…. Continued from ‘How to Catch a Date (Part one)
‘The Spark’. We chase after it like crack addicts hunting for a fix which is no surprise as everything today is about instant gratification. We have Uber Eats on speed dial, Netflix direct to our screens and Amazon Prime delivering within the hour. Dating is no different, in fact it’s like Wi-Fi. We want to hook in, be turned on and connected in an instant. We aren’t bothered with waiting around to build a connection anymore.
There are of course exceptions to the rule and I am always in total awe of the patient types, who can spend months seeing someone and debating whether The Spark will develop. For me; an impatient, immature, fantasist, I’ve noticed this bad habit of dropping someone the second I can’t feel my blood boiling.
If you read the last episode (Catching a Decent Date- Part one) you will have seen me embark on a stealth mission to reel in two dates the ol’ fashioned way, with colleagues at The BBC. The Espanõl Enchilada and The Sexy Vegemite. I had watched them for weeks from afar like a psycho amateur detective.
Well, i’m pleased I can tell you, the sleuthing paid off. I hooked myself two dates. Both Enchilada and Vegemite approached me in the office (separately of course, can you imagine how awkward that could’ve been…) to invite me for a drink. It’s right here, in this moment that I thought about ‘The Spark’, because do you know what my first impressions were?
What a fucking disappointment.
I know, I know. Harsh. Enchilada was the front runner due to his quick nature, going straight from messaging to bounding over in the kitchen to ambush me.
His man-bun had created this vision of a gruff, Thor like character. But when he opened his mouth, Bambi came out. He wasn’t the hammer swinging god of thunder. He was more…well…tax accountant (which he is). Heavy on the Espanõl he understood very little English.
The Sexy Vegemite was just like his namesake; an acquired taste. Quirky and nervous, it was a stilted conversation that had me stifling a yawn. They didn’t ignite fire in my thighs. My heart wasn’t pulsating. I got sufficiently bored and dropped the chase. But it does make you wonder whether it’s okay to drop a potential date just because they aren’t making you break out in cold sweat? Is this where normal people would keep putting in effort to develop feelings, or are most of you like me, addicted to The Spark?
The Spark is: a hormonal reaction to someone you desire. You want them bad. So bad that you probably struggle to go about your day without being consumed by thoughts of them. Symptoms include dilated pupils, heightened sexual awareness, obsessive thought patterns like ‘what did they eat for breakfast? Are they online?” It can be very addictive and not likely to happen to rational, normal, logic human beings (so naturally happens to me).
Not to be confused with Love: Love is like a comfy old tee. It’s worn time and time again, but the older it gets the more you love it. Comfortable and familiar, love is when you don’t care about their Dad bod or hairy back. It’s that rare mystical thing that lasts forever. It’s the golden egg, the unicorn, the yeti, you get me?
The Spark is more “I want them so fucking bad I’m willing to look past every single toxic thing this person displays because OMG their face, and the sex, and please just shove me up against a wall right now”
Again, very addictive. Likely to end in disaster. Disaster on the scale of Pete & Ariana Grande.
Long term side effects
Addiction to The Spark may result in withdrawals when access is diminished. Withdrawals include boredom, excessive loneliness, cutthroat dating behavior (dropping people who don’t provide you with a fix) and constant thoughts about your next high.
I consider this while sprawled across my hardwood floor in a Tommy Hilfiger bra and sweatpants in mid-yoga pose. Not real yoga, like, semi-yoga where you pose downward dog, crunch a few times then grab the Pinot from the fridge and move the fuck on with your day. Anyway, instead of meditating and breathing deeply I use my my time upside down to think about all the men I’ve met and subsequently dropped for stupid reasons.
The Espanõl Enchilada was a nada because he was drier (or making me drier) than the Sahara desert.
The cage fighter who put me off because he was like an over-grown, overexcited puppy.
The guy, Cole, from The Aviary I met on a girls night out. I liked him all night until he stood outside hailing a cab, and pointed his feet like a ballerina. He stood like a ballerina. That was it, game over.
“I won’t let you do this” My girl Shannon, who is in the kitchen conveniently pouring a large Pinot, rolls her eyes.
“Do what?” I flutter my eyelashes innocently
“THIS! Nitpick a hundred things you don’t like about the guy before you know him. No one is perfect Chels”
I ditch the yoga poses and reach for a wine. I feel like a child on the naughty step. A child with a magnum glass of wine that is.
So are you on Shannon’s wavelength here, the ‘Don’t be so fickle. The Spark doesn’t exist you need to give these people a chance‘
Or, are you like me; ‘My heart isn’t racing, he’s not the one NEXT‘
Why is it too, that the Spark discriminates? I will be lit up like a firework for my Psychopath Playboy, ya know, the notorious womaniser who has a history of benders and breaking hearts. The fuck-boys and unambitious rinse-kings can get away with atrocious behavior, and still commit arson to your heart. Yet the flame will be extinguished for a wholesome guy like Cole who offers to walk you home, just because I don’t fancy the position of his feet?
I’ve gotta change I think to myself. I have GOT to stop picking out stupid flaws just because i’m not feeling wildly passionate about someone. I decide to accept a date with Aden, The Australian Lawyer who previously I’d decided not to date purely because I didn’t want to rip his clothes off. I traipse to La Ferola on Upper Street, reluctantly. I’m in my black faux fur coat, tight black jeans and classic Nike Air Force trainers. Minimal effort really. Is it too late to ditch and go to meet the girls in Shoreditch?
Aden turned out to be nice. Nice. It almost sounds like an insult doesn’t it, being called nice? He didn’t set off an inferno inside or make me want to vom from nerves. He was just…nice. But pretty quickly I start ticking off red flags in my head (I’m an asshole I know, does anyone else do this?)
Red Flag One: He orders cocktails and wine at the same time. Are we pre-gaming for fucking Glastonbury here?
Red Flag Two: He orders a ton of food and doesn’t eat it.
“Olives, figs and the chicken. Also, can you recommend a good cheeseboard?”
I wasn’t hungry, but roll with it. Thirty minutes later, he has not touched the food. Me? I am about to pass out in to a cheese coma.
Red Flag Three: He went in for a sloppy drunk kiss.
Red Flag Four: He’s very slim. What if I was to get on top for a ride, will I break him? Jesus, after all this cheese I would.
So, old habits die hard. I’m not Mother Theresa. I tried, and failed, to give out a chance to someone I didn’t have The Spark with. I went home, confessed to the girls that I wasn’t in to it and went to sleep soundly and solo, forgetting to respond to his goodnight text.
I think there can be a healthy balance between giving a relationship time to develop, but also to admitting that you don’t want to mount that person on your kitchen bench every evening and therefore they might not be the one. But you have to wonder, is it Hollywood’s fault for selling us the rom com fairy-tale ‘Spark’ dream? Or really, is it just that there is so much choice a swipe away that we millennials have become a bunch of entitled, cutthroat wankers?