Documentary series. Hayley attempts online dating and meets the people who know the tricks of the trade that will help her succeed.
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# When I was young
# I never needed anyone... #
Staying in on your own on the weekends, it's not fun.
You know, staying in, watching X Factor on a Saturday night
is pretty shit.
Staying in and watching a film on your own is pretty shit.
Staying in and having a Chinese on your own is pretty shit.
I've been single for about a year now and, don't get me wrong,
single life has its perks but it also can get really boring.
I mean, like, I enjoy staying in,
I really do but it's only good if you've got company.
I mean, I'm fed up of being on my own on Sundays on a hangover.
Everybody likes a cwtch
and I'm fed up of cwtching my packet of crisps on Sundays.
# All by myself... #
So, my friends have said to me, "Why don't you try online dating?"
A few of them are on there, some of them got mixed reviews,
some of them have fallen in love and some of them haven't,
some of them have said it's just full of creeps.
But, you know, I'm 26, I'm still young,
I'm going to try and give the social media dating app a go
and, you know, I could find love but I doubt it
but we'll see.
Wish me luck.
# Don't wanna be all by myself any more... #
I'm Hayley Pearce,
you know, the tea lady from BBC Three's The Call Centre.
I'm a fairly typical twentysomething from the Valleys,
just trying to get by and make sense of it all.
'It's a typical Saturday night in Swansea
'and, tonight, I'm out with my mates, heading to my favourite bar.'
Shall we all have shots?
Can we have a shot, shot of anything?
Here we go.
MUSIC: Candy Shop by 50 Cent
'Before internet dating came along,
'this is where you came to cop off or look for love -
'the big night out.
'But now, if you're on the pull, things have changed.'
-Good night tonight, girls.
-Yeah, it was.
-Really good, wasn't it?
-Thing is, all same faces
all the time in Swansea, weren't it?
You've been dancing with lads all night though.
I was only dancing, come on.
That's the problem, when you come to Swansea all the time,
-you always see the same faces.
-I know, it is, isn't it?
It's like it's either, like, your mate's ex or you're friends
-or you're related some way or another.
-You know them all.
'No wonder pulling's got harder.'
MUSIC: Boys And Girls by will.i.am featuring Pia Mia
These days, fewer and fewer young, free and singles
are hitting bars to hook up.
Dating's gone digital and with the launch of a new breed of apps,
it's gone mobile too.
Over seven million of us now turn to technology for help to find love.
And an estimated one in four relationships now start online.
For a young and connected generation,
the future of dating is finding love on the go.
I've always been quite old school when it comes to looking for love
but I've now decided to join the online dating revolution.
So, for the next month,
I'm signing up to one of the UK's most popular apps.
First things first, time to create the dreaded profile.
MUSIC: I'm Every Woman by Whitney Houston
Well, I think I've went a little bit overboard with the selfies.
It's kind of harder than it seems, mind, because, I mean,
you know, what kind of pictures do I put up?
I don't want to go...
Do I go classy, do I go sexy?
Do I go funny, do I go sophisticated?
Do I go party girl?
I don't want to have too much boob on show just in case they think,
you know, I'm that type of girl.
I don't want to look too mad just in case they think, "Nutjob!"
I don't know what to do. How many do you put up?
According to a recent survey,
guys spent just 58 seconds judging a profile
so I've got to get mine spot-on.
Otherwise I might never get any matches.
'Miranda Bishop, an online profile expert, has got some killer tips.'
-Right, so let's start with my picture.
Lots of wine.
-Tried to look sophisticated with a book.
-I do not read though.
This is a lovely picture of you
but you can't see half of your face because your sunglasses are on.
So what you want to do is just pick something that you can see,
I always say eyes, teeth and hands.
It's a kind of subconscious thing that people feel like
-they know you better...
..or they feel like they can trust you straightaway.
-There's a bit of a pout going on there.
And, according to a study,
96% of people say that they much prefer seeing
like a big cheesy grin rather than a pout.
So I pout now and again because I've got a cheesy smile.
OK. You've got loads of pictures of you, like, doubled up.
-Yes, it's just an app.
But it kind of looks like either that you've, like, got a twin
-or that you like seeing a lot of yourself.
-So maybe just stick to, like, the one.
-Yeah, yeah, maybe say that you don't have a twin.
-You've got loads of these, actually.
