I was on my second date with Mike. It wasn’t going that well.
Our first date was bizarre and lovely in equal measure, mainly because of the context.
This one was turning out to be more bizarre and less lovely.
I had recently moved to a small village, right on the edge of London. Mike was back in London visiting friends. We were in a pub, in my village.
The night had started slightly strangely. I had met him at the train station. He was in London for the week, and had a suitcase with him, so we went back to my flat first, so he could drop it off.
He went to use my bathroom and I chatted to Joe, my flatmate, while I waited. When Mike came back into the living room, I was telling Joe about an incest storyline from that day’s episode of Neighbours. Two people had been about to have sex, before several of their family members burst to say “stop! You never knew this but you’re actually related!” I loved it, because it was classic, ridiculous soap nonsense at its best.
“Don’t you think, from a humanistic point of view, that incest is not really morally wrong?” Mike said.
“Errr….” Joe and I both said.
Mike went on to tell us a story about girl who came up on his Facebook, who was ‘really, really, really fit’, who turned out to be his second cousin.
“Anyway, shall we go to the pub?” I said.
When we discussed it the next day, Joe said “I wasn’t even the one hoping to bone him that night, and even I thought ‘stop going on about how fit your second cousin is!'”.
It’s not like ever since I was little girl, I dreamed of finding a man who hates incest as passionately as I do (I often don’t feel strongly about what other people do, as long as they’re not hurting themselves or anyone else) but I found his pro-incest stance a bit odd.
We walked to the pub. It kind of felt awkward between us. I gave him a lecture about lethal recessive genes and the biological and genetic problems with incest.
This is classic, hot second date chat.
We arrived at the pub, and it still felt awkward.
Leading up to the date, my feelings towards him had changed a bit. I felt pretty positive after our first date. We texted each other most days for a couple of weeks. I started to feel bit hopeful that it could go somewhere. It was fun messaging him.
Then, little things had started to come out, which made me wonder if we were on the same wavelength.
The first slight warning sign had actually been way back, before my party. After I invited him and got my bikini line waxed, I suddenly remembered how Mike voted in the recent EU referendum in the UK, because he had put it on Facebook.
He voted the opposite way to me.
That’s not an automatic sending off, because it’s a very complex issue. We had discussed politics the morning after my party, and our views seemed more similar than I expected. I now think he was exaggerating how much he agreed with me, because I was a naked woman he was in bed with.
Then, a week or so after our first date, a few things came up in my Newsfeed on Facebook. Mike seems to follow Milo Yiannopoulos, the ‘social media personality’ who Wikipedia describes as ‘a vocal critic of feminism, Islam, social justice, political correctness’, who was kicked off Twitter for ‘inciting or engaging in the targeted abuse or harassment of others’.
There were a few transphobic things Milo Yiannopoulos had posted, and in my Newsfeed it said “Mike has reacted to this”. It took me a while to work out what Mike’s reaction was – maybe if it was the monkey with its head in its hands, it would’ve been OK.
No such luck. It was this one:
This was more of a problem for me than Brexit. I think everyone is entitled to their own opinion (especially if it’s the same as mine) but when it comes to being tolerant, especially with marginalised groups of people, it’s not negotiable for me. I could never date someone who was racist or homophobic.
He also sent me one message about women in Burqas, which may or may not have been racist.
I mentioned it to Joe one evening, and he said “it’s a bit like discovering someone’s in Slytherin, isn’t it?”
Also, leading up to the date, aside from politics, sometimes it came across like he had no filter, or didn’t really think before he saying things. For example, one day he said “I’ve been procrastinating by imagining if all my exes were on a football team, who would play in what position.”
I said “Wow! What an unusual way to waste time.”
Wow! What an unusual way to tell me you have at least eleven exes.
I kind of found it funny, but also a bit weird.
Also, aside from the things he said that troubled me, his reliability or viability as a potential partner came up.
My friend said she had chatted to him at my party, and he told her he was no good at relationships. I remembered him hinting at things like that with me. That didn’t seem to bode well.
I noticed that sometimes he would text me a lot. Other times, it seemed like he would only get in touch if I texted him first.
