Ask Audrey: 'My nightmare Tinder dates have put me off online dating for life'

Audrey Griffen

Audrey is a mother to a 15-year-old and a newborn baby. She probably should have taken into account who she was marrying (Osher Günsberg) much earlier, as she’s far more comfortable behind the camera as a freelance hair and makeup artist, than a TV host’s wife who doesn’t know how to work her angles for any on-camera duties.

Audrey loves to cook, decorate cakes, gardening, DIY and is very handy with a flat-pack, few of which you would pay her to do for you, but she’d happily give it a shot for free.

Audrey Griffen. Photo: Supplied

Hi Audrey,

Please help, I’ve lost all faith in finding Mr. Right in this grim world of online dating.

About four years ago, I broke up with my partner of seven years. Nothing crazy happened between us, we just fell out of love and became more like best mates than lovers. We still chat from time-to-time and see each other a lot at friends’ parties. I sometimes think I peaked too soon finding such a good man like him so early in life.

It took me about two years before I began to even think about entering into the world of dating again, especially as apps like Tinder were a completely new concept for me. I had no idea what I was getting myself in for and boy have I had a shock.

From guys who didn’t bother to book a restaurant for our date so we ended up wandering around for hours and then just sitting on a bus stop bench outside a kebab shop on a Saturday night, to another who brought me for drinks, told me he was going to the bathroom and just never came back.

Even when I think I’ve finally hit gold on Tinder (which is very rare for me), it usually goes belly up a few dates later.

I can’t seem to catch a break and I’m at the point of just not bothering anymore but I really want someone to share my life with. What am I doing wrong?

Dear Single Lady,

Dating in this day and age can be fraught with disappointment, and if you’re only re-entering the scene, it’s daunting. The advent of online dating means that “connecting” with others is more fickle, we’re spoilt for choice, and for some it seems like there’s an element of the grass being greener elsewhere. I’m sorry to hear that you’ve not been having much luck with online dating, but don’t be too disheartened.

Back in my single days, and when online dating was still relatively new, I found it hard to establish who was in it for a relationship and who was in it to hook up and move on. Being a single mum also seemed to be an obstacle in two ways: some guys made assumptions as to what I wanted ie. a provider and replacement Dad for my daughter; or that I was desperate and would tolerate any kind of bad behaviour.

They were so wrong on both counts, but short of outright saying that in my profile, I had to find ways of communicating that in any interaction. I had my fair share of similar experiences to you, needless to say online dating was fruitless for me, but I know of at least three couples who found lasting love and commitment via Tinder! They’ve all married and had children and they’re success stories of online dating. It obviously can work, and I’ve asked some of them what it was that they thought made online dating a success for them.

One woman is tired of online dating. Photo: Getty Images

One couple talked about being entirely themselves, in their profile and in their initial interactions with each other. They weren’t trying to appeal to a preconceived idea of what they thought a partner wanted and simply owned their personality and interests, quirks and all.

While this seems like a given, I know that I personally was guilty of omitting things that I thought were too nerdy or boring in the mistaken belief that it wouldn’t be appealing to guys. (By the time I’d worked out that was a foolhardy tactic, I’d gotten jack of meeting men that were clearly on a different page to me, and I matured enough to realise that I would never find a life partner being someone that I wasn’t. So I got myself off the web and decided it was better to do work on myself before I tried to enter into a relationship.)

The other couple spoke about approaching the experience with a more open mind, willing to look beyond what was usually their type, especially since they’d not had much luck with their type in the past.

These are the things that worked for these couples, and I think they apply to any type of dating. If it were me, I’d take a break from the online world, recalibrate and assess what it is that you want from a partner. Try not to look back to your ex with regret, if that was the right relationship for you, you’d still be together. And look at it like practice, you know what it’s like to be treated well, the next man will have to do just as well if not better!

Be open to meeting new people, not just online, but in any aspect of your life; through friends; at work (like Osher and I); places that you like to hang out. And be your authentic self. The person who’s right for you will love you for all that you are.

I wish you lots of luck in finding the right person for you, give it time and some space in your life, it will happen.

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