Well, that was, like, mixed reviews. I'm happy with that, that's fine.
-Now I need you to look at my bio though.
What have you got? So you've got,
"26 years old, fun-loving, party girl."
I would say that maybe that's a little bit of a cliche.
'That's a bit harsh, isn't it?'
Lots of people would say that they're fun-loving
-or they like to go out, they like to party.
-I really am though.
But I like the fact that you've got loads of your hobbies
in here as well. It helps people strike up a conversation with you
in the first place. So, yeah.
And finishes off with you make a cracking cup of tea,
again, brilliant. Cos that just sums you up, doesn't it?
-So it's all good, yeah?
-Yeah, I think it's all right, yeah.
-Good. Right, let's see how I get off now, then.
MUSIC: Girlfriend by NSYNC
'So, just a few tweaks to my profile and I'm up for grabs.
'Time to start swiping for guys.
'And hopefully match with some of them.'
He's all right.
My first reaction to this dating app is I feel quite judgmental, right?
Because I'm swiping way more left than I am right
and left means you're not interested, you know,
you don't fancy them. But who am I to judge?
At the end of the day, these guys could have cracking personalities.
All I know for sure is this thing is full-on.
24 hours of swiping and things already looking promising.
So I've had a few matches
but there's one in particular but I'm quite interested in.
He's very good-looking, he's a model, his name's Conway
and he's invited me out for dinner Friday.
So I think I'm going to take the plunge
and I'm going to go for it and just see how it goes, really, isn't it?
It's going to be my first-ever online date.
He sounds perfect but is it too good to be true?
For those of us looking for love online,
being conned by fake profiles or being catfished
is something many of us worry about.
It's estimated that one in ten of all online dating profiles are fake.
-I believe you've got...
'Serial swipers Kim and Sue from South Wales
'found that out the hard way
'and I've come to meet them to get the lowdown
'before tomorrow's big date.'
So something I am really paranoid about, girls, is being catfished.
Have any of you ever been catfished or you know any stories?
-Never been catfished,
-but somebody used me to catfish somebody.
-Oh, my God.
I was in work one Tuesday afternoon
and I get this really random message from this guy.
It turns out that "I" had been speaking to him
-for, like, three months.
-Oh, that's awful.
-He'd fallen in love with me, well, not me but...
..Sophie, Sophie Evans was the girl's name.
She had taken every post that I'd put up on Facebook
that just happened to be public and created this whole little life.
She'd literally been stealing my photos.
-It's freaky, though, isn't it?
To know that she was obviously stalking your page.
I was so angry that someone had done that.
-It's a minefield out there.
-Oh, it is, yeah.
We've, sort of, as we've gone on, we've learned, haven't we?
-Yeah. I've got a massive block list.
-Just the messages.
-Like what, though?
I've been told that some of them are shocking.
A couple of days ago, he sent me a message saying,
-"Hi, I'm nine inches."
-OK, that's how he started off?
-And it can be just "bum fun".
What about that guy that asked you to put bread in your shoes?
In my shoes! "Would you do this for me?" he said.
"Put bread in your shoes, walk around all day
-"and then make me eat it."
-Yeah. He was blocked straightaway.
I can't cope.
I can't... What's wrong with them all, like?
When I pluck up the courage to actually go on a date,
-they never turn up.
-They don't turn up. Stand me up.
Oh, see if that happens to me, I will die, mind. Oh, my God.
How many times have you been stood up?
-Oh, more times than they've turned up.
-Blown right out, you mean?
-So it's like, "Next!"
'Oh, my God. What have I let myself in for?
'Guess I'm soon going to find out.
'It's Friday night and I'm on my way to meet my online date Conway
'and my nerves are getting the better of me.'
Not going to lie, absolutely shitting myself.
Not even lying, seriously, heart palpitating, the lot,
overthinking, overthinking how I sit, how I walk, do I eat,
do I kiss him on two cheeks, do I kiss him once
or do I just wait for him, do I shake his hand?
Totally overthinking everything
and all of this is because you guys are there,
camera crew are there, it's as simple as that.
So I'm just going to try and go with the flow.
Everyone knows that I'm quite chatty and outgoing
and loud and talkative.
I'm either going to talk my way through it to the punt
because I'm so nervous and just overtalking,
just kill it because I'm just scared.
Or I'm literally going to freeze and not say anything.
