Dating in London: ‘So, being compared to a 10 was unnerving’

This one was ridiculously good looking, and I mean that in a Zoolander kinda way, as almost all of his pics were 'blue steels' but sadly non-ironically.

But to be fair to him he was hot. He was tanned with a David Beckham’esque hair cut and piercing blue eyes.

One of his pics was him at a wedding in a gorgeous expensive looking crisp white shirt, collar undone, dickie bow hanging loosely either side, mouth open…

OK done… swipe right! Thank the Lord it’s a match.

The Chat

It was about 11pm on a Sunday night. I often go on a Tinder spree at this time if I’ve had a particularly boring weekend so my quest to find my OTL gets ramped up.

I messaged him.

“I bet I can guess what you do for a living in three guesses."

Now, I know this may sound like a pretty great Tinder opening line to get a guy to engage in a conversation, and that maybe this was a line I’d used before but in fact it wasn’t!

I actually genuinely just thought from looking at his pics that I could guess what he did.

“Well that sounds like a fun challenge,” he replied straightaway. “I tell you what, if you guess correctly I buy you drinks all night. If you guess incorrectly, then the evenings on you.”

“Challenge accepted,” I replied with a winky face. “OK, so guess number one, you dress well, you’re nicely tanned, you have a certain suaveness about you, I reckon you work in Recruitment / Sales?”

“Incorrect,” he replied

“Damn. Hmmm ok Creative Director?”

“Nope, wrong again, these free drinks are looking good to me,” he replied cheekily.

Damn! Ok come on Ari,you’ve got this. I looked at his pics again, studied every nuance and suddenly it hit me!

“I know, I know! You work in banking” I exclaimed.

“Yes! I didn’t think you’d guess correctly!” he replied, clearly impressed

“OK ,then you smart alec, when you free for me to fulfil my end of the bargain?”

And just like that I had a date! That was pretty frickin easy!

The Date

He picked the bar, the date and the time!

Finally; a man who can take control and make a friggin decision!

This particular date was one of my many Tinder dates I had when living in London, so the destination was a quaint little wine bar in Kings Cross or so the website informed me when I looked it up.

I rarely went out in Kings Cross despite it being just two stops on the Tube from where I lived, but I was grateful for the change of scenery and the chance to experience another side of London nightlife.

We had been chatting briefly over WhatsApp in the three days between my opening guessing game and our date night, but in all honesty I knew very little about this guy.

Sometimes this is the best way to play the Tinder game; just lock in a date straight away without spending weeks chatting back and forth which can often heighten your expectations before being spectacularly let down when you meet the real life person.

This was just simple. I’d get to know him on the date like dating should be before apps took over and ruined everything!

Unfortunately, the quaint little wine bar was so quaint it was impossible to find!

I obediently followed the blue flashing dot on my iPhone to a dead end, turned around and asked several passersby if they knew where this said bar was (quite possibly one of the most frustrating experiences on earth, having to ask people in London for directions) needless to say my pleas for help left me none the wiser and I was forced to call him.

“Hello?” he said in an incredibly sexy north London accent

“Oh hi um, it’s me Ariana, sorry but I’m a bit lost and can’t find the bar.”

“No worries, I’m here now actually so I’ll just drop you a pin and you should find it easily then.”

“Super, thanks a mil, see you soon.”

“Red wine ok?” He asked before I hung up.

“Red wine would be perfect."

So far, this guy was my kinda guy.

Two seconds later and my phone pinged with a location pin and five minutes later I was arriving into a dim candlelit wine bar with leather couches and several cool Londoners dappled around the room sipping out of over sized wine glasses.

A quick glance around the room and there was my date.

I gulped.

Shit, this guy was hot. Like, intimidatingly so.

He was sitting down, one arm up on the back of the couch, legs spread in comfortable and confident manner.

He was wearing a round necked navy cashmere jumper, dark blue jeans and fabulous brown leather brogues.

He looked at me and smiled and my heart skipped a beat. His teeth were white and perfectly straight, he looked like something you’d see from a catalogue advertising yachts for sale.

I selfconciously swept my hair over to one shoulder and headed over to him with a smile.

“Hey, God, sorry I was totally lost there,” I said as he stood to greet me.

“No worries, at all, nice to meet you, ” he said placing his hand on my arm and double kissing  me on each cheek.

I sat down next to him. Now it was my turn to be nervous.

He picked up the bottle of wine and went to pour it into my ready and waiting empty glass, but before he did he cocked his head and asked.

“It’s a Marlborough Pinot Noir, that ok for you?”

Absof*ckinlutely I thought, while I just nodded at him.

“So Ariana” he said handing me the glass “How long you been on Tinder?”

Boom. That was it.

