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“…if you think you need a relationship to be happy, you’re very, very wrong.” Tinder Tales with Kat Lyadova of Dating Vandalized.

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On August 8th, Tinder Tales Live at Gladstone Hotel will feature a special Q&A with Kat Lyadova, co-author of Dating Vandalized; the book that documents Kat’s journey through Tinder in Toronto. If you are actively using and downloading dating apps, you know how time consuming it can be; creating a profile, browsing through potential matches, conversing with said matches and (dare I say) actually going on dates. Only to find that 9 times out of 10 (not an actual statistic), your time is wasted.
Kat, being the business minded gal that she is, decided to outsource her online dating to a dating manager and a bot. After all, it’s a numbers game, right? She got someone else to manage her Tinder profile, do the swiping and the chatting, and schedule her dates. All she had to do, was show up.
Dating Vandalized is a true Tinder tale. Swiping through the suits, the designers, the lawyers, the musicians, the artists, Kat and co-author Melissa Hughes, accurately depict the Toronto dating pool.
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One of my favourite parts of Dating Vandalized is how genuinely Toronto it is. The book takes us through familiar city streets and dive bars we frequent with vivid descriptions of dimly lit rooms and quirky interiors, making the reader can feel like they are on the date themselves (whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing is for you to decide).

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Throughout the book, Kat struggles with her Tinder ghost “Jamie.” You know, the man of our dreams we meet on Tinder, spend months talking to and hanging out with, thinking “he’s the one” until suddenly, he vanishes. But as Kat says, “This isn’t about him though (that fucker).”

There is a line in Dating Vandalized that I found held very true and is often something we fail to grasp. We are not meant to be someone’s other half. You have to find yourself as a whole. This was something Kat says she only discovered a few years ago.

“You have to be in the right mindset and have your own life. If you’re single and you think that a relationship is what you need to be happy, you’re very very wrong. People should avoid getting into a relationship because of social pressures or because they feel they need to be in one. [I think] The notion stems from old school romanticism. The idea that we have to find our one soulmate to live happily ever after. That’s just not how it works. It’s important for each person to have developed their own lives, their own hobbies, their own social circle.”

I had the chance to sit down with Kat a few weeks ago and ask her a few of my own questions:

“Apps are a bit like getting up high so you can see everything. You lose detail and immediacy but you can see the whole sweep of the landscape – what’s out there for the taking. And maybe it heightens your ego, too.”

Can you explain this metaphor a bit more? 

Apps give you access to more people who aren’t in your social circle. You get to see all of the options that are otherwise unavailable to you. You get to see people at your fingertips who could be anywhere. You swipe, and who knows what could happen. Apps create the illusion that there are plenty of fish in the sea. If it doesn’t work out, there’s always something else. It’s addicting and gives you validation. An ego boost. Most people don’t want to go deep. It’s based on accomplishments and appearance.

You started off with some very basic initial requests. You told your dating manager to look for men who “sound decent” and who “have a sense of humour.” How did this experiment help you learn more about yourself and what you’re looking for?

I realized I had developed a “type”. I just never had to communicate it before. Most “normal” people don’t create a spreadsheet for online dating criteria (Kat laughs). It’s a great excerise and can help you discover what you like, why you like it, and will help you ask the right questions when dating. It’s not set in stone, you can change it as you learn more about yourself and others. For me, I found that I can determine a lot about something by their travelling style. For example, all-inclusive vs. adventure travel can say a lot about a person.

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So, did your Tinder ghost ever get back to you?

He texted me after he read the book to apologize (on my birthday!) saying “We need to talk”.  He was two years late to the party. Anyways, I gave him my availability and after some back and forth he decided he was too busy. He wanted to make himself feel better and I think he achieved that. 

You can still get your tickets to Tinder Tales Live with Dating Vandalized TOMORROW August 8th at Gladstone Hotel. We have a line up of storytellers sharing their own dating tales and a special half-time Q & A where you the audience can ask Kat all about her experiment and purchase your own copy of her book. You can also get $5 off your paper copy when you order it online at http://www.datingvandalized.com with the promo code “tindertales”.

 

 

“Avoid any dude with “feminist” in his profile. If he has to say it, he probably isn’t one.”

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On July 11th our monthly show at Gladstone Hotel will be hosted by the extremely talented, funny, and all around goddess, Anasimone George. I always love reading Anasimone’s social media posts (follow her on twitter @idonutcare) where she is actively taking a stance and voicing her opinions AKA she does not give a f*ck what you think!

