I have a love-hate relationship with my birthday. I love celebrating it and receiving presents. However, I always dread being another year older, as I start panicking about all the things I should have done by that age but haven’t i.e. finding a man.
Anyway, around this time last year, I was starting to panic. The following year, I was set to hit the big Quarter of a Century milestone. My tough gym routine and fundraising activities preparing for my sponsored climb of Mount Kilimanjaro meant that I’d been on about 2 dates in the first half of 2015, but as the year was drawing to a close, I was starting to panic about not having found a husband yet.
So I began the process of what I refer to as “churning them out”. Basically, speed swiping on Tinder and trawling through my OKCupid inbox to rack up and churn out as many dates as possible to maximise my chances of meeting The One.
Most of the dates I went on were pretty awful. But there was one particular fellow who was particularly horrific.
Met this guy on Tinder, and after chatting for a while, we switched to “second base”, WhatsApp.
We ended up talking every day. He’d message without fail every evening, then we’d chat until bedtime when we’d say goodnight to each other. Attentive, but not too clingy. Perhaps this could finally be it?
Then, the red flag came.
“How long do you make a guy wait?”, he asked.
But he’d been normal up until then, so I brushed it off.
We finally arranged to meet on a Saturday evening. I was commuting from Reading at that point and he was from Enfield, so we arranged to meet near Paddington station as a halfway point and go to this Chinese restaurant nearby.
Upon meeting, I realised that he wasn’t the 6’1″ he’d claimed to be. And the food was good, but the conversation was a bit awkward. The bill came, and I offered to split it, but he paid and said I could buy him a drink afterwards. The service at the restaurant had been really quick so we’d only been there for an hour, and although I secretly quite like it when the man picks up the tab in a relationship, on the first couple of dates I’d rather split the bill, so I thought, sure why not? I’m happy to pay for a couple of drinks.
We went to this bar down the road, which turned out to only take cash, so he ended up paying and I’d said pay him back afterwards. The he started knocking back the wine.
He got a bit more confident and engaging after a couple of drinks. Conversation was flowing well, so I thought perhaps it could be worth a tentative second date.
But then he had another glass. And another. Fuck, I hope he’s not expecting me to pay for this. I decided I’d just offer to pay my share of dinner and drinks. He started getting obnoxious. He kept awkwardly trying to kiss me, told me I “get fitter” the more he’s had to drink, and asked if I’d “do him”. He then proceeded to tell me about a threesome he’d had with a male friend and a girl, and how once he was sleeping with 3 girls at the same time. I doubted these stories actually happened, as I couldn’t imagine anyone… fancying him to sleep with him. And he was 31. The whole point of dating guys in their thirties is that THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO BE MATURE. Made a mental note to propose date locations where there’s no alcohol on the premises in future.
Eventually left, and got the train home. Remembered on the train that I’d forgotten to pay him back. Oops.
Got a message from him demanding “Where’s my money?”
Apologised and offered to pay him back by bank transfer or something. He then set me a stream of drunk messages, along the lines of “I want to fuck you”, before informing he’d got a taxi home. Bit of an expensive journey, but he was an oil broker so I guess he could afford it.
He then messaged me the next day with his bank details.
“About £60 should do it.”
Wait… what? I’d had 2 drinks at the bar and dinner was standard price. Were the drinks laced with gold or something?
I asked him how much drinks were, and he said £5. I did the mental calculations.
“So I owe… £27?”
“Yeah and dinner.”
“Errm… that is and dinner. I had 2 drinks.”
“I can’t be bothered to haggle with you so just pay back whatever you feel you owe. I went out with £120 though!”
I then remembered that he’d got a taxi from Paddington station to Enfield, which is probably where the money went.
Like I said, on a first date I’m happy to split the bill, however by “split the bill” I mean each person covers their own share, NOT try and factor in your taxi home.
I never went on a second date with this lovely gentleman, however he did tell me that “we should have got a hotel room”.