Chatting on WhatsApp, Rory Carrick re-connected with Travelling Matt, a guy he’d met on dating app, and a meet was finally arranged and smooches were had. Too bad it was going nowhere fast.
I was bored and flicking through my WhatsApp contacts when I came across Travelling Matt. We had chatted here and there over time but with no real commitment to do anything else. I’m no tramp (I swear) but I seem to have accumulated quite a few gentlemen’s numbers in my phone. WhatsApp has the handy benefit of, in most cases, displaying a profile picture of the person. It’s great for ‘browsing’. These days I find that giving out a phone number after a short conversation on Tinder is almost second nature. I do it myself and never think anything of it.
In my experience the only people who tend not to throw out their phone number in a heartbeat fit into two categories. One: the ‘it’s a work phone’ guy. Two: the ‘I need to be discreet guy’. Experience has also thought me that these guys are usually in fact one and the same person and the reasons not to give out their numbers translate to ‘I’m actually attached and don’t want to get caught’. I’ve been guilty of being that guy myself.
But back to Travelling Matt. We agreed to meet. He said coffee. I said make it a pint and you have a deal. I’m a bit of a boozehound and enjoy nothing more than a pint while chatting to someone new. The bonus for them is, after two pints I’m open for smooching (a bonus, I realise, only if they’re up for it too). I arrived first and got myself a pint and waited patiently for him to arrive, which he did a few minutes later. He was all sorts of dishy in the flesh. Six feet of prime man meat. Turns out he doesn’t actually drink, or smoke and likes to take care of himself. That will explain why, at 40, he looked about 30. Perfectly clear skin, all his own hair and teeth. He was also very nice. I had no idea why this one was single.
We had great chats about anything and everything and it kind of had that little spark that makes you a bit excited. Most of my stories began with “So, I woke up hungover’ and his were more ‘So, I didn’t wake up hungover and I saved children from a burning orphanage before breakfast’. Minor differences, I thought. I drank pints. He drank water. The more I drank the prettier he got. There were lots of leg touches and those ‘I wanna kiss you’ looks. Not just from me, I might add. We hung out for a couple of hours and eventually gave into temptation and had a smooch.
Then he told me he was leaving. Not just me, but the entire country to move across the pond to the US. He was going in less than two weeks. Really that should have been his opening line, but no, he chose to be all charming and decent and friendly and fun to hang out with, seeming genuinely interested in my story about how I woke up in the boot of my car, while the car was moving. Damn him and his good skin and perfect hairline. Eventually we said our goodbyes. He had to meet someone else and I was going to a gig later. Despite his imminent abandonment of me for the Americas, he did ask if we could meet again. ‘Sure why not?’ I said, and off he went.
I was meeting friends in two hours, so I figured no point in moving. I ordered another pint and got chatting to a few lads at the bar to pass the time. Little did I know that while I was passing the time boozing, Travelling Matt had sent me a message saying he was finished what he was at and wouldn’t mind coming back for another smooch. My phone was on silent so I never saw it.
A tap on the shoulder. I turned round and there he was. Having not heard back from me, he had decided to pop back to the pub on the off-chance I might still be there. That was kind of sweet, I thought. We had a few more smooches and chats and then went our separate ways again.
That was a Saturday evening. We swapped a few texts Sunday and he offered to drive me home after work on Monday. So we met. He still looked good. He was still leaving the country so this was still going nowhere. He drove. We chatted. At one point we were holding hands as we drove along. It was a mix of cute and kind of odd. Do people still do that? There were a few more smooches in the car when he dropped me off. We were like a couple of teenagers delighted at getting to first base. It was all very respectful and PG and probably very unheard of among gay men. Before I got out of the car he asked me to go to dinner with him that Thursday. I said yes.
Between Monday night and Wednesday afternoon there was barely a peep from Travelling Matt. I had popped him few texts with no response. Finally he resurfaced to tell me he had to cancel our plans for Thursday and that he was a bit all over the place with trying to sort his move in a weeks’ time. He suggested that we just be friends.
We both knew from the start it was going nowhere, yet he asked me to meet him twice after our initial meet up. I wasn’t expecting anything from him, but here’s the thing: If you are going to cancel dinner plans, man up, pick up the phone and tell me. A text cancellation is just spineless.
From what I have known of Travelling Matt I don’t actually think there is any bad in him. He did genuinely come across as a decent guy and funnily enough we did become Facebook friends and have had the odd chat here and there. He was probably in a transient place when we met and thought better of pursuing whatever ‘thing’ we had, which in fairness made sense.
He was my third actual date since I became single. So far my track record has been pretty dismal. Either my dating skills are a bit rusty, in which case more practice is needed, or the dating world has become more foreign to me than a women’s lady garden. But that’s a whole other story.
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