Caffeinated catastrophes and dating site demotions

Of course, the sexy barista didn’t call.

And of course, the next morning I’m meeting friends in the very same coffee shop.

Yes, I could cancel or suggest another location, but the masochist in me reckons it’s better to face the situation head on. Naturally, the minute he speaks to me, I go into full fluster mode. So much so that I remember almost none of the conversation until he says, “Oh, so you were expecting me to call?”

Whereupon my mind snaps briskly to attention.

Call me? Well no, clearly, when you give someone your number that’s pretty much the last thing on your mind, right? Jeez! Nul points, dude.

Slightly crushed, I return to my friends, making a mental note to keep my spare change well away from the tip box in future.

In the afternoon, I have my second meeting with someone from the dating site. Only this time it’s not a date.

My East European Biotech Boffin is already engaged in a fledgling flirt with someone he met online, so we agree to meet for a friendly coffee in the interests of widening our social circles. And without the pressure of dating scenario, we end up getting along very nicely, thank you.

This, I think, is the main flaw of the dating site: meeting someone as the potential love of your life raises all sorts of expectations. In fact, it raises the bar so high that if you don’t immediately swoon at their smouldering looks, blistering charm and award-winning sense of humour, they’re voted an immediate ‘no’ and it’s on to the next.

Without all these onerous expectations, you’re judging them merely as a fellow human being. In fact, the EEBB is a fun and interesting guy, of the slightly nerdy, intellectual type that suits me down to the ground. I don’t fancy him, but I enjoy a thoroughly entertaining hour or two in his company, and we arrange to meet up for another coffee sometime soon.

Reflecting on the meeting, I decide it’s time to quit the dating site; it’s just not for me. My girlfriends castigate me, telling me that I’ve not given it a fair chance.

“You know,” says my stylish Italian friend, “it’s supposed to be FUN!”

“Fun?” I protest. “FUN?! I’d rather eat my own head! I’d rather be slapped ‘til I squeal with the sharp edge of a wet towel! I’d rather be covered in jam and trapped in a room full of wasps with PMT!”

And then I take a breath, and I listen to myself. And that’s when I know it’s really, truly not for me.

And, with a sigh of relief, I go to my profile and hit ‘delete’.


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