The social media app has become a popular focal point in recent posts. After receiving a strange message from a random guy declaring he loves me, I realised the intrigue of discussing DM’s. Specifically, I remember my one and only Instagram date from just over a year ago. Interesting, bizarre and unique. Just not in a good way.
Only seeing 2D
I understand the appeal of online crushes. Usually a microscopic portrayal of them glimmers in closeness from false reality. We see the good; the quirky traits and glamour which makes people appear approachable and faultlessly sweet. It’s like envisioning a relationship where life and hardships hinder away from the magic of fairy tale.
This explains my puzzlement when a guy I’ve not met reveals he really likes me. Flattering – sure; realistic – not quite. Though who am I kidding – most guys don’t DM to say your beauty keeps them up at night. My experience surrounds men across the globe telling me I’m hot and hoping I’ll reciprocate pretend blushes and rosy emoticons.
My Instagram date sent me a polite DM that I honestly can’t remember. His profile highlighted his career and ambition. Not many photos of him, yet from my perception he seemed nice and had great humour. He was French and had moved to London from Paris for work. Conversation flowed well, leading me to agree to a quick drink round 7pm.
Assuming a date equalled us alone, I felt dumbfounded at two of his friends (one a co-worker) joining us. Then I thought, maybe this makes it less awkward and it’s a backup in case I didn’t live to expectations. Maybe I ought to gather friends when I agree to dates. Despite their loveliness and charming etiquette, everyone was French – they spoke French to each other. My date continually got his phone out and didn’t bother to translate conversation to English.
He was short – shorter than me, and I hate to say that bothered me. I know it’s petty, superficial and absurd to judge based on height. But he was much skinnier than me and wore tighter clothes. I wasn’t sure if I felt turned off or jealous. I carried on the awkward date because I didn’t want to give up easy. Luckily when his friends left, the DM caring side poured from my Instagram date and some chemistry formed.
I agreed to meeting again due to great laughter, a hibernating component in my life at the time. I hadn’t had a carefree night in a while. Meeting him on our next date, instantly I knew the mistake as I didn’t find him attractive. I didn’t like his exclusive version of French kissing tonguing; his “mmm mwah” noise followed by “my little English” – a nickname I adopted after sarcastic commentary.
Instagram date – dating app ideal?
More than his mannerisms, I didn’t like his fear of looking gay. He agreed to hold my bag when walking and then 5 minutes later said “actually, can you hold it. It will make me look gay”. Unfairly I’m recalling his full negatives and have to note he cooked me a delicious meal and took my nasty sarcasm well. I admit I possessed guilt for not flirting and showing affection. I didn’t want to leave immediately upon eating which made me cowardly.
I therefore stayed and shed spiteful words masked as humour which he truly believed was simply London wit. His face revealed disappointed confusion when I didn’t kiss him goodbye. Later I unfollowed him and he blocked. I can’t say I’d attempt another Instagram date. As I’ve spoken before on Why I Stalk Before a First Date, there’s a line between information to know and overbearing knowledge.
I don’t want first impressions to centre on photos scrolling back years; naturally creating comparisons. Social media doesn’t reveal much about a person. However honest, it’s a mere fleck of truth curated by creator. Previously a date viewed my profile before our dinner and kept mentioning things like “oh you’re confident posting your body and don’t you care that anyone can see”. I knew it made him uncomfortable and he preferred the idea of a girlfriend who consistently resembled sophistication.
Instagram as a dating app
Ignoring my concern, Instagram dating has become a thing with New York Times reporting on how it works in December 2017. The article exposes the depths people reach to appeal attractive to their crushes and entice them to interact. I guess the awkward part of wanting an Instagram date is hoping they share mutual feelings. It’s hard to go back to normal once knowing a person watches your moves and examines wishful signs.
From friendship to business, support and dating – what don’t we use Instagram for? Have you ever had an Instagram date and would you consider saying yes to a DM proposal? As a cheeky self-promotion, you can follow my Instagram here.