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Hannah Patterson describes her week of dipping her toe into the Glasgow dating scene
As a single woman in her twenties, I like to think of myself as Glasgow’s answer to Carrie Bradshaw – running around the city in various questionable outfits looking for my dream partner. The reality is slightly less glamorous, and I’m the first to admit my dating history is less than great. So, this week, I’ll be going on a date with a different person I’ve met on Tinder every day, to see if I can finally break the cycle. I’ve managed to get dates with a mixture of boys and girls (partly because I’m attracted to both and partly because beggars really can’t be choosers) and the people range from exactly my type to someone I’d never usually go out with – because clearly whatever “type” I have so far isn’t working. I haven’t told any of them that I’m doing this and don’t intend to unless we decide to see each other again, so they have no idea I’ll be reporting on their date. I’m obviously keeping everyone completely anonymous, so without further ado, let’s jump in.
Date 1: An Open Book
My first date is with a girl who’s in an open relationship – not something I’ve ever considered, but since this week is about trying new things, I decided to give it a go. I openly admitted that this was my first date with someone who identifies as poly, which was obviously a mistake as she then spent the next twenty minutes talking almost exclusively about her partner, which seemed to me an odd topic for a first date. This wouldn’t have been so bad, but throughout the date this girl didn’t ask me a single question about myself and the whole thing felt one-sided and awkward. I left with not much more understanding of polyamory but feeling weirdly cheated that this girl was now going home to her girlfriend while I went home alone. This date pretty much confirmed what I already knew; that polyamory is not for me at all, but it was an interesting (and mildly irritating) experience.
Date 2: A Journalist and a Gentleman
This date was arguably the one I was most excited about beforehand, but the amount of pre-date questions over WhatsApp made me unsure whether to dress for a date or a job interview. It was also my first ever dinner date, and I was pleasantly surprised at how easy I found it. Conversation was easy (helped by the fact that we were both from the same home country) and I found myself forgetting that this was a Tinder date. This date definitely taught me not to judge someone by how they talk over messenger, and when he walked me home after dinner and drinks (without trying to invite himself in, other men take note) I was genuinely sad that the evening was over. A solid date and gave me a bit of hope after the disastrous first date. As I’m seeing him again (keep reading to find out more) I decided to tell him about the article, and he was pretty chill about the whole thing, thankfully.
Date 3: Mr Not-So-Brightside
It’s day 3 and I’m already really regretting my decision to voluntarily put on makeup and find a decent outfit for seven days in a row. It’s been a long week work and university-wise, and my heart really wasn’t in this date. That said, no amount of effort could have remedied this evening. We met for drinks and ran out of things to talk about before the drinks had made it to the table. What followed next was a textbook example of what a date should not be: awkward pauses and absolutely no chemistry whatsoever. Some of the riveting conversation starters that this guy came out with included: “do you watch Netflix?”, “do you like music?” and my personal favourite, “have you ever heard of The Killers?” I had assumed that the awkwardness was mutual, but when I tried to politely excuse myself after the first drink – using the world famous “I have an early day tomorrow” line – he insisted on getting another drink. At this point I was ready to fake a stroke to end the evening, so I downed my wine in record time and got the hell out of dodge. The guy was genuinely nice, it was just a personality mismatch. No harm, no foul.
Date 4: Episode II – The Gentleman Strikes Back
That’s right readers, date two is making a comeback. Initially I was unsure if going on a second date with the same person would break the rules of the article, but then I remembered that I came up with this concept, so I gave myself permission. I realise this date won’t be funny to write about because it’s a second date and was just generally lovely, so I’ll keep this one short and sweet. We went for drinks and dinner, and then went for a walk around the Uni. It was cute as shit and I’m sure you have zero interest in it. Luckily, I did.
Date 5: Vegan Drinks
This date was organised pretty last minute – and by that point I had already said I would go on a night out with some friends and pick up the dating the next day. When I told them that I’d finally convinced a man to go out with me, they said I should use the date as a form of pre-drinks for the night out. This was obviously a terrible idea, and so I immediately agreed. When I arrived at The Flying Duck (because he’s a vegan and apparently is only allowed to drink in vegan bars in case normal bars are filled with flying pieces of cheese), he was reading a book by Charles Bukowski. I made some sort of witticism about him reading depressing American realism to impress ladies, and then immediately ran to the bar in case he asked me a follow up question, which I would not be able to answer. The date was pretty good I have to say and once again no awkward pauses. However, I’m not sure how much of that was due to the date, and how much was due to the glasses of wine I was drinking like they were shots. Also, at one point this guy said the phrase “You have to fuck the world to find love” and I genuinely didn’t know if he was joking or being serious. Despite this, I was happy to go out with this guy again, to see where it would go, but the following day I received a text from him saying that we wouldn’t work because he got the sense I wanted kids. This guy was the definition of intense – Bukowski would be proud.
Date 6: 710km away?!
Date six was with a girl who I’d been chatting to for a while (since before I started the article actually) so I was pretty excited for this one. We had arranged to go on a coffee date as I’d consumed my body weight in wine at this point of the week. However, in the 24 hours leading up to the date, when I messaged to confirm, she patched my messages twice. I assumed she was probably working or with friends or basically doing anything other than prowling Tinder like me. Then I looked at her profile and her location had changed to 710 kilometres away. This girl has literally fled the country to avoid going out with me. Part of me was relieved that I could put my pyjamas on earlier, and the other part of me was annoyed because I’m a great date. Ask dates 1-5.
Date 7: The Last Hurrah
My final date was another coffee evening, much needed after this exhausting week of Tinder-ing. This girl was lovely, and conversation was easy the whole way through: I could tell within about two minutes that there was no romantic connection but that didn’t stop it from being a pleasant conversation. There were a lot of big hand gestures when she told stories, and at one point I thought she was going to knock my coffee over, but it was an all-round good date. It was short and sweet, probably mainly because I wanted to go home and put my pyjamas on, but a very pleasant way to finish up the week.
Well, the week is over. Seven dates completed (or six if you don’t count the absconder) and quite frankly I couldn’t be happier to take a break from dating. First dates are fun and exciting and there’s no better feeling than when they go well, but it’s also exhausting trying to be the best version of yourself over and over again. Amazingly I think I have found at least one person I want to see again from this experience (I’ll let you work out which one) and four out of seven dates were generally pretty enjoyable – a good statistic. Tinder is full of some of the worst that the dating pool has to offer, but it also has some pretty decent specimens as well, so keep that in mind next time you’re back from your date after one hour wishing you’d never downloaded the app. And if all else fails, do seven in seven!
Two months after this article was written, and the guy from dates no. 2 and 4 has decided to stick around. This is annoying because this article was supposed to be more about the futility of modern dating than a success story, but I’m actually in a more stable relationship than I have been in a very long time, so silver linings. Tinder has even been deleted and it’s not been missed at all – maybe it’s not such a terrible way to meet someone after all!