In this digital age of swipe left / swipe right, we are accustomed to a certain standard of behaviour.
We are accustomed to being able to determine someone’s personality by their profile picture, they’re 180 characters & their mutual ‘likes’. Then we’ll chat for a few days, and if things are still looking promising, we’ll agree to meet up.
We are completely unprepared for chance encounters.
Flying home for the weekend, I settled into my window seat, popped my earphones in, and zoned out while waiting for the drinks service to commence. By the time my first beer was handed to me, I was aware of the tall, handsome man by my side. By the time the second beer came out, we were talking about our careers, our families, and what brought us to be on the red-eye flight on a Friday night. The plane descended and we swapped numbers, amid spontaneous laughter and the judging ears of our fellow travellers.
A week later, both back in our home town, we agreed to meet for a drink. We laughed as we spoke about the unusual way in which we met (in person!), and we shared stories of our lives up until now. We spoke about our dreams & our 5 year plans. We compared music collections and spoke about how we’d solve current political strains. He was fiercely intelligent, and incredibly good looking. I couldn’t believe my luck.
Then, about 3 hours later, after we reached the second bar because neither of us wanted the night to end, he reaches across the table and traces my hand. ‘Catt,’ he says. ‘What are you looking for?’
Ahh, the age old question. Normally this is already partially answered by a well scripted dating profile. ‘I’m looking for good conversation, banter, fun, and whatever may come from that ‘ I answer nonchalantly. He smiles and caresses my hand. ‘Well’ he says. ‘I can offer that.
But you need to know I have a serious girlfriend. We’re in a long-term open relationship, and she knows about you. It’s fine. You just need to know. Actually, she would like to meet you’
I’ve never finished a beer so fast in my life. Of all the first dates I’ve been on, the seediest / sleaziest / most uncomfortable has been the one that I didn’t meet online.
I guess I would have swiped left.