I'm Miss M. Here are some of my Online Dating tips, backed up by my sometimes hilarious, and often disconcerting stories…
Would you call a brain scan a date?!
There was a time when I would’ve said no. There was also a time when I wouldn’t have dated almost 15 strangers in a year. So let’s keep an open mind shall we?
Here’s where I was at: I’d been on my third date with Mr Mate, which was glorious. He even told me he’d taken himself off Ebay-for-love because he’d found me. Excitement. But then when I tried to kiss him, he pulled away. Confusion. What was his bloody problem? Was he saving his perfectly shaped lips for marriage?
The confusion made me doubt our connection, which made me want to hedge my bets. So I pulled up an old email from Mr Amazing (that’s what I’m calling him now because “out of control gorgeous” is too wordy and makes me sound shallow). And even though it felt like I was cheating on Mr Mate, I wrote a casual (carefully constructed) email back.
But he didn’t respond. I guess I kind of deserved it. I’d kept him waiting a long time so he’d probably moved on to some other hooch (or non-hooch, but imagining she’s a hooch makes me feel better). Anyhoo, I took his silence as a sign that I was meant to commit to Mr Mate fully and make the most of our doctor date. Perhaps a physical examination could be on the cards. Ew. Forget I said that.
So I dug out my sexiest “waiting room” outfit (jeans) and drove over to Mr Mate’s house. It was good to see him, but I wasn’t quite sure how to act. For all my attempts to convince myself this was a hot date, the sight of him reminded me that he was on the way to a brain scan.
I checked how he was feeling and he openly admitted he was terrified. I wanted to reach out and take his hand. But something held me back. So I said the words I would want to hear in that situation – We can get ice cream afterwards, if you like? But he was unimpressed and a little snappy as he insisted ice cream was the last thing he felt like. It’d make his headache worse. The outburst was a bit rude. How dare he dis ice cream?! Before cracking it, I reminded myself he was on the way to a brain scan. He was allowed to be cranky.
The remainder of the drive was fairly silent. And despite my need to chat (and sing) I kept my mouth shut. That’s just how considerate I am.
When we finally reached the waiting room the receptionist told us there would be a long wait. Mr Mate did not react well. But once again, I didn’t hold it against him. He was a good dude. He did charity work. And humoured drunk people on our first date. He could quote Shahrukh Khan for f&$k’s sake. He was great.
But here’s the thing. Rewind a bit. When the receptionist said there was going to be a long wait, I was hit by a pang of dread. The idea of sitting in the sterile room with Mr Mate made me wish for a mound of ice cream… so I could suffocate myself with it.
I’d previously found myself wanting to stop time so I could spend longer with him, but now I couldn’t think of anything worse. What had changed? Was I really so judgey that a couple of outbursts had put me off an awesome dude? Or was I so fragile that I couldn’t handle the medical setting? Or was my mood-change not my fault at all?
Perhaps it was just too soon to go to the hospital together. We were in the early stages of dating. The part where you’re still trying to woo each other. Where he makes me tingle. And I hide the fact I steal my neighbours’ cats for cuddles. We hadn’t even kissed yet. But there we were… sitting side-by-side, discussing health insurance and speculating about whether his migraines could be the result of a tumour. We’d become some weird version of a couple without any of the romantic bits.
Still, I did what I do best and suppressed all my negative emotions and convinced myself everything would be okay.
So I faux-smiled my way through our morbid conversation until the doctor finally appeared. For some reason I stood up when she called out Mr Mate’s name. I guess it was a force of habit inherited from my dad. Growing up, mum didn’t have a driver’s licence so dad took me to all of my appointments. From the doctor, to the dentist, to the hairdresser. And whenever they called my name, he’d stand to follow me into the consultation. Trying to go on the pill was totes awkward. Needless to say, I got my license as fast as I bloody could.
As I stood, Mr Mate turned to me and gave me a giant hug. All of a sudden my fears about our romance seemed petty. Today he needed a mate. So a mate is what I would be. I hugged him back, wished him well, and sat down to wait. Time went ridiculously slow so I did the 2015 thing and pulled out my phone to keep myself entertained. And that’s when I saw an email from Mr Amazing. Holy moles.
There wasn’t one there when I checked before my doctor date. Why did he have to choose this very moment to respond? The moment my head was full of doubt. And my heart longed for a pretty face to kiss. His email was chilled-back, but insightful. He told me he was doing a Masters in money things and also worked in a very busy money job. Apart from that he seemed to like all the things I like; His mates, the gym, the beach, wine, food, blah blah blah.
I’m trying to make him sound boring. But in all honesty I was left smiling. He was funny. And self-depricating. And then, he said something that blew my mind: He asked me what my favourite food was… and revealed that his was ICE CREAM.
Had he been spying on me?!
Or was it fate?
Fate telling me that there was something better out there for me.
Whatever it was, I slapped myself in the face (metaphorically) and brought myself back to reality. I was already on a date, with a lovely, sometimes cranky guy. And he was about to walk out after having an x-ray on his brain. He deserved better than me two-timing him.
So I put my phone away. And waited.
When Mr Mate finally came out he put on a big smile. But I could tell he was hating life. Especially when the receptionist said he had to book in for more tests in a couple of weeks. Poor guy. She checked if his girlfriend (me?! Ah!) would be able to drive him again. As he turned to me, I felt another pang of dread. And it must’ve been pretty obvious because he said he’d ask someone else. Yikes. My poker face sucks.
As I drove him home he joked about how that was the worst date ever. I went along with the “joke”, but then as we reached his house Mr Mate looked kind of sad. When I asked him what was on his mind, he said he didn’t want to leave things this way.
I think he could tell my spark for him was shrinking. Because he finally made the offer I’d been waiting for.
And invited me inside.
Instead of feeling excited all I felt was confusion. So what did I do?