Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Desperately Seeking a Hot Tube Crush; Technology Stuck in a London Transport Squash and Spot a Hottie -- What Can You Do? Susannah Butter Turns to Her Apps to Score a Nearby Date

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Desperately Seeking a Hot Tube Crush; Technology Stuck in a London Transport Squash and Spot a Hottie -- What Can You Do? Susannah Butter Turns to Her Apps to Score a Nearby Date

Article excerpt

Byline: Susannah Butter

UNDER usual circumstances, it would have been grim news. The announcement at Victoria said there would be congestion and delays between the District and Circle line and Victoria line platforms because of renovation work, adding glibly it would continue for three years. But before the customary anger at this inefficiency could kick in, a sight appeared before me that completely transformed my gloomy London traveller's outlook.

So powerful was this vision that it made me positively jubilant about the added time to my daily journey. For in this crush on the Tube, I had spotted my own crush; a high-cheekboned stranger in navy Converse trainers and Sennheiser headphones.

I wouldn't dream of violating the code of not speaking to fellow passengers, even in the name of true love, so I turned to my smartphone.

Tinder and Happn have never appealed before, but I optimistically downloaded them in the hope he would be there. Nearly two-thirds of Tinder users are men, so the odds were in my favour, while Happn, which links users who pass each other frequently in real life, has more than 200,000 users. I haven't got lucky yet, but scrolling through other potential matches makes a welcome change from years of trying to focus on productive work reading in the crush.

There are so many new locationbased apps that I cannot accept that my efforts are in vain. Spark uses Bluetooth to let you send a 'spark' to the object of your affection, defeating the frequent no signal obstacle.

The lesbian dating app Her, formerly Dattch, can be set so you can only see people within a mile of you and has an algorithm to put people near you at the top of your list of matches. Founder Robyn Exton advises: "If you see someone you like on the Tube, adjust your filters to less than one mile. If you miss her there, you've got a second chance - see if she's attending one of the queer parties [that the app syncs up with]."

The reason I am coming forward is that I am not alone. Pictures of male London commuters are going viral as far away as China, where the Claphambased site TubeCrush has a record number of visitors who want to see the shots travellers have uploaded of people who catch their eye. Meanwhile, in a recent poll almost half of commuters said they see someone attractive on the Tube at least once a week. Cue debate about which lines have the best looking passengers.

TubeCrush has plans for a dating service to introduce you to the people you ogle and objectify -- sorry, I mean commute with. If this congestion at Victoria is to persist, there is long-term relationship potential.

For most of my working life, I have seen commuting as a necessary evil. Londoners have the longest journey times to work in the UK -- 18 months over a lifetime, says a recent report. …

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