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"Going to the supermarket, want me to get you anything?"
"Puppies or ice cream?"
"What's your glasses prescription?"
"I wanna ***** your *********."
If you've used a dating app, maybe you've received one of the above messages from a stranger, or sent them. Striking up an interaction with someone is a tricky business. Why Oh Why and The Longest Shortest Time host Andrea Silenzi opens up her phone to analyse the kinds of opening messages people send on dating apps, and how easily they can land badly.
CONTENT NOTE: this episode contains a couple of instances of Adult Language and references to Adult Behaviours.
- There's more where this came from. Hear the redux version of my original conversation with Andrea last summer in the Why Oh Why episode Puppies or Ice Cream?
- Digging into the Allusionist back catalogue for related pieces, I'm very fond of the WLTM pair of episodes from a couple of years ago: Part I is about the 300-year history of lonely hearts ads, plus listeners provided their own dating profiles, which are witty and intriguing and funny; Part II is the story of how one woman, sick of bad dates, rewrote her online dating profile to game the system and find her perfect match.
- The Small Talk episode is also quite relevant.
- If a line has appeared in a Buzzfeed listicle, don't use it, because everyone already heard it.
- The "Going to Whole Foods, want me to pick you up anything?" line, and variants thereof, has reached saturation point.
- Have any of you used the dating app Hater, which matches you with someone who hates the same stuff you hate? Did loathing-fuelled romance blossom?
- It's rough out there on the dating apps, as documented on Instagram by Dating Is Terrible.
- There's a transcript of this episode at theallusionist.org/transcripts/hey.
THANKS TO TODAY'S SPONSORS:
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INFLECTION POINT with LAUREN SCHILLER is a show you should listen to if you've been finding the state of society distressing, you don't know what to do about it, and hearing activists, lawyers, writers, artists and policy makers talk energetically and engagingly about it would make you feel better. Hear it at inflectionpointradio.org or on your podblaster of choice.
YOUR RANDOMLY SELECTED WORD FROM THE DICTIONARY:
- Andrea Silenzi is the new host of The Longest Shortest Time, a podcast about family. Find it at longestshortesttime.com. You can also hear the archives of her show Why Oh Why at whyohwhyradio.com.
- This episode was produced by Andrea and me, with help from Lindsay Kratochwill and Martin Austwick, who also makes the music that you hear in every episode. Get his latest album at palebirdmusic.com.
- Thanks to the listeners who shared their dating app messages, and to Panoply for letting me and Andrea record there; hear all their shows at panoply.fm.
- Find me at facebook.com/allusionistshow, twitter.com/allusionistshow, twitter.com/helenzaltzman and instagram.com/helenzaltzman.