I’m lucky enough to live in a city that gives good date. As the sun goes down, it glints off the golden limestone. The tourists thin out. There are numerous riverside pubs and, well, it’s just bloody pretty, really…
So I was in a fairly buoyant mood as I headed through town earlier this week on my way to one of said pubs. On, get this: an actual date. I haven’t dated for a long, long time. Sure, I play around a bit on OKCupid and Tinder when I’m bored, but the idea of spending an evening messaging a bunch of different guys? Not really my idea of fun.
He seemed a nice guy, but then, the signs had been good from the start. He’d bothered to read my profile before he messaged me, he thought this was a good idea and he didn’t write as though grammar was an optional extra. In the flesh, he was tall, attractive and as intelligent as his messages had suggested. I asked for a glass of wine, he ordered a bottle. Apparently I pay even less attention to the One Drink Bailout than the guys who read my profile.
He asked as many questions as he answered. He didn’t make me laugh, but he did make me smile a couple of times. When I nipped to the loo and asked myself whether I’d consider a second date, I was leaning towards yes.
When I later told him I didn’t want to see him again, I gave what happened at the very end of the date as my sole reason. Looking back, I was a bit uneasy even before that. As long as we were talking about his MBA, his background or his hobbies, everything was fine. When he talked about women? Not so much.
I could, of course, be completely wrong about this. He might have been recounting his experiences exactly as they happened. His last long-term relationship was true love. Her family didn’t think he was good enough, and they split. He would always love her, and she him, and if anything went wrong in her life, he’d still ‘do anything for her.’
Since then, he’d been out with a handful of women he’d met on OKC. And these women, he seemed to be saying, were invariably a bit crazy. One just wanted him for sex and wasn’t afraid to say so. Another, when he told her he didn’t want to see her anymore, started sending him abusive messages. Wow, I thought: of the guys I’ve met online, mostly it’s just a lack of chemistry or stuff in common that stops me going back for more. There’s not normally, y’know, drama.
We finished the wine. He asked if I wanted more. I said I was ok, but I was happy to get him a glass and keep chatting for a bit longer. He turned down my offer, and bought another bottle himself. Hmm. Rightly or wrongly, I let him pour me a bit more. I went to the bathroom again. When I got back, he’d moved our stuff to a table nearer the river. More romantic, I presume.
It got to 11:30, and I wanted to make the last bus. I was still undecided about that second date, but I figured I’d think about it on the way home. He offered to walk me the bus stop. As we rounded the corner of the pub, he cornered me up against a wall and moved in for the kiss.
I’m a sucker for a snog, and I think it’s a good indicator of chemistry, so we kissed for a while. Ultimately, I pulled away. It wasn’t that great, and I still had time to get to the bus stop. And that’s when he pulled a condom from his back pocket and asked if I was ‘sure I was a good girl?’
I should have told him that I’m neither good nor bad. I mean, when I got home that night, my knickers were damp. I have a history of one nighters. Briefly, the flash of that silver foil packet made my heart beat faster, made me crave something different, something one off.
The rest of me didn’t feel sufficiently at ease to want to fuck him. I hadn’t decided. I wanted more time. All things that have nothing to do with whether I’m good or bad.
‘Good girl,’ has a place in the bedroom, definitely. I’m less sure it has a place on a first date.