-Hey. Hi, you all right?
-How's it going, how are you doing?
-Nice to meet you.
Oh, my God.
I'm shitting myself.
At least you are who you are.
-At least I am who I am.
-I turned up.
-Do you know what you want?
-Why don't you have steak?
Man has steak and girl has chicken, don't they?
-So you've decided my food for me now.
Yeah, but you'll like it and you can have some of mine,
-see, I'm a nice girl.
-Of course I'm going to like steak.
You were an entertaining tea lady.
-I don't regret being a tea lady, mind.
I don't regret being a tea lady.
-No, you were entertaining.
-Oh, well, do you know what?
I'm lucky to have you here now. If you watched The Call Centre
and you're still on a date with me
cos that was years ago and I was like...
I've grown-up a lot since then.
-Oh, my God, am I talking too much? Am I?
-Chicken and mashed potato.
-You're very welcome.
-And then we've got our steak there.
-Thank you very much.
-Enjoy your food, guys.
Look how awkward I eat.
Look, I go like that, like a child.
I will be honest and say I was glad that you actually had the confidence
to have a date with me on camera.
You've made me feel so, so relaxed tonight.
Whether you're doing this on camera, I don't know but we'll see.
Will we see? We will see?
Will we see? Will you see me again?
-I would actually, yes.
-Because you're nice.
-I am nice.
And genuine. You're literally...
Take you as you are.
-You're not hiding nothing.
-I'm not hiding anything.
I am, I am hiding a bit of nerves.
Yeah, but you're not hiding nothing.
You're not withholding anything, of your personality or any traits.
I'm just playing it smooth.
'She's completely open and what you see is what you get.'
She likes to talk a little bit but, yeah,
she's really a nice girl, genuine.
-So I'm reds, then, obviously, yeah?
She's got a very nice smile.
HE LAUGHS I'll just hit and wish.
Oh, fuck. Shit.
He's made me feel really comfortable,
it's flowing, there's no awkward silences.
So maybe this dating shit ain't so bad.
Do I think I'll see her again?
Yeah, I think...
you know, have another date or coffee or...
even a shopping date.
Will I see him again? I think so.
I don't know.
Maybe this is the wine talking, but watch this space.
# Let's talk about sex, baby
# Let's talk about you and me
# Let's talk about sex
# Uh-huh. #
Dating apps might have changed how straight guys and
girls meet, but they've completely transformed the gay dating scene.
# You got that thing that I've been looking for... #
The most popular app, Grindr,
has over 1.5 million daily users,
with each spending, on average, more than two hours every day online.
-Hey, you OK?
Ready to take some photos?
'I've come to meet fashion photographer Robbie Simonette,
'who's been using gay dating apps
'since he first came out six years ago.'
Right, enough snaps, Rob.
I want to know about your experience with online dating.
Is it like the straight apps, then?
Like you swipe and you match up, or how does it work?
They are designed by location.
So you have a grid of guys, different profile pictures,
and they're all ordered closest to you and furthest away.
And then you can just literally text them and be, like, "Oi, oi"?
SHE CLICKS HER TONGUE
Yeah, depending on what you want.
If you're interested in that sort of thing,
you can just pick up someone.
If you're looking for just fun, or just a bit of sex - like that.
So you're telling me that you can find someone online,
and within minutes, you could be meeting them to have sex?
Yeah, pretty much.
-Seconds, in some cases, I'm sure.
There's not necessarily because gays are more promiscuous at all.
-The gay apps facilitate that more.
It becomes a bit of a culture, and before you know it,
they'll be on their lunch breaks at work using Grindr
to meet up with people
-in the half-hour they have for a snack, or...
I've got a friend that slept with five in a day.
-Five in a day?
So you've been on it a number of years now -
would you say it's a good thing or a bad thing?
It completely depends - I think it's both.
I haven't fallen in love on there,
but I have found some quite fruitful relationships and friendships.
Back in the day, before apps, like, gay men
-would have to congregate in the gay clubs, of course.
And then, the kind of arrive of apps has meant
that there's no need for gay men to go to these places any more.
-So there's less of a scene for it.
But at the same time, especially for people that aren't able to go out,
-or aren't as outgoing...
..it's a complete godsend, definitely.
They're a bit of a launchpad for every young gay guy, I'm assuming.
I know that I definitely used apps before actually coming out.
