His picture popped up on my screen—a tall, dark, and handsome enough guy with an air of intellect and a suave smile. He was a PHD student in Physics, a fact I found both intimidating and arousing.
According to his profile, he was from somewhere in America. I can't recall exactly where.
"Oooh, foreign," I thought as I hastily swiped right.
This was my first foray into the murky, mind-bending waters of Tinder.
I'd tried to arrange a date once before but that had been a dismal no-show which left me stood up in a bar in London, where I spent the evening drinking whiskey alone. The next day, the guy had texted me "So, I went to the wrong pub haha." I was not amused.
That experience burned me, leading me to temporarily scorn Tinder. However, as the work piled up during the final year of my degree, I soon longed for a distraction. By the time I matched with Mr. American, I was ready for a bit of romance.
We met at a cosy little pub with dim lighting, a pool table, and just the right amount of low-level chatter so as to render the atmosphere suitably intimate.
He was charming, sweet, and talkative. I'd been worried that we wouldn't have a lot in common but the conversation flowed with ease. I listened intently as he talked about Graphene and the perils of kissing his students on drunken nights out.
I downed glass after glass of red wine, feeling the heat rise to my cheeks as the tart liquid filled my heart with courage.
When he went to the toilet, I glanced at my phone. There was a text from my mum: "How's the date going?"
By this stage, I was suitably tipsy with a woozy sense of humour so I replied, "Yeah, great thanks, think he's the one! lol."
When he returned, it wasn't long before we were making the short walk back to my place.
Things progressed as I'd expected. I shut the door to my bedroom. He kissed me passionately. We began to undress each other feverishly as we tumbled onto my bed in a muddle of flirtatious giggles.
Then he paused to look at his phone. A wave of shock passed over his face and suddenly he was muttering an excuse to leave, claiming his taxi had arrived.
I was disappointed but in my drunken stupor, I just smiled dreamily at him and bid him goodnight.
The next day, I awoke with a pounding hangover and a blurry recollection of the night's events.
When I looked at my phone, I realised with abject remorse that the text I'd intended for my mum had actually been sent to Mr. American.
I was absolutely mortified. There could be no coming back from this.
I feebly tried to remedy the situation by ignoring it and sending him a text to ask if he wanted to meet up again. When that got no reply, I explained that the text was a joke and I'd meant to send it to my mum. Still no reply.
Needless to say, I never from him again but can only assume that he pictured me as a desperate, bunny-boiler psycho who wanted to entrap him, marry him, and have his babies.
That night I learnt two important lessons:
- Never exceed three glasses of wine on a date.
- Don't drink and text.
However, looking back, I think the most important thing I learnt from the experience is not to take myself so seriously.
Life deserves to be laughed at sometimes and it's too short to worry what other people think of you.