Dating North London:  Happn vs Dog Walking

Written by: Sophie Taylor

We want to know what the difference is between the online or offline approach when it comes to finding ‘a mate’. I am currently embarking on a series of test dates to compare digital vs real world dating approaches. Because it’s 2017, Spring has us all randy like March hares and we will never get enough of reading potential cringe material.

Life’s too short. If you like someone tell them. If you want to bone them, tell them. If they’re pissing you off … tell them!
North Four, North London magazine, dating north london, online vs offline, bumble app, pub

Firstly, let’s get the latest depressing dating lingo but out the way. This month I have learned a new phrase and I’m here to share the wealth.

While you may have heard of the fade out – when someone ghosts on you, but very slowly and gently – have you yet discovered tuning?

It’s basically the opposite, when you want to get involved with someone but you’re a frustrating level of shy and end up just liking their Instagram photos, commenting on the odd Facebook status or sending the vaguest of emojis that could be misconstrued as flirty but they’ll never really know. You’re tuning.

Which makes me think of reverb channels and echo samples and getting stuck inside a never ending feedback loop of my own name and white noise. Life’s too short. If you like someone tell them. If you want to bone them, tell them. If they’re pissing you off, again, tell them!

Wooh communication. 

This time on Online vs Offline, your bemused participant is trying out Happn vs Dogwalking in the name of dating research. Who will win this time? Yes, the tension is unbearable. 

North Four, North London magazine, dating article, online vs offline, happn, dogwalking, dating london
I know for a stone cold and semi hard fact that your eyes will not be at head height.

Online approach: Happn

For the uninitiated, Happn is a dating app that’s basically Tinder for people who get out rather than enjoy swiping from the sofa. Although you do have to participate in some sofa swiping at some point. “Find the people you’ve crossed paths with! Walking down the street, at a café, at work, at a party…”

The adverts usually show some unfortunate fool getting all doe eyed over a random hottie that’s walked past and not turned around for a second glance. Which, I find myself pondering, does anyone? The pervier among us might, but I know for a stone cold and semi hard fact that your eyes will not be at head height. In the name of research I have downloaded Happn and let it tick along in the background as I roam around North London with my eyes firmly fixed to the ground. For that is where all the dogs / lack of social awkwardness resides.

The thought of someone checking me out and thinking anything other than “ooh, roots” or “she likes her leopard print” is hilarious. But also FUN. Imagine! I even start to drag my eyes off the pavement and give some poor unsuspecting sod some actual eye contact for a tenth of a real time second.

North Four, North London magazine, Valentines, dating, online vs offline dating

It was nothing like the advert. And no, that guy was definitely not interested in starey eyed bottle blondes. Or just not on Happn. Meh. However! All was not lost. The old romantic in me got spirited away with the idea that if I crossed paths with the same person more than once, (on every profile you can see the exact number of times you were ships in the night) then it was fate and this app was a mere tool in the grand tapestry of our universally bound love story.

One particularly lucky fella happened to graze past this hot bag of mess a grand total of seven times. Fate Fate Fate I chanted whilst liking him secretly with the Heart button. Not creepy, exciting! The interest was in fact mutual, you sceptical hater child, and we got chatting. There were other matches to speak of, but my wonderful fusion of fatalist laziness meant all future Happnings stopped with this chap. I ignored the fact that the same friend (/probable love of my life) who haunted me on Bumble popped up again as I definitely would’ve seen him and said hello (/jumped in to a bush). 

North Four, North London magazine, dating article, online vs offline, happn, dogwalking, dating london, cocktails

There is an option to send a ‘charm’ which is basically the digital equivalent of prodding someone in the back when they’re ignoring you. Because if they haven’t liked you, the ‘charm’ function is totally going to make them turn around and say “oh thank goodness I’m so glad you’re a rib prodder! They’re my favourites.”

In other news, there’s also a Cross button in case you decide you don’t like the ‘notice me notice me’ types so you no longer have to see them popping up on your shiny little app. I’ve started employing this in real life and it’s gone down very well.

Another thing to note, for anyone worried about the stalking potential of this app, is that only the approximate location of where you have passed each other is saved and definitely not your current whereabouts. Phew. “Sophie is currently butt naked bent over awkwardly removing hair from the shower drain, 3km away”.

