August 2018. It had been a couple weeks since my night with The Adonis and my newfound self-confidence saw me download the latest dating app, Hinge. I had actively avoided dating apps for the previous five months but one Saturday evening I took the plunge and matched with my first guy.
Semi obsessed with racing cars, multiple gym selfies and the obligatory photo with a cute puppy; he was your typical basic man of the dating app world. The conversation was mediocre at best, but it wasn’t like this guy was going to be my next boyfriend or anything. Plus, I’m a sucker for a tall and handsome man.
I agreed to meet him for a drink on the next Sunday, my first proper date since my break up with Dennis. Sunday evening came and I’d bought a new top for the occasion, blow-dried my hair, made myself up and left to get the bus to Clapham Common. En route I was surprised to see Hinge Guy’s Instagram story from only an hour before geotagging himself in Bicester Village – 50 miles from London. Hmm, that’s cutting it a bit fine before our date I thought, but whatever he’s an adult, I’m sure he can effectively manage his own time. Besides, he’d been messaging me only the night before saying how much he was looking forward to meeting me.
I arrived at No.32 the Old Town and my female intuition instantly kicked in. Despite us having regular text conservations throughout the week, Hinge Guy hadn’t read my latest WhatsApp message from half an hour before letting him know I was on my way. Being a Sunday the bar wasn’t particularly busy and as I tottered from downstairs to the second floor it felt like that every head which turned my way knew what I already knew. I had been stood up.
I quickly hurried out of the front door and whipped out my phone, deciding to call him. It rang out until answerphone, fuck sake. Feeling the upset and embarrassment beginning to rise up in my chest, I trudged across the Common in my heels to a park bench. He still hadn’t read my message. I called my sister telling her what had happened, she reasoned that maybe he was running late and that I should wait it out another 15 minutes. Despite knowing in my gut that this definitely wasn’t the case I waited on the bench, staring at the unread message on my screen.
It was a quiet summer evening, to my right a couple of homeless men drunkenly rambled down the Common and there to my left sat on the end of the bench was a giant black crow sinisterly eyeing me up. Great. ‘Stupid bad omen,’ I thought to myself, snubbing the crow and defiantly crossing my arms, tutting. Typical, just bloody typical, my first actual date in months since my break up with Dennis and I get bloody stood up.
It got to 7.30pm, half an hour after my date was due to start. I checked the message again, still unread, however this time Hinge Guy was ‘online’, my text remaining as two little grey ticks – a WhatsApp slap in the face. Feeling the anger rise up and join its ugly mates, Embarrassment and Disappointment, I picked up my handbag and threw the crow one last look of disdain before stomping towards the bus stop as fast as my five-inch heels would carry me.
Sat on the top deck of the bus, the full effect of humiliation swelled up inside me. I bit my quivering bottom lip, determined not to cry until I’d reached home. 30 minutes later, I closed the front door and finally let hot tears of shame roll down my face. Fucking Hinge…fucking men…fucking crow, I bitterly thought, dragging myself up the stairs and into the living room. My wonderful flatmates took one look at my patchy face and bloodshot eyes and launched into furious exclamations about how much of a dick Hinge Guy was and enveloping me in tight hugs, insisting it was his loss anyway.
Two hours, one rom-com, a bottle of wine, a bar of chocolate and (several) rants later, I felt a lot better. Curled up in pyjamas on the sofa with my flatmates I’d given up looking at the still unread message and was aimlessly flicking through my social media apps. I tapped open Instagram and scrolled through my feed… Hmm, so Hinge Guy couldn’t do me the courtesy of at least texting me to cancel our date but he could find the time to like pictures of Kylie Jenner. So he wasn’t dead then. I sighed. I unfollowed him on Instagram and opened my WhatsApp and composed a message telling him he was rude and shouldn’t waste other people’s time in future. Adding for good measure that maybe that was how he was brought up but it certainly wasn’t how I was. Good. Sent. I took myself upstairs, washed off what was remaining of my makeup and brushed my teeth.
I climbed into bed, flicked opened Hinge and deactivated my account. Fuck. That. I thought, and fell promptly asleep.