Josh is a 29-year-old nursing student. He lives in the South Welsh Valleys, where he was born and raised. He's a big fan of David Bowie, is vegetarian and hopes to specialise in the mental health field, something he's passionate about. He speaks in smooth baritone, with a soft Welsh accent. Josh also has roughly 7,000 matches on Tinder.
VICE: When did you first download Tinder?
Josh: I first used it in 2013, and [have] periodically since then.
What were you hoping to find?
Someone to date. Or other gay or like-minded friends. I'd never used a dating app before, so it was a bit of a novelty. The fact that I could only speak to people who were interested in me made the whole thing less scary, too.
Yeah, that's a good point. Did you find friends or dates?
Well, I found you, David!
That's true. I'll probably edit that out of the article. How does Tinder compare to other apps?
I definitely prefer it. As an app it's limited but good as a starting point. It's more conducive to good conversation than some of the other apps. Also, you can't send pictures there, so you're not constantly inundated with obscene images. As it's connected to other social media like Facebook, Spotify and Instagram, you can get a rough idea of who someone is before you strike up a conversation. I suppose that does take some of the fun out of dating.
WATCH: Mobile Love Industry
But it also makes it slightly harder – although not impossible – to be catfished. Have you ever been catfished?
[Laughs] I think so, but I can't be sure. Having said that, I have come across Jamie Dornan on there a few times, which is a bit suspect.
Did you swipe right?
Anyway, as you say, you both have to approve talking to each other. So how selective are you when it comes to swiping right or left?
I'd like to think I'm pretty selective. Initially I used to take a lot of effort to read through their profile before swiping, but more recently I've just based it on their first photo. If you're not attracted to someone then what's the point of dating?
Do you usually send a message first, or wait for them to start the conversation?
It depends. If I like the guy's look or if it seems as if we have a lot in common then I'm happy to send a message first.
What's your opening line?
I don't have one as such. Usually I'll ask them how their day is going or bring up something that I've found interesting about their profile.
What makes a good opening line for you? Are there any great ones that stick out as capturing your attention?
If someone mentions that they've got the same taste in music as me then they've immediately got my attention. Or if they suggest going for a drink or a bite to eat as opposed to chatting endlessly.
What are some of the worst things you've been sent?
Well, someone actually unmatched with me when they realised I was Welsh. Other than that, most people are fine. It isn't like Grindr.
How many matches do you have right now?
Roughly 7,000. I haven't used it in a while though.
How do you have so many matches when you live in a relatively sparsely populated bit of Wales?
I've had it for a few years and they've just built up. Tinder matches are based on location, so it's possible to meet someone who's close to me geographically – like Bristol and Dorset – but who it isn't really easy to travel to. That can be frustrating. I'm in London fairly often so I've matched with people there as well.
Of the 7,000 men, how many have you met in real life?
I've been on dates with maybe 15 to 20, only one of which developed into a serious relationship.
How many do you regularly talk to online?
If someone makes the effort to talk to me then I always try to respond in the hope that we hit it off. Being a student nurse means that I don't always have the time, unfortunately. Having said that, I've made some of my best friends through Tinder.
Put that in, I dare you.
Okay. Why do you think so many men swipe right for you?
You'd have to ask them. I imagine it's because they like my photos or think we'd get on well.
It's really that simple? Be nice and attractive and the Tinder matches will follow?
Yeah. Dating is pretty simple. We shouldn't over-complicate it.
Do you enjoy Tinder? And are you still hopeful you'll find what you were looking for before?
It's a fun distraction, I suppose, but I've always been happy when I've been able to find someone who makes me want to delete [the app]. Two-thirds of my long-term relationships were with guys I met more conventionally, through friendship groups or university or work. So I guess, ultimately, it hasn't brought me what I was looking for.
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