So I have to admit, despite the dreadful title of ‘The Undateables’, appearing on the show in 2014 gave me wings to become an advocate for the condition I have: dwarfism. Before the show, this seemed to be all that was noticed about me. But now it’s the last thing that is mentioned! When approached in the street, I’m asked questions about the state of my dating profile rather than my size. People’s interest in my romantic life can get a little unhealthy(!) but it’s better than feeling like I have to promote my relationships from the rooftops for anyone to notice.
So where am I two years on from filming? Well, I’ve taken the plunge and signed up to Tinder, for my sins. It’s not a dating app I’ve heard good things about, so I’m treading cautiously! I’m not great with technology; all this swipe left/right/super like was confusing to start with. I had to call on my girlfriends several times to put me on the right track. Once I had, it felt as though every guy I liked matched with me too! My confidence was sky high at this point and I kept telling myself how I could get used to this…
Messages began flooding in. Some guys recognised me from ‘The Undateables’, others were just complimentary about how a woman with dwarfism could look this ‘hot’ (their words, not mine). After all the introductions and niceties, the question still stood: which one of these men was going to be my first Tinder date? My doubts about this dating app and its reputation as a ‘sex on tap’ platform were slowly diminishing and I was having fun. Genuine conversations were taking place about life and aspirations, all the things you’d expect from a solid date!
And then it happened. A guy from Watford I’d had plenty of chats with asked me for a date. Yippee! Well so I thought. As the time for the meet drew closer, he completely ignored my messages. Huh! Was this really the Tinder game? Surely not!
Then as if by magic, interest number two came along and we seemed to strike up a connection. Was this one going to chicken out too? Nope, he actually turned up! I asked him was I as he expected? He replied “Yes, just shorter”. Cheeky sod.
Did he meet my expectations? Just because I’m the one with the disability doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to be critical. He looked just like his picture, we had a lovely night, plenty to eat and drink and a few cheeky kisses…Yes, I broke the ‘no kissing on date one’ rule. But it felt natural.
Dates 2, 3 and 4 followed…although it was short lived. To put it bluntly, he was as dull as dish water. I put the brakes on further dates because I knew they were coming. He was the kind of guy that would just continue to meet up as long as he could fill his boots with affection. Not for me.
All in all, Tinder does make dates feel disposable, even for me who has struggled in the past found this to be so. Positively, though, Tinder doesn’t allow for the usual crying- into-the-cereal-bowl type of reaction that can happen at the end of a connection. There’s just no time for that; your next potential date is making his way through to your inbox!
I’m currently finding my way with guy number three. He can hold a good conversation, which I like, so let’s just see where it goes. I have certainly come a long way since the days of ‘The Undateables’. No more hiding needed: I am me. Like me, like my dwarfism.