Geeky engineer. Intrepid traveller. Sporty and social 😎. 6’1″ if it matters to you 😊.
I matched with A on an app called Bumble. It’s an app particularly for shy or arrogant men: when you match the woman has 24 hours to write the first message.
Men can’t write first = great for shy guys
Men don’t have a time limit to reply = arrogant guys can choose not to reply and bask in the glory that they got a match and a woman hit on them and they didn’t even have to react.
I’m still not sure about this one but we’ll give it a go – you never know!
The second message I received from A was asking me if I wanted to meet for a coffee.
I pretty much knew nothing about him except for the few words on his profile (see above).
Why not? It was coffee, Saturday afternoon in Richmond. Not like I was going to meet a random stranger at night in a secluded spot. What’s the worst that could happen?
I was running a little late and let A know who said he’d wait for me outside the station. It was only a short tube ride from me but I seemed to have caught the slowest train in history: it definitely would have been quicker to walk!
A is a good looking guy – tall, dark hair and green eyes. His photos were clearly at least 5 years old (information which he did offer up himself later on!) but he hadn’t turned into a different person, just aged nicely.
We walked towards the river and started to chat and after a few steps I said ‘oh you’re South African’. I had asked him on message if he was American – he had a distinctly American look about him. To which he replied with an emphatic ‘No!’
Shortly after he asked me how long ago I’d moved over from New Zealand! I looked at him quizzically…’What makes you think I’m from there?’
I laughed and replied ‘No, I’m British and my dad’s Italian.’ I went on to explain that I’ve lived in different countries though and have friends across the world who I talk to often.
I think I just pick up accents – not consciously – so that people understand me. People always ask where I’m from. Makes me chuckle.
I had a weird feeling about telling him about South Africa so I omitted the detail.
We got to the pub overlooking the river – I just love the water. My grandparents had a river boat and I spent my childhood boating. I find it so relaxing and calming and just being by the river gives me that feeling.
Anyway, my choice of drink was prosecco and it was 3pm…just keep that in mind.
Conversation continued on various topics and it came out that I’d lived in South Africa. Naturally he asked whereabouts I’d lived.
‘Clarens, in the Free State.’
Now, if you don’t know SA that won’t mean anything to you. And even if you do know it you might not have any idea where it is because it’s a small town in the mountains on the northern border of Lesotho (Google it because it’s gorgeous!)
He immediately put on his best Afrikaans accent asking how on earth I’d ended up there.
I’d been trying to avoid talking about this. I normally have no qualms about it but something made me think he wouldn’t take it too well.
‘I was married to a South African.’
He laughed, continued with the Afrikaans jesting and then exclaimed ‘So that’s probably put you off South African men for life then! If you’d known I’m South African maybe you wouldn’t have agreed to meet me.’
‘No, no. That wouldn’t have put me off. But I didn’t marry an Afrikaans guy.’
‘No.’ I said with a smile.
As the penny dropped his face was an absolute picture!
‘You have a problem with that?’
Of course it doesn’t matter: a man is a man but it was interesting to push his boundaries a little.
He hasn’t lived in SA for 14 years and a lot has changed in that time and the Free State is possibly one of the least likely areas you’d see a mixed race couple.
Oh dear…we’d managed to talk about two taboo first date subjects: exes and race – Just religion and kids to go then!
Actually funny side note, most guys seem to bring up having families. But we’ll touch on that another day.
So the next obvious question from A was how did you meet him?
Oh really, do we actually have to talk about this…
Ok, we’ve gone this far so here we go. ‘He was working at a church I was visiting.’
‘What?! You married a pastor?! Hang on… Don’t they have to be celibate?’
‘He wasn’t a Priest. He worked for the church and no he doesn’t have to be celibate.’
Oh dear! His face was a picture. Complete disbelief at this story. It was quite amusing.
I briefly considered getting up and leaving with a ‘nice to meet you’ and a sweet smile. It was borderline.
But instead I just changed the subject and asked him about his cars.
I don’t quite know how with A being shy (alcohol probably), but we managed to talk for about 3 hours before his flatmate, J texted to say he was at a pub down the road watching the rugby and did we want to join.
Off we went, A telling me how fun J is but that some people find him too much.
Well, I can totally understand that!
As soon as J saw me he asked ‘Where’s the Lycra?!’
I laughed and gestures towards A saying ‘well, he chickened out of wearing the sheet, so no lycra for me’
The more he said, the more it seemed he knew a little too much.
I asked ‘so who actually matched with me on Bumble? Was it you or you?’ pointing to each of them in turn. ‘Who was writing to me?!’
So it turns out it was a little of both.
I don’t think it’s necessarily conscious but it’s almost like J relies on A for his looks and A relies on J for his personality.
They needn’t do that because actually A does have a personality but he’s let it become a bit overpowered by J. Likewise J is not bad looking but has probably picked up a few suspect drinking habits after living in the Emerald Isle for a while!
J is rooting for A. He would pull me aside and say ‘I’m loving the banter between you too. A is really a great guy once he opens up.’ Good friend.
The drinking went on for rather a long time and we were all a bit worse for wear by the end of the night.
A few days later I found some hilarious videos and photos I’d taken and sent them over… ‘Hahaha! We were hammered 🙈’
Texts have been exchanged and J steals A’s phone and jumps in – I can tell when it’s him now though!
If anything I have some new friends and have laughed a lot.
We’ll see if anything develops further.
What stories do you have about taboo subjects on dates?