How to Meet a Guy in 10 Days
They say you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you meet your prince. So is it any wonder we women, confronted with drunken men every Saturday night, give up? Sinead Nolan finds out if it’s possible to meet a man worthy of dating in just 10 days…
Women are officially afraid of dating websites. We don’t like to admit things have got that desperate. Always a sucker for a good ‘meeting story’ we would prefer to answer: “In a war zone” then “On a dating website” when our grandmother asks for the romantic story. So I signed up for one of these first. Writing about myself is the hard bit. Is social drinking a hobby? Am I slim, athletic or cuddly? In the end a few people email me generic things. I filter out the boring ones of which there are many eg. “Hi how was your weekend, I went to the gym,” and the oddballs, schizos and perverts eg. “Let’s see a photo of your chest,” and reply to one or two of the interesting people.
I am going to Milan for two nights. We spot our first suit-clad victim on the Metro. He is tall, dark and handsome and looks like he just walked out of an Armani advert. My friend urges me to get his number but I literally can’t. He looks over at us a few times, probably because we are staring, whispering and laughing. That night we hit the town. An Italian bar man gives us free shots and chats to us for a while. Then some sleazy Americans invite us to a VIP club, but point to the Italians we are talking to and say they are not welcome “Only you girls,” says the man. This seems dodgy so we leave the lot of them and go drink in the square by ourselves.
Day two in Milan is lovely. Gorgeous men wander about everywhere. If only all men looked like that, I could endure being single forever. We meet two guys and hang out with them for the day. They buy us lunch and we exchange phone numbers. Their names are Sam and Shariff and they are from Manchester. They are very chatty and talkative and I am feeling positive. But it turns out one is attached and the other fancies my friend.
Back home with a bang. As soon as we get below the heavy black clouds the weight of the next six days challenge threatens to depress me. When I get home I have some emails on the dating website. I feel like a loser for being exited at this fact. The replies are getting longer and more detailed. Some of the men seem okay. I go and see a fortune teller with my friends tonight. I ask her about the man situation and she tells me I will meet him soon. She says his name will be ‘Noel’ and he will be just like me, but male. I am not really a big fan of this name, so I am hoping she is making it up.
It’s Saturday and we decide to go to a common spot. It is a birthday and there are plenty of guys there. All of whom are attached. My friend and I wander the beer garden as this is usually the best place to go to get into a conversation. I look around one minute and my friend is there – the next minute I turn around and she is playing tonsil hockey with some guy I’ve never seen before in my life. After about an hour I meet a guy. I ask him if he is single. “Kind of,” is his complex reply. It turns out he broke up with his girlfriend last week, but she texted him tonight. We chat for the night and he takes my number. He never calls.
I fear my final hope is the dating website. I get my friend over and a glass of wine and we go through them. She is a good filter for me when I threaten to go for someone not really up to scratch. “Do you need glasses?” she shouts. “Next!” I am glad I have her with me. “But he seems nice,” I say weakly. “Next!” she repeats. We shortlist a few. Now I must brazenly suggest a date.
Success! I have managed to schedule two dates, one for tomorrow and one for the following day. I am quite exited about them. Both of the men seem very normal and friendly. Ironically, in the paper today there is a story about a woman who was murdered after a blind date. I won’t be taking any chances leaving my drink around then.
I am meeting the man in a city bar like some sort of a Sex in the City character. I go straight from work. Having an hour to spare I decide to get something new to wear. “80’s slutty or hippie boho?” I text my friend from a changing rooms. “80’s slutty” she writes back. I sit at the bar in trepidation. He walks in. He is shorter then average, skinny, with glasses and a receding hairline. I think, because of this, that he will be funny and friendly but I am wrong.
My attempt to make jokes falls flat every time. Every so often there is a long, awkward, horrible silence which makes me want to flee from the bar. I tell him when I talk to single women the most common reply for their pet hate in a man is being stingy. He asks for some examples. I give him a few good ones, like splitting the bill on a first date or buying beer instead of wine because it’s on offer even though the girl wanted wine. He looks at me blanky. “I don’t see anything wrong with that.” I go and buy myself a second drink, as I now need it, and he did not offer to buy me the first or the second. I realise that he might be the worst type of stingy man – the stingy man who thinks it’s okay to be stingy. We move onto a second bar, and sit at a small table. Bored, when he is at the bar (buying himself another drink) I set fire to the candle with a beermat and cause a large fire on the table. I put it out with his Guinness. The smoke looks enough to set off the fire alarm. He returns and makes no reaction, simply continuing the debate I have started about politics.
I get a text off my friend. “Sineeeead, the washing machine has blown up, there’s water everywhere, come home and help me fix it!” This was meant to be my get out text but instead it just makes me laugh and ruins the lie.
After another half and hour, desperate and on the edge, I meet some girls in the toilet. “Can you pretend to be my friends?” I ask them. We fabricate a story of how we know one another. Five minutes later they approach the table and squeal my name. “Oh my god, I haven’t seen you in YEARS! How are you?” “Oh my God, Melissa, Natasha!” I cry in the worst case of acting I have ever heard. He looks from the girls to me in disbelief. “Do you mind if we join them?” I ask him. “Sure,” he says. We join the girls for a drink. Every so often the girls and I nearly forget we are meant to know one another. “You do journalism? Oh my god, so do I!” squeals Natasha. “How did you say you know one another again?” he asks. After another hour, he gets the hint and leaves.
The next day I get a text from the date. “Hope you got home alright after I left. I didn’t think there was much of a spark. Sorry.” I am relieved. The dating world is cut-throat.
Tonight is my final date – a 33 year old toxicologist. He is a bit older, so I speak to this one before the date. He actually has a sense of humour and banter. I tell him about the horrific date and he assures me that I can leave whenever I want and he will not be offended. He also mentions: “My friend is dating a woman he met on a dating website and they’re pretty serious.” But, alas, he doesn’t know how many dates they went on before they met one another. This guy is number two, and I may need to have 56. For a little twist I decide to meet him in the same bar as the last guy. If nothing else, it will make the barman curious. He is just like his photo and the date goes fabulous. Will I date him again? Definitely. Can you meet a guy in 10 days? Yes. The lesson I learned is not to be afraid. Put yourself out there and try something new, you never know, you might meet the love of your life!