The first Tinder date I ever went on, in some ways, summarised everything that’s wrong with online dating. He was a South African guy, who to be frank, looked more attractive in his pictures than he did in reality. He was also relatively short, which is something that is a recurring problem with online dating. To be kind, let’s put it this way: there was no room for high heels here.
We’ll call him Mr Crazy Golf. The reasons for this will become apparent.
Mr Crazy Golf
Employment – Something in government
Age – mid thirties
Nationality – South African
Interests – Golf, Property development
Source – Tinder
Anatomy – Average, nothing to write home about
The Story – Mr Crazy Golf and I met via Tinder. He was pictured drinking a pint. His face looked more symmetrical online. I asked a South African friend to write ‘you are cute’ in Afrikaans as my opening message. He replied as such and by that time she’d gone home, so I had to immediately admit to being out of my depth. He took it well and we got chatting. It didn’t take long for us to take it to WhatsApp, and then several late night conversations later, the bedtime pictures began.
I guess it’s easy to get sexually frustrated if someone you haven’t had any attention in a while and then someone messages you at midnight. We had arranged to meet up around 10 days after our initial conversation, so there was plenty of time to chat, flirt and basically build expectations to unattainable limits.
The night before we met, Mr Crazy Golf and I spoke on the phone for an hour. As a virgin Tinder-dater, this did help to settle my nerves, as he seemed like a relatively normal guy, and I’m quite into a nice accent, so my interest was piqued…
Venue – Swingers – the Crazy Golf Club
Website – Swingers – you’ll need to book in advance
Eating/Drinking – Several options and quite a few different bars
Activities – Crazy Golf, naturally
Atmosphere – Good, loud, not too oppressive, good first date territory
Service – Decent, we sat at the bar
Mr Crazy Golf was very good at making the plan and directing our evening, which scores points. He asked me to meet him at 7.30 at Swingers, but then as he arrived early, he began to walk towards me whilst we chatted on the phone and in the end we met just outside Liverpool Street. I saw him from the other side of the crossing, and I knew already that I didn’t fancy him. Attraction is instant, and it wasn’t. However, being on the phone to one another really made the meeting as easy and inconspicuous as possible. He kissed me on the cheek and we fell into step towards the bar.
He wasn’t much taller than me, and when he spoke, his mouth did this weird movement to the side which was kind of distracting. I guess that’s what made him seem unsymmetrical. However, being already committed for the evening, it seemed probable that making the best of it would be the right thing to do. We went down to Swingers, and as we had some time to kill before we were booked to play golf, we sat at the bar and ordered some drinks.
Conversation flowed relatively easy, and the venue was loud enough not to be awkward. Sitting at the bar was nice, it was possible to start a tab, which takes the stress out of first dating, and we ordered a pizza from Pizza Pilgrims to share, which was delicious and soaked up at least some of the wine I was drinking on a Monday night.
As Mr Crazy Golf played golf socially, he felt pretty confident that he was onto a winner here. My only golfing experience was in Sidmouth around 15 years ago, so my putting skills were not expected to be any kind of competition.
The golfing aspect of Swingers was not as much fun as the eating and drinking aspect in my opinion. I decided that in order to level the playing field, I would handicap Mr Crazy Golf by asking him to play all 9 holes wearing my handbag. He took this in good spirits. He also enjoyed showing me how to swing the golf club, and going first in order to ‘show me how it was done’. I’m not going to lie, I was quite bad to start, and he generously didn’t mark down the first few shots on my first few attempts by classifying them as ‘practice shots’. He didn’t realise how much this would rile him later…
Actually playing the mini golf course they have there doesn’t take much time to complete. By the end, I was getting the hang of it, and the score card was perilously evenly matched by the time we reached the 9th hole. The last obstacle defeated Mr Crazy Golf, he used all 6 shots and didn’t put the ball. Defeated, but resigned to this, he hands over the ball to me and I line up to take the shot. Well, imagine his horror when I get it in one. This puts me in the lead on the score card. Cue a melt down from Mr Crazy Golf.
We have a crisis summit at the bar. After another drink, Mr Crazy Golf has reassessed all of the points he had given me, added the number of shots he thinks he discounted as ‘practice shots’ and ensured his own success.
He paid the bill. I never saw him again.