Over the years, I have had few relationships.
I’m proud of this fact but also it slaps me in the face when people ask me my relationship history.
Being single for a long time has many benefits.
I’m highly independent in what I want. I don’t have to consider anyone’s feelings when making a decision. I do as I please when travelling. I can be a recluse without feeling guilty. Casual flirtation. The works. Sex.
But there are things I really miss.
Sharing moments with that one person about each other’s lives. intimacy with someone. Laughing together. Holding hands. Being wanted by someone. Fighting and making up. Sex.
This had sparked my trial of online dating.
In over 5 years, I’ve been on up to 10 different dates with guys. Plenty of fish. OkCupid. Tinder. I’ve done it all.
The last date I was on, played out like this.
I had spoken to this guy for a week or so, before I thought it would be good to meet up.
Let’s call him ‘Charlie’.
Charlie’s photos looked nice on his profile. Quite sweet looking with long hair and beard. A musician. He had lived in Berlin for a few years but finally decided to come home.
He was sweet to talk to. Nothing bizarre stood out.
I decided to take him to a local restaurant to me, thinking it would be nice to see live music the jazz bar nearby.
As soon as I met him, I knew it wasn’t going to work.
He was wearing a white suit jacket with a blue collared shirt. Black pants and white shoes.
If he rocked it, I wouldn’t have cared but he looked how he felt. Awkward.
I also noticed he had short hair and no beard. Slight diversion but none the less, I could manage.
We arrived and sat in the middle of the restaurant to a warm greeting. The waitress let us know of the specials as well as a deal that gave us a free drink if we checked in.
I suggested Charlie check-in to which he complied. I got myself a white wine and Charlie chose red.
Conversation flowed as we continued to get to know each other. I made a joke about getting a tattoo of a penis on my back. I’m not sure he entirely appreciated my humour.
Charlie went into technical detail of how he created his music. Something that I’m sure only a music geek would know.
He paid for the meal which was nice but not expected.
After dinner, we headed to the jazz bar and sat down on their swanky couches. We talked some more over drinks and I was still trying to convince myself to give this guy a fair go.
There’s something I should say. I can be so confident in certain environments but there’s also situations that force me to become incredibly awkward and anxious. Dating can be one of them. More specifically first dates I would say.
This is when the date made a turn that I just couldn’t go along with.
As we were talking, Charlie began to sneeze like a trooper. This meant consistent sneezing. I understand what it’s like. I get hayfever it’s the worst. This wasn’t an issue or so I thought.
However, Charlie lacked the awareness of social constructed etiquette to when one sneezes. Instead of finding tissues Charlie had a better option. His hands.
Charlie began to sneeze once, twice, no three times in a row. He compensated by covering his nose with his hands and swiftly rubbing them together as if I wouldn’t notice.
He continued the conversation as if I had witnessed nothing.
My jaw literally dropped to which I had to pick it up and pass it off as I was thirsty for my drink.
It turned out, when he had drunk that red wine he was in fact allergic to it.
Just a note for any guy reading this, don’t drink or eat something you’re allergic to on a first date or any for that matter. It’s not worth it!
He sneezed most of the time which forced him to tell me he had a stroke a few years back. This made him quite sensitive to certain food and drinks, one being – red wine.
Other than grossed out by his lack of snot hygiene.
I hadn’t appreciated him telling me I couldn’t leave an area of the bar to watch another band because it was considered “rude”.
I totally get this notion. In fact, I would agree.
But, we were sitting away from the band so much so that the amount of people would have hidden our disappearing act.
I complied to his request but I didn’t feel comfortable.
We eventually headed back to the main stage area and this new band gathered a bigger group of people. This forced us to stand next to the bar as we watched.
While bobbing my head up and down feeling somewhat awkward with Charlie. He just HAD to take it to the next level.
I felt this strange tickle on my elbow, looking down I realised it was Charlie’s hand, hoping it had been washed, trying to stroke my arm.
Writing this down makes me laugh whilst cringing inside. I was giving him major cold shoulder vibes.
Eventually I said I wanted to go home. Charlie offered to drive me home. I declined and told him I was within walking distance home.
This was true. A 20 minute walk.
The goodbye was too awkward to write down even for me.
Lets just say I treated myself with Dominoes garlic bread so I would feel less guilty.
It’s been a good 6 months since this date although Charlie has attempted to contact me twice. Kudos to the bloke.
The thing is I know when I connect with someone. I can’t force it.
Online dating is a bizarre concept.
But I’d rather someone who used tissues to sneeze or at least excuse themselves to wash hands after a good three-sneeze-session.