So after telling my work friends about the PG comment I settled down to work. At about 11am I get a mail from him.
‘Morning! How’s your day going so far?’
Ugh god I hate this silly small talk in an email…. It’s such an interruption into my inbox. Ooh yeah got up, got dressed, got the tube, drank a coffee and now I’m sitting here reading emails. That’s it!! That’s been my morning so far, does he really want/need to know that . If you are just exchanging pleasantries do so via text. Email is for forwarding of information not for chit chat. How did he even get my email anyway? I don’t remember giving it to him. It would be such an alien thing for me to do. I can’t imagine myself mid snog in the bowling alley saying..’oh stop actually can we just exchange email addresses real quick ?’
I waited till after lunch to reply ….
“Great thanks, all good, how’s you?”
he replied within 2 minutes.
“Hi cool cool ah I’m ok …” He then launched into a big long tirade about how his boss was pissing him off and how he wasn’t getting the recognition he deserves and all kinds of other things !
I replied and said
“oh no that sucks, sorry to hear that”
I mean what else was I supposed to say I met this guy twice in my life … Did he expect me to give him career advice.
A ping from my screen signalled another email from him.
“yeah thanks, so it’s been a really crappy day … I really would love to see you. I know you said you wanted to just chill tonight so I hope you don’t mind but I bought us cinema tickets tonight to go see the Hunger Games in Finchley”
He inserted a screenshot of the cinema ticket confirmation !!
” you can say no if you want but I thought we could grab a quick bite beforehand and just enjoy the film, what do you say”
Christ on a bike! I told him I really did not want to go out tonight.
My audible gasp prompted my friend Stef who sat opposite me to ask what was wrong?
Now Stef is an eternal romantic and is always trying to eradicate my innate cynicism when it comes to love.
“Oh Ari you are terrible, every time a guy likes you you reject them, every time a guy doesn’t like you you pine after them like a lost puppy! You need to give this guy a break. Just go to the cinema he’s bought the tickets and everything !”
Suitably chastised I admonished myself for being such a cow. Maybe she was right, but I did specifically tell him I had a busy week and wanted this one night to myself which he blatantly just ignored !
Still I did actually want to go see that movie and it wasn’t like I was going to be drinking or anything so I replied and stupidly accepted his invitation.
A few hours later I received another email from him. This time the subject line was about a wine tasting weekend in the Cotswolds.
“Hiii, looking forward to seeing you later. A guy I work with just sent this on to me. I know you like wine so just thought it might be a fun thing for us to do next weekend if you are free” The email attachment was a brochure for this lovely wine retreat weekend !
Ehhh what?!? He wants to go away for a weekend ! We haven’t even had our third date and he is already trying to lock in our fourth. Now look I know I am probably coming across like an almighty ungrateful bitch but this was all just too much.
“Um thanks, looks lovely but um probably best if we just see how tonight goes before we start tryin to lock in another date. It’s still early days so let’s just not try to rush things” I replied, feeling like I was talking to child.
I arrived at the cinema and again he was there in the adjoining restaurant waiting for me. He was dressed very casually in jeans, runners and a bright turquoise blue polo shirt.
He seemed really rattled and nervous.
“Hiiii” I said kissing him on the cheek.
“Hey, sorry I know you are probably mad with me, I just bought these tickets on impulse this morning but I know that it wasn’t very cool of me”
“Oh no don’t worry it’s fine” I lied
“I was gonna just email you the tickets as a surprise but then I thought I’d just check in with you first” he said nervously
“yeah no look it’s fine, I just wanted to chill tonight but honestly it’s grand, thanks for buying the tickets” I said “oh how did you get my email address by the way, did I give it to you?”
“oh no I Googled you and it came up” I think he realised as he was saying it that what he was saying was absolutely not something he wanted to be admitting to me. If we were in a cartoon a large thought bubble would be forming above his head with the words “OH FUCCCCKKKKKK”
“Ohh riiiggghhhttt ? Okaaayyy? Ha ! Google all your dates do you?” I teased/accused
His best course of recourse here would be to laugh it off and be like “Eh yeah don’t we all, blah blah blah” But he didn’t, he actually started trying to explain himself.
