Are you all sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin…
So after failed attempts at Tinder and OKCupid, I decided to bite the bullet and forked out for a paying online dating site. The culprit? Match.com. I was pretty scared about doing this to be honest because in a moment of thinking I was over my nine year relationship, three months after the break-up, I decided to join Match as a free member. And who did I come across? None other than me ex. And I’m not ashamed to say it, but just seeing his face DESTROYED ME all over again. I wasn’t ready to face online dating for a long time after that.
Seeing as it’s so well known, has a very large number of members, and promotes it’s easy use, I felt Match.com would be a good base to start my slightly more serious dating platform from. So I did what I hadn’t been able to do, faced my fears, blocked/blacklisted my ex so he didn’t come up in my search results when I was looking in my area, and filled in my profile properly. And to begin with, I wasn’t disappointed. Compared to the free sites this was definitely a step up!
Though I resented subscribing to a dating website (really?! you have to pay to find love in this day and age?!) and although you can join for free, you can’t actually get anywhere unless you pay. Without a membership you can’t message, see who’s liked you, winked at you, or do pretty much anything. So, I took the plunge…
A few days went by and I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of people who were looking at my profile; some people were even messaging me! I got a lot of winks (which i now realise are the laziest, most minimal amount of effort way to tell someone you like them), and I started talking to some people.
One guy who caught my eye was someone I had matched with on Tinder previously (let’s call him Nasir), who hadn’t been a sleaze and seemed like an OK guy. He had messaged me on Match too and we got back to talking. Tinder and I have this love/hate relationship. It’s a bit of fun, but becomes frustrating, I delete it, then a month or so later I’ll re-download it again. On this occasion, I was on my hate phase of Tinder.
Then after a few days of general chit chat, Nasir asked me out; I was over to moon! My very first date, EVER! Needless to say I was so fricking nervous I went out and bought a dating book to read that very day so I knew the do’s and don’ts of a first date. It was devoured in hours.
We arranged to meet at a local pub which was a good half way point for us both, and I set about dressing to make a good first impression. I’d adorned some of my favourite clothing items, applied the lippy, and made myself smell “absolutely fabulous darling”; I was ready to roll.
I rocked up at the pub and waited for his arrival. He soon pulled up in a sporty looking Renault, got out of the car I went to go and meet him. We went in and got a drink, and decided to sit outside the pub with a view of the large tidal lake in front of us.
As we sat sipping our drinks I felt pretty calm and controlled, asking questions, doing the smiling interested look, paying attention to what he was saying and generally trying my best to come across as myself. Then I started to realise this guy wasn’t for me…He was attractive sure, but he smoked (this was NOT mentioned on his profile, massive turn off for me), and as the conversation progressed little alarm bells started going off.
Alarm Bell 1
Me: “So you have an art exhibition coming up? That’s cool, I’d love to know more about it…”
Nasir: “Yeah it’s in your home town actually, going to be happening in a couple of months for a week”
Me: “That’s amazing, congratulations! I’ll have to go take a look seeing as right near me”
Nasil: “I’ll take you and we can look together”
WHOOOOAAAAA…Hold your horses there Mr! So we’ve literally only just met and you think we’ll still be seeing each other in two months!?
Alarm Bell 2
Me: “So what made you come over to England?”
Nasir: “Well I was married in anther country where I am from, and my wife was English. We had been together several years but she was missing home so much. She wanted to come back to the UK and be nearer her family so I agreed to move back with her. Then about 6 months in she just changed, she wasn’t the woman I married. So we split. That was about 4 months ago. She’s the one in fact who told me to go online dating. We still talk a lot, we’re friends”
Whaaaaat!? Your ex wife is encouraging you to go online dating? And they’re still talking? They’re friends? 5 months out of a long year marriage probably means he’s not over her… The way he was talking throughout the date implied this too.
Alarm Bell 3
Nasir: “I just don’t like being single. I can’t do it, it’s too lonely, I need to be in a relationship”
Me (turning into his therapist by this point): “Give it time, being single is GREAT! You can do what you like, when you like, you can learn new things you’ve always wanted to, you don’t answer to anybody, less washing; it’s all good. I mean hell I went to TGI Fridays the other night ON MY OWN (very pleased with myself about that), and proceeded to go to the cinema afterwards. Just had a date night with me, and I loved it!”
Nasir: “Hmmmm nah I want to be in a relationship”
So Nasir continues to talk about his ex for the majority of the time remaining on the date. We go for a walk, he asks me to stay for food, I decline and before we say goodbye he asks me for my number. What the heck why not…I type it in, we hug and thats that.
The next day arrives and I’ve not really been thinking about the date that much when I get a message on Match.com.
Nasir: ” Why didn’t you reply to my text? Are you ignoring me?!”
Errrrr what text? I never received a text. So I send him my number again to make sure I didn’t get it wrong.
The next minute, he’s trying to call me. I don’t pick up. ALARM BELL!
A short time after that, a text. Then another. Then another.
It gets to about three o’clock in the afternoon and once again, he tries to call me. I don’t pick up…
Nasir Text Message: “Hey you just thought I’d call you on my break and see how your day was going”
I’m sorry, are we in a relationship now or something? ALARM BELL!
The evening comes round and I get ANOTHER phone call…
NEEE NORRRR NEEE NORRRR NEEE NORRRR!
Right thats it. I can’t do this.
Me: “Nasir it was lovely to meet you but I don’t think it’s going to work out romantically for us. I wish you all the best in your search.”
Nasir: “And I thought I’d found nice girl to be with!”
Oh dear lord I’ve never met such a needy guy before! So my first date was a bit of a disaster to be honest. But, I learnt a good few things about myself which have since spurred me on and made me more date savvy.
What I learnt:
- You don’t NEED to be in a relationship, you are happy being single and a relationship is a bonus. But if nothing comes along, that’s ok
- You are a strong, empowered person
- You can pull off a good first date from your side of the table
- You may actually be desirable to some men
- If there’s alarm bells, walk away.
And the one thing that keeps me going is knowing that with each bad date or date that doesn’t work out, I may be one step closer to the right first date. And that’s exciting!
More drama to come…stay tuned folks!
Until the next time…