Along with watching Netflix, going to the Gym and to some people just plain old Gin, dating in London in somewhat a hobby/pastime in itself.
I’ve been in this city for over three years now and that’s resulted in a lot of dates. Some good, some bad and one that went viral. After watching what I’m sure will be the first of many episodes of ITV2’s Love Island last night, I began to wonder; what has dating taught me?
I CAN BE A BIT MUCH
This comes as no real surprise to me. I know I can be annoying and on first dates I can come off a bit strong. Not strong in the sense that I’m trying too hard, but strong in the sense that if there are any awful awkward silences while we sit down and have drinks, you best believe I’m telling some random story about the time my sister caught me trying on her best friend’s leather boots when I was 10 years old* or something.
In my defence I’d like to say that on more than one occasion, probably around 60% of all dates I’ve been on, the guy in question has been awful at holding a conversation. One guy genuinely had nothing to say that I started to quiz him on his favourite tube station to avoid the deafening silence and constant deep sighs.
It turned out he liked Canary Wharf, while I was fond of London Bridge (hello, it has The Shard).
We never saw each other after that. But I always think of him when I’m passing through Canary Wharf.
LONDON IS NOT A BIG CITY
One thing someone told me when I started dating in London is that if it goes tits up then chances are you’ll never see the guy again.
THIS IS A LIE.
Case in point; I was at London Pride in 2015 and I’d ended up going on my own because the guy I’d been dating for a good 6 months was out of the city for the weekend. While I was there wandering around on my own I happened to bump into not one but two past dates of mine in the space of five minutes.
And on top of that, remember the guy I was dating who said he was out of the city? I also saw him there too – just with another guy.
That was a fun day.
GRINDR IS BETTER THAN TINDER FOR DATING
Among the gays it’s agreed that Grindr is where you go for hooking up and Tinder is where you go if you want a ‘proper’ date. For the most part this is true. But in my own experience I’ve found the former to be a lot more useful to me when it comes to dating and I’m not really sure why.
Perhaps people are more upfront with their intentions on Grindr and you can weed out the ones who aren’t looking for more than a fumble. Also, the endless chat on Tinder can sometimes feel like you’ve found a pen pal instead of a potential date.
Some of the nicest guys I’ve met and the best dates I’ve had were with guys from Grindr, so I try not to knock it too much.
DON’T TWEET ABOUT YOUR DATES
Around this time last year I went on a date with a guy who turned out to be a huge racist. In typical me fashion, I ran to the bathroom and tweeted about how much of an awful time I was having and how it was the worst date I’d ever been on.
The next day the guy found my tweet and quoted it to tell the world I wasn’t a great date either. From that point the whole thing snowballed into a viral debacle known as #DateGate.
To cut a long story short, I ended up getting a lot of racist abuse from white twinks who felt like I betrayed their brethren. So I took matters into my own hands and tweeted a rebuttal to all the claims saying I was in the wrong and exposed him for the racist shit he was.
This was only after Attitude Magazine wrote a nasty little piece about the whole situation (which I got them to take down because it was absolute horse shit). I also became a meme and a magazine in Australia interviewed me about the whole thing for their site.
So yeah, don’t tweet about your dates.
MY POP QUEENS ARE V. IMPORTANT TO ME
It really irks me when people think their music taste is better than someone else’s because they don’t listen to pop music or mainstream stuff. My god, are you that dull that you need to find fault in what someone else enjoys?!
One date a few years ago laughed when I told him that I listened to Britney Spears and JoJo. I can understand a bit of amusement at the idea, but this guy would not let it go. He kept going back to the fact I listened to ‘girly’ music and that I should try listening to some ‘real music’.
I made up a lie and told him I had to reply to a message on my phone and instead deleted his number there and then and shortly left after that.
I LIKE MY OWN COMPANY
I don’t know when I became a solitary person but dating made me realise that I value my own time more than I thought. It does cross my mind at times whether I’m going on dates because I’m bored rather than wanting to find someone to settle down with.
Just a few months ago I was in a serious relationship and I told the guy I wanted to be able to do stuff on my own and not feel obligated to do everything with him. I can see why he was offended by what I said, but it’s true**.
I worry that if I invest too much time in a guy and it doesn’t work out then I’ve pretty much wasted my time. I guess that’s the gamble you take with dating though, isn’t it?
Probably I’m approaching this whole dating thing wrong. It’s been three years and I’ve been on more dates than I can remember and only three actually led to something more.
But I’m not complaining because dating in general has been a really good eye opener for me. I’ve realised what I like in a guy and what I don’t like. I’ve gotten better at sharing my food, which I never used to like doing because it is my food. ~ahem~
Best of all I think is that I’ve learnt how to handle rejection better. I may think the date is going well, but if the guy decides it’s not the right fit then that’s okay. It’s not the end of the world and chances are he had a small dick anyway so it’s a win-win situation for everyone***.
*This is a true story. Upon being caught I hid in the bathroom for three hours because I was so embarrassed. Those boots did look good on me though.
**This wasn’t the reason why we broke up. It’s a lot messier than that.
*** Maybe I still need to work on accepting rejection. Sigh.