“Oh well it’s just cause I’m a recruitment consultant you see and so I google my candidates before I send them off for interviews and well I just googled you after our first date just ye know so like I could know more about you and so yeah well then I got your email address and I figured I’d just take it down and ….”
Oh god this was painful.
Thankfully our waitress arrived offering us our menus and told us about the specials of the day. I could sense him squirming in his seat as she prattled on about the catch of the day. Clearly I wasn’t having that!
“You look lovely” he said when our waitress had departed.
I was wearing quite a smart outfit in fairness. I had a client meeting that day so I was more dressed up than usual and definitely wasn’t wearing the type of outfit I would normally wear to a cinema date.
“Thanks” I chimed
“I’m sorry I’m not really dressed well, I didn’t have time to go home and change, I feel really bad now you’ve made such an effort” he said sullenly
“oh no I was wearing this to work today, I came straight from work” I assured him
“Still though I just can’t believe I’m wearing these awful trainers I just feel like such a mug” he said putting his head in his hand.
Beads of sweat had started to form across his forehead ! What the heck was this guys deal? He was so ridiculously good looking but seemed to lack any kind of decorum.
By the time we made our way to the cinema I was throughly turned off him. He was so awkward and had lost all the sauve charm he exuded on our first date.
I really didn’t want to even be in his company anymore never mind kiss him.
He tried to kiss me during the film but I managed to avoid it by pretending to be really engrossed in the movie. Afterwards he tried to suggest walking me home but I said I was fine getting back and practically jumped in front of a moving bus to get it to stop so I could get on !
That was it. Not for me.
He received an uncomfortable it’s me not you email the next day. I blamed my ex and told him I just wasn’t ready for anything serious.
His reply was a begging letter asking me to reconsider but I assured him that my mind wasn’t for changing. Thanks but no thanks.
A couple of weeks later my ex and I did in fact get back together. I told him about my brief close encounter and he laughed heartily at the PG comment.
A couple of months later I received a completely random email.
“Hi Ariana, how are you ? I know this is a bit out of the blue but I wondered if you fancied a drink after work tonight ? I was hoping maybe you might have moved on from your ex by now and would reconsider another date with me”
I didn’t reply. In fact I deleted the mail.
Fast forward 2 years.
Two years later and I’m single again. My ex and I decided things just weren’t right and we ended it amicably. I found myself back on tinder and had gone out on quite a few dates. One evening I’m flicking through and up pops the subject of this blog post. He was even better looking than I remembered. He had updated his pics and he looks happy and smiley in all of them. I hovered over the swipe button.
Maybe I was wrong about it. Maybe I didn’t give him a chance. Maybe I was too hung up on my ex to really allow him in. Surely he has grown up a bit since then and won’t be as full on as he was the last time. My memory went back to our great second date and I figured that maybe I’d just swipe right for the laugh.
I shit you not…. 15 seconds later a message notification appeared on my screen.
“well hello there stranger, how are you ? I was hoping to match with you when I saw you appear on my tinder a few weeks ago, how are you doing”
Naw crap! What have I gotten myself into I thought. I had to reply.
“Hey you! How are ya? I’m grand thanks not too bad. How’s tinder treating you?”
“All the better now that you’ve shown up” came his cheesy reply followed by
“So are you still living in …..” He actually typed out my address. My old address thankfully ! I had since moved to a different part of London. He hadn’t even been in my house.
“Oh, eh no, haha, I moved. Good memory you have though”
“So I take it your single again if you are back on this ” he asked
“Oh yep I am my ex and I broke up a few months back”
“Great! Well look I’d love to take you out for another drink, would you be up for it”
I had been going through a bit of a dating drought and I thought I should at least have him on the back burner but I was nothing if not honest so I decided to lay it out for him.
“Listen mate, I gotta be honest, I had fun with you last time but you were a little over keen which kind of put me off. I’m not one for rushing head first into things and im just enjoying being single at the moment. That’s not to say you are looking for anything more but I just would like to have the ball in my court… Why don’t you give me your number and I’ll give you a shout in a couple of weeks for a drink maybe ?”