Ed* the Creative Director and I decided to meet up in Victory Mansion for cocktails. Since downloading Happn I can’t seem to get Kate Bush Running Up That Hill out of my head. Anyway, we meet on a Thursday eve and bar some initial small talk discussing work and the weather, we end up having a big old laugh till last orders. Amazing what a mojito can do to help you giggle away the memory of ghosters and breadcrumbers. We leave on a (natural) high and hug for what feels like a strangely long time before skipping off separately.

North Four, North London magazine, dating article, online vs offline, happn, dogwalking, dating london

Offline approach: Dog Walking

Getting carried away with learning tricks and throwing sticks, I forget I’m supposed to be the one sniffing ass and rolling over, ultimately.

Much to my delight and convenience for the sake of this article, I find myself dog sitting in Seven Sisters for a dog called Meg*. After a day of walks, treats and an evening of photographing her beautiful face, I realise I’m supposed to be trying to meet people with her help.

We make a pact to pound the streets tomorrow and get chatting to other dog walkers. Clissold Park beckons.

Thing is, when I’m dog walking, my mind doesn’t seem to wander from poo bags, making sure she doesn’t eat all the park bread and checking out what other dogs are up to. Meaning my gaze is roughly two foot high, max.

Getting carried away with learning tricks and throwing sticks, I forget I’m supposed to be the one sniffing ass and rolling over, ultimately. Hmm.

North Four, North London magazine, dating article, online vs offline, happn, dogwalking, dating london
I contemplate running around Clissold Park with my nose to the ground, arse out, occasionally shouting at anyone that tries to mount me.

Fortunately fate intervenes once again and, besides a few rogue Schnauzers and the odd lone Yorkie, a rather sexy individual wanders up and begins performing a ritualistic circle around us. Well, around Meg, but I enjoy standing on ceremony.

His friend is pretty hot too though and I even tilt my head up to attempt conversation. We share a knowing smile and while a thrilling chat may have been on the cards, our furry friends pull us away and we’re off again on the liver treat lined path to pooper scoopered horizons. 

Meg is absolutely killing it on the grass and lapping up an unsolicited amount of attention left, right and dead centre. I contemplate following suit and running around Clissold Park with my nose to the ground, arse out, occasionally shouting at anyone that tries to mount me.

But as I decide to save that for the fresh hell of Ridley Road Market Bar, a distant yell interrupts my thoughts.

North Four, North London magazine, dating article, online vs offline, happn, dogwalking, dating london
I bet they have to share a bowl and a bed and secretly resent each other’s existence.

The real life equivalent of “Fentoon!” is barreling towards me and Meg, hell for leather. Some Barbour clad gent has thrown his Labrador’s ball a little too far and I’m about to witness a Clash of the Titans collision as both dogs dive for it at once.

Amidst a small flurry of hair and growls, the owner catches up red faced, reattaching his lead muttering apologies. I smile, distractedly, as a fetching Tibetan Terrier trots past, hair flowing seductively with each step.

I decide to pull up a pew and find the nearest bench to get a better view of the talent bounding past. I’m very comfortable with my canine-philia yes, and incredibly open about my dog fuelled perverted ways it’s true. Oh look Meg! A chihuahua cross! Check out that Shih Tzu’s tail, so bouncy. I wonder if those playful wire haired Daschunds are friends or twins. Or both? I bet they have to share a bowl and a bed and secretly resent each other’s existence.

Meg could sense my anti-love mood descending and steered me home again. Over a shared chicken dinner and The Jim Gaffigan Show we conclude that using dogs to meet people is for the sitcoms and rom coms.

North Four, North London magazine, dating article, online vs offline, happn, dogwalking, dating london

What was my favourite?

As much as I was sceptical of dating apps since Bumble, I enjoyed the novelty of knowing we’d crossed paths IRL on Happn.

What would I have done differently?

It felt more forced trying to get a date in a park. Perhaps I’ll try skulking through the trees of Hampstead Heath of a Saturday eve instead?

Want to see anyone again?

Me and Ed* are currently organising a second date.

Online vs Offline winner = I don’t wish to blame my unhealthy dog obsession, but online wins this time. Dogs are far too fun and distracting and I took my eyes off the proverbial ball. 

While I don’t feel I’ve gathered any life changing conclusions from this particular experiment, I did enjoy using a dating app that is essentially Pokemon Go for the lusty, complete with Lures and Charm(ander)s and a whole load of Poke balls. 