One of the worst opening question you can be asked on a Tinder date as I’ve come to the conclusion that when I guy asks you that straight off the bat he is looking for one thing and one thing only and that’s no strings attached sex.

Look, don’t get me wrong. I’m no prude and there is nothing wrong with a bit of fun here and there but when you are on a quest to find your OTL and you're putting yourself out there to go on these endless dates, knowing that a guy is only out for one thing straight off the bat is a bit disconcerting.

You’re suddenly playing a very different game. If, indeed, you even want to play the game at all, but if you do, you are moving from the Charm Offensive, to the Art of Seduction and sometimes that switch doesn’t come easy.

But looking at this guy I wasn’t putting away the key to my chastity belt just yet, I’d see where the night would take us, so I sipped my wine and said, “Oh, only a couple of months, how about you?”

“Bout two months now.”

“Oh right ok, so you’re only recently single I take it.”

“That’s right, yeah, just came out of a five year relationship.”

“Wow so you must be like a kid in a candy store now with Tinder eh?”

He laughed at this while nodding his head “Oh yeah Tinder is AWESOME” he said eyeing me appreciatively.

I was wearing a v necked black and white dress, black tights and high boots, with red lipstick and a thickly black lined eyes. I wasn’t looking too shabby, but I still felt like Attilla the hun next to him.

He reached for his wine glass and I noticed his hands were manicured. Perfectly buffed cuticles glowed within the setting of his beautifully tanned hands.

“Yeah, yeah, I gotta say discovering Tinder after being in a relationship for five years has been quite the revelation,” he smiled and took a sexy sip of his vino.

“I’d say you’re having fun alright” I agreed knowingly.

“Have you had any horror dates so far?” I asked.

“One or two, one or two” he said nodding

“Actually my very first one was a bit of a nightmare” he added in his posh London droll.

“Oh yeah, pray tell” I said getting comfortable.

“Well, so I matched with this girl, who was f*cking hot, like a model, like she was a ten for sure” he said getting excited.

Cue another selfconscious sweep of my hair to one side and straightening of my posture. I am probably a 4 and a half at best, so knowing I was being compared to a 10 was unnerving.

“Oh yeah, good for you” I said with a nod and a wink

“Well yeah, but, well wait till you hear,” he said raising his hand and smiling at me

“So we arrange to meet down on Southbank, at about 4pm. It was a gorgeous sunny day and I rock up in my shades and I see this chick sitting there and she is super hot, like absolutely gorgeous, a model for sure”

OK dude, I get it she was hot.

“So I sit down and we order a bottle of wine and we get chatting and I mean she was a nice enough girl, but just not a lot of substance to her, but like she was smokin, so anyway we’re chatting and drinking and just shooting the breeze and we order another bottle of wine and everything’s going great, and I’m thinking, I’m quids in here. This girl is amazing, Tinder is unbelievable, I’m feeling good about being single and then she goes…”Hey so guess what I tried last week for the first time” and I said “Oooh I dunno, tell me” thinking all kinds of dirty thoughts and then she goes “Crack”.

"Pah!" I guffawed at that point and sat up in my seat.

“Whaaatt?” I said with dramatic affect. “I assume she didn’t mean Irish craic.”

“No no, not at all, this girl was from Kent, and she meant crack as in the drug”

Ha!

“So I said, what do you mean like crack the drug? and she said “Yeah, yeah, I smoked it, it was great, have you ever tried it?” and I said 'Erm no no, can’t say that I have no.”

I interrupted him here and said: “So like have you ever tried any drugs?”

“Oh yeah like I mean I’ve dabbled here and there when I was younger but nothing major, I work out six days a week” he said rubbing his belly.

Actually, belly is probably the wrong word, he was toned and fit as f*ck this chap.

“So, I don’t really like to mess with my body too much, but this hot chick just being so blase and open about the fact she had done crack was baffling to me," he said.

“So what happened?” I asked

“Well it gets worse. So I said ‘oh um,  but that’s cool, good for you, so you like to party then do you” and she said “hell yeah I love to party, hey what do you say we get a bag of coke and go back to yours?”

"So I look at this girl and I take in the situation and I hesitate for like a second before saying “Hell yeah, lets do it”. So I call for the bill and this chick takes out her phone and calls her dealer and I settle the bill and next thing I know we are standing outside Waterloo station waiting for her dealer to come," he continues.

"She turns to me and says “I ordered two grams, that cool with you?” and I’m just getting swept up in the situation so I’m like, “yeah sure great”, to be honest if this chick said she had ordered  two elephants dressed in tutu’s I would have just gone along with it."

"But then she says 'So I just need to go to the ATM'. So I go with her and I’m waiting for her and the ATM starts to beep and she turns to me all sheepishly and says, “oooh insufficient funds, that’s um embarrassing, don’t suppose you can spot us, for now?”

