A double bill? Did I go on two dates in one day again? God no, been there done that, plus that was much too tiring. No, I am doing a post with two dates for the price of one blog post because, quite frankly, I didn’t have a lot to say about them. Is this cheating? Hell no, because I make the rules, baby! Plus this felt like a much better use of time than providing you with two tiny posts.
I met both dates on Hinge. R and I bonded over our shared love of Pointless, Jeff Goldblum, and the fact that we’re both terrible wimps when it came to horror films. Us had just started screening in cinemas, however we both confided that we were waiting for it to come out on DVD/Netflix so that we could watch it in broad daylight and appropriate company.
Then he asked me the dreaded question, “What are you hoping to find on Hinge?”
See, even before all this clocking dates and writing about them, I have always disliked this question. This is not necessarily a bad or unfair question to ask – it’s good to want to know if you’re on the same page or not – but in terms of giving answers it’s a difficult place to tread. When using dating apps, I wasn’t always specifically looking for a relationship. Sometimes I was just wanting to go on a few dates and have some fun experiences, and sometimes I just wanted a shag. And while at the moment, my main intent is to go on 26 dates and chronicle my journey, I’m also very open to meet someone I can continue dating beyond this experiment.
This is a lot to be explaining to someone I’ve been talking to on an app for a day or two, so I kept things simple:
“I’m looking to meet new people who I otherwise wouldn’t have the chance to meet, have some fun and see where it leads.” Simple, yet effective, and a date was set.
Except, I had to cancel. The night R and I were due to go out was the day after I had my spontaneous date with Q, and I was beyond hungover. We were meeting at 8pm, and I had tried my best all day to pull myself together, but by around 5pm, I had to call it. In my eyes, there’s no use in going on a date when you’re not feeling 100%, because you’re not gonna be at your best and that’s not really fair on the other person. I told him that I wasn’t feeling well and could we take a raincheck.
R was very understanding and we rearranged for the following week. And to be honest, it was quite uneventful. Don’t get me wrong, R seemed like a nice enough guy, however the conversation didn’t seem to flow as naturally as it did over text. There could, of course, be many reasons for this, nerves being one. But I think the main reason was a distinct lack of chemistry. The only real takeaway I got from that date was that if you are afraid of flying, there are courses you can take that end in you taking a 40 minute plane trip around Gatwick in a plane full of 60 other nervous flyers. I learnt this because one of his family members had been on said course. You learn something new everyday!
S and I got talking when he liked my prompt that said, “You should *not* go out with me if: you don’t like someone constantly pointing out dogs that look like Paul Giammatti.” This then descended into naming more animals that look like celebs, to discussing our shared love of cats, to discovering that we were both from Brighton and reminiscing about growing up in that lovely seaside town.
The chat seemed to flow quite naturally; we weren’t just asking typical ‘get to know you’ questions and it felt more like a conversation between two people who were already comfortable with each other. It probably helped that we were both fluent in Simpsons and Futurama references. Basically, I could tell from early on that S was someone I would get on with.
However, nailing down a date was proving to be difficult. S seemed to be quite busy with work a lot of the time, and that often lead to not hearing from him for a couple of days at a time. I don’t need someone to reply to my texts every hour of every day, however not hearing from someone for large gaps of time does make things more difficult when trying to go on a date.
We did manage to carve some time out on a Friday to go out for a drink, which S punctuated with the disclaimer, “I’ll try my best to get out when I’m supposed to. If not, I promise that for every 10 minutes I’m late, I’ll get you a drink on me.” I read this as “I definitely will be late”, but at least I knew I’d get some free drinks out of it
S was very apologetic when he was 30 minutes later than planned, but he stayed true to his word and my first three wines were on him. He was an extremely lovely guy, and the conversation felt as natural in person as it did over text, which is always a bonus. And we were even flirting! I love a good flirt.
We chatted and flirted and drank our way through the evening, until it got to around 9pm and we both realised that we were quite drunk (what else is new for me? I seem to get drunk on a lot of these dates, accidentally or not). And what do you do on a Friday night, when drunk on a date? Go sober up in a McDonald’s, of course. I couldn’t even remember the last time I went to McDonald’s, let alone while on a date, but there’s a first time for everything.
We had a little kiss at the station before parting ways, and I felt excited to see S again.
Except it clearly wasn’t meant to be. Things at work seemed to get more intense for him, and his gaps between texting were getting longer and longer. When we were on our date, he alluded that his workplace was the kind of environment where it was expected that employees regularly work past their contracted hours, which to be honest, sounds kind of sad. While I’m no stranger to occasionally working late if I have a particularly tight deadline, for the most part, I believe no work is so important that you regularly stay late. There are obviously exceptions – such as firefighters, doctors, nurses, etc. – but for the most part, we should all try and achieve a healthy work/life balance.
As much as S and I got on, our schedules and priorities were not compatible, and that’s just the way it goes sometimes.