So, here we were, on our second date, feeling awkward. We were in a small pub, with not that many people in. The people in there all seemed to be ‘locals’.
I started rambling on about football, as there was a screen with the football on. He suddenly seemed to relax.
After talking about football, we talked about things like Psychology and CBT, which was nice. It felt like the date was going a bit better.
Then he asked me about the date I went on with a woman, which I had mentioned in passing in a text.
“Was she attractive? Because most lesbians are ugly, aren’t they?” He said, with no idea he had just confirmed his place on my No pile, forever.
“Oh my god! You can’t say that!” I replied, shocked.
“I keep forgetting to watch what I say around you, because you’re really politically correct!” He said.
It’s not so much watching what you say, as not having absolutely ridiculous opinions in the the first place.
He then went on to tell me about a night out he’d been on, where two really attractive girls were kissing and he ‘couldn’t take his eyes off them’.
Then he told me about a threesome he had had. I kind of wished he’d slightly lowered his voice, so the village locals overheard less of the conversation.
At the end of the night, we went back to mine, as we had already arranged for him to stay there. I kind of knew this would be the last time anything happened between us.
We got an Uber home, even though it was a short distance, as it involved walking along a main road that wasn’t street lit and didn’t seem very safe.
We used my Uber account, as he had no phone signal. He wanted to pay his half but I said not to worry, as it was only a couple of pounds.
“You’re the only girl I know who wants to pay her way for things.” He said.
I was surprised, but said I thought equality meant everybody paying their way.
“However, we both know you’ll always get paid slightly more than me for doing the same job.” I added.
He then went into a long speech about a TED Talk he’d seen, which he agreed with, saying if women get paid less than men, they should work out how much less and take that off their half of the bill, or something.
I thought Shhhhhh.
We got back to my flat. Joe asked what we thought of the pub, as it was the first time I’d been there. Mike said “it helped that the football was on.”
We went into my room.
We had sex, which went OK.
Well, in a way, it went better than the rest of the date, because it involved him talking less.
He was generous and did lots of nice things for me. He seemed eager that I have a nice time. At one point, after he’d administered some oral sex, he said “most men don’t like doing oral, do they?”
Who are these men you know, that don’t like doing oral? And these women that refuse to pay their way?
Obviously I reciprocated, and then we did the penetrative bit. It was nice. He said he was a bit anxious about his performance, because the first time had been so good, but he knew I didn’t remember it, so he wanted this time to be just as good. I thought it was sweet he was honest about it.
We did various positions. In some ways I enjoyed it, but apart from the whole stumbling block of his personality, it also made me feel sad. It was the first time I’d had sex (that I remembered) since Whippersnapper.
It did make me realise that sex with Whippersnapper was not perfect. Although I loved it with him, because I liked him so much, when Mike and I were switching between positions and kind of having a laugh, it made me realise how serious and intense it was with WS.
I guess the combination of his sexual health and body image problems, plus maybe the intensity of our feeliings, made him serious and intense. Plus, I guess I always thought of him as being very experienced, because he had slept around so much. However, actually, even though he’d had 10 times as many first shags as I’d had, he probably hadn’t had that much relaxed, comfortable relationship sex.
Anyway, despite that realisation, the sex with Mike just really made me miss Whippersnapper. All the way through, WS kept coming into my head, (even when Mike was literally coming into my head) to the point that I felt sorry for Mike. Although hopefully he would have had no idea.
I have given Mike a bit of a hard time here. Of course, he was lovely on our first date. I think he initially seemed lovely, partly because he wanted to come across well and keep the differences between us hidden, but also because he actually is a nice person. I think a lot of his offensive comments or views come from not thinking things through or not being very bright, rather than being a bad person. However, it’s certainly clear that we’re not compatible.
A few days after this, I texted him saying I had realised I needed to have some time off men and dating while I got my head together and got over Whippersnapper.
He replied saying we were honest from the start that it was a rebound thing, and that he agreed some solo time was healthy. He said “maybe I’m the wrong person to offer, but if you need a friend to talk to, or someone to go dancing with, I’m here x.”