Melissa Kite: Auditioning for love can be savage

Share
Related Topics

So many. Oh so many terrible first dates. The guy who took me to a conceptual art exhibition, then a David Hare play. Straight after, I tell you, without even so much as a double vodka in between.

The guy who told me we would be splitting the £55 bill for dinner but he would pay extra as he had had the steak and a slightly bigger starter. (He put down £6 more than me in exact money and told the waitress to keep the 50p change.)

Or the divorced fireman who, after wooing me with macho tales of rushing into burning buildings, revealed that he had just "had the snip". For a woman in her late 30s with no children, that was a bad one. We had only just started our pizzas so I had to make a huge effort not to reach into the air to wave the waitress down and ask for the bill.

But for sheer soul-scarring awfulness, the worst date of all is the one where you realise you are the other person's idea of a bad date.

Reading Rhodri Marsden's viral tweet about his worst date this week, I must confess I panicked. A bar in Clapham. A girl he hadn't liked...

I went on a blind date in Clapham once. I turned up in a nice outfit, not looking too shabby, or so I thought. I stood by the bar, then a guy fitting the description of the one I had been in email contact with walked in. The place was empty.

There was no one but me and a drunk old man in the corner. But my date walked all over the bar scouring it for other possibilities before he came over and stood next to me checking his phone. I cleared my throat. He looked me up and down. And then he sighed and tutted. Yes, tutted. I should have walked out, but I felt so guilty about not being the girl he was hoping for that I insisted on buying him two drinks.

Dating is savagery. It doesn't work and makes you feel worthless. No wonder Marsden's tweet sparked a Twitter storm of dating horror stories. Blind dating, in particular, shouldn't be legal in Britain. It might be all right for more extrovert cultures like America, but we Brits don't do well when forced to audition cold for a stranger's love.

Apart from the obvious point that single people are single for a reason (no one can put up with us), we are not good at self-promotion. It is a cruel irony indeed that the very people who most need to date are precisely the sort of people who are useless at it.

It wasn't always this way. In the old days, people went on dates just as often as we do now, but they went with someone their friends knew. They were fixed up. My mother met my father like this, and very gentle and romantic it was too. Since the dawn of internet dating, however, it has become the brash, unforgiving norm to pitch up at a bar and try to romance a random stranger.

Let's be clear: this is the equivalent of shutting your eyes and putting your hand into a very big jar of pick-and-mix and hoping you won't come out with an aniseed jelly covered in nasty blue hundreds and thousands. You are fishing in too big a pool, with too many maniacs and oddballs.

The chances of picking a man who pays a restaurant bill in small change, or me, are far too high to make this a worthwhile venture.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Volunteer your expertise as Trustee for The Society of Experimental Biology

Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Promising volunteer Trustee op...

Email Designer

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Psychology Teacher

£110 - £130 per hour: Randstad Education Reading: Psychology Teacher needed fo...

Food Technology Teacher

£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Randstad Education are curren...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Prime Minister David Cameron speaks during a visit to Scottish Widows offices in Edinburgh, where he made an impassioned plea to keep Scotland part of the union, saying he would be  

David Cameron did the right thing, so why does Scotland’s vote feel like a defeat?

John Rentoul
 

i Editor's Letter: The rules were simple: before the results are announced, don’t mention the S-word

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week