There had been some silence from Ted on the messaging front and a time and venue hadn’t been arranged for later that day. I’d mentioned ‘let me know when and where, and I’ll meet you’ and was hoping for a simple time and place text. It got to mid afternoon and I couldn’t wait any longer so I sent a message - Ted called a while after to ask where I wanted to meet. I do find it infuriating when someone answers my question with a question, then again this was all new territory for me so perhaps I shouldn’t judge too hard.
We ate at Wahaca, a Mexican chain on Great Portland Street. I drove in as I knew I could park right outside and I wasn’t in the mood for drinking. I smelt on his breath when we met that he’d had a few drinks already. Then I noticed that he had a laptop with him so I suggested driving back to mine after dinner to save carrying it around to wherever we might go next.
After dinner we went back to mine, where he got quite kissy, quite quickly. We were making out on my sofa when I heard a familiar notification sound from his phone but couldn’t put my finger on it. He excused himself to go to the bathroom, and was there for quite some time (I really didn’t want to think about it), when he came out we moved from the sofa onto my bed.
He was a good kisser, albeit with smoker’s breath, and it wasn’t long until we were both undressed. It had been some time since I’d been naked and in bed with a guy. Being fifteen years older than him with a mummy tummy, I had thought about how I might feel when I
was au natural in front of someone again. I am self-conscious about my body. I have curves, cellulite from neck to ankle, plus I’m nearly 50. However, being in the moment with someone who wanted to get naked with me, meant that suddenly all of my insecurities disappeared.
I let him take charge, and he had his hands all over me. We didn’t have full sex, but we made each other feel good. Afterwards we lay back chatting and I casually remarked
“I guess you won’t want to see me again now that you’ve made it to my bed…?”
“Maybe I’d want to see you more…?” he replied.
I offered to drop him home as he had his laptop, he said he’d Uber but as he lived literally a six minute drive away I didn’t mind giving him a lift, and I got to spend a bit more time with him. We kissed in the car before he jumped out and said that we’d text later. Ted, like many guys I now date, was in his thirties, and rents a room in a flat with several other people. London is an expensive city to live in, I haven’t flat-shared for over twenty-five years so at first I presumed everyone would have their own place, but they rarely do.
When I got home, I had a message on happn, the dating app, the same one that I’d met Ted on. The notification sound was the same as I’d heard on Ted’s phone when he’d been with me earlier. That made me feel weird. So, when you’ve met someone, you’re still going out on
dates with other people? I hadn’t thought of it like that. I’d naively thought that I’d go out with one person until that ran it's course. I guess that’s not how this works.
I texted him to see if he wanted to do something later in the week. With WhatsApp (where most messaging seems to take place once you’ve decided to exchange numbers and no longer message via the app) you can usually see when someone has been online (time stamp), when they’ve received your message (two ticks), when they’ve read your message (two blue ticks). Ted was on and offline regularly and wasn’t reading my message. Strange.
A couple of days later, and after spending too much time, energy and brain power on trying to figure out why he wasn’t reading my message, I sent another:
‘I like hanging out with you, just wondering if you wanted to grab a drink, no pressure. Maybe you’re just a three date guy which is also fine.’
He replied with:
‘Yeah sounds great, just been busy with work’, etc.
While he was still online I quickly messaged back:
And he never read the message.
I felt confused, used, rejected, foolish, and all kinds of stupid. But, as my dating experiences
continue Ted is just one of many men who fell by the wayside. We’re all walking about with
a hundred different opportunities in our pockets via our phones and the dating apps we use.
If somebody doesn’t want to communicate any longer, they won’t. And i’m not embarrassed to say that i’ve done the same, not often, i usually have the balls to tell someone i’m not into them. Shame not all guys do.
Cat is a forty something, single mum who lives in North London with her ten year old daughter. She is writing her first book about the roller-coaster ride that is online dating, post millennium and post her own break-up. Life’s curve balls can really throw you, and starting over has certainly been a journey of self discovery. It wasn’t until her girlfriends who enjoyed her stories so much and encouraged her to write them down, that she decided to share them. The dating research continues...
Also by Cat Cooper: Dating This Side Of The Millenium, Do I Dare?
My First Date: 17 Years After The First