"She sidles up to me like a cat and plants a kiss on my cheek so I’m still thinking ok sure, “how much is it?” and she goes “£300”.

"Now I’m no mug and I know that coke does not cost that much so I said “How much?” and she said, “oh it’s really good stuff, pure cut."

"Just then her phone rang, and she said “oh it’s ‘im”. She answered and walked away from me to talk to him."

"So I’m standing there and I’m looking at her, and looking at the entrance to Waterloo and the escalators down to the concourse and I’m thinking, 'something isn’t right here, I’m gonna get done over here I can just feel it.'"

"So, she’s on the phone and she’s about 15 feet away with her back to me talking frantically to this guy and I’m looking at her and looking at the escalators, and then looking at her and looking at the escalators and then I just think, fuck it, so I legged it and left her.”

Hahahahahahahaha.

“Hahahahahahah” I laugh “Oh my god I can’t believe you just left her”

“Oh I bet the ‘dealer’ was probably her pimp or something. Looking back now the whole situation was just dodgy as fuck.”

“Haha, oh God that’s hilarious though, talk about an intro into app dating.”

“I know, it’s been fun though, I’ve been on quite a few dates since then and they’ve all been fun.”

Yep, this guy was having his cake and eating it.

“So how about you?” he asked while signalling to the waitress. “Any horror stories?”

As readers of this blog, you will know that I can regale people with a dating story or two so I began to tell him about ‘The Visa Hunter’.

As I was telling the story he ordered us another bottle of wine and some olives to nibble on.

I was enjoying myself. This guy was fun, but I could tell that he was just gonna be a one time thing.

He seemed like he was super materialistic and narcissistic, a stereotypical London pretty boy banker, and indeed he was.

It later transpired, as we went through our second bottle of wine, that he lived in a duplex apartment in London Bridge, he drove a Porsche and went skiing every year in Chamoinx.

Our conversation moves on and we get talking about our religious beliefs. I think it was because of my Irish’isms, throwing the words God and Jesus around as sentence fillers.

“So you a good Catholic Irish girl then?” he asked mischievously

“Ha well I wouldn’t go that far” I said. “I’m Catholic by birth defect not really religious at all, but I would be quite spiritual” making an effort to look deeply into his sea blue eyes.

“Oh yeah? That’s cool, that’s cool, yeah me too, me too, I’ve recently become quite spiritual myself,” he said

“Oh really, how so?” This was interesting, most men would baulk at the idea of spirituality!

He suddenly looked all serious and solemn.

“Well honestly I read this book recently that just changed my life! It was by the amazing Brazilian authour Paulo…..”

“Cohelo” I said, finishing his sentence for him

“YEAH! Paulo Cohelo, you’ve heard of him?”

Um yeah course I have. Me and 40 million other people worldwide who’ve read his canon fodder “books”.

“Um yeah, I’ve read a few of his books,” I replied

His eyes grew wide as if I’d just said something super impressive to him.

“Wow that’s incredible, well basically oI read this unbelievable book he wrote about this Shepherd called Santiago”

Oh god is this guy for real, is he about to tell me that The Alchemist changed his life.

“It is called The Alchemist,” he said in a sacred tone

“Um yeah I’ve read it”

“YOU’VE READ IT!” he exclaimed.

Er, yes, me and 20 million other people. The way this guy is talking about this book you’d swear he found it by the side of the road while on a pilgrimage to Mecca.

“Isn’t it just amazing? It made me want to quit my job and just go tending sheep in the foothills of Chile” he said whimsically

“Haha, oh don’t do that mate, your Porsche isn’t gonna drive itself,” I said ironically

Gosh I’m sorry, but anyone who thinks The Alchemist is the peak of literary goodness is just a little bit lost inside.

I decided this would be a good time to go for a smoke and he said he would join me.

While outside I could see him better. And he was just divine. While I smoked, he pretended to inhale on the cigarette I had given him.

“I’m not a big fan of smoking” he said “But actually when I was in Morocco last month I ordered a fab porcelain hashish pipe and a tonne of flavoured tobacco. It just got delivered yesterday actually”

“Oh amazing I love Hashisha” I said tipsyly.

“Oh yeah? Well, hey look, I don’t live too far from here in a cab, do you fancy coming back and helping me build it and we can smoke some apple or vanilla flavoured tobacco out on my roof? I have an amazing view over London.”

Now look, I know this guy wasn’t going to be my OTL, but smoking hashisha fresh from Morocco with an absolute ridebag on a London rooftop are not things I get the chance to do that often so ….

I adjusted my hailo on my head, kissed him on the cheek and went home by myself, got into my pyjamas, made myself a cup of cocoa, said my prayers and went to sleep.

If you want to learn more about Ariana's dating exploits, be sure to keep up to date on Swipe Right's Facebook page