Tamara from Married At First Sight Australia took over my Tinder

The world of online dating apps is a frightening and bizarre place, filled with eggplant emojis, catfishing and cringe-inducing shirtless gym selfies.

In my short time navigating the rough seas of swiping, I've quickly realised I'm hopelessly inexperienced, wildly inept and in desperate need of guidance.

Enter reality TV star and recently-spurned wife Tamara, whose husband Dan brazenly cheated on her with fellow contestant Jessika on Married At First Sight Australia.

Who better to school me on chatting up complete strangers than someone who was willing to marry one?

Firstly, I needed Tamara's opinion on my Tinder profile. Instead of writing a bio, I'd selected a range of fun emojis to illustrate my interests and general vibe - leading, of course, with an avocado.

Tam responded to this the same way she did Jess's outrageous flirting with her ex-hubby: she was "not about it".

She also wasn't super jazzed on a photo of me wearing a flower crown (it was a dress-up party, alright?!) but otherwise, my snaps got the all-clear, and we were ready to swipe up a storm.

Tamara said we should be looking for a smiley, close-up photo of my potential new boyfriend, where we can see his full face in all its chiseled glory. Not too much to ask, right?

Instead, we found various iterations of the four cornerstones of male Tinder profile pictures: guys holding big fish, dudes standing near cars, men throwing a shaka, and for some inexplicable reason, blokes visiting Hobbiton.

Then, there were the pick-up lines. Several dudes chose to hone in on my name - Mon - which seemed to provide endless opportunities for puns.

"I'm not usually a fan of the start of the week, but I do enjoy a Mon-day," wrote Jay.

"If you went to Jamaica, it would sound like everyone is saying your name all the time," said George. 

I was starting to think this wasn't a great idea.

Suddenly, like Moses parting the red sea of mediocrity, appeared Michael. In his sailor hat, armed with a giant handle of some kind of German beer, he looked like the type of guy that had done a fun Europe trip, reckoned Tamara.

With her blessing, I swiped right, then lo and behold: a match. Tam said she would never, ever make the first move, under any circumstances - but I simply didn't have time to play hard to get.

"Ahoy!" I offered, with only a twinge of self-loathing.

Michael was happy to play along, countering with a classic - but not entirely original - "Ahoy, me hearties!"

Tamara was keen for us to get away from the nautical theme. Emboldened by my early successes, I went straight for the jugular: "Do you like avocados, yes or no?"

In record time, I'd blown it.

"If someone said that to me, I'd probably think they were pretty weird," Tamara sighed.

As for Michael's thoughts, they would have to wait. I had a Married At First Sight NZ application to fill out.