False Pretence

Online dating is no different to the first five minutes of Blind Date. “What’s your name” and “where do you come” from are probably the only truthful details you know about the other person, anything else about them can’t really be confirmed until you meet. I say this due to experiencing awful first dates with men who seemed (on paper and photos) to be an all right match.

As always, it starts with a match on a dating app, then the conversation begins. This chap and I hit it off well. He’s a RAF man originally from Cumbria. The fun, outdoorsy type, reasonably attractive and athletic. When it comes to organising our date, his first suggestion is one of the most expensive restaurants in the city. Although all my friends were in my ear telling me how I should go for it; the food will be delicious, he’ll be paying and we’d both be dressed up and looking our best. However, I felt guilty that on our first meeting, he would be paying a mortgage for a meal. Instead, I suggested an average Mexican restaurant for a more relaxed atmosphere with the possibility of going for drinks after.

We meet outside the restaurant as planned and I am instantly disappointed. His height was a definite lie. I’m no Miranda Hart and his lack of height really did deflate my enthusiasm. His build was more like an 8 year old boy than a 26 year old RAF lad. I know and so does everyone else, photos can be deceiving, but gents don’t tend to be half as bad for this as girls!

I persevere, we go into the restaurant and seat ourselves at the table. As we talk, our conversation hits several bumps in the road… mostly due to his condescending tone on activities I have never tried before. I’ve never been made to feel so exceptionally small before just because I’ve never taken a skiing trip or climbed Mount Snowdon. His reaction to my lack of skiing experience was a look of pure disgust, you would’ve thought I’d just pushed him in dog poo or spat in front of him. One of the best topics was cycling, apparently because I am a girl, I don’t understand any of the mechanics of a push bike… so for my own amusement, I decided it was better to play dumb and nod along whilst thinking ‘you an arrogant pig’ and daydreaming about weekend plans. As you can imagine, the evening didn’t improve.

It reached a point where I knew that the only good thing about the whole date would be the food. It’s fair to say that I am a food lover. I’m not someone who eats to live – I live to eat! So discussing different cuisines was an easy flowing topic for us, but his excitement about it was beyond odd, to the point where I felt extremely awkward. Not unlike the diner scene in When Harry Met Sally; this guy’s excitement while talking about food was disturbing.

When the time comes to pay, the waitress brings our bill over with the card machine. Like most girls at the end of a meal, I’ve already got my handbag on my lap ready to depart. Maybe my brain wasn’t functioning (thanks to the food coma I was in), but just as the card machine is about to be handed to him and the waitress checks the amount to pay, the figure he announces is half the total amount. Yes, that is correct, HALF.

Before we take this any further, you should know that I am no cheap skate nor a sponge. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong, but surely it’s an unwritten rule that when a guy asks a girl out to dinner, he intends on paying? I mean the gist I got from all the online chatting and him asking me out was that it would be his treat? I suppose the cherry on the cake was his choice of restaurant. Imagine if I had agreed to the first venue, arrived in my best ensemble, ordered anything off the menu to then get whacked with a massive bill!

So, it’s safe to say that online dating profiles with their photos, taglines and messages can paint a picture of someone completely different to the person they’re actually of. If the 6ft2 muscular RAF man originally photographed in this guy’s profile, who writes witty messages would like to take me for an actual extravagant date paid for by him, then please do call me! Until then, I guess the dating game continues…

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