Well, it happened. My Tinder dating has officially begun. I had my first date on Saturday with a guy who described himself as ‘6-ft Scouser with a taste for the absurd.’ His profile pics attested to that – there were shots of him wearing a comedy moustache and wig, pics of him in what looked like a Flamenco outfit at a festival…
None of this is my kind of thing. I’m too uptight for fancy dress. And I find absurd stuff kind of stupid and childish.
But then there was a nice normal smiley picture and I could see he lived locally so I just swiped anyway.
We had a bit of texting at the end of last week.
He told me he was good at making burgers and doesn’t like lazy people. I told him I’m a terrible cook and am very lazy. He said he admired my honesty. I told him I liked burgers.
He said he didn’t like endless texting, did I want to meet? I suggested Saturday. I told him that I had a party to go to afterwards, but could see him for a couple of hours. He said that was fine and then he did one of those smiley faces. I’m not a fan of smiley faces but the whole world is using them so I need to get over it.
I didn’t really have a party.
We met in a local pub (not the one with the barman I like) at 6pm. He was standing by the bar. He was tall and skinny and nicely dressed but his hair was a bit crazy. In his main profile picture he had a shaven head, but this time he looked like a dark haired Doc from Back to the Future.
‘You’re hair’s different,’ I said.
‘Yes, sometimes I let it grow… then I get bored and shave it all off,’ he said.
‘So does it grow quickly?’ I asked.
‘Yes, does yours?’ he asked me.
‘I don’t know,’ I said. ‘I don’t think so. I haven’t had a cut in ages…’
Er, fascinating, Marianne.
Then there was a second of silence, while he apologised for the fact that he was early and he’d got a drink already. He asked what I’d like and I asked for a glass of wine.
We were both quite nervous. He had an intense stare and I was doing that thing of smiling too much and talking too much. Anything to pretend that THIS IS COOL! I’M COOL! WE DON’T KNOW EACH OTHER BUT THIS IS PERFECTLY NORMAL!
The drink came and we moved over to a seat in the corner. And then we started talking about where he lived and where I lived and what we thought of the area and boring stuff like that. I asked him what he did and he said was in technology. I never know what to say to people who are in technology. I know whatever question I ask is going to result in an answer I don’t understand. Same with finance.
He asked me what I did and I made a joke about writing about very important things like mascara. I didn’t know whether to tell him about the blog or not but I could see that make-up had limited conversational potential – so I told him that I was also writing a book about happiness, trying out a different self-help book each month.
His eyes lit up. ‘That’s cool,’ he said. ‘So which ones have you done? ‘ And then off we went. I told him about the jumping out of plane/stand up comedy stuff and he said he’d always wanted to do stand-up. We talked about that and what kind of routine he’d like to do… then we talked about my money month and he told me a friend had given him a copy of Rich Dad, Poor Dad and that it was good.
He said he’d spent all of his twenties partying before going back to university when he was thirty. I admire anyone who goes back to study like that.
We talk about children and he asked if I wanted any. Big conversations for a first date but it didn’t feel heavy. I said I didn’t know.
I went up to get more drinks, he went up to get more drinks. There were crisps bought, then a pizza ordered and before I knew it, it was 1.40am. I looked at my phone thinking it must have been about nine. The night had flown. It was fun. ‘I’m sorry I made you miss your party,’ he said. I told him it was OK.
He walked me home and we had a kiss at the doorstep. It was a nice kiss. He asked to see me again. I said ‘maybe.’ In my head I was already totting up the ways that even though we’d had a nice time, he’s not the guy for me, already over-analysing it and thinking about ‘THE FUTURE’ – such rubbish.
I wish I could just let things be, instead of always thinking ‘Yes, but what is this? Where’s it going? etc etc’
I wish I could feel the same way at home as I do when I’m travelling. When I’m away I meet all sorts of people and have lovely encounters and don’t give any of it much thought. They are just moments in time to be enjoyed. Back in England my head is full of expectation, pressure, thoughts of the future. I’m either worried about rejection or worried about leading people one – talk about arrogance, get over yourself!
I went to bed with all these thoughts – and bottles of red wine – rushing around my head.
On Sunday I woke up to a text message from my the guy I was supposed to be meeting that night – the Sexy Saint from Richmond. He was calling in sick. I was more relieved than disappointed. I moved my hangover on to the sofa, where I lay under a duvet, watching recordings of The Voice for most of the day. I ate cheese on toast and dozed. It was lovely.
Then, at about five o’clock, as it was getting dark and I was flicking through Netflix for a movie, I had a thought that I never usually allow myself to indulge: it would be nice to have someone lying on the sofa with me.
I texted my Mad Scientist to say thank you for a nice night. He replied: ‘You’re welcome, thank you too. When are we doing it again?’ and then he sent another smiley face.