One last thing before the tales of revenge. Last year, when I was going through it, what I hated most was getting flaked on last minute. In one particular instance, on a spring bank holiday, it happened so late I was at the bar already. He explained he was in bed suffering from a hangover. A whole tube stop away. At 7pm in the evening. And would not move. I’d forgotten to bring a book, there was a deluge of thunderstorm outside and I had no umbrella so I sat and finished my drink and recalled that – when I was writing the Style column, women I met randomly would tell me stories of what happened to them, thinking it would help – and this was the winner:

This girl matched with a man on Tinder in Virginia – how I don’t know, it’s possible her location preferences were set to 3,796 miles – and things were going so well she bought them a room in a fancy hotel for when he was next visiting London, and she was in fact in the £300-and-something suite, sex-poised in stockings and suspenders, had just uncorked the champagne, when he cried off. He wasn’t coming. Maybe he said sorry. Maybe he did not. But this girl was the kind of girl I like. She would not admit defeat. So she messages another man she was also talking to and asks him to come instead. After an initial show of reluctance vis a vis that she was waiting for another man entirely, he came and saw and she conquered, and six months on she’d met his mother and they owned a dog together and even now, as far as I know, they’re very happy still.

So, I thought – OK – let’s give this a go – messaged another man I was speaking to, who said if I gave him half an hour he’d change his shirt and come meet me if I found a place within easy reach of the northern line, and when he arrived he proved to be a wholesale upgrade on the man I had been waiting for – being handsomer, fitter, and having actually turned up – and I might now be writing to you with a Norfolk terrier yapping on my knee, as he roasts potatoes in the kitchen, only when he kissed me it was like – pick your metaphor – a labrador licking my face or as if he were trying to floss my teeth with his tongue. There was nothing to do but soak up the saliva with the sleeve of my cardigan, and go home alone.

Dates, in theory, are supposed to excite you, but after a while – as I tell the Millennial – you end up approaching them like trips to the dentist. You have to go along no matter how little you like it – everyone says so – it’s for your own good. But you’re filled with trepidation, knowing full well the horrors a man might perpetrate on your mouth.

For more tales of Bad Romance come back next Sunday night or buy the book here.


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