Status Update

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Harriet pulls on my sleeve. ‘Two years I’ve been single!’12-years

‘Twelve,’ I say.

‘No, two.’

‘No, I’ve been single for twelve years.’

She looks what can only be described as horrified. I laugh. ‘Could you get that look of your face?!’

But secretly I’m pleased. It’s a long time since anyone’s reacted to this statistic. Usually, if it comes up, you get a shrug, ‘So?’ or ‘My friend Emily has been single since university…’.

I don’t care about your friend Emily. And did you not hear me say TWELVE YEARS???!!

The number came quickly to mind. Just last week a guy I met online (Spareroom.co.uk – mixing it up) asked me straight out:

‘How long have you been single?’

Then I did have to think about it.

‘Twelve years.’

‘Out of choice?’

What does that even mean? Have I chosen not to have a meaningful, fulfilling relationship with a member of the opposite sex for over a decade?! Like hell I have! But, in the interests of furthering this particular relationship, I decide not to split hairs.

‘No,’ I send back. ‘Ha.’

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In Development

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CC Image courtesy of "Stròlic Furlàn" - Davide Gabino on FlickrI’ve made so many bad decisions in the last 48 hours.

The first was telling Tom I didn’t think men and women could be friends. Which he took as a green light to kiss me.

The second was telling him not to get an Uber.

The third was swiping right on my one good job contact.

 

‘Did I mention I keep seeing my TV contact on Bumble and want to swipe right but think it would be a mistake?’

‘Anna, this is the third time you’ve mentioned it,’ Beatrice sends back. ‘We have agreed twice that it would be a mistake…’

 

Chris and I match and, a couple of days later, I meet a girlfriend for lunch. His name comes up in conversation.

‘I love Chris,’ she says. ‘He’s such a sweet guy.’

‘Yeah,’ I say, smiling. ‘I really liked him.’

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Feelin’ Good

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CC Image courtesy of fedfil on FlickrI’d decided not to tell Beatrice after what happened with the last few Tinder prospects. I would wait until it was a Thing, and in the meantime pigs would start flying.

‘I dunno,’ I say to her, over supper on Tuesday, ‘I – I’ve just got a good feeling about him.’

The good feeling continues into Wednesday, and Thursday, by which time we’ve taken things to the next level (WhatsApp) and fixed on Saturday for drinks.

Thursday afternoon, without thinking, I open up his dating profile. To be met with entirely new pictures and – I stare – a new tagline.

That evening I go dancing, because you can’t dance and check your phone at the same time.

(TO BE CONTINUED)
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28 Days Later

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CC Image courtesy of brian glanz on FllickrIn the time that elapses between the journalist asking me out and his forgetting I exist, I turn 28.

The evening of my birthday, my brother rings. I end up telling him about my latest Tinder disappointment.

‘Tinder’s quite a casual way of meeting people,’ he says, ‘so this kind of behaviour is to be expected.’

I remind him that I’ve been on Tinder for more than two years and it’s only in the last few months that this has started happening: a guy asks me out, I suggest a date and then… nothing. The Man from Hampstead, The Man of Phone Sex Fame (admittedly that one was a non-starter), The Man from Euston Station (nothing to do with Tinder but a convenient statistic), the journalist – it’s getting very boring.

And now Viable Prospect. He proclaims meeting up to be a ‘grand idea’ and says he’ll let me know when he’s back in town at the end of the week. Four weeks of radio silence later, I unfriend him, delete his number and resolve, finally, to move on.

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In a Nutshell

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CC Image courtesy of Jim Surkamp on FlickrTuesday night. Emerging from the tube, I pull out my phone. A new message from a new match. I tap the icon and read:

Good day. Good day?

It takes me a moment to process and another moment to laugh. This is already the most promising Tinder interaction of 2016.

 

As the conversation goes on I realise something incredible: that here is a man who writes longer messages than I do. I’m half-tempted to send Adrien screenshots for all the stick he gives me at work for being verbose. Sam too for that matter: he once told me he only reads the ends of my texts.

 

Saturday, my new correspondent sends through his standard essay. Halfway down:

I’m not so familiar with Tinder etiquette and I’m not sure if we are supposed to exchange X number of messages or words or inches of text first…

If we are, then I think it’s safe to say the threshold has been crossed.

… but I find it very interesting and pleasant talking to you and I have an inkling that we would enjoy chatting in person…’

He asked me out. In a nutshell.

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