Christina Walkinshaw has had a busy year. In addition to being nominated for two Canadian Comedy awards, appearing on CTV’s Joke or Choke, and gearing up for performances at the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal and Toronto, she’s also been on 60 first dates. She’s Tindered for a year in 8 different world cities as part of her blog “My Week on Tinder,” and says the experience has changed her. “I’ve gone from searching for the right man, to searching for the right person. I’ve gone from being shy or embarrassed about sex, to bonding with tons of people over it. I’ve gone from having an open mind, to an expanded one.” What else did she learn from swiping right ON LIFE? We asked her.
SDTC: So what started you on the Tinder experiment? How/why did the blog come to be?
Christina: I joined Tinder over a year ago, after a holiday romance. I came home to Toronto and thought, “How come I love meeting dudes on vacation, but I never do it in my home town?” I’ve never online dated before, but then my friend showed me Tinder and I was hooked. (Also, I must confess back then I had NO idea it was a hookup app. Oopsies.) It wasn’t until date #5 that I realized I should be writing about this. I only intended the blog to go for one week (That’s why it’s called My Week on Tinder. Then I did it for a year and facking forgot to change the name.) But after posting those seven dates, people were writing to me on FB and Twitter, “KEEP GOING!!” So I did. It was super random. I just said I’d do 50 first dates, cuz it had a ring to it. (Who doesn’t love Drew Barrymore movies?) I remember being 17 dates in thinking “What the fack have I got myself into??” But then things got interesting…
When did you realize you’d hit a bit of an online nerve (in that people were following, faving, loving it)?
I noticed people starting to share in on FB, around dates 3-7. Cool people too! I had no idea they were reading my stuff. And people were insistent on me NOT stopping after one week. My audience was small, but it was mighty. It kept growing. I almost pissed myself when I got the cover of NOW. Tumblr featured me on their Trending Blogs page for a week. I was SO flattered. Now I have about 20 000 readers. All from a little blog I started in my bed next to a Care Bear. (Laugh-A-Lot Bear, to be exact.)
What was your best Tinder experience?
Getting flown to Boston!!! (Date #23) I still can’t believe I went. If I had a nickel for every time somebody used the word “vicariously” around me, I’d be a facking millionaire.
Date #11. Never trust a man who takes you to a “CASH ONLY” bar…
What advice would you give to people deciding to try the wild world of Tindering? Any major no-nos?
The obvious things- always meet in a public place, check in on Foursquare if you can. (Yeah, I use Foursquare. Don’t judge me.) I avoid any guy who’s looking too kinky in pictures. Dick pics are more of a joke these days than actual bait. But WOW do me and my friends burst out laughing when we see them. We share them with EVERYONE! (Gentlemen: save your donger for behind closed doors:)
What is an instant swipe right, for you?
If our shared interest is Taylor Swift. (Do you know how hard it is to find a guy who likes T-Swizzle? That’s a dude you’re meant to take road trips with.)
Are you sad that it’s all over? Will you keep blogging?
I am sad it’s over. This has been the MOST disciplined I’ve ever been with my writing. It was easy because most of my dates were so fun. There’s more great single people in this city than you think. And yes, I WILL keep blogging. I have a new idea that I will drop next month!
What’s next for you, romantically?
I currently have a crush on a guy with two cats who thinks “a lot” is one word. (How does this happen?)
How has the experiment changed your attitude towards love and dating?
Towards dating: Now I remind myself to “just do it.” I don’t know why I avoided dating for so long. FACK your insecurities! Go have fun! It’s living life. And you learn a shit load about the world bonding with new people. Stuff you can’t learn from your cats.
Towards love: No rush… I’m happy as is.