Politically fueled with the rage of a thousand suns, Anasimone takes on various stages throughout the city. Her favourite stage is the Rivoli where she gets to host her monthly sold out show, SHADE, a show that proudly showcases comedians of colour, comedians from the LGBTQ+ community, and those who identify as women. Aside from hosting and producing, Anasimone has also opened for Baron Vaughn (Netflix, Comedy Central), Aparna Nancherla (HBO, Netflix, Comedy Central), and Ryan Dillon (Just for Laughs). Besides all that she’s 5’3, a Scorpio, and will bite if you get too close.

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How long have you been online dating and on what apps/sites?

On and off between relationships/when I’m drunk/ so a few years. Not currently on it.

How would you describe your overall experience with online dating?

It’s hilarious for all the wrong reasons.

What keeps you going back?

My Ego.

Are there some traits you find unique to specific apps? For example “Tinder is for hookups”?

Not anymore, I realized they all kind of became the same. Tinder is definitely a mix, but mainly people hungry for hook ups. I found that bumble was a bit more focused on relationships, but they’re probably all trash now.

Have you met someone online that you have had a successful relationship with? Romantic or friendship?

I’ve been seeing someone for over a year now that I met on Bumble, and I made a friend of tinder.

What do you HATE about online dating? What is something you wish you could say to the people who are the reason you hate online dating (only if applicable)?

The one thing that REALLY erks me is when other people of colour ask me where I come from/what I’m “mixed” with, as if I can’t just be 100% goddess.

What do you LOVE about online dating?

My ego being inflated.

What should people avoid when online dating?

Any dude with “feminist” in his profile, because if he has to say it, he probably isn’t one. Fishing/Camping pics, pics where you’re one of ten people and I have no idea which one you are, basically all men. People who say they’re not interested in PC culture, they’re probably racist. Any person with 70 emojis for every sentence – relax.

What are you looking for online?

I honestly have no idea, but I got great material.

What does your current dating profile read?

Don’t have one at the moment, but if I did it would probably say “I already know you’re going to disappoint me”.\

Summarize your most memorable date for us?

I was trying my hardest to try and get Beyonce tickets, she’s my queen after all, but I was a broke ass student working two jobs and there was no way in hell I could afford a ticket.
I got so desperate that I even tried to trade some of my own large scale paintings on Bunz, and got no bites.
The guy I’m seeing called me the day before her concert and said “Cancel work tomorrow, we’re seeing Beyonce.”
At that very moment I thought it was a prank so I immediately responded with “are you joking?”
He said “This would be a really mean joke, why would I do that?”
I don’t know? Because I
I’m easy to prank?
Fast forward the next day, I’ve picked my outfit for my Queen, he picks me up, we head downtown, and I’m still thinking this is a prank.
Up until we passed the Rogers Centre gates, I was thinking “holy fuck I’m about to see Beyonce”
Hands down best date of my entire life. The only way this date could be topped is if someone took me to meet the Queen (Beyonce) herself.
The only thing I’ve taken from this date is that I now have higher standards for dating. If you ain’t takin’ me to see my queen, don’t slide in the DM’s.

Catch more of Anasimone on July 11th at Tinder Tales Live at Gladstone Hotel or at her show SHADE on July 27th at the Rivoli Toronto.

Not getting enough matches? This could be why…

Before every show, I ask my storytellers to provide me with a piece of online dating advice, instant swipe left or right, their personal dating profile etc. In honour of true holiday spirit, I thought I would share some of the “instant swipe lefts” for everyone who may not be reaching full “matches” potential. According to our storytellers, it may be because you have any of these things in your profile:

“The dog-face Snapchat filter.”

“Blurry or no picture.”

“No smiles.”

“Conspicuous sports car photo, no bio.”

“Dudes named Chad.” (sorry Chad(s))

“Bios that are nothing but a tropical fish emoji.”

“Gun range pics.”

“Bathroom mirror selfies.”

“Use of the phrase ‘on fleek’”

“Too many group photos.”

“People with horses. I can barely take care of myself I don’t need someone who pays rent AND stable fees.”

“Wedding photos (theirs).”

“If the bio reads ‘I’m bad at these things, just ask me.’”

“Shirtless men holding dead animals.”

“Marilyn Monroe quotes. In particular, ‘if you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best.’”

“Sedated tiger photos.”

“Gym selfies.”

“If, in their bathroom mirror selfie, there is evidence of embroidered towels or potpourri. It usually means he still lives with his mom.”

Make sure you check out our live show Dec. 13th at Gladstone Hotel and read up next week for instant swipe rights 😉

To Ghost or not to Ghost?

