The Enigmatic Flaneur returns with a frank look at the geography of London dating.
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx
Via PlentyOfFish, MySingleFriend and Tinder, I’ve dated girls both in and outside of London.
What I quickly realised, is that many people are willing to travel a long way for a date, some up to an hour outside the capital.
Even more extreme, I heard of someone who went trans-atlantic recently – and wait for it – got stood up. Ouch..
Naturally, when some of the dates were commuting into London, I was under the impression they were well into me, although a part of me also knew that the bright lights of our nation’s capital is a huge draw for those who reside in satellite towns around and outside the M25.
Outside of sporadic dating, there were a couple of situations where things moved beyond a few dates, into the realm of seeing each other. The virtual zone that a friend once described to me as ‘somewhere between a snog on the dancefloor in Infernos and a full blown marriage proposal’ – a concept that is apparently considered to be quintessentially British.Unfortunately, both instances ended after a matter of weeks due to the added travel commitments. Dating someone or seeing someone from out-of-town is laden with issues and added pressure from the start, following my experiences as a converted Londoner.
I prefer the flash monthly European city-break affair to a drunken reverse-love-commute on the last train from King’s Cross – armed with a katsu curry in one hand and a newly found online acquaintance in the other.
For someone who considers Farringdon to be ‘up north’, a trip on a Friday night to Basingstoke, St Albans or Oxford is pyschologically on another planet as far as I am concerned. I’d be umming and aahing over such a mission even with the prospect of something earth-shattering at the other end.
On the other hand, London is a hive of dating activity, attracting literally thousands of eager daters from the commuter belt and beyond – daters that melt at the prospect of a walk on the South Bank in the summer sun.
It’ a shame that something which begins with the most honourable of intentions breaks down later because of an undoable door-to-door 90 minute overhead after a day’s work, and then another equally soul-searching return journey the following lunchtime.
There is of course, the possibility of the out-of-town dater staying in London, and don’t get me wrong, there are benefits to be had when a commuter train is missed at the end of a 3rd date!
But the long and the short of it is that distance dating is fraught with problems from the outset – it’s just an awkward situation. So beware of the out-of-town dater – it’ll be all in or bust before you know it.