Dating; it’s a bloody jungle out there. There’s tinder, zoosk, rsvp, match.com, hinge, happn and bumble. Plus, traditional forms of meeting people that involve activities like leaving your house.
I have always been a huge advocate of dating and as a singleton, I thrived on it. The giddy moment when you meet/match with someone you fancy the pants off, followed by continuous outlandish banter. You eagerly wait for their next text and get those delicious tummy butterflies when you hear that notable ping from your handbag. Only to be swiftly let down when you realise it’s your sister asking where the red top you’re currently sporting is. Stupid sneaky bitch, she saw your snap, she knows.
Then comes setting up a first date and the day prior is rife with nerves and excitement. You spend hours agonising over what to wear, curl each strand of your hair into an ‘effortless’ look and ensure your makeup is flawlessly natural; only to tell him when he compliments you ‘oh thanks so much, I just came straight from a meeting, urgent crisis at the office, you know how it is’. Basically alluding to how busy and important and effortlessly beautiful you are. We really are little vixens, aren’t we.
If he looks as you remembered/pictured and you spark in real life, the drinks and conversation flow and everything has a flirty current brimming with sexual tension. Before you know it, it’s WAY past your bedtime so you part ways. Hopefully after a lust-filled pash. Off you head home (SOLO cos’ you a lady) and you can’t wipe the smile off your face.
And that my gal pals, is a great first date.
Alas, many of them do not fair so well…
A particular terrible first date is etched in my memory and it’s the night I’ve described to some as ‘Kelly & The Giant Squid’. I’d been chatting to this chap/questionable sea creature for a week or so and he looked *pleasant enough in his pics. The conversation was reasonably witty and when he suggested meeting up for a drink one night I didn’t see why not.
When he came up to me my heart sunk. I realised I’d fallen victim to the ol’ ‘pics are 8-10 years old’ trick some gents choose to employ, aptly forgetting that it’s possible to have changed since that great pic with a dolphin was taken. Regardless, I would never be rude and you never know when you might make a new pal, so I went in and ordered a drink.
What followed was one of the blandest conversations I’ve ever had. I held most of it and even the smallest quip had him guffawing loudly as his jowl quivered in unadulterated excitement. At one point he sternly told me I was at the appropriate age to settle down and get married as I was getting on in the ovary department. Maybe some lasses like to hear their biological clock is running out as a form of foreplay but at 26, I wasn’t impressed. I decided not to drink anything further in an effort to wrap things up but he was downing them like water and seemed to think the date was going swimmingly. I got back from the loo at one point and he’d actually shifted his bar stool from across the table to next to me. He was trying to inch closer and closer, invading my personal space to an inordinate amount. I was leaning away and he was leaning in and then as if a bad rom-com had predicted it, I toppled right out of my seat. Cue, a flaming face while he sat staring at me
(probably thinking ‘well she’s clumsy so probably not this perfect wife I was envisaging’) as I collected myself. After 1 long hour and 17 minutes, I wrangled an excuse to leave and he offered to walk me to the cab rank. **My polite ‘oh you don’t have to’ was obviously rebuked by this gentlemanly investment banker who JUST WANTED A PRETTY WIFE DAMITT! It was along this walk that he deemed it appropriate to wrap his long
tentacles arms around me and go in for a kiss. What ensued was an awkward 35 seconds of me trying to loosen his grip while I politely giggled and continuously moved my head around in circles so he couldn’t plant a smooch on my unsuspecting lips. Then I beelined towards a cab and rode off into the darkness.
But before you start feeling all sorry for the chap, you should know I was in the same boat a few times (although they never said no to this kiss), where I thought a date was going swell only to never hear from them again. I went on dates with plenty of men; there was the good looking chap who had the personality of a dried up elbow, a phenomenal date that ended in me swallowing a litre of saliva from the worst kiss of my life, and a few with guys I just adored but had no interest in jumping their bones.
The main thing I learnt was that all dates were good EXPERIENCES. A bad date will give you a terrific story so if you refuse to go on dates because you’re scared they’ll be shit – don’t. Just go on them! Grow a pair and take dating for what it is; exhilarating, soul-destroying, soul-lifting and FUN. The worst thing that can happen is that you’ll have a terrible time or the guy/gal will be dreadful and you know what, you’ll have a great story to tell everyone the next day and even at dinner parties 5 years down the track. The best thing that could happen is that you’ll meet someone pretty dang special. Someone you won’t meet if you’re just sitting at home watching Netflix.
So get out there girl! And tell us your date tales! Next week I’ll be posting about ‘dating deal-breakers’ so stay tuned!
*Now before some of you get on high-horses about looks not mattering, you’re kidding yourself. Whether it’s online dating or spotting someone across the bar, attraction is a key factor in dates when you don’t know the person. I’m not saying it’s right, but it’s the way things are.
** I do realise he was obviously nervous and I was a bit of a jerk. I hope he’s found a lovely lass who wants to have all his babies at an ovary-appropriate age.
Words by Kelly McCarren.