I have collaborated on a podcast. A dating podcast. After years of intermittent singledom, it would seem that ‘dating’ has become my specialism. Yes, I am a dating specialist – and while being a specialist is usually considered a good thing, this is not. To be an expert dater means you have failed in your own terms. After all, the aim of dating is to stop dating. You get in – meet The One – then get out.
That’s the theory anyway. The successful dater is therefore someone who doesn’t do it for long. Given I have been in this game awhile, I am anything but successful. I am the perineal dater, the crushingly single date-hopper – the dating expeditionary. No matter how I try to spin it, this is not where I want to be. It is, however, where I am. A fine philosopher would probably have some erudite words to say on the matter, but I am just a simple City worker and I don’t have anything profound to share – all I have is a series of ridiculous anecdotes.
On dating anecdotes, I have to say I am fascinated by those who feel compelled to share. The world of the dating blogger especially interests me, not least because I am one of their number. I wonder what drives them (us?). For me it is mainly about the great, glorious quest: the quest for love – the only quest that really matters. There is, however, something else. It is the inescapable fact that dating blogs are really about failure. Deep, chronic failure. It is precisely this pathos that makes the good blogs so compelling – and the bad ones so dreadful. There is an art to losing. And some people are better losers than others.
This brings me to the podcast: Swipe Left, Swipe Left – a series of amusing dating and relationship stories. It would be easy to summarise it as a mere catalogue of ‘dating disasters’ (we all love a bit of alliteration) but this would not be a fair description. This podcast is a collection of true-life stories told amid a beautifully produced soundscape. Each episode features a real encounter gone wrong, which is what makes it so good. We appreciate the truth, not to mention a little tragicomic romance. It makes us feel better about our own situation, whatever that might be. Because, let’s be honest, it is always titillating to hear about another’s collapse.
I am bigging up this podcast. And I would, I have made my own modest contribution. Still, I wouldn’t have done so had I not liked the format so much. There are other love-related podcasts out there, but they are all so serious, so earnest and sincere (dreary love-against-the-odds type guff). Swipe Left Swipe Left is different. It is irreverent. Which makes perfect sense. Because talking about romantic failure should be irreverent. As I say, we dating bloggers are all failures. And if we can’t be irreverent about our failure, what’s the point?
So, reader, here is the podcast – I hope you like it.