” yeah cool, great, here’s my number….”
“I know I came across too keen last time and I’ve berated myself ever since. I just really liked you and I let my nerves get the better of me. I hope you’ll give me another chance to let me make it up to you”
Look don’t get me wrong I was flattered but I just didn’t quite understand why he liked me soooo much. It just didn’t feel quite right to be that into me after three fairly normal dates. So anyway I thanked him and assured him I’d be in touch in a few weeks. I didn’t actually have any intention of contacting him but I didn’t want to be mean.
At 11am the next morning I got a message from him on whatsapp. I hadn’t given him my number the day before so he clearly had it saved in his phone all this time.
“Morning!! I know you said you wanted to wait a few weeks but I’m just so excited to reconnect with you. Are you free tonight for a drink? Please say yes!”
That just made me angry. Yet again he was completely ignoring what I had said the day before.
“Hi no sorry I’m not free tonight”
“Um look I’m sorry but I asked you yesterday to leave the ball in my court and this message is basically you taking the ball out of my hands and tackling me to the ground. I told you yesterday that your overkeeness was off putting so I’m sorry but I won’t be going out for a drink with you.”
“God what is your problem, I’m only asking you out for a drink”
As he was messaging me I was also messaging my best friend back home. I told her what was going on and she said ..
“ehhhh Ari block him on whatsapp he sounds like an idiot”
So I blocked him.
Two minutes later an iMessage popped up
“Eh bit of a strong reaction there to block me. Incredibly harsh response to an innocent message, Ariana. A little bemusing that yesterday you would have met for a drink and now blocked me for simply seeing if you were free tonight. Thats a bit strange, no?!”
I had just read some awful story about a girl who had been assaulted by a man she rejected on tinder so I figured I needed to lay it out calmly but clearly to him.
“that’s fair enough but I’m entitled to do what I want without being questioned on my actions. Yes I was willing to meet you for a drink but the more I thought about it I questioned whether it was something I wanted to do. I was honest with you and said that I was concerned about pressure and keenness. I was going to see how I felt later in the week and was comfortable with the idea that it was my decision to make … I didn’t give you my number so I can only surmise that you still had my number stored from two years ago so when you messaged me I just thought you know what I don’t think meeting up is a good idea if he can’t be patient and make good on his word to leave it up to me then that’s not someone I am interested in dating. I apologise that I am not interested in meeting you but I am sure you will be inundated on Tinder so I am no big loss.
I would appreciate if we could just leave it at that and if you could respect that fact that I have unmatched with you I would be grateful.
Thank you ”
“Ok. Well I was just happy we would meet for a drink. Hadn’t realised you had unmatched me on tinder also. It would have been nice to meet and go from there without pressure but I was just a little excited to see you again …but I will leave you to it and you are a loss.” Came his reply.
I’d like to say that was the end of it but in the past 2 years he has tried to add me on Facebook 17 times, often in the middle of the night. He has sent me 5 emails via Facebook the subject of one was the word “stalked” while another asked me if his “keenness had driven me home to Ireland”
He has tried to add me on LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter. I have had to block him at every turn. In fact I’ve blocked him twice on FB but I think he makes up new profiles. As recently as four weeks ago when I was on holiday he sent me another email on FB. ( the mail that goes into your hidden inbox you have when you aren’t actually FB friends with someone)
The message simply said “Hi how are you”. But it still scares me that after all this time and after just three dates 4 years ago he is still wanting to contact me.
I’ve taken screenshots of everything and have told my friends about it just in case anything bad ever happened. Of course I know it’s mostly just a harmless infatuation but it unnerves me, especially that he knows I moved home to Ireland.
In fact I’m nervous now that he might Google me again and read this blog.
I guess the moral of the story is that tinder, while fun and exciting, can also leave you exposed to any manner of person who might want a lot more than you do.
If someone tells you they aren’t interested respect their decision don’t bombard them and try to contact them on every social network out there. In addition make sure your privacy settings are top notch.
I’m off to make some rabbit stew…. 😳