Dating column: Pavey takes on Tinder

It was 11am on a Saturday morning and I was feeling vulnerable. I was standing in a crowded H&M fitting room with my sister, who had decided to prematurely throw open the modesty curtain, revealing me, half-dressed, to my fellow shoppers.

I had just agreed to go on a date. My first proper “first date” in more than three years. The prospect filled me with horror and excitement.

Upon hearing that I’d been chatting to a bloke on “that dating app, what’s it called, thingamajigy”, my sister insisted we go shopping for an outfit. So here I found myself with an armload of near-identical Little Black Dresses. The LBD, a simple yet effective dating weapon.

My match had wooed me thus far in the realm of online chit chat.

Yes, this was to be a Tinder date. Any other date seems rare these days. Having come out of a long-term relationship a few months ago, it was finally time.

My match had wooed me thus far in the realm of online chit chat. After a day of Tinder messaging, we progressed to WhatsApp (too soon?) Tinder drains my phone data, battery life, and soul, so it felt like the natural next step.

I was cheered by his chat up line – “Dinner or brunch?” – which certainly beat the usual “DTF?” (for those of you who don’t know what that means, it’s probably better to remain in the dark.)

I agreed to meet him at Bank station on Thursday night. The prospect of this alone was enough to send me flying into a panic. Bank station? There’s about fifty exits! Thankfully he specified which one, but not before I rather un-coolly asked.

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The day arrived, and I, in my black midi dress – not to be recommended when climbing stairs due to restricted leg movement – negotiated the exits at Bank semi-successfully. By which I mean I mistakenly left the Northern line via the DLR platform.

Remarkably, I arrived first, and he shortly after. He was tall, and immediately handsome. I went for the hello hug, he went for the friendly kiss on the cheek, which would have been fine had I not stepped on his toe in the greeting manoeuvre. Fortunately, he didn’t comment.

I went for the hello hug, he went for the friendly kiss on the cheek, which would have been fine had I not stepped on his toe in the greeting manoeuvre.

We went to a nearby bar, which was probably too loud for a date, but as a management consultant working in the City, it was clearly his regular haunt. “Management consultant eh?” I said. “Don’t you just fire people for a living?” Perhaps a risky comment from me, but he laughed it off, buying the first round. I bought the second, but when a G&T (his) and a glass of house white (mine) came to £20.80, I resolved to never drink again, thinking miserably of my student overdraft.

The conversation was flowing. Two men in suits came over and shook Tinder Date’s hand. I couldn’t hear what they said over the din, but I asked if he knew them. “No,” he replied, shrugging. “It’s just City banter.” Of course, City banter. Like paying £20 for two drinks. Just City banter.

The evening drew to a close, and, having already had a cheeky but uncomfortably public kiss in the bar, we boarded a TFL rail service together into the sunset. Well, his place in Stratford, but at least I didn’t have to go back to Bank.

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