It all started 18 months ago. I was first introduced to the world of online dating by a good friend while living as an expat in Shanghai. I was working at a creative agency that had just as many crazy long hours as doctors and bankers (and yet we were not saving lives, nor were we getting paid a ridiculous amount of money). She said: “You need to meet people outside of work. Just do it. I’ll help you create your profile.” And the rest, as they say, is history.
Fast forward to today. I’ve quit my job and I’m officially on a full-time ‘meet, eat, love’ journey to meet new people in new places. I’m continuing to use dating apps while on the road and it’s been great! Sounds exciting, right? Traveling to beautiful countries, meeting interesting people, sipping bubbly by the beach… It’s the beginning of a romantic fairytale… uh, well, some good stories at least.
Meet Mr Norway, my latest date
My latest MEL story turned out to be a dating app mishap. This all happened in sunny Mallorca, Spain. Meet Mr Norway. From his profile pics, he looks normal, fun and not look like a sleazy ‘hey-let’s-just-hookup’ type. So, we matched and I invited him to meet me at a beach club that evening. When he showed up for our first date… he was actually better looking than his profile pics! This never happens in online dating. Never!
The more we got to know each other, the more I learnt. I found out that he’s also very well travelled, appreciates good food, is creative, has a good head on his shoulders and is so well mannered! What a great guy!
So from me to you, here’s how I self-sabotaged my own date with this great guy;
1) I drank too much
To conceal my overly excited blushing cheeks and beating heart, I drank from the bottle of rosé like it was some sort of liquid courage elixir. I think we were on our 2nd bottle of rosé when the non-stop selfies began… I have no idea why. My date probably thought I was really attached to my cell phone, but I really shouldn’t even have had my phone out in the first place.
Advice: Don’t drink so much rosé that you start taking selfies you don’t remember taking, until looking through your phone the next day.
2) I took a picture of him… and sent to him immediately!
Apparently, I was very camera happy that day. I even took a photo of Mr Norway and then sent to him via WhatsApp immediately afterwards! Don’t ask me why I did it. I don’t know! It’s embarrassing. I’m still embarrassed. I won’t do it again… Stop making fun of me!
Advice: Again, don’t drink so much rosé that you start taking candid photos of your date… and maybe wait until the next day before sending it to him.
3) I forgot that dates are supposed to be fun
I was so nervous that I forgot that first dates are supposed to be fun. I acted a bit too cool for school because, internally, I was a nervous wreck. I forgot to let Mr Norway know I was interested and didn’t take any opportunity to meet up in the future. Don’t believe me? Well, here’s a little taster…
Mr Norway: I really love travelling.
Me: Oh yeah that’s cool, you should check out Asia if you haven’t. I’ve already been but you should go… by yourself. Yeah, solo travel in Asia is easily do-able.
What I should have said was:
Me: Oh that’s great me too! Maybe we can meet up at some point. Where are you travelling to next?
Advice: Look, you are both in the same boat, meeting a complete stranger. Going from online to offline, the pressure is on. Yes, there will be jitters, but don’t forget to let your date know you are actually enjoying the date, especially if you actually are! Don’t forget to smile and show you’re interested in engaging in the conversation and perhaps plan to link up again in the future.
4) I ended up arguing with the restaurant owner in front of Mr Norway.
Yes, this happened. We went to grab food after all the drinking at the beach club. (The date proceeded to another venue, good sign right??). Apparently, I overheard the restaurant owner make a comment that sounded like “Asian Americans do not have the same morals as the Asians in Europe.” So naturally, I jumped in and stated my disbelief: “What?! That is so messed up. That’s the worst generalisation I’ve ever heard”.
Yes, I went from 0 to 60 in 3 seconds and made it very loud and clear I was offended.
Advice: Remember to keep your cool and shrug off any unpleasantries with a wink. 😉
5) At the end of the date, I just said a quick goodbye.
So, the date ended outside the restaurant. After I gave Mr Norway an awkward goodbye, I rushed off because I had another date. Terrible mistake. I regretted it dreadfully the next day and couldn’t help but wonder: “What if I had just stayed longer?” Now he’s back in Norway, and I’m in San Sebastian.
Advice: Don’t end a good first date if you are vibing and you actually like your date. I mean, how often does this happen, right? What I should have done was reschedule my other date with the new guy and asked Mr Norway if he wanted to explore the Old Town or grab a nightcap. If something is worth pursuing, why not seize the moment?
The morale of this first date story is;
- Don’t self-sabotage your own date by drinking too much.
- Remember to act human.
- Remember to show you’re interested.
- Don’t run away from a great guy…. Keep it going for goodness sake!