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.

CC Image courtesy of Muffet on Flickr

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Things I’ve Said to Tristan

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‘I’ve started going grey!’ Before pointing out the offending hairs.

*

‘If I was with someone and they wanted children I’d probably advise them to have them with someone else to ensure they don’t suffer from anxiety!’

*

‘If you were chatting to a girl on Tinder…’

This story definitely isn’t about me.

‘… and you’d been chatting for a while and you invited her round to yours and she came, would you ever consider going out with her or would you just see it as… just sex?’

Just sex apparently.

‘So what should you say when he asks? Just no, or… no, but how about drinks?’

Just no.

CC Image courtesy of Amy Loves Yah on Flickr

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What I’ve Learnt From Tinder

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CC Image courtesy of TinyTall on FlickrA Super Like is what happens when you drop your phone.

You don’t bat an eyelid at names like Cyril or Bas or Champagne. OK, maybe Champagne.

You start to rely on the bug that shows you people’s profiles twice, to correct all the wrong decisions you made the first time round.

You end up in what can only be described as a phone sex worker-client relationship with a friend of a friend off Tinder. Because, y’know, it might turn into a real relationship. It doesn’t.

You’re on the verge of giving up when, one lunchtime, you open the app to find you’ve matched with The Man from Hampstead.

‘You’re the first person I’ve matched with who I’ve met in real life!’ he writes. ‘Exciting times.’

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Happy New Year

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CC Image courtesy of Daniel john buchanan on Flickr

When you look through your 2016 diary, you’re annoyed to discover Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday again. Even though you’re single, were single on the last Valentine’s Day and have no reason to suppose you won’t be single in a month and a half’s time.

You embrace the New Year as a clean slate in dating terms, an opportunity to start anew: to put aside bad dating practices such as reminding guys who have forgotten about you that you exist. That includes the guy from Tinder who sent you a ‘Happy Christmas’ message but won’t commit to a date.

At 5pm on 1 January you send him a message saying ‘Happy New Year’.

BUT you won’t be carrying memories of failed relationships over into the New Year. No. You’ve decided – and this applies to both parties, to another human being over whose feelings you have no control, as well as your own, over which you have possibly even less control – that feelings are like annual leave: they can’t be carried over.

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Performance Review

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My boss and I are setting my development objectives for 2016. In my head they go:

1. Get in earlier.

2. Leave at 5.

3. Get a life.

4. GET A BOYFRIEND.  

Which might actually make me leave at 5.

 

That evening…

Through the glass I see him approach. He pushes the door open. I smile, and our eyes meet fleetingly. What a pity, I think, as we set off in the direction of the tube.

Towards the end of dinner conversation had turned to relationships past – or lack thereof. I revisit the subject.

‘Do you find it weird that I haven’t had a boyfriend?’

‘No,’ he says. ‘I mean, it’s unusual. I suppose by 27 most people have–’

‘Had a relationship.’

‘Yeah. Why do you think it is?’

I shrug. ‘I don’t know.’ I laugh. ‘You’re probably in a better position to say!’

He makes as if to speak then stops himself.

‘Go on,’ I say.

‘No. I can’t say that.’

‘What?’

‘No.’

‘What?’

‘Well… it’s obviously not that you’re not desirable. I guess… I don’t know, maybe you haven’t made time for it. You’ve been focused on work?’

I shake my head. ‘That’s a recent thing.’

‘Then… it has to be because you’ve chosen it.’

‘I haven’t,’ I put in quickly.

‘Not chosen it, but I mean you could be with someone so it’s because of your requirements.’

‘Mmm.’

We talk about his relationship history – two serious girlfriends and two Tinder dates. This is number three.

‘Have you been on many dates?’ he says.

‘A few.’

‘What have they been like?’

‘A mixture, some good. But mostly they’ve been…’

‘Bland?’

‘No. It’s weird, you can spend an evening with someone and get on well, but that’s it. You don’t need to see each other again.’

‘Like this evening.’

I turn to look at him. ‘Candid much?! That – that would be a first, appraising a date while you’re on it!’

‘Would it?’

I don’t know if it’s the two G&Ts, my masochistic streak or a desire to expose this whole frustrating situation for what is almost certainly is – a dead end of a date with someone I find very attractive – but something makes me say:

‘Actually, why not? So… what did you make of this evening?’

And he tells me. He’s enjoyed it, enjoyed my company. Good sense of humour, he says, which is important, and I’m self-deprecating. But he thinks I’m quite shy…

And the whole time he’s speaking I’m trying to figure out what the hell it all means. Does he fancy me? Was the ninety excruciating minutes we just spent in the restaurant a false start? Or is this reassurance? Don’t worry, he’s saying, you’re a catch. You’ll find someone. I’m just not that guy.

 

The train pulls into the station.

‘Be in touch,’ he says, rising from his seat.

I force a smile. ‘Yeah.’

 

Half an hour later, I’m sitting on my bed, listening to Adele, contemplating unfriending VP. Every disappointing Tinder date feels like his fault. My phone flashes up with a message. It’s my date, asking if I’ve got home OK. His next question throws me completely.

‘Did you have a good evening?’

I fancied him rotten, I was aching for him to kiss me, I was the most excited I’d been in a long time when he suggested getting dinner. But the dinner…

‘Yes,’ I send back. ‘Did you?’

 

An hour later, we call it a night.

‘Let’s see each other again,’ he says.

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