Why you should date around

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Finding out that your crush is dating other people is never fun, but once you know, what should you do? Dating blogger MBE weighs up the options.

‘You’ve seen my silly Twitter account,’ Peter says.

I blush. ‘No–I–errr–I…’

‘We talked about it.’

‘Oh–I–er…’ I frown. ‘Yes.’

That is, no. I was 99% sure we’d never talked about it, though I had seen his Twitter account.

I forget the incident until the following evening when something – his uncharacteristically slow replies and sparse contact since our second date probably – makes me ask over WhatsApp:

‘Are you seeing someone else?’

CC image courtesy of debsilver on Flickr

My message shows as read and there’s a pause. Which is a first. My heart sinks a little.

This was my first taste of what must be endemic in the age of Tinder, Bumble, Happn and all the rest – liking someone who’s seeing someone else at the same time.

I dragged it out for another week. But eventually I heeded the waves of nausea that came over me every time I thought about the other girl. The nail in the coffin was finding out they’d slept together. This was a competition in which I wanted no part – one where my only chance of winning would require me to sleep with someone who I knew was sharing a bed with someone else. So a few days before Christmas I called time on it. My present to myself.

I met Tom on Bumble, though he thought we’d matched on Tinder. This, combined with the fact he revamped his entire dating profile on the eve of our first date, rang alarm bells. I was also his first date after five years in a relationship.

When his communication slowed and his dating profile changed again in the days leading up to date #2 (supper at his), I ran scared. I was looking for a relationship; he appeared to be looking to get laid. So I did something I’ve never done before: I lied to get out of the date.

‘Could we rearrange?’ I wound up.

It was a test. I was 99% sure he wouldn’t reschedule.

He did.

In the days that followed, his bio underwent several rewrites. My favourite of his tag lines was, “Not a complete dickhead”. I badly wanted to believe it.

I talked Tom’s behaviour over with my colleagues. One of them, a really sweet girl, told me her boyfriend had deleted his online dating account ten minutes after their first date ended.

“That’s the way it should be!”I say, then, “Were you – was it really that clear for both of you after the first date?”

“Yes.”she says, simply.

The Internet tells us to date around.

But it’s difficult advice to follow if, like me, you’re an obsessive, perfectionist type; if you go months at a time without meeting someone you like; if you find it hard to keep track of what you’ve said to whom.

As I write this, my phone flashes up with a message. It’s not Tom; he’s probably busy updating his dating profile. It’s from a number I don’t recognise. I ponder the words a moment, wondering which of this year’s dating disappearing acts has decided to resurface, before opening the message.

It takes me another moment to recognise the sender as the man who broke my heart two summers ago. I read and re-read the message before doing what any girl would in the circumstances: firing off SOS texts to my closest friends.

Half an hour later, I call it a night – the first half hour in a long time that I haven’t given Tom a second thought. Perhaps there is something to be said for dating around.

 

 

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Mad Blogs & Englishmen is a wry exposition of the realities of dating in the big city. It started life as romantic comedy. Now, in my mother’s words, ‘there’s a note more of slight despair’.

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