Reading time: 4 mins
By Terri Cramer
When you first come out of a long-term, comfortable relationship, dating seems like a total minefield. And it is. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. Once you realise you’re not at uni anymore, with tons of free time and constant waves of new talent incoming, you start to wonder where the fuck you’re supposed to meet anyone new.
So, you download Tinder. At first it seems like an endless supply of new faces. Sexy singles, ripe for the picking. Those first few matches give you a little rush of excitement, because we all like to know someone thinks we’re hot, don’t we? But then come the awkward conversations. Some people really have no idea what is acceptable to say to someone they’ve never actually met.
Anyway, after mostly dating men my whole life and having some recent disasters with them, I’d started to lose interest. I decided that maybe where I was going wrong was that I should have been dating women. I’d had a couple of encounters with girls in my late teens and early twenties but I hadn’t really explored it more than that. So I changed my Tinder settings, and when this seemingly normal, attractive lady sent me a message that actually interested me rather than making my skin crawl I thought, fuck it, I’m in.
I was in Berlin visiting friends and she was in the Caribbean so we carried on talking (aka. checking neither one of us was a secret nutter) until we were both back in Bristol and we could meet for a drink. This build up to the date obviously meant that by the time it came to the actual day, I’d worked myself into a frenzy.
I turned up at 7.30pm, on the dot, the time we’d arranged. I saw she hadn’t arrived, so I tried to look nonchalant and just browse the bar. I thought about going for a cigarette, but what if she hated smokers. No, that was a bad idea…then she text me, ‘On my way, be there in 5!’. So I got myself a pint and sat down.
Then it got a bit weird. I saw her arrive, after what seemed like forever, and she went in the toilet for another ten minutes. A little rude when someone is hanging around alone in the bar waiting, if you ask me. I sat there wondering if she’d just seen me and climbed out the window. Was I in an episode of a cheesy teen drama? I’d also obviously accidentally necked my whole pint in this time.
Eventually she came out, to my relief, and came over to say an awkward hello. She really was beautiful. She had big bright eyes, great teeth, a good haircut and I liked her style. I decided to put aside the negative thoughts I’d had whirring around my head from her toilet disappearance and just enjoy the date. So we went to the bar, and we both got a pint.
We sat outside and started to talk about where we’re from, what we do, what we like…the usual small talk. But I couldn’t help but notice everything we talked about seemed to lead back to her making a comment about gentrification in London or how London is the greatest city. I can’t say I really care much for London so I wasn’t finding it particularly thrilling. I tried to move onto talking about music. I said I like techno, she said she didn’t like clubbing. She didn’t like festivals either. But she did like occasionally going to intimate gigs in London. Ah of course, fucking London.
What really made me realise she was not the one for me was when after over half an hour, she’d only had a couple of sips of her pint, and my glass was empty. I decided, probably against my better judgement, to get another drink. Then when I asked if she wanted any bar snacks, she asked me to check what was gluten free or vegan. That’s when my heart really sank.
But it gets worse. Where this date really hit rock bottom was when I returned with my drink to the table to find I had a text. From her. The text read, ‘This date is borrrrring’. Boring with five Rs. She’d fucking text me by mistake instead of her friend. I slid my phone back in my pocket and tried to make a plan of how I could escape in the least awkward manner. Which for some reason was to tell her that I had to be home for dinner soon, like a child with a curfew. I then proceeded to finish my pint in about three minutes. Well I wasn’t going to leave a full drink, was I?
‘Bye then,’ I said awkwardly as I slipped out of the bar. I text her up the road when I was safely out of sight saying ‘Ha awkward, glad I didn’t read that earlier’ – obviously I lied to try and look like a normal person. To which she replied saying, ‘I’m so sorry, I wasn’t trying to be rude. I just don’t think we hit it off.’ No, we didn’t. Correct.
I went home slightly pissed and told my housemate how much of a disaster my love life was, and contemplated whether it wasn’t my sexuality that was causing me trouble, it was just the fact that most people are shit.
And that is why I fucking hate dating.