I realized it was time to delete Hinge when my date stuck his finger in my mouth





I was half-joking when I told my ex, pregnant at the age of 20, that I would never date again and pointed out that, while I would be looking after our child, he would be free to see whoever he wanted. Little did I know at the time that this would prove untrue – and, actually, I would become a serial dater.

This conversation in fact popped into my head whilst, mid-Hinge date, a very cute man told me I was “a catch”, and proceeded to stick his hand in my mouth in a hook-like fashion. My mind then drifted to the leftover curry I’d forgone to be here, before it finally occurred to me that I should be questioning what the f**k was going on.

It all started mid-pandemic. My daughter was now aged four and, after a few failed relationships and an unfortunate tattoo that looked more like an “A” than a “D”, I decided to get back into the dating scene. Word on the socially-distanced street was that everybody was on Tinder. And while I had a little play with it, I turned to the app that was “created to be deleted”: Hinge.

Unlike Tinder, it wasn’t full of guys looking for one-night stands, but it also required less effort on my part than Bumble did. I was pleased to learn that information such as a person’s height, life goals and political leaning was readily available on their profiles, and soon became a pro.

At the peak of it, I was scheduling three dates a week. Perhaps you’re of the camp that believes this is far too much, that people have too much choice these days and no one is willing to commit – and I’d have to admit I agree with you. However, it was for this very reason that I recovered logging on and sliding into guys’ DMs.

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You see, I never minded the banal, repetitive questions about siblings, work or favorite colours. On the contrary, I found the experience incredibly informative. Within just a few months I had learned everything from the best scuba diving spots outside the city, to why it’s imperative to have a headboard (don’t ask!).

For me, a date on which I learned something new was a date well spent. Don’t get me wrong, there were some less enjoyable experiences in the mix, but for the most part, I was just enjoying meeting new people – and a lot of them at that!

That’s why it was a tough blow when the hook-in-mouth guy (who will forever be known as The Fisherman amongst my friendship circle) inevitably left me – despite the fact I had overlooked his dating faux pas.

It got me thinking about my other dates and off came the rose-tinted glasses; there was the junior doctor who I came to like, but things fizzled out because, well, he wanted me to spank him. Then there was the time I almost relinquished my Hot Girl Summer for a former flame (note to self: never go back for sloppy seconds, or send voice notes while wine drunk).

Offloading to my therapist, I questioned: Shouldn’t I have found somebody, anybody, to love? Or was this a result of frantic swiping? Perhaps, if I had been more adventurous, things with the doctor would have worked out and I wouldn’t have ended up on the end of The Fisherman’s rod (no, that’s not a euphemism)?

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Despite my doubts, I maintain that I am a phenomenal first date. I know this because I’ve never not been asked on a second. Could it be that, as The Fisherman had put it, I was too easy? But didn’t he also call me “a catch”?

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At what point did the men in my story become the actionable characters, while I, “the easy one”, floated idly by until a man dangled any small number of offerings in front of me, as if my sole purpose of leaving my leftovers uneaten at home while I trudged into the winter night with lipstick on was to fulfill some expedition of theirs? At what point did I start to choose men who wanted to stuff and stick me to their trophy wall?

No, I needed to delete Hinge. In plunging myself into the dating scene, I realized that some hidden depths are better left untouched – just like the inside of my mouth, thank you very much.


www.independent.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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