Next time: Tinder vs Speed Dating and more enlightening dating terms.

*names have been changed

Original illustrations by Julia Potocnik

Read more online vs offline and learn about doggy dating opportunities. 

North Four, North London magazine, joginders supper club, punjabi cuisine, eating, dining
Events

Joginder Supper Club: North London Punjabi Cuisine

Joginder's Supperclub is a North Indian Punjabi supper party founded in 2009 by mother and daughter team, Rani & Saira. Based in their home in Tufnell Park, North London, 12 guests enjoy a nine course punjabi feast around the big library table while Rani & Saira cook up each course in the kitchen. Joginder was Rani's mother to whom the supperclub is inspired by and memory of. They have held their supperclub once a month for the last 8 years with many returning guests over the years. Catering for both meat eaters and vegetarian the evening is meant to be enjoyed in the spirit of good hospitality, good food and enjoyable company.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, helena willcocks, allotment florist, organic, terrarium, workshop, floral, bouquet, centrepiece, wreath, jam jar, wood green
Lifestyle

Making it Rain: Floral Workshops with Helena Willcocks

Have we told you lately how much we love Helena the Allotment Florist? For the non affiliated, she is a multifaceted Wood Green based bespoke florist with an eye for detail and a passion for ethical practice. Having studied floristry at the Covent Garden Academy of Flowers, Helena worked in various florists around London before deciding to venture out on her own. She saw a worrying amount of flower deliveries flown in from all over the world, coated in preservative chemicals complete with a healthy carbon footprint. The Allotment Florist is a fresh alternative to the unethical companies, with an organic approach to floristry, growing as many flowers as possible in her allotment. “I absolutely love growing flowers, arranging them and just being on my plot surrounded by them.”

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, climate change, global warming, earth day, trump, climate change denier
Events

Earth Day: Why It’s All Just More Fake News

It is a bright cold day in April, and the clocks are striking thirteen. Someone on a flickering TV screen challenges Scott Pruitt, the new chief of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, about climate change. The interviewer is confident, as thought he believes, when we all know now that the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, property, davies and davies, estate agents, finsbury park, cornwall road, property spotlight, interiors
Lifestyle

Interiors Spotlight: Conran-esque Design in Finsbury Park

We spoke with Sarah and Charlie Almond, a design-geek power duo with two lively young children keeping them on their toes in the heart of buzzing Stroud Green. Their apartment on Cornwall Road, Finsbury Park is glistening with minimalist Scandi design and carefully curated Soho House Group style lighting. We chat design inspiration, lighting squabbles and where to get the best Eggs Benedict in the area.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, yard sale pizza, naga warrior, review, beer, pizzeria
Eat & Drink

A Farewell to Nagaland Warrior of Yard Sale Pizza

We were lucky enough to sample the mighty food collaboration between Yard Sale and Rola Wala who one fine night joined heart and body to create a pulled lamb, vindaloo inspired double-fermented dough sensation: the Naga Warrior. Though once we cried from charred scorpion chilli, now must we weep in mourning of the beautiful pizza that has finished it’s mighty residency.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, unrestricted film view festival 2017, hen and chickens theatre bar, filmmakers, independent
Culture

Competition Time! Unrestricted View Film Festival

Next week the Unrestricted View Film Festival is back for it’s second year. Find the very best in indie cinema and filmmaking at The Hen and Chickens, Islington from the 24th - 30th April 2017. Unrestricted View became the resident theatre company at The Hen and Chickens back in 1999, dedicating themselves to giving up-and-coming theatre companies, writers, actors and comedians a platform to showcase their talents.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, chocolate, easter, weekend plans, chocolate egg, workshop
List

Top Four "What to do When You're Not in a Cave" Weekend Plans

So (hopefully) you’ve found yourself with four days off work. Charlotte from accounts has been banging on about her shit plans all week and Pete's brutal description of his abhorrent weekend agenda has made you vom more times than you’d care to remember. If most of the usuals are off home for Easter, what are you going to do with yourself? Hide away in your man/she cave scrolling through pictures of the ex and accidentally liking a photo from 153 weeks ago? None of that. Here’s some last minute suggestions for the less organised and non trogladitey among us.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, Hammerton Brewery, beer, hops, casks, pints, drinks
Eat & Drink

