After a long hiatus, I re-entered the dating world. It’s 2015, so obviously I resorted to Tinder and OKCupid. I set up my profile, started swiping and waited to see what happened.
Someone messaged me, and seemed nice. We chatted for a bit before we swapped numbers and made plans to have dinner. I did not disclose my status, because I do not sleep with someone on the first date (sorry, TMI) and while I believe in transparency, given that it was just a casual date, I didn’t feel it was necessary.
I kept my expectations low; I wasn’t expecting anything spectacular. I wasn’t going to be swept off my feet; as cruel as it sounds, I knew I wasn’t meeting someone who I was going to be smitten with and spend the rest of my life with. It was a dinner. A chance to chat with someone new.
We met at a newly opened restaurant and waited for quite a long time. While we waited, he promptly spent 90 per cent of his time on his phone, including spending time on Tinder. Classy, eh? Swipe and look for new dates while you’re on a date? AMAZING! Strike one.
We finally got a table, and I was determined to order the fastest thing on the menu so I could end this thing and get home. The idea of leaving was strong, but I was hungry and I had already committed this much, I may as well get it over with. He excused himself to go to the washroom, and promptly returned to the table to show me the “super cute” selfie he had taken in the restaurant’s special selfie mirror. Ugh. Strike two.
Our food arrived and I had a delicious burger. I would have enjoyed it more, but my companion leaned in to my plate to get a good look at what I had ordered and promptly open-mouth coughed all over my food. Greeeeeeat. As if I’m not already annoyed by germs as it is. Strike three.
The evening finally ended, but not before he told me all about the gala event he was going to the next day and how it was near my neighbourhood. He had the nerve to ask if he could sleep over after his event because he didn’t want to cab home (too far, apparently) and didn’t want to drive himself so that he could drink.
“Gee, you know… That’s not going to work.” I said.
He seemed shocked that I would say no. I went home, shared my ridiculous story with my friends and left it at that.
The next day, he texted me to gush about what a great time he had and how he couldn’t wait to see me again.
I’m not the kind of person to let someone’s hopes get dragged on, so I told him that I didn’t feel a connection and did not want to get together again. Thankfully, he took it well and that is the end of that.
I’ve been out of the dating pool for so long that I forgot about the downs. Having to sort through a ton of not-so-great encounters and people. But that’s life – and while I feel that having HIV will complicate dating when it comes time to be with someone, I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. For now, I’m just going to be open to conversation and hope that the next place I go to doesn’t have a dedicated selfie mirror…
This article previously appeared in Josh’s own blog The Plus Side of Life here.