The moral of this story is that you should always bite the bullet and tell it like it is.
I’d been messaging a Match Hero for a few weeks on and off, and had decided I wasn’t going to meet up with him. There were several reasons for this; the main one being that he stated that all evenings and weekends were ‘difficult’ for him. He apparently worked away from home a lot, had his kids some of the time, and could only ever do lunchtimes. Call me cynical/suspicious/paranoid, but a lot of what he said in his messages was inconsistent, and something just didn’t quite add up. Maybe I’m doing him a disservice/being unneccesarily unkind and he actually cares for his elderly mother every evening, and perhaps he secretly rescues baby cats from trees and helpless orphans from burning buildings of a weekend. It’s possible.
But hey ho, sometimes if we get a bad feeling about something/someone we have to run with it. It’s called self-preservation.
Oh and I nearly forgot! This gentleman also listed his hair colour as light brown when he was very clearly a ginger. Now I am in no way gingerist – but embrace it, don’t deny it, for fecksake! And if you’re intent on lying, maybe consider wearing a hat in your profile pics…
I’m not usually backwards at coming forward, but for some reason, when this guy asked me to meet up, I didn’t just say no. Instead, we had a Match conversation that went something like this:
Match Hero: As evenings are a bit tricky for me, I was thinking it would be a brilliant idea for us to meet for lunch. Do they give you time off for good behaviour at work? Fancy going for a sandwich? I would love an excuse for a lunchtime jolly to come and meet you.
Me (not really loving the use of the phrase ‘lunchtime jolly’ and what that may allude to) : I do get a lunchbreak, yes, but I work on a business park and there’s nowhere nearby for lunch. Sorry!
Should have just said no…
MH: I could come and pick you up and we could drive somewhere.
Me: I wouldn’t feel comfortable getting into a car with someone I didn’t know… (Understatement of the year!)
Should have just said no…
Me (unable for some reason to leave it at that): Anyway, I go running most lunchtimes so I’m pretty busy.
Should have just said NO!!!
MH: We can meet for a lunch run then…Could do with freeing up my legs and a chat!
I am a veritable idiot.
And that is why you should always tell the truth! I wasn’t lying about running at lunchtimes (I was merely exaggerating which is totally different to and not at all like inventing a new hair colour for yourself, btw…). However, I should have just been honest and said:
‘Sorry, no, not going to meet you’.
For about 3 seconds I actually contemplated meeting this guy and going for a few laps round the park. At least office etiquette dictates it would be an hour, max., and it would be far preferable to being in a car with a total stranger. Having said that, I would clearly spend that entire time struggling to keep up with my Match Hero. My hair would be stuck to me, I’d be huffing and puffing and claiming I was ‘fine’ whenever he expressed concern (or, more likely, I’d be attempting to say I was fine but not managing to splutter anything remotely comprehensible).
Thankfully, common sense prevailed, and I decided that as much as I really wanted to have a
discussion argument about embracing one’s hair colour, a running date would be a Very Bad Idea Indeed.
In my experience, the males of the species get weirdly competitive whenever exercise is involved. I’ve lost count of the number of messages I’ve had from men who, having presumably seen ‘running’ in my list of interests, have claimed ridiculous levels of sporting prowess. Alleged achievements such as ‘I took up running this year and ran the London marathon in 2 hours 13 mins and 34 seconds’ are not uncommon… Come on guys, if you’re gonna lie, at least do your research and lie convincingly (also, I have it on good authority that a Real Runner would never include the seconds…!) I’ve also received messages relating to how much they can bench press (truth: I don’t actually know – or care – what that means).
Long story short, I think it rather unlikely that a running date is going to resist the urge to show off his running ability and slow down to my more moderate pace… (ergo, my own
competitive stubborn streak would kick in and I’d just about kill myself trying to keep up).
I’m getting tired just thinking about it.
I actually went on a post-run date last week (I was post-run, he was forewarned), but post-run is
completely a bit different – think hoody over the top of the sweaty lycra, dark pub, drink in front of you, no actual running involved…
Am I selling it to you?!
Runner’s World published an article a while back entitled the Dos and Don’ts of Running Dates (I know this because I looked it up when my friend expressed disbelief that I would rock up to the date clad in lycra – not one who likes being wrong, I wanted to prove it was totally normal…)
I take it back! Going on a date dressed in something that makes you look like an overstuffed sausage is not the way forward. As previously stated, I took refuge in a hoody and a dark corner, but that’s not really feasible mid-run.
As an aside, we never did arrange that second date…
The Runner’s World article I mentioned is full of helpful tips: DO wear deodorant (No! Really?!); DON’T insist on making eye contact when running (how is this even possible?!); DO dress comfortably, but don’t run shirtless or in just a sports bra (I have no words); DON’T spit or blow snot (seriously, I’m not making this up!)
To summarise, I didn’t go on my running date and the Match Hero wasn’t best impressed (don’t imagine I’ll be getting Match Heroine endorsement from this one). He bombarded me with a flurry of messages of the ‘not really taking no for an answer’ variety.
I read back through our entire conversation and alarm bells rang…Wee gems that jumped out included him stating we should really meet up as I’m apparently ‘just his type’ and he was ‘hoping you’d give me a post-run massage’ (how jolly), and suggesting we could ‘fit each other round our lifestyles’ (didn’t do anything to assuage my suspicions that something was a little amiss).
But I did learn that it pays to be straight to the point and to trust your instincts, and on future dates I’ll definitely make sure I don’t go blowing any snot in my companion’s direction…
Until next time…