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Tinder loving, do I care?



Diary of a homebird
Ciara Galvin

Growing up as the youngest of five children you tend to form expectations for the future. But at nearly 26 and still living at home, I’ve finally began to realise that the ‘best-laid plans of mice and men oft go awry’.
I assumed by my age I would have a wealth of experience career-wise and would have fallen in love with a childhood sweetheart à la most of my siblings. But I now remind myself, things have changed since the slow set at Cong disco. People my age are far from in a hurry to settle down. Instead it’s all about dating and meeting new people, so I’m told.
Still, the days that one might actually strike up a conversation with someone new are almost gone too. Now it’s all about profile pictures and location, as the popular dating app ‘Tinder’ is proving.
The idea behind the app is basically you put up a profile of yourself, including the all important ‘selfie’. You then set a kilometre radius within which you’d like to locate potential suitors, and, depending on whether you each tick the icon for ‘like’, you get chatting.
No longer seen as the last resort or desperate, online sites and apps are now readily being used as the first port of call when looking for love. Have I dipped a toe in the pool that is online dating? No. I’m still reading ‘Internet dating for dummies’ and coming to terms with the amount of ways people are meeting these days.
A number of months ago a friend informed me that she met a buachaill by simply using the same search term – ‘#sport’ – as him on Instagram. This progressed to following each other on Twitter, and then becoming friends on Facebook. ‘Whatever happened to the art of conversation over a snackbox after the The Valk?’, I thought.
BUT, recently, Facebook acted as the catalyst for my first date in quite awhile. How did it go you ask? Oh swimmingly – he took a bread knife to my neck. Now it’s not what you think. Halfway through the date I informed him that I had accidentally left a tag on my new top (smooth as always Ciara). What ensued was something akin to a scene from Fawlty Towers as he asked the barman in a Dublin city bar for a knife. The barman handed out a bread knife and the knots of laughter followed.  
At a very special family occasion last month, the whole ‘single one of the family’ status became apparent as I stood as Godmother for my niece. My brother took a photo opportunity to highlight my singleness. After taking pictures of all the couples around the table, he asked me to pose for a snap … alone … with a cupcake. Thanks Lorcan.
Earlier that day at the church though, I even found myself poking fun. Holding my Godchild with the other Godmother I commented to the entire congregation that we looked like ‘the happiest modern family ever’, which raised a few eyebrows in the pews.
Even shopping at Christmas my status seems to come to the fore. After asking for advice on  aftershave last year, a perfume salesman asked ‘is it for your father or brother?’ I was astonished and was very close to saying ‘How dare you, do I not look like I could have a boyfriend?’ But then I thought I better, as it was, in fact, a present for my brother.
So bread knives and cupcakes aside, am I looking forward to the whole dating thing? Well, no, not when a colleague tells me a certain column in a certain paper could perhaps scupper my appeal to the opposite sex. And I quote – ‘Well Ciara, that column could put a lot of people off. I mean, they might think they’d have to date your parents too.’

In her fortnightly Diary of a Home Bird column, Ciara Galvin reveals the trials and tribulations of a twenty-something year old still living with her parents.