Sure look, dating is an absolute minefield.
Let's be honest here, there are few among us who don't have at least one 'First Date' horror story; a tale of such woe our friends have forced us time and time again to regale them with it.
Nevermind that the mere memory of the encounter leaves us clammy-handed and vaguely distressed, other people's dating stories are fair game.
They're awkward, they're agonising, and they're also hugely entertaining… as long as you didn't have to endure them.
And that, ladies, is why we'll be featuring weekly instalments from Swipe Right – a blog about the ups and downs of dating in Dublin.
This week, our gal comes face to face with your classic Hipster.
Having lived in London for four years I know a Hipster when I see one.
My ex lived in Shoreditch, the Hipster Capital of the World, ensuring my eye is finetuned to the many variables of hipsterdom.
So, frankly I should have spotted this one a mile off, but alas my desire to find my OTL (One True Love) oft makes me blind to the potential hipster lurking behind the bearded avatar of my Tinder match.
Now look, Hipsters are all well and good. But they just aren’t for me.
Partly because I am as far removed from a Hipster as someone can be, but mostly because their smug condescension makes praising anything of merit a chore for someone like me who tries to be an eternal optimist.
This one was called Louis. He had a sexy beard and a mop of curly hair.
His eyes were dark and moody and he had a few sexy laughter lines making his profile age of 40 seem like an accurate depiction.
The second pic was of him lying nonchalantly in a field, at a festival of some kind, the third was a black and white one of him blowing smoke at the camera, I’d seen enough to swipe right.
It’s a match.
He messaged me first.
“So what makes you so bloody wonderful then?" Not as rude as it might seem.
The line I’ve written in the space where you are supposed to synopsise yourself I wrote “I’m bloody wonderful”.
A) Cause I couldn’t be arsed writing anything more. B) Cause confidence is key and C) Cause I bloody well am.
Anyway he’s not the first person to open with this question so I go with my standard reply.
“Oh ye know….everything.” I type.
I swear I’m not a cocky cow, but I like to push men's boundaries with some upfront confidence just to see if they can take it.
“We can be wonderful together so,” came his reply.
“Ah that remains to be seen, tell me about yourself, Louis. What do you do?”
“I work as an IT consultant, boring work, not at all interesting," he replied.
Okayyyy, not giving me much to go on and no question back. Hmmm.
“Ah well, pays the bills eh, so where you living?” I ask.
Now I know I’ve been out of Dublin a few years but I’ve never heard of anywhere called HX.
“HX..?? Where’s that?”
Oh, for gods sake.
“Oh right, I used to actually live there myself, nice spot, are you from Dublin?”
“Born and bred, from Ballsbridge.”
Hmmm this guy is posh I muster. An actual D4 head now living in D6. The Hipster bells were starting to chime. Still no questions back. He’s feigning disinterest. Another classic hipster characteristic.
“Ah I used to work in Ballsbridge,” I say. I’m trying my best.
“So, you having much luck on here?” he asks
“Ah, a few dates here and there, nothing major. You?”
“Met my fair share of weirdos,” he charmingly retorts.
“Ah well, I promise I’m not a weirdo.”
“Oh yeah, prove it, let's meet up for a drink,” he goes, in for the kill.
I study his pictures again before replying. He’s definitely hot. Defo worth the drink I reckon even if I am getting the hipster vibes.
“OK cool, here’s my number," I reply.
He messages me on WhatsApp. But his name comes up as Jay, not Louis. Hmmm, not a good sign having a duplicitous identity.
Married men are rampant on Tinder so a differing IRL name is disconcerting.
“Hey it’s me,” he says “How are you fixed for Thursday?”
“Oh, I thought your name was Louis….it’s saying Jay. And darn, no sorry, Thursday is out for me I have a work thing, could do Friday though?”
“Hmmm going big. Friday it is then.”
Going big? What does he mean?
“Going big?” I echo.
“OK great, Friday it is, where do you want to meet?”
“And is it Jay or Louis?”
“James,” he responds.
Clearly he feels no further explanation is required.
“Can we decide on a venue tomorrow my brain is squishy," I text.
"Yep sure, no worries, sleep well.”
He messages me three days later, the night before the date.
“Ok where to meet, hmm D6/D8?” he types.
I guess they are my only options
“Oh, hi," I reply. “Well, I live and work in D8 so somewhere there, I guess.”
He doesn’t reply. I’m starting to think this guy is not going to be worth the effort.
He messages me the next morning at 7.36am just as I’m drying my hair while getting ready for work.
“I don’t really know any D8 pubs – why don’t we make a massive break in tradition and let you, the lovely lady, decide. Good Morning btw. Looking forward to meeting you.”
Crap, I was worried he’d say that
“Erm… I’ve just moved back from London so I’ve no idea where the cool kids hang these days ! Um k I’ll have a think and let you know later. Good morning btw.”
Seriously it’s not even 8am how am I supposed to think of a date venue at this time in the morning, I haven’t even had coffee yet.
“I know a place as a reserve option,” he types.
