Internet dating is like trying to keep a Tamagotchi alive: Tamagotchi dating

My phone vibrates in my pocket.  It’s a notification from Bumble, the Tinder-style dating app where women message first, “you have a new connection”.  The dopamine hit lasts a mere millisecond.  I am not the first to talk about Tamagotchi dating.  Internet dating is like trying to keep a Tamagotchi alive.

I open up the match to find that Andrew* has three photos (of which two are clearly selfies) and has stated that he is 6’2” in his bio.  Nothing else. 

I have a policy of always messaging my matches.  Our backwards and forwards push-button exercise commences. 

tamagotchi dating

For those of you who don’t know, a Tamagotchi is a handheld digital pet created in Japan.  It is essentially a small egg-shaped computer with three buttons. These pets have a hunger meter, a happy meter and a health meter.  The Tamagotchi owner has to feed the pet, clean up after it, play games with it, discipline it, and even train it to use the toilet to help it to grow into a happy and healthy Tamagotchi adult. All of this attention is given to the Tamagotchi by pushing buttons, constantly, incessantly, repetitively, over … and over … and over.  Without attention, the Tamagotchi will eventually die. 

Tamagotchis were all the rage in the late 1990s and early 2000s.  Every school-child had one. 

Similar to a Tamagotchi, my relationship with Andrew is now one of beeps and constant maintenance.  This is Tamagotchi dating and like a Tamagotchi he is constantly demanding my attention through my smartphone. 


Me (because on Bumble women always message first):  Hi Andrew, top prize for most atmospheric photos.

Andrew:  Thanks,  Happy Monday. 

Me (thinking to myself) : Happy Monday?  Who says that?  Answer: when you are Tamagotchi dating, quite a few people!

Andrew: What are you doing tonight?

Me: Well, I am just sitting down with a glass of wine and an episode of Doctor Foster.  You? 

Andrew:  I’ve just been to the gym.


I am already really bored and I put my phone down.  Doctor Foster is much more engaging.

15 minutes later, my phone vibrates. 

Bumble notification “Andrew sent you a message”.

I decide to ignore it.


2 minutes later my phone vibrates again.

Bumble notification: “You have a new connection”.

David, 34, Film and Television Camera operator.


Me:  You look like you’ve had your photos taken professionally.  Have you?  I definitely haven’t.

David:  I work with cameras so I guess but not (sic).   Most of my friends are pros. 

David sounds more interesting. 

David:  Ever heard of Killing Kittens?!


I have no idea what Killing Kittens might be.  I turn to Google.  Google tells me that “Killing Kittens gathers the world’s sexual elite in a safe yet sexually-charged environment to explore their innermost fantasies and deepest sexual desires.”    

I return to watching Doctor Foster.

My phone vibrates.

Bumble notification:  “David sent you a new message”


David:  Not chatting any more?  I guess not all girls on here are open minded about sex! 


I un-match David.  I am 37.  I am definitely not a girl.  I will not be bullied or pressured either in real life or virtually by a random stranger via a dating app.  David, I recommend you read my blog post “To the men of Tinder, this is why I didn’t reply”.  

In my Bumble inbox,  I have numerous old and empty conversation strings piling up like dead Tamagotchis because I have got bored or have just found something better to do.   (Thank goodness for this blog!)

Online dating, whichever app you use, is ultimately a transactional game, a push-button relationship that dies soon after it is born.  Dating apps and social media have killed romance.  

I never understood the point of keeping a Tamagotchi alive.  It was a chore.  I don’t really understand why I keep my Tamagotchi relationships alive either.  I should ditch the dating apps again.  I should just do the human thing and let my online push-button Tamagotchi dating die off too.    

Let’s be honest, this game is mildly addictive, I probably won’t give up this Tamagotchi dating any time soon.    


*It could have been Andrew or David or James or Grant or Josh or Si or Daniel or Stephan or Pierre or Francesco or Jace or Martin or or or or …

Motherhood The Real Deal
Life Love and Dirty Dishes
My Random Musings


  1. October 5, 2017 / 9:02 am

    I’ve never tried internet dating but in these days it does look so complicated! #stayclassymama

    • thesingleswan
      October 5, 2017 / 8:33 pm

      Thanks Eva. Pen x

  2. October 5, 2017 / 9:39 am

    Haha I love you, your descriptive and your Tamagotchi reference. Mine used to die all the time too, its funny how as I child you get so excited over cleaning up the poo of a pixelated pet. I asked my partner the other day if I could have Tinder, not because I am the type that fancies swinging or anything to do with kittens. I just like the idea of the obscure banter! Good luck within and please recount any more tales! #coolmumclub xx

    • thesingleswan
      October 5, 2017 / 8:32 pm

      Haha, brilliant. If you are going to set up a Tinder account then surely he must be allowed to too. The two of you can sit on the sofa together in the evenings and compare Tinder banter – it would be a great blog series! Pen x

  3. October 5, 2017 / 11:23 am

    Awesome post! Love the comparison. Both my posts this week are about dating too, but they focus on the adventures of my single mom friend who encourages me to write about her. Hope you check them out and can empathize. LOL

