After past experiences with online dating (one of which resulted in a short lived disaster of a relationship), 12 months ago I decided to give it up. Love would have to come to me, to seek me out and fall romantically and theatrically into my arms. That was the plan.
12 months on, I re-download Tinder and Bumble.
A few idle swipes and attempts at riveting virtual conversation later and I find my self heading out on a date. A date with a man. I am nervous and out of practice, but how out of practice can you actually be at attempting to ‘be yourself’ for a couple of hours. He lives outside of London and so we decide to meet outside of Waterloo station and walk in the drizzle to Southbank for drinks.
Initial impressions are great and conversation is interesting, funny and flows well. Hoorah! We both seemingly enjoy ourselves and a second date is suggested. Pretty happy with that. Well done me. How on earth did I ever find dating difficult when it can be this easy.
In the coming days, we continue to chat in the evenings and reminisce about what a “great, really great” (his words) evening we had had. Conversations then lessen and contact becomes more infrequent, not for my lack of trying, but still. I believe I have been “ghosted”, a word that continues to appear and become more frequent in the world of dating, an irony that is not lost on me.
Now, I appreciate that this is now absolutely normal and most people wouldn’t bat an eyelid, they’d take the strong hint and move on. However, I think there’s something to be said for “common” decency and the ability to relate to and speak with another person. If you react at all to being dismissed in this way, you are deemed to be overreacting and I just do not think that that is fair. I enjoyed our date and I was looking forward to seeing this man again. I would have appreciated a sign off to this fleeting interaction. Instead, it leaves you to wonder – was it that awful joke you made? – was it the reality of dating someone outside of your respective travel zone? – was it your disdain for Placebo?
We no longer owe anyone anything. There is no “done thing”. We answer to no one. We move on.
Also, this almost always means you have to go on another date….