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Breaking up with, or simply, breaking things off with someone you’ve just been seeing, is never easy. Sometimes, honesty is just plain hard; however, don’t all people deserve the time and respect to be given an explanation? I personally have been on both ends of the ghosting spectrum, sort of. Does anyone reaaallly want to hear that someone isn’t into them or that they just “aren’t relationship material”? Or would we rather be left ghosted only to draw our own conclusions after listing and analyzing our flaws as possible reasons to deserve a ghosting? The sad thing is that this new “trend” can strike at anytime, regardless of how much fun you had on your last date. So much so, that we’ve come to expect it, and have even given it its own term. When did we as humans decide that this is an appropriate way to treat one another and why? Because we’re cowards? Because it’s just easier to disappear and hope to never run into them again? I would imagine “ghosting” is something that is more common in large cities where it’s less likely to bump into that person other than on the next dating app, in which case, you just swipe left, problem solved. You wouldn’t generally just stop showing up at a job (well most people wouldn’t anyways) so why is it okay to treat someone who gave you the time for a date or two, engaged in conversations with you and took a general interest in your life, like they just never existed?

In lieu of Halloween, Tinder Tales is hosting a special show on October 25th, featuring stories about being ghosted. Being ghosted is rarely fun, or funny, and it can be a pretty big shot to our egos, but at least we can all come together and remind ourselves, we aren’t alone and maybe even laugh a little.

To prepare for the show, I asked some of our storytellers to share their thoughts on why people ghost. Read, enjoy, and send us your thoughts on why people ghost.

“Funnily enough, I think about ghosting a lot and how dating has started to resemble a Ghostbusters movie. Ghosting has always existed, but it used to be reserved for the emotionally damaged and fucked up. Unfortunately now that it has a name and is a known entity, people consider it an option. “Well this isn’t working out, should I call them/tell them in person or just fuck off all together.” Because we recognized Ghosting as a reality, we made it a part of our reality.”

“We live in a time where making a connection is easier than ever – but these Tinder connections are mostly superficial. Leaving someone in the dark no longer carries the same weight as it once did – and we can easily outrun the consequences of wronging someone in a city of millions by block-deleting someone and moving on to the next one.”

“I think it’s easier to ghost someone than to have “the talk”. Sometimes it isn’t me, it really is them, and that isn’t a nice thing to say to someone. So I guess sometimes ghosting feels like the lesser of two evils? Like a guy will be nice enough, but will do something that I’ll find pretty unimpressive — example: I was seeing a guy who was totally awesome to talk to, but insisted that sex should be traditional – only missionary, and the only orgasm that matters is the man’s… and I had tried talking to him a few times about it, but then it just got to the point where it was like NOPE! Not my problem anymore, you’re too hard headed to hear me out, so…. Ghosted!”

“Really I think you can boil it down to selfishness and laziness, pretty much same as the rest of humanities woes. As time goes on, performance anxiety sets in and the gravity of the situation sets in — I have to go put my best foot forward for a stranger which is exhausting. The easiest thing to do is to just vanish, which also saves me the trouble of having to disappoint someone to their face. Ghosting seems to happen mostly with online dating, as it’s so low stakes.”

“People ghost because they are afraid of conflict and they’re lazy. It’s easier to just disappear and not deal with any of the fallout than it is to actually have a grown up conversation with someone.”

“I think people ghost because they are pussies. Sometimes it is so much easier to avoid a situation instead of dealing with it honestly. Maybe we are all too sensitive or have fear that everyone else is over sensitive.”

“I suspect it’s a lack of maturity, lack of empathy and egocentricity. “Ghosting” is an affliction that has always existed but exhibits more frequently with the current younger generation. There is a sense of disposability and a societal laxity when it comes to accountability. I think it would make for a longer socio-philosophical debate.”

“They are in a relationship and finally decided to stop dicking around OR they found someone they are willing to commit to, and unfortunately, it ain’t you!”

And finally, my personal favourite, “They’re actually a ghost.”

Join us for a night of ghosting stories on October 25th at The Garrison! Tickets available here until 4pm Oct. 25th or at the door!

 

 

 

 

Looking for new venues!

We are expanding! Due to the overwhelming responses with story submissions and sold out shows, we have decided to start producing weekly shows at venues across the GTA and Canada. Do you have a favourite bar or venue that you want to recommend for Tinder Tales? ARE YOU a restaurant bar or comedy venue looking to boost your revenue and host an evening with Tinder Tales? Contact us!

As always, if you have a story you would like to share, send us an email with a short synopsis of your experience(s) (max 2000 words).

 

Accepting Submissions

We are currently accepting submissions for stories to be told live on stage or submitted anonymously to the site. You do not have to be a comedian or storyteller, you could never have been on stage before!  If you have a dating story that we need to hear to believe, contact us.

Storytellers are compensated, and will receive 1 complimentary drink ticket.