M’s opening message to me was “Ella, delete Hinge. I’m your boyfriend now.” It was corny, but bold and to the point. I liked it.
“Haha! How doe this line generally work out for you?” I asked.
“I would call it a moderately successful attention grabber to hide my shit chat,” he said, “I usually let my looks do the talking…”
“It certainly grabs your attention,” I concurred, “There’s only so far looks can get you.”
We were pretty quick to sort out a date, as a couple of days later we met up at another London bar that does a great happy hour. With such a strong opener, I was expecting a charming, confident guy with great chat. However, I should have noted the first red flag when he openly admitted to shit chat… because it was, in fact, not great.
M wasn’t a bad guy – he was actually a rather nice guy, pretty wholesome – but we just didn’t click. In fact, I found it quite a slog at times to keep the conversation going. We had virtually nothing in common: he wasn’t in films or music, he worked in IT and, when I asked him what he did outside of work, the only hobbies he could think of were rock climbing and socialising with friends. I even asked him what he would do with his life if money was no object, and he said he didn’t know, because he wasn’t passionate about anything.
He seemed quite nervous as well, which didn’t seem to ease up at all even after a couple of drinks. Maybe he could also sense that things weren’t quite meshing. At least we decided to give each other a chance and neither of us decided to call it quits after 45 minutes. Cough cough.
So, what have I learnt during this dating experiment thus far?
I’m very forgetful.
When you’re talking to so many people, and repeating a lot of the same details of your life, things tend to blur together and I forget what I’ve said to what person sometimes. I’ve even had a few occasions going into a date and thinking, “Fuck, what is this person’s name again?!” Luckily I’ve not had any slip ups so far, not called anyone by the wrong name, or repeated something I’ve already told them.
Guys like to pay for stuff.
I feel like every now and then I hear about guys complaining that they are the ones who always foot the bill. However, I’ve found that, for the most part, they like to pay. A lot of them even INSIST on it. I don’t know if this is because we’re all victims of the patriarchy and gender norms makes everyone feel that guys have to pay. Or, maybe it’s just that the guys I’ve been on dates with so far have generally been over 30, and older guys (who are generally more established in work/money) don’t mind paying as much. We’ll never know.
It’s not a big deal if you don’t click.
I’m playing a numbers game here, so if I’ve not had a successful date, I don’t worry too much about it because I’m more than likely gearing up for the next one. And I’m not necessarily saying that you should all go on LOADS of dates in a short period of time, like me. However, this experience so far has me believing that there really are more fish in the sea. Of course, I live near London where I have access to thousands of strangers in just a swipe. But even in less populous towns and cities, there’s always going to be someone around the corner, eventually. There’s no point on dwelling too much on something not working out. If you don’t click with one person, there’s almost always going to be someone else out there who you will click with.
Many people don’t practise what they preach.
A lot of people will post on their dating profiles “say something more interesting than hi” or “don’t bother if you’re a time waster” and the classic “not looking for a pen pal.” These people are, more often than not, the ones who are uninteresting, unable to hold a conversation, or reluctant to initiate a meet up. Funny that, eh?! I could do a whole other series on dull duds and no follow-throughs of the datin pool (and there would be more than 26 of them, i can tell you that for free).
People love to go ghost.
I’ve had three occasions so far where I’ve chatted to someone, got on well, arranged the date… but then they go quiet a couple days beforehand. Even when I’ve nudged them to say, “sooo… are we still meeting up?” Nada. Nil. Zilch. Like they’ve fallen off the edge of the earth, or something. I don’t know whether to make a separate post about it, because it’s just plain weird how some people will ghost you before you’ve even met. And then there’s of course, people you have met IRL, gotten on super well with, and still decide to ghost you… and then later zombie you.
Dating is a minefield and there are times when it can get super frustrating. The incessant swiping, the endless small talk, always having to put your best foot forward to make a good first impression. However, when you don’t take it too seriously, it can be tones of fun. I’ve had people asking me if I’m having a good time with it, and I honestly am. When you take away the pressure of finding someone – whether it’s ‘the one’ or simply the one ‘right now’ – dating is such a great experience. I’m meeting all sorts of people that I probably wouldn’t have met before, having a ball, and learning a lot about myself in the process.
The journey’s not over yet, there’s still so much to explore. Bring on the next 13 dates!
The soundtrack to this post is also super obvious and if you haven’t guess it by now then, frankly, I am appalled.
(Lol, just kidding. It’s this one.)