By Anneke Roux
Where are the days of courtship and being married off by 16?
It’s quite impossible to meet someone decent while trying to juggle work, fitness, friendships and all the side hustles. So we turn to a place we can count on. A platform on which we can meet someone by merely swiping right. Get all the highs of a new interest in a way we can manage.
I’m talking about Tinder (and all the other dating apps we lean on in our moments of loneliness). I’ve only used Tinder and Bumble but I’ve been brave enough to venture out on a number of dates with the (gentle)men I’ve met there.
But let’s just say I have never been on a second date.
There must be something seriously wrong with me, but it seems that I attract only the weird guys. So while I might not share my bed with anyone due to my bad luck, at least I can share some cool stories with you.
The best story (and worst experience) is about Hand-Kissy-Man.
He was quite intense during the pre-meeting chat and got really upset when I cancelled a date last minute (I know, bad form on my side, but I had a feeling okay), but I decided to eventually give the man a chance. We met for drinks.
He was besotted. What an ego boost for me! I had power, but it soon backfired. Here’s the list of cringeworthy things that made me end the date early and delete his number. Every time he said something he thought clever, he lifted his glass (as if he was toasting… himself???) and nodded. He did this about once a minute. He was talking constantly and never gave me chance to get a word in (a big no-no for an extrovert like me).
Then he complimented my eyes. Cute right? I tried to break the tension by making a joke about how small they were, but it was lost on him.
And then it happened.
He extended his arm over the table and held out his hand to signal that I should place mine in his. I hesitated for about 15 seconds. He kept nodding and shaking his hand, ushering me to place mine in his. My hesitation continued for what felt like eternity. Eventually, I gave in (the pressure got to me and I really didn’t know what else to do!). He took my hand in his and gently, without breaking eye contact, lifted it to his face. Then, still without breaking eye contact, he placed his lips on my knuckles and STILL WITHOUT BREAKING EYE CONTACT passionately kissed it. I was freaked out. I (hopefully gracefully) pulled my hand away, declined a second glass of wine, quickly ended the date, and laughed all the way home.
Lemon-pip man. He was wonderfully strange!
He asked me for coffee at 11 in the morning. Naturally one would assume that this would not include something to eat, so I ate a late breakfast beforehand. I arrived on time, waited, talked to the waiters, and warned them that if I seemed anxious or scared they should save me. At 11:20 he showed up. We ordered coffee and he ordered food. Strike one, it was obvious that we weren’t supposed to eat, but I tried not to let it bother me. I pushed on, hoping for some light at the end of my already very dark Tinder tunnel.
He ordered a glass of water with lemon and ice. I know I sound like a stuck-up cow, but wait for it .
The water arrived and he proceeded to fish out the lemon slices with his fingers, remove the pips, and throw them on the floor. HE THREW LEMON PIPS ON THE FLOOR OF A RESTAURANT! Not such a stuck-up cow now am I? Who did he think was going to clean it up? And why? Really why?
All of a sudden I had an “emergency” and unfortunately had to check on a friend’s cat 20 minutes into the date.
Not all of my tinder experiences ended with a date. Some were already revealed in the pre-meeting chats. The first was when I politely informed a man that I would not be having sex with him on our first actual date and he asked me in all seriousness if it was “dragon’s week”. I am sorry, but when that happens it is none of your business. We unmatched. Chill vibes still, I know.
The second, and most entertaining, happened quite recently. I matched with a man who super-liked me. Cute.
We talked a while, and he seemed nice. I even found out that he lived in the complex next to mine, so let’s call him Neighbour-man. Neighbour-man was really interested, and to help him manage his expectations I informed him that he should be aware of the fact that I’m not skinny, but rather on the larger side. I am fine with who I am and how I look. I know I am fabulous and Lizzo agrees. When after less than 24 hours I didn’t want to tell him at which school I worked (a small pet peeve) he went off on a rant that that lasted for 33 WhatsApp messages (I counted).
He sent me his list of what he wanted in a girl in order to persuade me that he is, in fact, not a stereotypical male (despite the fact that everything on the list was stereotypical). He assumed I had massive issues with my body after I informed him that I was extremely confident. As a very loud feminist and strong, independent young woman, I did not fit into any of his requirements. I congratulated him on dodging a bullet and wished him all the best with his list and life.
So guys. Please chill and don’t do any of the things I’ve mentioned above, okay? Also, can someone tell me where I can find a decent man? I am clearly not having any luck on Tinder.
This story was written by a guest contributor, Anneke Roux. If you enjoyed reading about her experiences, or want to ask her on a date that doesn't involve any bizarre behaviour, follow her on Instagram at @rouxanneke. And if you’d like to become a contributor for Essential Millennial, please contact us and we’ll help you share your stories far and wide.