I'm Miss M. Here are some of my Online Dating tips, backed up by my sometimes hilarious, and often disconcerting stories…
Argh. So Mr Needy just happened. And then I lost my will to live. Or, maybe just my will to date stupid men from the stupid Internet. Is that thing still around?!
I was just about ready to call it quits. But then the most honest, relatable message popped up. (From a man with a pretty face so, Hello!) It essentially outlined everything I’d just been through: He’d endured a few dates, come across nothing but freaks, and was losing hope. But then he saw my profile and just had to get in touch because I looked “normal”. That’s a compliment, right? I’m assuming so, because he asked me straight up – would I be interested in a date?
It’s fair to say I was torn. 100% of my online loving had failed. In a major way. Did I really have the energy to give it another go?… On the other hand, this dude was upfront, cute and funny. He was someone I could relate to. Someone I’d probably be ‘secret crush’ mates with in the real world. (Meanwhile, let’s call him Mr Mate.)
Maybe, just maybe Mr Mate would be the one to make all the ridiculousness worth it. Are you rolling your eyes? And thinking, “when will this cray girl learn?!” Well too bad! I was born an optimist, and an optimist I shall remain.
So I said yes!
He got back to me promptly and we booked in a night for dinner. He asked me to list my three fave cuisines, and said he’d find a suitable venue. Take notes people – that is good dating etiquette! I can’t help but think the whole online dating thing has made us way to casual about this stuff. I’m looking at you Tinder! It seems people are now all: Are you free in 15 minutes? Good. Meet me in my bed. Oh you want to have dinner first? Well I just realised I’m actually busy now. Bye, whatever your name is… I’m going to spell it wrong even though it’s written on your profile.
Anyhoo, I was quite excited. I was about to go out with a guy who was proactive, and devour some Mexican/ Japanese/ Vietnamese/ Indian food with him. Yes, I listed four cuisines. I couldn’t narrow it down further than that.
The day of the date, I logged into my internet dating site out of curiosity. I’d been matched with the usual sea of gym selfies/ serial killer eyes, but then saw an email from someone completely different… He was suited up in some photos, having a casual drink with buddies in others. But more than anything, he was out of control gorgeous. Like seriously, the kind of guy I would gawk at in a bar… then smash 12 drinks in an attempt to work up the courage to talk to him… only to make a complete dick of myself and blank it out of my memory.
His message was fairly generic. He asked a few questions about me. Included a few little jokes. And said he looked forward to chatting some more. What was going on?!?
My luck had finally turned.
But still, I felt bad writing back to him when I was about to go on a date with Mr Mate. Mostly because I seriously suck at date multi-tasking. So I closed the email (closed, not deleted – I’m not nuts!) and decided to focus on the exciting night ahead of me. What a Saint.
I arrived at the restaurant (Vietnamese – woo hoo!) to find Mr Mate waiting for me. First impressions? It felt like I was meeting up with an old mate. Biggest cliche ever, I know. But it’s true. He greeted me with a big smile, and a warm hug. And although we hadn’t emailed each other that much, it felt like we had our own series of in-jokes. I liked him. In my gut, I could tell he was a genuinely good person.
The laughter continued throughout the entire meal. Mostly because we played a game of one-upmanship where we told our horror dating stories, and rated them in order of horribleness. I won the competition hands-down. Are you surprised?!
Turns out the women he’d been out with weren’t anywhere near as drainery or sex pesty as my dudes. His biggest issue was women being too keen, too fast. And then getting a bit stalkie on the text message front. I quickly checked myself to make sure I wasn’t putting out “too keen” vibes. But I wasn’t. I was simply endeared and entertained.
Trust me, this was nothing like that time in high school when I fell in love with skateboard dude… I was about to go on a city adventure with my girlfriends when the most studly skateboarder joined us at the tram stop. I approached him for a chat (even though I had buck-teeth and a monobrow I was damn brave). Our conversation left me certain he was the love of my life so I somehow managed to find his phone number? I think I got my hands on his school contact list. Anyway, after close consultation with EVERYONE I KNEW I ultimately decided to call him. On his home phone! Yikes. It didn’t go so well, ‘cos he couldn’t remember me. And couldn’t understand how I managed to find him. And then I think he moved house because I never saw him skating in the ‘hood again.
Moving on… My levels of keen seemed to be in check with Mr Mate’s. Phew. We were having so much fun that two ladies at the table next to us stopped to comment. They were awesome. Mostly because they’d shared three bottles of wine and were loving life. You see, that’s normally me in a restaurant! Smashing vino with fabulous mates, and glancing at all the lovely couples on dates around us.
It was so cool to be the one on the awesome date! Mr Mate was a total trooper with the ladies too. Super chatty and hilarious. One of them turned to me and said that he was a keeper. But he simply smiled and said that I was the keeper… It was so sweet, and subtly romantic. I was swoon central.
So from laughing about our shitty love-lifes, the conversation moved to my next favourite thing – BOLLYWOOD! You see, Mr Mate shared my Indian heritage. This would make him the third Indian man I’d ever dated. Mr Maybe being one of them. Third time lucky hey! My parents would be so pumped.
Like I’ve mentioned before, I don’t see shared heritage as a pro or a con. There’s ups and downs in any situation. But one of the massive ups in this one was that Mr Mate had seen almost every Shahrukh Khan film ever made and could quote his dialogue like a boss. I went from ‘swoon central’ to ‘careful or I’ll orgasm at the table central’.
And then, the date came to an end far too quickly. And when I got home I was delighted to see a message from Mr Mate. He suggested we prove our love for our home cinema and go see a Bollywood film together. I couldn’t be more pumped so I said yes immediately and started looking up session times. But it was pretty damn difficult for me to concentrate. Because all I could hear was the little voice in my head as it said:
This is it.