What’s love got to do with it? I’m currently running late for my first date with Natalie, she is unbeknownst to me, always early – not a good start to our fledgling relationship. Fledgling soon found floundering when instead of waiting inside, Natalie has decided to remain outside in some quite considerable cold weather.
‘I’m so sorry Natalie, the buses were delayed, then two came along – ironically just like the saying’
‘Buses – you wait for one, then two etc’
‘We don’t have that saying in Australia’
It’s fair to say things were off to a rough start…
Natalie and I had meet on Tinder, a dating website based almost exclusively on what the other person looks like from 4 – 6 carefully posed photos normally with enough filters on to give the impression of effortless elegance rather than a thoroughly rehearsed pout. I wanted to like Natalie, I really did, but the more we chatted the more it seemed like fighting sledge hammers with toothpicks. I took the initiative and ordered a pizza to share. When it arrived I gave her a look trying to convey ‘oh I’ve got this, don’t worry, I’m cool like that, carry on telling me about your sisters terrible husband’ instead she said ‘Has this got meat on it?’
‘Yes – well only chicken, chorizo and maybe some ham’
‘I’m a vegetarian’
Pushing the plate to my side of the table with subtle disdain, the next 15 minutes were covered in scowls as I consumed her BBQ’d comrades, trying to listen with sincerity about the terrible conditions chickens are kept in whilst dabbing stray morsels from the side of my mouth.
The goodbye was brief, the words ‘Great to meet you – I’ll give you a call’ have rarely sounded more hollow, with almost relief in her eyes knowing she’d soon be free of this bloody thirsty poultry botherer – the date was over.
For all the stats they give you about finding love online, I’m not so sure, yes we exchanged messages prior to meeting up but we didn’t actually know each other, if we had friends in common surely one of them would have seen sense and said ‘you two? Like a butterfly and a turnip mate’
Where was my mistake? It’s Valentine’s day next week and at present my dance card is decidedly empty. Should I focus on the traditional methods of meeting people? Or is the traditional method now an awful lot of first dates and precious few seconds? Has the desire for the speed and convenience of online dating been to the detriment of compatibility and spark?