For the masses using Tinder, a match is a rare experience, a fleeting moment of acceptance in an otherwise dark world. But for a smaller, more select, group, this happens constantly. Matches are mundane, people are products.
And now, Cosmopolitan has revealed the 13 most right-swiped Brits on Tinder, allowing us to gain a small insight into a way of being that most of us will never know.
We stand on the outside, disgusting, dirty, terrible, while the true beauties of this Earth swipe freely. To us, they are gods.
While we can never truly understand what it would be like to date these enlightened beings, who would never deign to look at us, we can imagine. We can imagine what a first date might look and feel like: a glimpse into eternity.
Stephen meets you at a sports bar, "something casual". He's a casual kind of guy. He tips the waitress for your drinks, making sure that you see him do it. "I'm a business consultant," he says. "My goal is to be on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list before I turn 30."
"Wouldn't you have to do it before you turn 30, by definition?" You ask.
Stephen stares at you blankly, and eventually nods. "Yeah. Yeah, I guess I would." He smiles.
You chat politely for forty-five minutes before you make your excuses and leave. Five years later, you see him on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list. He has lied to them about his age.
"Jade. Jadey Jadey Jade McJadey Jade Jade," you say, shaking Jade's hand.
She laughs, and you both get onto the Ferris wheel. When your capsule reaches the top, she holds you closely.
"I've never felt like this before," she admits.
"Neither have I."
You share a selfie, the city glimmering in the distance, and you never see each other again.
You are a little intimidated to meet Stefan, but when you catch up with him for coffee you soon realise that behind his chiselled exterior lies a modest, witty and generous man.
While chuckling at one of his bon mots, you notice a book sticking out of his (ethically sourced) napsack: The Walking Dead and Philosophy.
Stefan catches you looking and says, "Hah, yes, it's one of my favourite books. I've read it two and a half times. Have you ever thought about the moral consequences of long-term survival in a post-apocalyptic world? Where is there for humanity to go in the absence of Hobbes' Leviathan?"
You have never felt this way before. Stefan may be the perfect man. You melt.
The only problem is that he completely refuses to take his hand out of his back pocket. You beg, cajole and threaten him, but his hand remains firmly planted. Unfortunately, this is a dealbreaker. You part ways, and you always wonder what might have been.
Before you even sit down, Ryan launches into an enthusiastic recap of each step he has taken that day. "And look," he says, "my watch tracks the stock market as well as my steps! The future is amazing."
You smile politely and order a glass of white wine. Before you can ask Ryan what he would like to drink, he leans in. "I'm kind of a futurist," he whispers. "I see things that no one else can."
"Like a psychic?" You wonder.
"Yeah, I guess. But I sort of let trends and tech fuse in my brain, then I come up with ideas about what the world will be like 5, 10, even 15 years from now. It all comes from up here!" He laughs, pointing at his head. "My mind, I mean."
Unfortunately for Ryan, he failed to predict how quickly you would leave. Later, he texts you, saying that he would have figured it out if he had been working with more data.
You only meet Rodney out of fear for his life. It's a quiet bar, and you hope it stays that way.
"Do you know what that tattoo means?"
"Nah, man. Just thought it was cool," he says. "What you think?"
You're only just beginning to explain that you're pretty sure the teardrop tattoo represents killing someone when Rodney is hit from behind with a pool cue.
You run from the bar and you don't look back.
You and Cressida meet up for a picnic in Hyde Park. The champagne is fantastic and conversation flows, but you can feel that she is holding something back.
Eventually, she says, "I have to tell you something."
"Sure, what is it?" You can sense that this is difficult for her.
"Look, I'm only saying this because I really like you, but I think you should know this before we take this any further."
"Of course," you say, gently, "I'm sure it's fine."
"I like The Big Bang Theory."
You leave her lying in the grass as you pick up your picnic blanket and flee, turning back only long enough to shout, "Bazinga!"
Rich picks you up from your place and takes you to meet his mother. He knows it's not really traditional, he tells you, but he just can't date anyone unless his mother approves first.
After arriving at his house he smiles warmly as you enter the living room.
"Mum, I'd like you to meet..."
Before you can say your name, you realise that he is speaking to a poorly-dressed mannequin sitting in a rocking chair. You kiss him, hard.
"I'm not like other guys," Loui says as he gets into his Go Kart. "Let'sa goooooo!"
Even once the race is over, he refuses to speak without using a strangely passable Mario impression. At first it's annoying, but over time it becomes incredibly sexy.
You go on several more dates, growing increasingly infatuated with this gorgeous man. Four years later, you hold a small wedding ceremony in a public toilet.
When you first see Jay in the flesh you feel something elemental, something animalistic, stir inside you. You climb onto his back and he races along a beach, the ocean roaring and salty water blistering against your skin.
"Again?" You whisper, and he grunts.
This is life, this is everything, you think, this is truth.
Eventually, Jay cheats on you.
Holly is the most charming and beautiful woman you've ever met, and you immediately fall for her. This lasts for a few hours until you realise that she has been speaking using only quotes from films.
"Please, tell me something real," you plead, "I want to know the real you."
"Stop trying to make fetch happen!"
"Holly, I'm begging you. I just want to have a real conversation. Something true and deep and human."
"Do you feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?"
"Actually, it's 'Do I feel lucky'."
You date for several months.
Daniel takes you to a large video games conference, where you hook up with a 35-year-old dressed as Kylo Ren and a 21-year-old dressed as Bowser.
"That's cool," he says.
"I wrote you a song," says Arthur. "It's called Belinda."
"That's not my na-"
"Shh shh shhh." He holds a finger to your lips, then plays Roxanne by The Police but replaces the word 'Roxanne' with 'Belinda'. Though it doesn't really work, because the names have a different number of syllables, it touches something within you.
"I still love her," Arthur cries, unable to finish the song.
"I know," you say, holding him. "I know."
You smile widely as you join Tom at the restaurant. You have no idea how he got the booking on such short notice, but it's pretty impressive. "Hi, Tom, great to meet you!"
He replies, "I believe in taking care of myself, and a balanced diet and a rigorous exercise routine. In the morning, if my face is a little puffy, I'll put on an ice pack while doing my stomach crunches. I can do a thousand now. After I remove the ice pack, I use a deep pore cleanser lotion. In the shower, I use a water activated gel cleanser. Then a honey almond body scrub. And on the face, an exfoliating gel scrub. Then apply an herb mint facial mask, which I leave on for 10 minutes while I prepare the rest of my routine."
Twelve years later you have to change your legal identity for the third time.
By Scott Limbrick - @ScottLimbrick