Welcome to the first post in my series/dating experiment, Adventures in Dating! In case you missed it, or it’s your first time here, have a read of my introduction post to familiarise yourself with this bonkers project. And once you’re up to speed, come forth and let me tell you the tale of the most average date to existing in all time…
Yeah, I don’t know what to tell you all. I almost want to apologise that this whole thing started on such an anticlimax, but what can you do?
BACK ON THE APPS
So I kick off this mission by downloading ye old faithful, and I was amazed that literally minutes after setting up my Tinder profile, I was instantly getting matches. Seriously, my profile wasn’t even complete yet! But I figured, since it was probably the most popular dating app out there, it arguably had the largest database of singles, thirsty for matches. I’ve had some mixed experiences with Tinder, but it felt like a good a place to start as any.
I matched with A, who’s corker of an opening line was: “Under my umbrELLA, ELLA, ELLA” followed by several umbrella emojis. Predictable? Maybe. Uninventive? Definitely.
“Haha,” I wrote back, “not like I’ve been hearing that one for the last ten years (rolling eyes emoji).” A quickly agreed, but said that he couldn’t resist.
After a while of polite chit-chat, I felt brave and eager to get this experiment going, “Shall we skip the small talk and meet up for a drink?” I asked after a couple of exchanges. I’m not one to shy away from asking someone out, especially if I’m attracted to someone. A didn’t exactly get my motor running – sure, I was inclined to swipe right, but there’s only so much attraction you can muster from a few choice photos and a curated bio. I guess I was just anger to get this experiment going, especially since I have a lot of ground to cover in the next six months (I still wince when I read that back).
A obliged and we both so happened to be free the following night, a Friday. I suggested a place I knew in Brixton that did £5 cocktails during happy hour and a date was set.
Despite being out of the game for a little while, I didn’t feel nervous. I was weirdly excited, like I had developed a surge of confidence for embarking on such a bold dating experiment. And regardless, I always feel quite confident on dates – I’m a good flirter, and always enjoy someone telling me I’m pretty.
However, like some kind of psychopath, A suggested that we meet up at the train station and make our way to Brixton together, since we both worked in Wimbledon.
Make our way to our first date together? The first time we meet will be outside a train station, at rush hour, no less? Of course, I can see the practicality of the situation; it makes sense that we travelled together, seeing as we were coming from the same location. However, personally, I’d like the first time I meet a date under the low lighting of the bar we agreed to meet in, not the had bright light (and stuffy air) of the tube. But maybe I’m just being overly picky.
The journey to Brixton was as sufficiently awkward as I expected, but before long we were at the bar ordering our drinks. The last time I had been to this place, it was packed wall-to-wall, but since it was now early January, it was decided quiet and easy to find a comfortable seat on a corner sofa and not on a cold, stiff bar stool.
WE’RE GONNA NEED A BIGGER DRINK
It wasn’t long into the date that I realised A was as dull as a door knob. We had a pretty decent back and forth on the app, but now that we were face-to-face, maintaining a decent conversation was like pulling teeth. And then I remembered that it’s much easier to be witty online, when you have time to think about your responses (although I’m not sure we can call the curse of Rihanna’s ‘Umbrella’ particularly witty).
So, to make this evening tolerable, I decided to get drunk. Not like, wasted, but enough to make everything a little blurry around the edges. I also whipped out my silly ‘would you rather’s, and asked A riveting questions such as ‘would you rather have biscuits for arms or jelly for legs?’ and ‘would you rather have nipples for fingers or long finger nipples?’ and the infamous ‘would you rather be completely hairless like a naked mole rate or completely covered in hair like a bear?’
When the conversation died down, I asked him if he had any guilty pleasures, and he revealed his obsession with Love Island over the summer. “No way! Me too!” I exclaimed maybe slightly over-enthusiastically , three pornstar martinis in. We bonded over our initial disinterest in the reality dating show, but eventually succumbing to the peer pressure from housemates (him) and coworkers (me). When the conversation died down again, I thought I was gonna have to scramble through my brain for more icebreakers to break the awkward silence, but then I saw that he was giving me the look.
That’s right, the look. He was going to kiss me.
And he did. And it was… underwhelming. Not bad, but also nothing to write home about. And when you’re already no king of conversation, it makes for the cherry on top of a very disappointing cake (y’know, like one that looks delicious but turns out to be dry and flavourless). We had another drink, and then I made up an excuse about needing to get up early in the morning and I should be heading back.
We carried on chatting a week after our date, with neither of us making any suggestions for a second one. The maddest thing about this whole experience, is that even though we had decent chat over text, but a dull date, when we texted after the date – A maintained his dullness. Why?! Maybe now that the cat was out of the bag that he was, in fact, very boring, he didn’t feel the need to provide the good chat we had pre-date? Strange the facades we put up to attract people.
If I had to pick a song as the soundtrack for this date, with would be Is This It by The Strokes. Oh well, one down, 25 to go – onwards and upwards!