This week a painter was in our flat, brightening up our windows (and no, it was not the window designer from Monki, but a very sweet old man from Romania). The only words he spoke to me were either “paint”, “sponge” or “yes”. Until one fateful afternoon when I was just minding my own business, making him some coffee – or at least I think he wanted coffee, given the choice of drinks he just replied “yes”. ) He asked if I was single or married; besides my confusion at his sudden decision to say new words, I was struck by this question that seemed a bit like a trick. I answered that I was single. He simply said “oooh…now I understand!”
Now, pause whilst you imagine just what ran through my head here. Understand what? That I was home in the middle of the day? My window paint was as bare as my list of potential partners? Questions immediately began to appear in front of me like sad bubbles: wait, why am I single? Should I still be single? Do people think I have a look at about me, permanent singledom written all over my face? Then I calmed down and realised just because a painter asked me my marital status, it doesn’t mean I have to run out and find whatever Tom or Harry I can find on the streets. Or even Dick for that matter.
I don’t want a relationship (at the time of writing this) – I don’t have the mental time. I’m far too self-absorbed to worry about someone else and I don’t think that’s a bad thing to say. I’m 24 and just finding my feet; I think too many people feel bad for saying they want to be selfish at this stage in their lives. That said, dating can introduce you to new people and maybe even the person that you want to make room for. Or at least someone who’s on the same tube line.
A male friend and I are always talking about being single in London: I like to occasionally date, occasionally bemoan lack of companionship but more often feel so grateful that I don’t have to fit anyone else into my life apart from Carrie and the girls. He, likes to constantly pine after a girlfriend yet regularly date girls that he only wants to sleep with. The other night he asked: “What IS the protocol, are you allowed to sleep with them once and then say you don’t want anything else? Or do you just not sleep with them at all?” I didn’t even know the answer. Dating these days is HARD. There’s so many people out there, that there aren’t any. I’m not good at maths but that seems an incorrect formula to me.
I’ve been on two dates in the past month – one of them I asked him out and he said he felt emasculated by it – whilst I screamed “IT’S NOT 1960 ANYMORE” at our chat screen) He was so dull I had to drink loads on an empty stomach, cue me stuffing my face with dim sum and accidentally kissing him on the ear lobe goodbye, which was 100% more flirtation than I intended. The other was one of the best nights I’ve had for a while: a guy I was seeing in Paris was in town for One Night Only. We drank, danced and he spoke in his French accent. But aurevoir, for he lives in Paris. Other factors are at play which means we’re not destined to be together. Fun was had whilst it lasted.
What about all the apps you ask? Well I’m no more likely to meet the one via an app that on the tube. I’ve had lingering flirtations on both, the former resulting in a relationship. But that too, came to an end. I fell in love with someone on the tube the other week. Unrequited, long-distance love. Or it might just because he was wearing a suit and looked like he worked for Google, but loved fun and gin and pets like me.
So, where do you meet new people to date? I’ve never met anyone on a night out in London, nor in a bar where supposedly these things happen. I always swear that I’m only approached by freaks. No normal, sane, good looking person has ever come up to me and said anything. Granted, I don’t do much approaching myself. I’m far too busy getting my card declined at the bar and sloping back sadly towards the dancefloor.
What’s the correct attitude to meeting them? Are you supposed to actively look or care more about being an Independent Woman and hope he just strolls into your life? Sit back, relax and just pray he happens to be attractive, funny, interesting or at least two of the above? OK…I’ll take one, just one. I don’t know what the correct style is for dating in the city, nor does anyone probably. At least I’m open to new people and situations which is a good start (as long as those people are attractive, funny and interesting.)
A family friend has just started a new dating revolution called Tribe. You pick three single friends and get matched to another group of three singletons on a blind date. Locations range from sushi making, plane flying lessons to trendy pop-up restaurants. The dates are tailor made so there’s no expecting The One and meeting someone who doesn’t even have one thing in common with you. Obviously, it can’t guarantee a marriage but watch this space. You can register your interest at the link below, with the site launching properly soon. And this way, I can no longer say that there’s no real-life way to meet new people in London. Shout out to all my single girlfriends: wanna be in my tribe, my tribe, my tribe? (ugh I’m going to be single forever)
If there really are plenty more fish in the sea, then my net needs to be cast wider because the quality of fish I’ve met so far would make Jamie Oliver cry.
Love, Bridget Jones x