The Hidden Hammerton Microbrewery

Picture this. It's Friday. It's the end of the month, you're skint and you've just battled the throngs of Facetiming sociopaths on the overground. You need a drink, but you live on Caledonian Road. Nearby you've got that e-sports bar where there's regular Xbox tournaments. You could buy a £6 bottle of Black Tower, but you remember drinking alone isn't socially acceptable (for now). Until you see it: 'Taproom open!' That fabled blackboard perched in a hidden alleyway by Caledonian Road and Barnsbury station. Situated sneakily off Offord Street between Japanese knotweed and an old paint centre - blink and you miss it. Still thirsty.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, sapphire film screening, film club, Tufnell Park
Culture

Tufnell Park Based Film Screening, Sapphire

Sapphire, a 1959 British crime drama, was filmed on the streets of Tufnell Park. The BAFTA winning film highlights racism in London towards immigrants from the West Indies and although dated in style, was ahead of it's time in topic and deemed a progressive movie for 1959.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, table tennis club, ping pong, stoke newington, hackney
Events

Spot of Table Tennis in Stokey

Dust off your knee socks and rubbery bats: it’s time for a ping pong resurgence. From 7 - 9pm this Friday 14th you are invited to Clissold Leisure Centre to the Table Tennis Club. Meeting every Friday, all players are welcome of varying abilities and depending on numbers, they play relaxed games of Round Robin, doubles, around the world and more.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, silver ring workshop, roderick vere, jewellery, stoke newington
Events

Make Your Own Silver Ring, Stoke Newington

Fancy a silver ring workshop? Because let’s face it, if no-one’s giving you one you need to make your own. Alternatively you could make it for someone special and take a step towards restoring your karmic balance. But remember to measure their fingers as subtly and awkwardly as possible (or borrow one of their rings for reference).

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, culture journal, national youth theatre
Culture

Pop Up Theatre: NYT Secret Location and Free Ticket Revealed

The National Youth Theatre are currently touring 50 plays in a day across the UK. to celebrate 50 years of the NYT commissioning new work for young people. The locations of all 50 plays have been kept top secret and only released this morning. One particular play will be performed at our very own MoseyHome on Stroud Green Road TONIGHT. We are giving away one guest list ticket via our Facebook and Twitter so get in touch and keep your eyes peeled for a shiny ticket confirmation. All shows will be streamed online live should you miss out

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, pottery throwdown, ceramics, pottery class, wheel, clay
Events

The Great Pottery Throw Down, Stokey Style

Hands up, who watched The Great Pottery Throwdown? Didn’t you love it when Ryan kept smashing his final show piece and barely even reacted? Did you also think it was mildly inappropriate when Sara Cox kept asking Richard if he wanted to touch the model’s bare torso? Also, also, how lovely was it when Keith the judge got teary about Richard’s lamp?

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, trump visit, state visit, president, Donald Trump, finsbury park, stroud green road, street party
Events

Donald Trump planned state visit to commence in Finsbury Park

Hold the actual phone. Donald Trump’s planned state visit to the UK could be set to occur earlier this year, “as early as May”, London police chief Sir Brian Hogarth says. What joy… But that’s not all. Despite mass protest and UK wide opposition to this visit, the President’s potential visit to the UK, which will include an audience with the Queen, is still to go ahead. In Finsbury Park. Nearly two million people signed a petition calling on Theresa May to cancel the visit, but new information points to a North London based welcome as Trump has stated his fear of Central London based meetings and any travel near Westminster.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, Haunt, kitchen residency, essential vegan
Eat & Drink

Pop Up: Essential Vegan in Stoke Newington

Vegans! Don’t go compromising. If you’re the kind of vegan that misses dairy and has daily meat cravings, Essential Vegan have your skinny back. Get stuck in to ‘cheese’ balls, ‘chicken’ strips and some brand new burger options at their current residency in Haunt, Stoke Newington. The Essential Jack burger is gluten free and made with pulled slow cooked jackfruit with their homemade red onion and gherkin mayo. Ingenious vegan cuisine awaits!

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, dating article, online vs offline, happn, dogwalking, dating london
Lifestyle

Dating North London:  Happn vs Dog Walking

We want to know what the difference is between the online or offline approach when it comes to finding ‘a mate’. I am currently embarking on a series of test dates to compare digital vs real world dating approaches. Because it’s 2017, Spring has us all randy like March hares and we will never get enough of reading potential cringe material.

Read More...