Everyone tells me that dating is a game of numbers: 1, 3, 7, 92, 1000. It makes me wonder how anyone found love 50 years ago; were we less picky back then or does this endless swipe, swipe, swiping actually result in happier unions?
Ever since I’ve started saying yes to more ladies I’ve been getting more matches than I know what to do with. My phone trills with messages from lovelies all over London and beyond; air hostesses and accountants and designers who keep me up late into the night with their questions and stories; their 🙂 and 😉 and their xxx promise of later nights to come.
The Irish and I arrange to meet in a park but I realise at the last minute, stretched out in a scrabble of slightly tired snowdrops, that I’ve come to the wrong place.
I run at full pelt, dodging cars and children and gaggles of grinning holidaymakers taking selfies with a pigeon.
Fucking tourists, I mutter bad-naturedly.
I wheeze in 20 minutes later:
“I….am….so….sorry” I gasp.
“It’s no bother” she says in a gorgeous, slippery little accent that’s like a pat on the bum.
We swing by an off licence and pick up cans of whisky and ginger beer before scoping out a quiet spot in the grass.
Two hours later and I’m in a conversational no man’s land. I’ve tried everything – careers, holidays, books, politics, family – but she’s not biting. I drag sentences kicking and screaming from her lips until eventually the conversation curdles like month-old milk.
I scan the park desperately for something to talk about as the silence deepens into the world’s most terrifying vortex of social awkwardness. Gah. Say something!
“Such a lovely evening” I sigh.
“Yes, it is.”
“The, er, moon is really beautiful.”
“It’s grand” she replies, “I think it’s nearly a full moon.”
“Fuuulll moooon, halfff moon, to-tal eclipse” I giggle whilst she looks at me as if I’m on acid. I almost wish I was on acid so I could hallucinate a better date.
At last, I turn to the one subject I know we both have in common.
“So, when did you come out?”
Her eyes light up and she’s off. She parades her exes around in front of me – their lovely quirks and tiresome faults – until I know all their names and bra sizes by heart.
As dates go, it’s not the best.
Later that night we say goodbye in the underground – her heading North and me heading South.
“Let me know if you want to do something again. I’d love to get to know you more…” she says giving me a hard stare.
BUT WHAT WILL WE TALK ABOUT?? I scream silently in my head.
Lucky number 9? Here’s hoping.