeling very sterile—the sort of place a tormented artist would live in.

Why didn’t we go on a second date?
I know exactly why. I thought our date was amazing. I never wondered what time it was, or thought about how I could bail. But I didn’t hear from you the next day. Later, when I sent you a dumb message asking about some TV show, you responded, but you didn’t ask anything back. I didn’t bother texting again; I guess we both fucked up.

You thought I was blowing you off?
Your text gave off the impression that you weren’t into me. Thinking about it now, I was probably just protecting myself. I was insecure, and I figured that if this wasn’t going anywhere, I should just end it before I got tied up. If I had never heard from you again, I’d still be under the impression that you hated our date. But when we eventually saw each other again, you told me that you loved our date and had the best time, and that you didn’t mean to just let it fade away. It was just a stupid case of miscommunication.

Eva, 22

Photo courtesy of Eva

Eva and I went on a couple of dates this summer.

VICE: We matched, but I remember it took a long time before we went on a date.
Yeah, our conversations didn’t really flow naturally at all. There was a lot of time between messages, but I thought that was fun. I think it was part of the game.

I eventually asked you out on a date, but you didn’t reply.
Yeah, I have no idea why. It wasn’t like I didn’t want to go on a date with you.

But eventually you asked me, and I remember that we had both been drinking before our first date.
I didn’t actually want to go, initially. I was nervous and still trying to get over someone else. But eventually, a friend forced me to go. We arrived at the same time, and it all got a bit weird when —before we had barely said a word to each other—two drunk guys started chatting us up. But we joked around with them, which made it feel like we knew each other already.

I remember at one point you got really annoyed because those guys kept talking to us. So you just walked away. I found the way you clearly stated your boundaries like that pretty attractive. We continued to drink a lot and laugh. I felt very comfortable around you.

Was there anything you didn’t like about me?
When we first met, I wasn’t really sexually attracted to you. Also, you didn’t really know how to flirt—you weren’t looking at me seductively, and you didn’t touch me or show that you were looking for some kind of sexual tension. It gave off the impression that you weren’t really into me, but you were.

Yeah, I was. We dated for a couple of weeks, but then it fizzled out. Why do you think it didn’t work out between us?
I don’t think either of us was ready for a relationship. At the time, I didn’t know what to do with my life and you had just broken up with someone. I was happy to date without expectations, but you couldn’t. We probably talked about it a bit too much. You wanted things to be clear early on, instead of letting yourself just go with the flow and see where that took us.

Daanie, 31

Photo courtesy of Daanie

Daanie and I matched in autumn of 2013. We dated for two months.

VICE: Why did you swipe right?
I thought your profile was hilarious. Our chats were also really funny.

On our first date, I came to see you in Rotterdam, Holland.
We went to the Euromast (a landmark observation tower in Rotterdam) to enjoy the sunset and the amazing view over the city. Afterward, we went for burgers and beers. When our date ended, I walked you to the train station and we kissed on the street.

We really liked each other, but it ended quickly.
On our second date, I came to see you in Amsterdam and you picked me up at the station on a tandem bike. That was funny, but it also sucked because I was afraid to ride it. Obviously, the tandem bike wasn’t the reason it didn’t work out between us. You were about to go study in Australia for six months, so I knew falling for you would be a bad idea. But I did anyway.

At your goodbye party in Amsterdam, I planned on going back to Rotterdam that evening, but I missed my train and ended up sleeping over at your place. When we got to your place, we had a conversation where you made it clear that you wanted to be single while you were in Australia. Afterward, you went back to your friends and the party, and I was left lying in your bed listening to your roommates having sex.

*Anne’s name has been changed so she doesn’t have to deal with hate mail.

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