When Match sent me on a ‘Reality Date’ I wasn’t convinced that the concept of ‘throwing yourself into a potentially stressful situation’ would lead to love. As mentioned in my previous post, the logic behind it is getting to know the real person – people tend to show the ‘real’ them in stressful situations – as opposed to the glossy, effort-filled and compliment-lavishing, on-first-date-best-behaviour person. And I have to say… I now kind of get it.
We’ve all had relationships where the person seems absolutely perfect until one of you hit a life roadblock and the way the other person handles the situation suddenly throws them into a new light. One that isn’t so flattering. So with that in mind, I thought about other ‘reality’ scenarios that have happened in my relationship history that have shown people in a light I wish I’d seen on the first date.
1. Driving. I met this guy at a bar last year and went for a couple of drinks and dinner dates with him (plus plenty of Netflix and Chill). Turns out, as soon as he got on the road he had absolutely NO CHILL. Swearing at old ladies who were driving too slowly and making gestures at white van men who overtook him, I soon realised that this guy was far too rude and aggressive for me. Just a shame it took til a trip to Tesco to work it out.
2. Shopping. After a Sunday spent relaxing in a beer garden last year, this guy asked if we could quickly pop to a local shopping centre so he could pick up a card and a present for his niece’s birthday. We then spent 2 HOURS of umming and aahing over what to get after he repeatedly ignored my ideas and suggestions he should just ask the kid’s parents.
3. Death. This guy decided he didn’t want to go any further after a few dates because my Mum had recently died and he didn’t want to ‘give me any more sadness.’ He was doing me a favour but had I known he was that insensitive on date one, I might not have invested any other energy. Might? Definitely would not have.
4. Finances. Having met many a guy that insists on counting every penny and saying things like, ‘I’ll get this cupcake because you can pay for parking.’ Dealing with money always shows someone at their truest self. I may be reckless and frivolous with mine but I am very generous. Anyone who needs to split every penny because they’re scared of gold diggers and I aren’t going to get on.
5. Building furniture. So last night I went over to Camden to meet some fellow singletons with the aim of getting down with our Cupid for the evening – Ikea. As soon as I arrived I could see that everyone seemed super relaxed and were chilling at the bar getting to know each other. Then we were paired up and had some time to chat to our furniture building partners before cracking open the brown cardboard boxes and getting on with it. Turns out that it’s the perfect opportunity for flirty brushes of knuckles whilst passing over tools and then celebrating your collaborative achievements. And I didn’t have to murder anyone for being so inept that they slowed me down!
Now I’m not quite sure you can put any of the above into speed dating scenarios apart from the flat pack furniture which turned out to be fun. If that sounds right up your alley – then head to Gilgamesh in Camden next Wednesday between 6.30 and 9. Make sure you email firstname.lastname@example.org to secure your space!
*This post was written in collaboration with Match but any reality dating experiences are my own!