ICYMI: Read about my first date here.
One thing I missed out on during my brief dating hiatus was an app called Hinge. It’s actually been around for a while, but seemed to have risen to prominence in the UK (or London, at least) during the latter part of last year. I missed out on all the Hinge fun, until last month when I decided to embark on this crazy dating adventure.
The fun thing about Hinge is that there’s no swiping involved; instead you add your pictures, along with some icebreaker questions or facts about yourself for people to like or comment on. If someone likes or comments on one of your pictures/facts, and you like the back – boom! You’re matched. It’s quite refreshing from the standard dating app format, and I quite like not having to think up a funny bio that summarises me, I can just let my profile do the talking. It also means that people can’t leave things blank – a pet hate of mine on Tinder and other swipey apps, because what am I supposed to go off on when starting a conversation?
UNLIKE JACK AND ROSE
For my ‘fun fact I love’, I wrote that otters fall asleep holding hands so that they don’t float away from each other in water. B commented, “Cute! Hinge is so educational. It’s like the opposite of Jack and Rose from Titanic.”
After some small talk, she asked me if I wanted to meet up for a drink, to which I happily obliged. Since we could both easily get to south-west London, we agreed to Clapham as our meeting place. I started talking to her around the same time I matched with A, and since I had arranged a date with him on the Friday, I suggested meeting B on the following Sunday evening, to give myself a breather between dates. Ease myself into the serial dating, if you will.
I’m very open in terms of my sexuality. I mean, I don’t yell “HEY EVERYONE I LIKE DUDES AND CHICKS AND EVERYONE IN BETWEEN” from the rooftops, but it’s not a secret either. I do, however, have much less experience dating women than I do men. It also occurred to me that all the women I’ve ever dated thus far have been people I’ve already known, flirted with over time, ended up kissing at a party, then agreed to go on a date. I had never been on a date with a lady I’ve met over an app, and for some reason, that made me weirdly nervous.
I find that on dates with women, it can sometimes be a difficult balance of ‘is this a date or are we hanging as friends?’ And I never know why. I often wonder if lesbians or gay men feel this way too (and please, If you fall into one of those groups, chime in) or if this is just the plight of the bisexual person.
A WAFFLEY DINNER
We picked The Breakfast Club as our date spot, not only for the delicious food on offer, but B heard from someone that there is a separate, secret bar somewhere in the building we could go to after. She also once went to a different Breakfast Club, where she had to climb through a fridge to get to a secret bar.
When we met outside, I went in to give her a kiss on the cheek – y’know, to establish that is was definitely a date (as if meeting on a dating app wasn’t evidence enough) – but B went straight in for a hug. I didn’t read too much into it, some people just aren’t the kissing-on-the-cheek type. Far too continental, and we know how apparently 52% of Britain feel about Europe (*shakes fist at Brexit*).
We went inside and had a starting cocktail of espresso martinis while we chatted away before ordering. I got a waffley, vegetarian equivalent to huevos rancheros, and B also ordered something waffley, though it escapes me what exactly. She was really easy to talk to, and I liked her laugh. It was a vibrant and unselfconscious laugh, but not loud or irritating. We had a lot of thing in common, political views, interests, tastes in TV shows. And when we finished up our food, we decided to carry on our night in the secret bar.
ARE YOU HERE TO SEE THE KING?
Turns out all you need to do to be taken to the secret bar, is ask where the secret bar is. When we asked one of the staff, he responded, “Oh, you’re here to see the king?” (Can we agree this is a weird thing to say both in and out of context?) He took us to the back and round the corner, revealing a very ‘70’s themed bar, but also a lot of ‘50s and Elvis imagery (aaahh, The King, got it). Unfortunately, we did not have to crawl through a fridge.
It didn’t really bother me that she dodged a kiss on the cheek, however it occurred to me throughout the evening that I didn’t really pick up any flirty behaviour from B at all. We got on well, had lots in common and the conversation never felt strained – which is more than I can say for my date with A. But at least he went in for a kiss, whereas B showed no inclination of wanting to kiss me. Of course, there could have been plenty of reasons why this was: maybe she didn’t like to kiss on a first date, or maybe she was just nervous and overthinking things, like I evidentially was.
Because it was a school night, we decided to call it a night at 10pm. We walked to the train station together, hugged goodbye, and that was that.
I didn’t pick up any flirtatious vibes from B, on our date or even our subsequent text conversations, but she is definitely someone I could see myself being friends with (even though our conversations slowly faded out, whoops). Therefore, the soundtrack to our date is Are ‘Friends’ Electric? By Tubeway Army. A slightly ironic pick, maybe.