    • October 5, 2017 / 11:24 am

      Woops! #stayclassymama

    • thesingleswan
      October 5, 2017 / 8:31 pm

      Patricia, thanks for your comment. I will check out your blog. Best regards. Pen x

  4. October 5, 2017 / 10:10 pm

    I’ve had a good chuckle at your expense Pen! Sorry! I’m so glad I don’t have to go through all this crap. I too would much rather be watching Dr Foster or a Tamagotchi! You could have a real laugh on these dating sites though. What happened to just going out and meeting someone? At some point, I hope you find your Mr right and he sweeps you off your feet at the most unexpected time xx

    • thesingleswan
      October 6, 2017 / 10:11 pm

      Thanks Laurie. I don’t mind you chuckling at my expense. That’s why I share this stuff. Pen x

  5. October 6, 2017 / 1:39 pm

    I love this comparison! I literally have no idea about dating world anymore so is it ok if I come along with you for the ride via your blog? Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub xoxo
    Talya recently posted…How does the London Explorer Pass work?My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      October 6, 2017 / 10:10 pm

      Hi Talya, I would be delighted if you would come along for the ride via my blog. Pen x

  6. October 6, 2017 / 4:12 pm

    I love this for your Tamagotchi reference! I remember them from my childhood. David sounds like an utter d&ck. I think that men in general could be compared to a Tamagotchi. If we are not constantly stroking their ego then they shrivel up and die or start looking for a new ego stroker…(although I am probably being hideously unfair and generalising) Brilliant post #FridayFrolics
    Emma recently posted…Sunday’s Super League Triathlon And The Deadly DownpoursMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      October 6, 2017 / 10:10 pm

      Haha, yes, you are probably right. Maybe it isn’t just men on the internet dating market who are like Tamagotchis. thanks Pen x

  7. October 6, 2017 / 8:19 pm

    I do love your bravery writing about this. I’m not sure I would be so brave. I’m hoping one day I read your blog and there will be the most incredible tale of how you finally met the one. #coolmumclub
    absolutely prabulous recently posted…The Good and the Not So Good About BML 17My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      October 6, 2017 / 10:08 pm

      Thanks Prabs, that’s very sweet of you. It is strange what people think is brave though. I don’t feel that there is anything particularly brave about writing about dating, particularly on an anonymous blog. Thanks anyway though. Always lovely to see that you’ve visited. Pen x

  8. October 9, 2017 / 6:53 am

    Hahaha David is a bit rude? You are so right what a good analogy. I used to love playing with my Tamagachi (uh that sounds strange haha) I don’t think dating apps are the way forward, I think it’s better old school meeting people after a couple shots of tequila at the pub lol Thanks for sharing with #StayClassyMama!
    The Mum Project recently posted…How To Drink While PregnantMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      October 9, 2017 / 9:21 pm

      Ah yes, a couple of shots of tequila. Trust me, I occasionally do that too. Pen x

    • thesingleswan
      October 9, 2017 / 9:20 pm

      Thanks Claire. Pen x

  9. October 9, 2017 / 6:56 pm

    I did internet dating and was terrified and now when I look back, desperate!!You sound composed and selective.I love it and wish I had been.I did end up meeting my husband through it but only because he googled internet dating and our local postcode and me my supposedly private profile popped up photo and all!!!He lived in the village and already knew me so knocked on my door to ask me out for dinner.Good Luck out there #fridayfrolics

    • thesingleswan
      October 9, 2017 / 9:20 pm

      Haha, that is a brilliant story! Many congratulations. Internet dating at its best. Pen x

  10. October 9, 2017 / 7:39 pm

    This post very well done! I love how you compared the experience… Brilliant! #thesatsesh xoxo

    • thesingleswan
      October 9, 2017 / 9:19 pm

      Thanks Lisa. Pen x

  11. October 10, 2017 / 4:45 am

    LMAO! Best post I’ve read all day. Sometimes it’s best to just let the Tamagotchi die. (Bye, David.)

    You handled it like a true lady. I would have been a savage and made David feel like the douche he is. I wouldn’t be able to help myself.

    Great read!

    • thesingleswan
      October 10, 2017 / 9:31 pm

      Thank you. I am glad you enjoyed it. Pen x

  12. October 11, 2017 / 6:54 pm

    #thesatsesh i adore this – I have to say, i haven’t experienced online dating really. I did meet some blokes from online chat rooms when i was younger and way more reckless, however all my thirty something friends have met through – its cost me 3 wedding gifts so far in the last year and one next year, plus a new baby card. I thinks its because people pay you have less losers like kitten killer dude? (what a nightmare – DrF would win overtime) and your’e right – the tamagotchi needs to die.
    fridgesays recently posted…Owning less is better than organising moreMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      October 11, 2017 / 7:23 pm

      yep, I have to agree. My tamagotchi needs to die ! Pen x

    • thesingleswan
      October 13, 2017 / 9:31 pm

      thanks Talya. Pen x

  13. October 12, 2017 / 11:27 pm

    I actually never had a tamagotchi! And I can’t quite bring myself to try internet dating – I strongly suspect it is horrendous and I don’t want to face it! Thanks so much for joining us for #FridayFrolics
    Silly Mummy recently posted…Friday Frolics – 6th October 2017My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      October 13, 2017 / 9:25 pm

