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

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Read Next
David Cameron faces the press as he arrives in Brussels for the EU leaders summit on Thursday reuters  

On the Tusk of a dilemma: Cameron's latest EU renegotiation foe

Andrew Grice
John Profumo and his wife Valerie Robson in 1959  

Stephen Ward’s trial was disgraceful. There can be no justification for it

Geoffrey Robertson QC
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas