“Don't get it twisted, love is a beautiful thing”, truthful words that kick off D'Banj's song “Fall in Love.”
I couldn't agree more with D'Banj. And to think that in my last article I was at the brink of giving up! Do you remember my rant about how everything was going terribly wrong? And how I prayed that this month of love would bring with it some good tidings?
Well, it appears that my prayers sailed from my lips to God's ears. I have met someone...but let us start from the beginning.
Last week, I got rid of most of my past matches and decided to explore new potentials. Somehow the over-friendly guy and two others survived the purge.
The new batch was pretty interesting; there was the party guy who kept asking me to turn-up on a week night for shots, the timid guy who was a nervous wreck and kept seeking affirmations; Do you like me? Are you enjoying the chat?
And then there was the cool guy who didn't talk much but I could tell life had played a number on him because he started most of his conversations with: " In this life, I have come to realise...”
FIRST TINDER DATE
By the middle of that week, I had a date with the cool philosophical guy. My first Tinder date.
To be honest, I find that rather depressing because I had anticipated at least five coffee dates before Valentine’s day.
Anyway, I met Mr Cool for an evening coffee date. Our chats were always pleasant therefore I was not nervous to finally meet him in person.
When I hugged him, he smelt delicious; cologne and lotion and... hair wash? He was a cocktail of subtle but rich scents. The kind that rubs off on you and you can still smell him long after you are back home. For me that was a miss.
I have a preference, and sweet scent on my man is definitely not among them. But hey! Love is about compromise right?
A little extra scent was not going to hurt.
We settled in for the date, warming up to some light chat as we waited for food. He had asked if I was hungry right before we entered the restaurant.
My tactless mouth took that as a cue to yawn... loudly. I was mortified. Truth is, I had barely eaten all day and my tummy was not about to shy away from food.
He smiled and said, " Got it! We are going to eat."
After pleasantries, I decided to get to know him a bit more. You see, all our chats, though consistent, had been painfully vague and dripping with generalities.
GETTING TO KNOW HIM
"So, what do you yearn for, what are you looking for in terms of companionship at this point?" I asked beaming at him. I have a natural soft spot for people who feed me.
"Well, in life I have learnt to be receptive and take one day at a time." he replied. I cringed. He was being evasive once more.
I tried again:
"Tell me, what do you appreciate most in a relationship? What are your non-negotiables for instance?"
"In this life, I-" he started but I couldn't bear it anymore.
"Let me stop you right there. I understand your need to be vague when we were chatting online. But I am here now. See, in flesh and blood. I am real, not a bot. Please talk to me, skip the diplomacy," I blurted out.
He froze, I had pulled the rug right underneath his feet.
Luckily, the food arrived, a tantalising distraction from what was quickly turning to be a horrendous date.
I could feel his eyes on me as I went in for my second spoonful. I met his eyes and there I saw it, raw pain and dejection.
"Look, I am sorry I came on too strong. I feel like there's a lot of things you need to deal with first. So you know what, let's remove the pressure and simply enjoy this meal okay?" I said softly.
He was visibly relieved. We talked about life's absurdities, our love for hikes, for meat and traditional brew.
When he dropped me home later that evening, I hugged him warmly knowing that I would never see him again.
He was not what I needed but it had been wonderful knowing him albeit briefly.
JUST A FRIEND
When I got to the house, I found a message from friendly guy. We were now exchanging memes and goofing around at this point.
I had accepted the fact that he would never see me as more than just a friend.
I updated him about my date and he made fun of me saying that I only went for the food.
Scrolling through my messages, I came across a photo from drunk guy. He wanted to know if I could hangout on Tuesday night. Joker.
As I prepared for bed, my phone beeped. It was friendly guy, again. Sigh.
He texted: " I like you. Could we be (heart emoji)?"
My heart skipped a beat before scepticism kicked in. I waited for him to send a silly GIF or meme, mocking me for thinking he was serious. Nothing.
I did what most women do when they are in denial, I revised our chats.
Looking at our messages with fresh eyes, I began seeing the tiny hints he had been dropping all along. The cute jokes. Sweet remarks.
I noticed how he was among the first people I spoke to in the morning and among the last ones at night.
My thumb got numb from scrolling, I had no idea we had spoken so much.
All this time we had been opening small windows of your lives to each other, exploring each other.
He felt like home, a safe space, the person I wanted to talk to about everything.
The notification tab showed that he was "typing" but no message was coming through. I could tell he was anxious.
I decided to put him out of his misery: " I would love that." I replied.
KING OF THE FRIEND ZONE
Kanye West and Keri Hilson sang a beautiful song about how love sometimes knocks you down, you don't see it coming. Well, I can attest to that.
Like I told you folks last week, he had been reigning as the undisputed king of my friend zone right from the beginning.
But here we were, falling for each other.
I deleted my Tinder account. The app is clingy by the way, it asked why I was leaving.
I ticked the option of “I have met someone" and it set me free with a congratulatory message.
Friendly-turned-romantic guy will be taking me out on a date sometime next week.
I will find out if he is the one and if he isn’t, I am hopeful that I will at least have a great date.
Also, next week we will have the final part of this series where I will engage a relationship expert to give insight on the things I have learnt in my one-month pursuit for love.
What made some matches to be doomed right from the start? How come I never got plenty of dates? Any tips that would have improved my online dating experience?
We will be answering these and more questions on online dating.
If there's anything you wish to find out on the same, please share your questions and I will be happy to ask them on your behalf.
As Valentine's day draws closer, I wish you nothing but pure love.
LOVE BY VALENTINE’S is a blog series that will run until Valentine's Day. Our writer dreams of finding love by that day and at worst, a memorable date. Follow her adventure every week as she seeks to find love by Valentine's. Got feedback and tips on how she can do this? E-mail: [email protected]