After the excitement of Arms (part 1 & part 2), I guess I knew the next dates would be… interesting. Physically they had a lot to hold up to. Sexually, if it got that far, they were going to have to be out of this world. And on a common connection level they’d need to be pretty spot on. Unfortunately, if not unsurprisingly, none of those marks were hit.

The first, was a 26 year old Canadian, who’d just moved back from Vancouver after being in Australia for a year. He was a lawyer, lived and worked downtown, and we arranged to meet for drinks one day after work.

I always think if someone has travelled they should be fairly well socialised and have something about them, something interesting, something to say. This guy? Not so much.

The fact that even making the arrangements of where to meet was difficult should have been a red flag. He kept saying “I haven’t lived here for a few years”. Yeah but prior to that this was the only place you lived, you were back here visiting within those two years you lived away and things don’t change that fast – just pick a goddamn place! Then he did and it was shit, so be careful what you wish for, I guess.

Unfortunately, things didn’t get any better when we met. On first sight he was cute, with a lingering tan from his recent travels and blonde curls framing his babyface. Which at least was pretty to look at when very swiftly after we arrived I found myself bored. Like, looking around the bar bored. Generally I can, and will, talk to anyone. But this was painful.

Add to his lack of chat the fact that anything he did say centred around really not wanting to be back in Vancouver, not liking the job he’d gotten since he moved back but thought it was the best he could get, and hating where he was living. I actually left feeling marginally depressed.

Babyfaced Non-Aussie Lawyer had brought my mood down to zero over the course of two gin and tonics. That takes some doing, cause the gin alone lifts my mood so he’d managed to entirely counter those effects. Dating is hard!

The next date was with a 32 year old Canadian travel marketer at a really great cocktail bar I’d been wanting to try for a while so this guy got instant brownie points for a) picking somewhere and b) picking somewhere good. However, for happy hour at 5pm on a Tuesday it was lacking a little bit of atmosphere.

Thankfully we had a lot to talk about and enjoyed 3 cocktails each while discussing his travels around the UK, his job which I was pretty fascinated by and my recent found love of kickboxing and half marathons.

By the time he paid the bill and we left though, I knew that no matter how easy our chats on that date had been and how much of a nice guy he was, I wasn’t attracted to him. He looked decidedly middle aged for his 32 years, and while I know I’m no 20 year old, it was a little off putting. In my mind now, I associate the colour brown with him for some reason, though I’m sure that’s not the only colour he was wearing…

I was only just formulating these thoughts as we were fumbling with the door and umbrellas though, so when he quickly said he’d love to do it again I didn’t have time to respond appropriately so just responded inappropriately with “sure, I’d love to!”

Ugh, I hate that. I hate being that girl, I hate being the one who lied, who was dishonest with their intention. Nobody really wants to be the one that has to tell the ugly truth but, in my opinion, it’s far better than doing what I did and then having to follow it up with a text that explains that… what? I changed my mind? Had a change of heart? Am just a big ol’ liar who couldn’t just strap on her big girl pants and say “this was lovely, but I don’t think there’s anything there for me”? Why is that so hard????

I won’t even repeat word for word the bullshit text I sent, but suffice to say, it was bullshit but covered what I should have just said at the time. And Canadian Travel Marketer was such a nice guy he just said in reply “that’s a shame, I thought we had a lot in common but I wish you the best”. Seriously, dating is hard.

Next up was a lunchtime date with a 34 year old Irish financial worker. He’d been fairly lowkey in messages but was quick to make a plan for us to meetup and after realising neither of us had time after work for a few weeks, we decided a lunch hour date was going to be the best bet.

So I kept my schedule clear, made sure I took makeup with me to work to do a little refresh before I rushed to meet him to ensure we had enough time to eat and chat before either of us had to get back to our respective offices.

Possibly the only good thing to say about this date was that I got to eat. I mean, I paid for my own, but at least I got to eat. And, let’s be honest, if that’s the best thing you can say about it, you know it was a shithole of a date.

He’s quite possibly the most negative guy I’ve ever been on a date with.

His job was ok but he wasn’t loving it. The friends he’d made since he moved here were nice but a bit boring. Vancouver was ok but he’d probably rather be at home. He was applying for his permanent residency but the whole process was a hassle and expensive.

Here’s a thought bud – if you dislike it so much here why don’t you fuck off back to Ireland and not apply for residency, you absolute loon? I felt like I worked for the City of Vancouver’s PR department by the end of lunch – I had put so much effort into trying to convince him it was a great place to stay. And I spent the entire walk back to my office wondering why I’d done that. I’d actually rather he left.

And quite possibly my breezy disposition and selling of Vancouver put him off as well because we clearly both ended the date on the same page – never wanting to text again. We didn’t text again after it, at all. Mutual ghosting is the only ghosting that’s acceptable. Is dating supposed to be this hard?

Lastly on my run of blah dates was this really quiet Canadian Country Boy. He’d moved to the city and seemed a little overwhelmed by it all, but I admired his bravery and not once did he talk about moving back out to the sticks where all his family still were. He didn’t seem to have spent too much time downtown but was keen to meet me somewhere near where I lived, and again I admired the fact he wasn’t shunning something he obviously wasn’t super comfortable with. Not least because I’m a city girl so if he couldn’t get on board with that then it would have been a non-starter.

Our first date was at one of my favourite happy hours that I suggested. I did all the ordering, seeing as he’d never been and I knew what was great, and for that night at least it worked. But when on the second date (yes this one got to a second date, such a rare occurrence for me, I know!) he still wasn’t really able to order his own beer without some assistance I started to wonder how far out in the country he’d actually been living. Did they not have bars out there?

His initial quietness turned out to be real shyness, which in turn presented itself as awkwardness. Unfortunately, if I can’t make someone comfortable, I don’t deal well with that and I’ll do one of two things – laugh or become really awkward myself. So you end up with a shit show one way or another. And when he admitted he was even shy around his nieces, who are toddlers!!!, I pretty much knew this was probably done.

The last game of the World Series was on in the bar we’d met at and I worked out that if we got the bill right then I could probably be home before the Chicago Cubs would eventually beat the Cleveland Indians and watch it by myself, which at this point was preferable.

Shortly after I watched all the celebrations in the comfort and non-awkward silence of my own apartment, I texted Canadian Country Boy to say I just didn’t think there was a spark and I thought he was maybe a bit too quiet for me, or in fact maybe I was just too loud for him. He texted back saying “thanks for your message, maybe you’re right.” Way to grab it by the balls!

And so in a short space of time, I went through four first dates and a second date, which left me feeling flatter than flat. And in these instances, I’d gone for the nice guys, the good guys, the ones with “good” jobs, not swiping on them because of their muscles (or arms!) and this was where it got me…

Dating. Is. Hard.

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