      THanks for your comment. Yes, it is horrendous. But it can be interesting material for a blog post. Pen xx

    • thesingleswan
      October 13, 2017 / 9:20 pm

      haha, no you are right. that is where the parallel ends. Pen x

  14. October 13, 2017 / 9:35 pm

    I used to love my tamagotchi! But now you have pointed out the similarities with online dating you have put me off! ( I met my partner through so my story has a happy ending, sadly I don’t know where my tamagotchi is now…)

      • thesingleswan
        October 14, 2017 / 8:51 pm


    • thesingleswan
      October 14, 2017 / 8:53 pm

      Haha, sorry to have put you off your tamagotchi. Great that you met your husband through Well done. Pen x

  15. October 15, 2017 / 6:07 pm

    Thanks for joining the Ageless Style Linkup!

    • thesingleswan
      October 15, 2017 / 8:39 pm

      Thank you

    • thesingleswan
      October 19, 2017 / 9:29 pm

      Thank you Emma. Yes, David was indeed a complete … Pen x

  16. Hoon
    October 16, 2017 / 10:05 pm

    I’m terribly afraid you’ve inspired me to try Bumble, it sounds like such a laugh in a toe curling way

    PS I hate tamagotchi, and my daughters ones always died because they starved to death

    • thesingleswan
      October 19, 2017 / 9:27 pm

      Oh no, don’t do. Actually yes, do, but share your experiences with me! Pen x

  17. October 18, 2017 / 6:57 pm

    I do not envy you the task of communicating with weirdos while trying to find someone half decent via the online dating game. At least tamagotchis eventually learnt how to potty train, I doubt David* will ever learn how to pick up girls and/or women.


    • thesingleswan
      October 19, 2017 / 9:25 pm

      haha, brilliant. Thanks Nicola. Pen x

    • thesingleswan
      October 21, 2017 / 9:18 pm

      thanks for your comment. Pen x

  18. November 7, 2017 / 10:55 am

    David, David, DAVID!!! While I like the fact that you have taken yourself out of the interesting dating pool with such inane chatter, you are giving the rest of us a bad reputation with such standard, dull, closed responses to what was clearly an opportunity to be a little more fun!

    I’m so glad you still reach out and message people though; you never know what you might stumble across on dating apps. Someone may just turn out to be witty and eloquent and have interesting and funny things to say. Don’t give up – keep swiping!

    • thesingleswan
      November 7, 2017 / 9:47 pm

      Thank you Glen. yes, I will probably keep swiping. It has become a bit of an addiction…for better or for worse… probably worse. Pen x

  19. November 10, 2017 / 1:38 pm

    I can see how it could feel exhilarating and fun but also a bit awkward. I know a lot of people that have met and married through internet dating. It’s just about selecting the few that aren’t weirdos I suppose. Enjoy.

    Cassie parish recently posted…The truth about pregnancyMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      November 10, 2017 / 9:28 pm

      Yes, it is about avoiding the weirdos. There are just so many of them. Pen x

  20. November 10, 2017 / 8:08 pm

    I gave up on internet dating years ago. I found it annoying and some of the men a little infuriating and high maintenance haha but I totally agree it definitely is like Tamagotchi #kcacols

    • thesingleswan
      November 10, 2017 / 9:26 pm

      You are right. It is really high maintenance. I find I get a whole lot more done if I ditch the dating apps and focus on something else! Pen x

  21. November 10, 2017 / 8:53 pm

    Aww, I loved my tamagotchi:D it was really fun to read it:) I need to say I’ve never tried that dating app Thanks for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time

    • thesingleswan
      November 10, 2017 / 9:25 pm

      Well, if you’ve never tried a dating app then feel free to live vicariously through me and my blog. I am on a few of them. Pen x

  22. jax leck
    November 15, 2017 / 5:40 pm

    Hi Pen, I have met a few Princes’ who turned to frogs on various sites but my current partner whom I met online made the breakthrough when he said he would crawl through the reclaimation unit of the Death Star for a week just to get to me. Now that may not appear the most romantic thing in the world but if you were of the original star wars generation then this was pure gold.

    Will be interested to see if you find ‘the one’. Good Luck


    • thesingleswan
      November 15, 2017 / 9:02 pm

      Thank you Jax. I haven’t stopped looking, so here’s hoping! Pen x

  23. December 5, 2017 / 12:32 pm

    I was in my twenties when the tamagotchi gained its peak and yes, this is the truest comparison to online dating.LOL! Once started playing, hard to stop harder to give up especially when you found your right match (as in dating) 🙂
    Ashley Nicole recently posted…Perfect Match Review – Duet Total Compatability®My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      December 5, 2017 / 9:57 pm

      haha, thank you. Pen x

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