Holy shit! You’ve actually matched with someone! Wait, double check and make sure she wasn’t an accidental drunken swipe which in the cold light of day you’ll regret at first glance…no, weirdly she’s hot and still chose to match with you! She probably won’t message back, though. Let’s take a quick look at her bio and phtotos and craft a witty and interesting opening line.
She replied! Woohoo! No, play it cool. Don’t reply instantly. Give it a minute. Don’t seem too keen, otherwise she’ll think that you are desperate, and according to all those dating advice sites you secretly read apparently desperation isn’t sexy. What’s the right number of messages before you suggest meeting up? Over how long should they be sent? What if we send thirty messages over the next hour? Is that the same as sending ten over the next four days?! Why isn’t there a simple formula for all this?!
Arranging a date
Great – we’re on to arranging a date. She wants me to suggest somewhere. Needs to be somewhere cool, imaginative and interesting but not too weird and not too cliche. It needs to give her the chance to duck out rather than be trapped (so boat rides along the river are out) and give us an activity to do. Has to be evening too – no good dating story ever started with “we finished up lunch and headed back to the office…”.
Two days before
Okay, so we’re messaging a lot, that’s good, but is it too much? You missed her last message and then got caught up at work so didn’t reply for hours, she must think you’re playing games with her. She’s not replied to you all evening; she must be on another date. He is probably funnier, better looking and more successful than you are. He probably goes to the gym to further define his chiselled physique, and then drives his sports car to the orphanage to volunteer teaching kids how to read in between performing life-saving surgery at the hospital he runs. She’s probably having a great time with him. You were so close, only for her to find Zac Efron crossed with Toy Stark just before you meet and she falls for your Jimmy Fallon crossed with Hugh Grant schtick. What gave you any confidence you’d ever have had a chance, anyway?! Just look at yourself! You’ve not even shaved today! Your jokes aren’t funny and have the dress sense of Winona Ryder in the 80s.
On the day
How hard can getting dressed be?!?! You do it every single day – EVERY SINGLE DAMNED DAY, MAN!!! Just choose a shirt and put it on. No, not that one. It’s not ironed. Not that one, either. It makes you look pallid. There; a plain shirt. Nice. Do you roll up the sleeves or not, though? If you do she’ll see your lack of Dwayne Johnson-sized guns, but might notice your tattoo. Shit. You haven’t checked whether or not she likes tattoos. Schoolboy error. Okay, roll it up but keep it long enough to cover. Hair done, manscaping done (you should really do that more often, the bath looks like you attacked a bear with a beard trimmer), aftershave applied (probably too much, but some of it’ll wear off, right?!), shoes polished, teeth cleaned; you’re good to go.
On the date
Don’t say something stupid. Listen to what she’s saying. I’m serious, don’t say something stupid. But be interesting. Tell those funny stories from when you were travelling, or when you did that cool thing at work, but don’t brag. It’s not a competition. Damn, she’s gorgeous. Just look at her smile! Even when she’s talking, her eyes are smiling! They’ve got a way of sparkling, it’s as if they were lit up from within… Shit, you got lost looking at her smile and lost what she was saying. Stall! make time to work out how to change the subject!
At the end of the date
Right, it’s gone well. You’re waiting for her Uber. Is this the time to try to kiss her? She kind of made eye contact for a fraction of a second longer than you thought she would normally, that’s a sign, isn’t it? And she’s swiveling on the spot a little. Or is that just her looking for her cab? What if you got it wrong and she’s not interested? Will she think you’re a creep? What if you’re actually a bad kisser after all? Wait a minute, you’ve totally forgotten how to kiss!!!
Later that night
See. It wasn’t that difficult! Now you’re walking on air like a teenager! It went so well! Wait, what if it was a sympathy kiss? What if she just kissed back so she could get away?! She noticed you looking at her boobs, didn’t she?! Idiot. You should’ve stayed locked on her eyes – that was the plan! And she probably hated your shirt too. Wait, you’re getting a WhatsApp message…