You have probably re-downloaded it for the seventh or eighth time. Every time you delete it you tell yourself, “never again”. Last time you finally drew the courage to send the first message – asking an inane question about their favourite film, which was unsurprisingly left in the sad sack of unreplied Tinder messages that slowly begin their lonely descent into cyberspace.
That singular lack of reply was enough to send you running back to the state of romantic indifference… Or maybe you just found one too many creep. Yet here we are, back again, talking to Sam, 24, who also likes Kanye West, and whose caption doesn’t quite fill you with dread.
Sam doesn’t have a photograph with one of those tranquillized tigers, and hasn’t blurred out all of his friends’ faces in the group picture, so with this glowing resume there is a potential he could be the one (standards have slipped since the days you determined you would only talk to illustrators with brown hair that had identical music taste to you).
You share a few unsubstantial sentences: he makes an effort to say something funny about your profile; you try even less as a response. You take the bull by the horns and ask him out for a drink. Let’s be honest, you’ve been on Tinder long enough (3 years? God help me) to know that prolonged small talk never leads to anything good. It normally peters out until you are left wondering if asking his favourite colour would really be the worst thing in the world.
You end up asking at least four of your friends where you should suggest as a place to meet, the panic slowly rising as you realise you now have to go through with this or end up fabricating an entirely implausible emergency (‘It’s so annoying but I fell down four flights of stairs at university today and so can’t meet you tonight – such a shame!’)
You pick somewhere you have not been to in years, because one; it is far enough away from student housing so you won’t have the uncomfortable situation of having introduce your date to someone you don’t really like from an English seminar in your first year of uni, and two; one of your friends went on a date there in second year and it went really well.
He doesn’t respond for two days, and you have the comforting thought that maybe you don’t actually have to go and have strained conversation about how much you both love Aldi (although things in common are good for a budding relationship I hear).
When the day arrives you thought you’d be very relaxed, given how little you really know or like the person you shared at most 8 sentences with. But as the evening dawns, you suddenly have the realisation that maybe you aren’t as funny as your friends make out, and what if he has a weird voice and you have to sit there through the whole endeavour pretending you’re having a good time.
This is where you down half a bottle of wine. Calling it “Dutch courage” to the housemate giving you a concerned look, you end up having at least two more glasses than you promised yourself. Getting ready, with uplifting pop music in the background you attempt a make up look you read about in Glamour when you were 15.
The wine persuades you that a first date is definitely the time to be trying a new eyeshadow and liner combination. The eyeliner inevitably goes wrong, swerving all the way up your cheekbone, so you have to redo it four times and the settle for something that is more sisters than twins.
Ten minutes before you leave, you get a text that unfortunately he has fallen down four flights of stairs at uni and the date is off. With relief, you are able to have the evening that you wanted all along: finishing the wine alongside the second season of Gilmore Girls. On to the next one?