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  • Writer's pictureAl Ogando

Total Swipe Out | You've got a new match!

How did the show concept come about?

(Part 2)

You’ve got a new match!

I tentatively admit that the first couple of months I spent within the swipe world, I had, in hindsight, much more faith in the process of online dating than I perhaps should have done. Especially for someone who religiously matched with fast food brands more than people. ‘This is easy!’ I remember thinking to myself one evening, whilst making nonchalant matches in between stirring my stir fry, ‘I don’t know what everyone is moaning about!

Friends were constantly assuring me that in a couple of months’ time I’d hate the apps, have lost all faith in men, and would be ready to marry myself in a bid to escape the torture of the dating world. I didn’t understand where they were coming from at all! I’d made several matches, I was talking to a few guys, they all seemed normal, nice, and a walk in the park compared to my previous offenders. My faith in men was already pretty low so surely it could only go up... It seemed easy to me; you match, you chat, you date. So, bullish with positivity and hope, I set up some dates, planning to prove to everyone that I could find meaningful connection amidst the swipe nation.

The first few dates I went on proved to me how simple the process could be. I had met lovely guys, who unfortunately I didn’t feel that vital attraction to. Being upfront and honest in nature, I responded to my dates saying I wasn’t interested in date two, I blamed the notorious lack of ‘spark’, and moved on my merry way.

Skip forward to present day and I’ve got a lot more thoughts on “the spark” and “the chemistry”, that seems to separate a mediocre date from an absolutely amazing one. I’ve spent time wondering if it is something which is either there, or is not? I’ve spent time trying to develop one, where I felt there wasn’t one. I’ve regularly come back to the opinion that it is just a nice way of telling someone you just don’t fancy them, and I’ve tried to pin point how a spark ignites in the first place? The idea of the spark is a key running theme in Total Swipe Out, because the words pop up in the dating world over and over again, but I’m interested in how it plays out when it comes to online dating, how do we know it is there then?

Does the spark come in GIF form?

If it does, I reckon it’s this…

Though I was yet to get past a first date, I still felt like I had this whole thing under control. Until I matched with Date Number 4...

Date Number 4 was funny, and we had been messaging back and forth for a couple of weeks before we eventually decided to meet up. We had a great time, chatting, laughing, and in my mind it was a success! I was certain there was some form of magical spark…which was an exciting thought for someone who hadn’t felt that thing for a good few years. “It was nice to meet you” he said as he hugged me goodbye.


I waved him goodbye, and my excitement soon turned sour in the pit of my stomach. At this point I was no expert, but it was nice to meet you felt very final, but I didn’t want to over analyse, maybe he literally meant it was nice to meet me?! How could our continuous conversation, keen interest in getting to know each other, and the genuine laugh we had amount to no spark…

My doubts were mirrored by his actions, or shall we say inaction. Weeks of constant messaging turned to dust, he was MIA. I was secretly gutted, but outwardly blasé about the whole thing. I found it difficult to understand why you would invest so much time communicating with someone, to disappear on them, and quite simply fall from the face of the Earth. I started to question myself, was I not witty, charming, attractive, or interesting enough?! I started replaying moments from our date together, looking for clues as to what went wrong?! I laughed it off to my friends reminding them (and myself) that it was totally his loss (like, totally) but the truth was my confidence had been knocked, and my ego was bruised.

Within a few days I had recovered. I was swiping again, and undeterred by the experience I matched with Date Number 5, not knowing that the worse was yet to come…

Me looking out at my terrifying future

Catch me performing my one-woman show Total Swipe Out on the 29th and 30th May @Theatre Royal Plymouth as part of Plymouth Fringe Festival. Buy your tickets here!

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