Three issues into academic year and I suppose this must mean I’m a legit dating columnist now – putting my dignity on the line in the hope of eight hundred words and a good anecdote to tell my husband fifteen years from now. Sort of like Carrie Bradshaw; but with terrible hair and penned exclusively from my dingy, damp Partick flat and not New York’s swanky Manhattan.
So far, I’ve only discussed my voyage into Tinder and what happened when I followed it up.
But what you may not know is that I’ve actually been on other dates, and these have never made it to print. Since September I have shuddered at prices of cocktails before reluctantly buying one to last a whole evening, attempted to eat pizza in a delicate, graceful manner and been forced to devise “code texts” with my friends in case I need to make a desperate, immediate escape. Indeed, there has been dating outside of the dating column.
My last column detailed the experience in which my date screwed up. I think that’s fair to say, don’t you? But sometimes, I’ve realised, it’s not about them and what they’ve done. Sometimes it’s actually me – I get it wrong. Shamefully, embarrassingly wrong. I’m not the one sitting back in amazement, wondering how on earth I ended sitting opposite the physical personification of “cringe”.
So here are three major dating mistakes I am now throwing up my hands and admitting; consider this my cleansing of ridiculous, actually very avoidable sins.
- When you are preparing for a date, you naturally want to look like the goddess-like version of yourself – clothes that create a heavenly silhouette, perfect hair and make-up that says “admire in sheer wonder, but don’t you dare kiss me and ruin it.” You work on achieving this whilst sipping a glass of wine (or other Dutch courage of choice), listening to Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) and frantically Tweeting every moment of your nervous despair. However, this is a lengthy process in which no corners can be cut and as a result, I’ve shown up half an hour late to a date. And it has never looked good. Thankfully, my date has been courteous on the both occasions on which this has happened – but I know being late really does make a bad impression. Nobody wants to sit in the bar with their drink in front of them, watching everybody else in the bar have a merry old time with the dreadful suspicion that they may have been stood up.
- Still, after you’ve actually arrived at your venue, it can still go better than you could have ever expected. You have a lot in common, but not so much that you’re essentially having a drink with yourself; the conversation flows easily and quite pleasantly, nobody’s confessing to lying about their interests (bitter? Me?) But sometimes you get too comfortable. Maybe you’ve drank too much or have already decided you’ll probably marry them so best get it out the way now, but you just say the sort of things that are meant to go unsaid for a long time yet. Now, I am in no way suggesting that I said this on a second date recently, but what I, ahem, imagine would be a somewhat off-putting thing to casually mention to your date is “what I ultimately want in life is to be a mother”
- Time flies when you’re having fun, doesn’t it? So do the bottles of cider from the shelves too, believe me, I know; especially when so you’re drinking in a bid to stay in the bar for as long as possible, not to drown your sorrows and embarrassment. However, drinking shots on a date is not going to maintain your intended image of being suave, sophisticated and “still level headed, no matter how exquisite your jaw line is.” I remember teetering out of the bar and having to steady myself against the wall, my poor date watching on with both amusement and caution as it was very clear I had made the cardinal mistake of overdoing it. All things considered, it really was a good evening – until I was sick on my lap just as the taxi drove away from the street. I texted him the next morning, hoping he hadn’t seen. He saw everything.
Still, it’s worth mentioning that I’ve only been on dates with guys, and evidently none of them have led to me practically floating away from the venue, happily humming the tune of Minnie Riperton’s “Lovin’ You” as I foresee our future together. Now I identify as straight, and so far have had no romantic feelings for a woman. But what if I went on a date with a woman? Where do the “dating norms” go, then? Maybe I’ll be able to tell you next time.
[Floraidh Clement – @FloraidhCC]