It's social, at the end of the day.
Anything that connects people, that's good,
but if you use it in the wrong way, erm,
then it can be quite detrimental.
It can have quite a bad effect.
So it seems this online dating can be a minefield,
whatever app you use.
But for now, I'm going to keep swiping,
as I haven't yet found my Mr Right.
So it's been a couple of days since the date with Conway,
and we have spoken since.
We did mention about going on a coffee date and that.
Like, he's such a good-looking guy.
And, yeah, I do fancy him.
But I don't think anything will come from it, cos he's better looking
than me, for God sake. I can't be dealing with that -
I'd be so insecure. And, like, he's a model.
He takes more photos of himself than what I do.
I like a man to be a man's man, you know?
So I just think it'll probably fade into a friendship or something.
It can't be true love every time.
But after two weeks online, I've only been on one date.
Am I being too picky?
I mean, how can we really know who we're compatible with
unless we meet them?
'I might need to up my game.
'So I'm coming to meet self-styled Tinder king Adam Ledner,
'who's had far more success than most at online dating.'
So how many girls were you actually seeing at once, then?
-Or messaging them?
I was messaging quite a few -
probably talking like 20-30.
-All at once time?
-All at one time.
It's just... It's a numbers game, really.
So if you plant 100 seeds, one of them's going to grow.
Because I knew there'd be 20-30 potential other people after them,
it was sort of my thing to step up the game, really.
So get off Tinder as quick as possible, really.
So I would sort of aim to be off Tinder within ten messages.
And have their phone number within ten messages,
and then start calling them then.
I sort of saw it as an opportunity, really, to perfect my chat, really.
And then it would sort of get to the stage where I could say...
It'd sort of be like a script at a call centre, in effect.
If they said this, I would say that.
So how many times were you actually swiping right, then?
Because I find that I'm actually not interested, not interested,
not interested before I find someone that's hot.
For me, if there's slight potential, then I will swipe right,
so probably about 70% of the time.
'In just five months,
'Adam racked up over 200 matches before finding the one.'
Honey, I'm home.
'But now, he's done with all that.'
-Hi, nice to meet you.
You must be Bianca? Nice to meet you.
Hiya. I'm sorry.
'Just over a year after meeting online,'
Adam and Bianca got married and had a son - little baby Brock.
So did he ever he ever wine and dine you
seeing as you were the special one?
-Did he hell!
-Yeah, it was more just like casual.
-Netflix and chill?
-Yeah, you know?
But I'm not doing that - I want to get wined and dined.
But that would be the thing - I would actually have to take some
and wine and dine them, which would be slightly annoying,
-You didn't want that?
Obviously, they're not going to put out on the first sort of thing, so.
-It would be...
-I hope you did, then? Did you? Yeah, you did!
No, you definitely are Mr and Mrs Tinder, let's be honest.
And it's no nice to see a nice little love story here.
-Romance is not dead.
-Well, maybe, I don't know.
# Let's go out and be wild Do it while we can
# Do, do
# Running free in the world We got all weekend
# Do, do
# Tear up, take it down... #
Adam and Bianca's story has given me hope that my Prince Charming
could still be out there.
I've come to my mates Danielle's house
to check out some profiles.
'And while I'm here, I can't resist but share with her some of the
'more extreme ways men have been trying to get my attention.'
-So...I got some sleaze.
Look at this one. This one, look what he sent me.
All right, are you ready for this?
Why did he send these? Straight away, he sent a dick pic, like.
Right, be prepared. Be prepared.
Oh, my God!
Know what he said? That's the second one he sent.
And that's the one that's soft.
It's like a third leg.
Aw! Why do they do that?
I don't know. He was like,
-"You'll be in a wheelchair after I finish with you."
You wouldn't meet someone in real life and they go, "By the way, look at this."
I know, exactly!
Exactly, so why do they feel the need to just send it? I know.
'Three weeks into my online dating experience,
'and one thing I have learned is that some guys have
a very different approach to it than us girls.'
'But I'm not giving up just yet.'
Tomorrow, I'm meeting one of my matches
for a date with a difference.
So I'm here today to meet Ben.
Obviously, someone I met online.
I've been chatting to him for a couple of days now.
He seems cool.
I'm quite excited today because, obviously, it's a horse riding date.
I've never done this before.
See how it goes.
