Every day, I take the tube from my flat in Brixton to type HQ in Aldgate East (or at least most days – sometimes I can’t resist indulging in CEO perks by managing type from my sofa every so often). What I do on my tube journey varies: sometimes I listen to a podcast (This American Life or Freakonomics, if you’re asking), or music (currently Bonobo or The Weekend), or if by some ungodly twist of fate I forget my headphones, I pick up a copy of Metro and continue on my merry way.
This is exactly what happened to me this week, where I found myself, Metro in hand, flicking through the latest news on the Victoria line. One thing in particular caught my eye: it was Metro’s ‘Rush Hour Crush’, which, if you don’t know already, is essentially an outlet for people who were too scared to talk to someone that caught their eye on the commute, but can’t bear the thought that they missed their chance.
As it’s only one up from the seedy ‘personals’ that you used to find in the papers (which disappeared when the internet arrived, thank God), Rush Hour Crush will fairly reliably make me laugh. Here are some particular recent highlights of mine:
To the Brazilian planner getting off at Farringdon…let’s work late one night, and maybe I can show you the response in my briefs…Anonymous, St Johns Square
To the stunning petite blonde who I saw on the 45 to Kings Cross this morning who I hear listening to 90s sensation Scatman this morning. Fancy getting a skibbi-di-bibbi-do-babbi-bo-babblie-dip-dap-daddly-bop-di-bibbly-bap-fo-fiddly-bibbly-dibbly-drink sometime? Jamaican Paul Weller
But I digress, because the point I’m trying to make is that while Rush Hour Crush is hilarious, it’s not effective, is it? Have you ever heard of a happy and successful Rush Hour Crush couple? Well, no, because it’s about as fool-proof as going to Fabric and deciding to pour a jaegerbomb over a complete stranger in the hopes that they’ll find the introduction so charming that you end up spending the rest of your lives together (ergo, it’s both invasive while also being weirdly impersonal, and a ludicrous idea).
Since picking up Metro this week, I’ve not been able to stop thinking about Rush Hour Crush, and my problems with it. I’ve been wondering why this is, and I’ve finally realised: Rush Hour Crush cultivates the same unsuccessful atmosphere as generic dating apps.
What I mean by this is that just like lots of dating apps I can think of, Rush Hour Crush is completely erratic as a dating strategy. How likely is it really that you’re going to meet ‘the one’ by posting a vaguely flirty newspaper ad to a stranger on your commute? Same goes for Tinder, Plenty of Fish and the rest of them: what are the chances that by being bombarded with literally thousands of potential matches you’re going to find your next successful relationship?
The answer is that your odds are pretty low. In fact I’d go as far as saying that the more unfiltered options you have (whether it’s on the tube or in the world of swiping), the less likely you are to bump into your perfect match.
Think about it: you wouldn’t walk into a bar and desperately try to chat up every single person you see, would you? And who can honestly say that they fancy everyone on their morning commute? Nope, because you subconsciously filter loads of people out in the knowledge that they just won’t do it for you. If you flirted with everyone, you’d waste bags of time on people who just aren’t right for you. That’s the reality of dating in the real world, but it doesn’t translate to most dating apps, which leave you completely swamped with unfiltered matches and messages.
It’s for this exact reason that I created type, because I couldn’t find an app out there that actually lets you filter out ‘dud matches’ before you even begin. type is old school in the best possible way: it isn’t about shooting in the dark, it’s about giving you an honest, well thought-out platform to help you find someone based on your romantic preferences, exactly as you would in the real world.
Because contrary to the frenzy of Rush Hour Crush and dating apps, you shouldn’t just fumble about vainly hoping to find love through divine intervention or economies of scale. Go with the odds and start filtering out those who just don’t do it for ya.