Before I move to Sydney and start to dish the dirt on the my new adventure and experiences, it seems only right to give you a bit of insight into what dating has been like in London over the summer. Because let me tell ya, it has been a lol a minute.
Following my full confirmation that I would be moving abroad in September, two of my girlfriends and I decided we were going to have a ‘Summer.Of.Lust’.. We were going to stop going to the same places with the same people, or staying in with a cup of tea, faces lathered in sudocrem & sporting our latest Primarni PJazzles .. We were going to dust off our sexy underwear, polish up our chat and throw ourselves back into the London dating scene.
The London dating scene, if you don’t already know, is a weird and wonderful place – so casual and cut-throat that ‘ghosting’ is a term used regularly. Ghosting refers to the action
(or lack-thereof), whereby one totally ignores someone post-date, leaving them to wonder if you’ve disappeared off the face of the earth, or if their chat really was that bad; & let me tell you, it was the latter my friend.
Dating in London is sure to give any gal a thick skin – because it is such a vast city and there is so much going on, it is easy to disregard any could-be meaningful relationship for a better offer. The city and social scene is fast paced & laced with distractions; which combined, I truly believe is detrimental to finding connections and building rapport with the people you meet fleetingly. Having said of all the above, I remain of the mind-set that this is but a chapter in the life of a 20-something year old and that it’s important to enjoy the dating journey & the characters you meet along the way.
So, back to our Summer.Of.Lust. Interestingly, the concept, method & results meant many different things for all 3 of us.
Friend 1) pretty swiftly after making our pact, I introduced her to a good friend of mine.. They hit it off and, voila, they are but moments away from ‘being offish’.
Friend 2) – possibly the most hilarious person you will ever meet and a wild party animal who does not know when to call it a night (we all have a friend like this – if you don’t, find one) met a guy who she struggled to converse with soberly, but somehow finished off many a wild evening between his sheets doing the horizontal folk dance. Ironically, as summer draws to a close in London, they have finally managed to strike up a couple of conversations and plan to go on a date. Dating in reverse.
And 3) Myself. To fill you in on my entire summer of dating escapades would be hilarious, disturbing & exhausting all at the same time. From my first bumble date who I called ‘Sugar Daddy’ – turned out to be all daddy, no sugar and ‘forgot’ his wallet on date #1 – to a guy I met in McDonalds in the early hours of the morning post-night out, went back to his place for vino + McSnogs in his garden – to another poor soul with whom I went back and feigned a ‘family emergency’ in an effort to escape the sexpectations which I realised I was not game for…. It’s safe to say, there has not been a dull moment. But, for the pièce de résistance.. and indeed the weirdest of them all, there is Frenchman. If he is even French…
I met Raphael AKA Frenchman out at a bar in Soho – it was one of my friends birthdays and if I recall correctly, I was giving one of the girls an incredibly unsaucy + comical lap-dance whilst she sat in a chair sipping on a vodka lime + soda, when he approached with a friend. Long story short, I gave him my number and he asked me out.
It was exciting – he was French (Accent = putty in his hand) and had moved to London a number of years ago, he worked in a bank across the square from me and lived in a flat in South Kensington with his little brother, who he took care of due to a difficult family situation. We exchanged saucy messages, he took me on whirlwind dates…so it’s all sounding pretty great. He’s ambitious, chivalrous, caring and kind. Tick, tick, tick. But at the same time he’s pretty brooding, serious and we majorly disagreed on topics such as fidelity. Not to mention the fact that he was a sexual predator – I mean, I’m not averse to a little hair tugging, but I draw the line at asphyxiation + finger-bruise marks all over my body.
Taking all things into account and given that, above all else, I am really looking for someone I can have a good laugh with, I did what every London gal does when they aren’t feeling it – the ollddddd Caspar the not-so-friendly ghost treatment. Just kidding. Whilst ghosting is not my style, I am all about the mind-set that a string of dates or experience with someone can run its course. I’d had a great time with Raphael, but it wasn’t something I wanted to pursue further – so naturally, I cancelled our next date with a passive suggestion of rearranging, signing off with ‘let’s do another time’.
This was met with a lot of ‘???’ and ‘well?’ texts .. I don’t think rejection was something this fella was accustomed to. Anyway – around 3 weeks passes before I receive a text a couple of evenings ago to say that he needs to talk. As serious and intense as ever.. I think nothing of it and agree to the call.
Last night we have, what can only be described, as a deeply bizarre and uncomfortable phone call, which I have still not quite got to grips with in my mind. It went something like this.
‘Hi, you are going to hate me after this phone call. You are probably never going to want to speak with me again (*have been trying not to already*), but I need to be honest with you. I have lied to you about a lot of stuff.. my name is not Raphael, it is (*pronounces foreign name I couldn’t even try to regurgitate*). I am not 29, I am 31. I do not have a broken family, I don’t have a brother like I told you…’
It goes on
‘I lied because I have just come out of a very long term relationship and I wanted to be someone else for a while. I am in an in-between place where I don’t want a relationship, but I also do want a relationship. I am telling you because I think you’re a special person, I want to be honest with you and I want to wipe the slate clean – I am not calling all the girls I have been with over the past year to tell them, I just felt like we had a connection. Anyway, I am sorry. Take care’
WHAT. THE. FUCK…TAKE CARE?!
Upon hearing all of this.. I laughed .. I was shocked. I told him it was the most bizarre conversation I had ever had and that I wasn’t angry, I didn’t hate him, I just felt sad for him that he felt he had to pretend to be someone he wasn’t. He got slightly defensive at the prospect of me pitying him.. and then we ended the conversation; we haven’t spoken since.
When I came off the phone I was totally shocked and amused. But it was when I went to bed that I really started to consider the extent of his dishonesty. I realised that this person, whom I had slept beside, had created a false insta-handle that he followed me on, had lied about his name, age and the company he worked for. Then there were the fabricated, heartfelt stories about his ‘brother’ that he told me… WAS HE EVEN FRENCH OR WAS THE ACCENT FALSE TOO?
I also couldn’t begin to understand why Frenchman would come clean to someone who had ended their dalliance anyway. What is the point? One thing is for sure, when a sociopath describes you as a ‘special person’ – it provides no comfort whatsoever.
Whilst a part of you is hopeful that natural selection would weed out such psycho-paths, I also felt a sense of sadness for him – to date someone for weeks and create such a web of lies cannot be good for the soul.
Moral of the story? Do a little KYD (Know Your Date) ladies – I would like to see an in-date form of identification and utility bill for my next date. Jokes aside – stalk + stalk some more, if there’s no common friends, trace of them on social media or LinkedIn, you may have yourself a cat fish.
One can only hope that dating down under will be an improvement……..