And if it goes tits-up, then I know I've got a getaway with my horse.
-Hey, how are you?
-So are you nervous?
-Have you done this before?
-I have rode a horse before.
How old were you then?
Erm, about four years ago?
-OK, so you should know what to do, then?
-A little bit. Why, have you?
Come and show me how to do it.
-Have you rode a horse?
-Once, when I was a little boy...
-..and I was no good then.
-Shall I take the stallion, then?
-No, that's my one.
-Just try this one on you.
Is that comfy?
-OK, is that comfy?
-I can't breathe. It's a bit tight.
Just do it up a bit.
-So when you get on,
-you want to put your left foot in the stirrup.
I'll just make sure my arse crack's not out now.
Oh, my arse crack's definitely... I can't reach it.
I can't get up. I actually can't get up.
Do you want a hand? Let me come over now - let me help you up.
Go on, then.
Oh, my God, this is going to be a disaster.
I'm going to push your arse up now.
Oh, God, thank you.
Oh, yes! THEY LAUGH
Oh, my God, I'm off. I'm off.
Come on, giddy-up. SHE LAUGHS
Why have I got someone guiding me and you haven't?
-Cos he's got a mind of his own.
-Oh, great, I got a nuts one, like.
SHE IMITATES CLIP-CLOPS
No. I don't know what you say.
I don't know what you say to a horse.
-Come on, come on.
Oh, no! Oh, oh, oh.
Come on, come on!
SHE LAUGHS Ow!
That should have worked, shouldn't it?
We should have raced, shouldn't we?
They must get so bored of eating grass all day.
-No, cos that's what they eat, isn't it?
-It's not like they want a cooked breakfast.
-SHE CLICKS HER TONGUE
Do you know...? Do you know horses, they love Polos?
I was trying to make him go faster. Come on, guys.
What did she say not to say? What was the word not to say?
-Gallop. Come on!
You're meant to be a stallion. Come on, like.
Oh, oh, oh!
Trot. Trot. Trot.
What, what, what. Hey, hey. Hup!
Oh, my fanny's killin'. SHE LAUGHS
-Good girl, good girl, good girl.
Good girl, good girl.
-Come on, follow your brother.
SHE PANTS Phew!
'Well, that was hysterical.
'I've got to be honest, I thought I could ride a horse until
'I jumped on the crazy one.
'Like, my horse was more interested in eating the grass.'
You know, it just wouldn't move.
And then, when I started going for it, I was like, "Oh, God. Titties.
I should have wore a sports bra. I should have wore a sports bra.
-Yes, yes. Ah! Ah! SHE LAUGHS
It was a good evening. Shame it was so short.
It would have been nice to do some more.
But, no, it was good fun.
She's not as crazy as I thought, actually.
SHE GRUNTS AND LAUGHS
Oh! Oh! Oh!
Will I see her again? Yes, I would.
He seems like a really nice guy. He seems like a gent.
I think if I go for a little drink with him now, then
I'll get to know more of his personality.
I've never done anything like that before.
So let's be honest, like, you know,
if we go on another date again in the future,
with you - or with anyone else, I'm just saying -
I don't think nothing can top that. That was cute.
-Fair play, you did good.
-Thank you. No problem.
That's a date I'll remember. HE LAUGHS
Whether you're looking for love, a fling, or just casual sex,
online dating seems to have something for everyone.
After four weeks of playing the online dating game,
I'm now officially off the app.
And to be honest, it's such a relief.
It's a numbers game, and one that I found exhausting.
The constant swiping and messaging
meant that I was always on my phone, even more than normal.
It was taking over my life.
And anyway, I think I'm just an old-fashioned
one guy kind of girl.
I'm glad I tried it,
because now I know it's not for me.
So I'm just going to delete it now. Bye-bye,
you dirty, little, slutty app.
So I'm back hitting the town with my mates,
looking for Mr Right the old school way.
And if it happens, it happens.
# So don't let this be our final song
# So don't let this be our final song... #
And will I see Ben again?
# Before you say the night is over
# I want you to know
# That we gotta, gotta carry on
# So don't let this be our final song
# Take us to a higher ground... #
Hayley Pearce, tea lady from The Call Centre is looking for love online. Hayley meets the people who know the tricks of the trade that will help her succeed, and she invites the cameras along on two actual dates. But are the men ready for what they find?