I had always subscribed to the misguided notion that I am a terrific first date.

I’ve been party to the dating merry-go-round for the better (or worse) part of five years and it is my personal belief that I adopted a false sense of confidence to survive it. Though, this all changed when, after my most recent break up, I downloaded this really neat app called Bumble.

It seemed harmless enough at first. I started as an innocent by-stander mocking the hilarity of this warped dating platform. Which, was easy to do when coming into contact with men who believe that pledging “I’m a not so basic bro looking for a not so basic ho” is more than acceptable for a bumble bio. FYI the jazzy rhyme didn’t make up for the sickening sexist reference.

But the experience changed when I began matching with some decent looking guys that I agreed to go on a date with.

The preparation for meeting internet strangers was fairly straight forward. Meet up somewhere that’s a mere 5 minutes away from a friends house or police station, wear something that looks like you’ve made the least amount of effort possible (but still look great) and arrive already partially tipsy in order to loosen your grip on the dormant shame that never quite goes away when online dating.

The guy didn’t have a prayer, I thought, as I passed a highly reflective shop window and saw my ultra-confident self staring back at me. I searched my brain for all of the deeply fabulous things that men had said to me in the past, to validate my dating existence. Words like sexy and beautiful were easy to obtain, once rifling through very diluted subtext.

Full disclosure, the actual date is kind of a blur to me now. I feel that my mind has chosen to block out much of what happened, but these are the things I do remember.

  1. I offered to get the next round and when placing his requested beer down in front of him, my handbag slipped from my shoulder and knocked his drink out of my hand. I watched on, in slow motion, as his beer spilled over his expensive slacks and his face, stunned, panned from his soiled clothes to my horrified face.
  2. When strapped for conversation, I turned to a rather unsettling topic. I like to call it, ‘which way would you rather die?’ The options included sharks, crocodiles and grizzly bears. Nothing says hot like forcing someone to contemplate their own graphic demise.
  3. Unintentionally, I managed to insult the company he worked for and then to follow it up, snorted loudly as I laughed….
  4. I literally began a sentence with “my therapist says I’m really self aware.” I have since looked for counselling else where.

Look, I’m not suggesting that the entirety of my self-worth rested on the fact that I had convinced myself I was a great first date. But now that the falsehood has become clear, I’ve had to re-evaluate some events in my past. It turns out that it is not possible for everyone else in the world to be a jerk except yourself. Sadly, if you think everyone around you is a fool, the reality is it’s more likely you.

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