As someone who has braved the dating pool of our tiny Scottish town – whose chilliness and ruthlessness often trump the cold North Sea winds – I was left unsurprised by the disappointing rumours of St Andrews Tinder. But being eternally nosy and forever seeking new excuses to procrastinate, I decided I had to see for myself what (or rather, who) was out there. So, on a rainy Sunday evening armed with an equally interested friend and a copy of Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations, I took to Tinder as everyone’s favourite stoic philosopher.
We created a finely tuned profile including a witty bio and finished off with a selection of images of only the finest of Mr Aurelius’s busts (wink wink). We were ready to go. All that was left was to get swiping and to see whether our emperor Marcus would be able conquer the battlefield of modern-day online dating.
My initial scepticism was quickly diminished as the matches began to role in – and so did the puns. The gentlemen of Tinder appeared unafraid to message our emperor and responses to his profile consisted of puns galore, including requests for ancient Roman nuggets of wisdom and a surprising number of sincerely interested young whippersnappers who were willing to take old Marcy Marc out on the town. One rather flirtatious suitor was even naughty enough to bring a blush to Aurelius’ stone-cold cheeks by referring to him as “the fulcrum of the entire cosmic motion”.
My brief week moonlighting as the philosopher king led me to believe that dating apps can be fun – even in a small seaside town – or at least using them under the guise of someone who been dead for a good eighteen centuries. So, if the dating pool in St Andrews begins to bore you, or you’re just down for a little philosophical flirting, why not take to Tinder as your favourite ancient academic or Roman emperor? Personally, I think I might move onto the Greeks, as I’m sure it has been a while since anyone’s taken Aristotle out for a spin.