Is this guy for real?
“Oh yeah, go ahead,” I reply.
“Hahaha no… It’s called ‘a reserve option’ for a reason."
This guy is really starting to annoy me now. I’m this close to calling it off but I’ve already applied my tan and its just a waste otherwise.
Plus I’ve had a stressful week in work and I’m living for a G&T as soon as I get to this bar… where ever the hell it might be.
I take the bull by the horns.
“Right so…. Not liking the whole ‘man who can’t make a decision’ aspect of this date so far. How about the Camden Exchange on Camden street? Say 6.30pm," I text.
“Ouch, if I were you I would make the most of your autonomy while you can. See you at 6:30. My reserve was MVP btw.”
Ding a ling a ling a ling. The HIPSTER bell is is full swing!
This guy is a douche. I can already tell.
At 6.25pm I get a message from him.
“I’m here. Out the back btw. What would you like to drink? Or will I make that decision for you?" he texts.
This guy is already rubbing me up the wrong way and I haven’t even got out of the taxi yet.
I walk out to the smoking area and he’s sitting on a high stool in front of a large barrel doubling as a table.
He’s wearing black skinny jeans, with black pointy boots, a black leather jacket over a crinkled black t-shirt and a paisley scarf around his neck.
Of course he has a craft beer half poured into a glass and he’s rolling a cigarette. This guy is 40?
He sees me and half stands while finishing his rollie.
“Hey, hey how you doing?” he says in a thick D4 accent
“Hi, how are ya?” I say as he leans in and double kisses my cheeks.
“What can I get you?” he says with a kind of wry smile that suggests he knows I’m going to be trouble.
“Ahhh, I’ll have a G&T please," I reply.
He summons a passing waitress and orders my drink and another one of the obscure beers he’s drinking – no doubt called Moonlit Wolf Howl or something like that.
“So so, you good yah” he says barely making eye contact as he stuffs his fingers into his too tight jean pocket to retrieve a zippo. “Getting up to much this weekend?”
“Um well I’m going down to Dunmore East for the night tomorrow, my mate has a house down there and it’s one of my favourite places in Ireland,” I say smoothing down my flowery dress.
It’s short’ish and figure hugging, not hipster at all but I look nice in it… c’ept so far he’s not really looking at me so I start to feel a bit self conscious.
Thankfully, my drink arrives.
“Oh Dunmore, nice spot, nice spot” he says blowing smoke out his nostrils.
“I used to go there every year for the Blue Grass festival….. before it became SHITE” he said with a knowing smile as if this was something I should agree with him on.
“Oh right, never been to the festival myself” I say. “So how was work today, glad the week is over?”
He launches into a 20 minute rant about his job. About how all his colleagues are idiots. The company is shite, his team are stupid, how he’s done this jobs for years and how no one seems to get the system the way he does.
He works as some kind of consultant. Something to do with data protection and blah blah blah.
To be honest, I lost interest seven minutes in.
A friend of mine does very similar work and I actually know a bit about it so when I tried to contribute and offer my two pence worth he started talking over me using technical terms as if he was trying to prove that actually I knew nothing about what he was talking about so I just kind of zoned out after that and savoured my gin.
I interrupted him to order another one which thankfully broke his rant. I took out my packet of cigarettes and lit one up.
“Oh you smoke them, do you? Rollies are so much nicer in my opinion” he smirks.
“Ah I like these” I’m starting to be a bit feisty now. I packed up my charm and stuffed it into my handbag about 10 minutes ago.
I think he can tell so he makes an attempt at steering the conversation back towards me.
“So how you finding life back in Dublin after London?” he says.
“I love it actually, it’s so much nicer, less stressful. I love having a car again and the freedom that brings, not having to squeeze onto a tube everyday.”
“Oh you drive a car, do you?” he kind of spits this at me like an accusation.
I nod, waiting.
“Ugh I hate cars. I have a bike.”
“Like, a motorbike?” I ask.
He looks at me with disdain.
“No, a push bike”
Riggghhhttt. The most annoying people on the road. A hipster on a bike.
“I mean, look you don’t need a car in Dublin. I bet me on my bike, and you in your car, I could get anywhere in Dublin faster than you," he wagered.
Suddenly, this has become a competition.
“Yeah maybe, I guess, although to be fair I’m quite a nippy driver, I like weaving in and out and finding the less busy roads” I say sipping on my drink.
“Yeah actually you strike me as one of those aggressive bitch drivers on the road.”
I half choked on my drink.
“Excuse me?” I said, eyes narrowing “Did you just call me a bitch”
“Aw well, don’t get me wrong but you know what I mean?”
“Um no I don’t actually” I stub my cigarette out.
“I think I’m gonna call it a night. On yer bike.”
I walk out and past the waitress as she comes with our second drink.
“He’s paying for them” I say to her with a wink.
As I walk out the door I feel elated. What a pr*ck.
But what an exit.
If you want to learn more about Ariana's dating exploits, be sure to keep up to date on Swipe Right's Facebook page.