What Do I Know?

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CC Image courtesy of Diamond Hoo Ha Man on FlickrIf an alien landed in London and stole my phone (it’s a big ‘if’ – I’ve got a budget Motorola) it would probably think my surname was Tinder and that I was really good at keeping in touch with my immediate family. It might also wonder why all these conversations reached fever pitch before coming to an abrupt end. It might not know how to operate a mobile phone.

After five Tinder dates in as many weeks I’ve learnt a few things:

  1. Meet. Your chemistry might be electric over text/Whatsapp but if you – or they – fail the acid test in person, that’s that.
  1. Meet on a week night. It’s much easier to curtail a mid-week date if you’re not feeling it…
  1. … which you probably won’t be. Keep your expectations low.
  1. Don’t contact your ex – especially not the one you met on Tinder – immediately after an underwhelming date. Actually don’t contact your ex, period.
  1. Split the tab, unless he absolutely insists. But otherwise, go Dutch. He’ll respect you for it and you won’t feel any guilt when there’s no follow-up. Plus, well, it’s the 21st century – why should the guy pay?
  1. You’ll decide pretty early on if the stranger who just said hello to you outside the tube station is someone you could kiss or get naked with. Whatever the verdict there is no polite way to get out of the ensuing date (see #2).
  1. After a run of average dates you might start to question your ability to know when you really like someone.

The day after date #5 I go dancing and run into an old, newly single acquaintance. He’s wearing turquoise and a broad grin and greets me like an old friend. I spend all of the next day hungover with this big dopey smile on my face.

Trust me, you’ll know.

CC Image courtesy of Pulpolux !!! on Flickr

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An Ideal Husband

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CC Image courtesy of DavidInc on Flickr

Several things happen.  In the cloakroom, I bump into Hannah.

‘I saw Freddie’s mother yesterday,’ she says, ‘and she was telling me about the time she rescued you or something?’

I roll my eyes. ‘Oh God.  She always goes on about–.’

‘And she was saying how she thought you’d be the perfect husband for him.’

‘Husband?’

‘Wife, sorry – the perfect wife for Freddie.’

‘Oh – right.’  I frown.  ‘She always talks about the time – it was very kind of her – basically I’d locked myself out of my flat and it was freezing and she came and picked me up.  But she always mentions it, every time I see her!’

Hannah laughs.  ‘She always will.’

‘I know you’re right.’

Freddie’s mother will still be telling that story when we’re old and grey, have five children and a house full of dusty books.  Oh wait…

*

‘How goes your mission?’

The official challenge might be over, but my dating days hopefully are not; and Rachel and I have set ourselves the task of finding a date in the course of the evening.

I look past her, towards Hannah’s table. ‘Hmm. I just bumped into a friend of Freddie’s. Apparently his mother thinks I’d be a good wife for him.’ I laugh. ‘Now all we need is for Freddie to come round to her way of seeing things!’

Rachel frowns. ‘Do you like Freddie?’

I think for a moment. ‘I used to, a lot. I think I’ve accepted that he doesn’t see me that way, but well, at one point it looked like he did – no he did, judging by his behavior, but when we talked about it he said…’

The music comes on for the next dance.

I shrug. ‘I think we’d be good together.’

We go off in search of our partners.

Passing one of the tables, I notice a guy I’ve never met, but who I feel like I know.  There’s a spark of recognition in his face also.

 

Then there’s Todd.  Who I know I have chemistry with.  And who I know knows it.  I join him in the breakfast queue.  I say ‘in it’.  He’s accidentally on purpose jumped to the front.

‘Do you think it’s OK if I join you here?’ I say.

The couple behind us look amenable enough, whilst pointing out that they are not the end of the queue – it snakes back some way.  Todd feigns innocence, and we thank the couple for letting us in.

‘Sorry do you mind…?’

This time it’s Todd who is amenable, and lets the guy get to the scrambled egg.

Laughing, I say, ‘We’d be hypocrites to say no, being queue-jumpers ourselves.’

Todd laughs.

‘I’m very stealth, aren’t I?!’

He scoops egg onto his plate. ‘You’d be a rubbish spy!’

I laugh.  Plates in hand, we make our way back to the table.  I liked him when we met, two years ago now.  And I like him still.

 

‘There’s a guy here, and it’s a bit weird, cos, well, we have a bit of history…’

By which I mean, I added him on Facebook after we met at a party (the hostess kept introducing us to each other, and each time we pretended we hadn’t met before), and he struck up a conversation… before going MIA.

‘… that is, I think he liked me at one point – no I know he did, a bit – but well, he’s engaged…’

‘No. Just no, Anna.  You don’t want to be that girl.’

Rachel’s been abroad for a bit.  I’ve missed her no-nonsense manner.

‘No,’ I say.

‘Wait til he’s married, then you can be that girl.’

Ooooook.

 

We dance, Todd and I, and I try not to flirt. Because, well, his fiancée is next to me in the set, and, well, he has a fiancée!!!!  Suddenly a guy ‘having a girlfriend’ doesn’t seem like that much of a big deal.

 

On the stairs, I see the guy from before.  I know who he is – I knew immediately on seeing him.  He’s a bit shorter than I expected, and looks quieter, nicer.  We exchange faint smiles.

CC Image courtesy of RozSheffield on Flickr



Three’s A Crowd

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‘Change partners!’CC Image courtesy of wwarby on Flickr

It’s like speed dating to music.

You begin with exercises as a group, then they split you, women facing men, and you learn your steps.  It’s very efficient.  Twenty (men) quickly become ten (under 40), then five (under 30), then two (vaguely hot).

‘Hi, I’m [insert my name].’

‘Hi, I’m Nick.’

And attractive and nice-looking, a bit like Blog Nick, though older than I first thought.  Milonga is dancing with Nick’s girlfriend/wife/some woman he keeps looking at.

‘Change again!’

We take up hold.

‘Oops sorry, my bad!  Wrong leg!’

‘Don’t worry!’ I say. ‘It’s bound to happen when there’s a choice!’

We laugh, and introduce ourselves.

‘That was fun, thanks!’ I say, when the track comes to an end.

‘It was!’

He rejoins his girlfriend.

‘Shall we?’

Milonga and I take up hold.  Dancing with Milonga feels… sophisticated, grown-up, empowering.  Once upon a time, the sight of him turned me into a nervous wreck.  Now, here we are, dancing together.  The physical chemistry simmers pleasantly, and his hand occasionally drifts to the small of my back.  But that’s the way of the dance.

CC Image courtesy of Maria Rosaria Sannino/images and words on Flickr

This post is part of the 3 Dates, 3 Months! series.  Just Singles challenged its favourite dating bloggers to try 3 different methods of finding a date, and write about the experience.  

This week: Argentine tango classes.

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