When I saw Dan’s* profile pop up on Tinder, I was excited: stellar uni, good job, not a midget. In the world of online dating, this was an excellent start. When we matched, things went from strength to strength.
We had great banter and he was keen to move things along with a real life meeting. I’ve wasted more time than I care to remember chatting endlessly to guys who don’t deliver a date so this was music to my ears.
Our first rendezvous was at a pub in east London and we hit it off immediately. He had an assured confidence just the right side of arrogance, educated opinions and fabulous hair. He thought I was a fox. I wasn’t surprised when he asked me out for a second date – sometimes you just know.
On Saturday 14 March we arranged to meet not far from my place in southwest London. He lives on the other side of town so while I appreciated him trekking over to my neck of the woods, I was hardly surprised when, after copious amounts of cigarettes and flirting, he stayed over at mine. But guess what? He woke up with a tight chest and runny nose, so thanks to the coronavirus, he’s still here, nearly two weeks later.
What started as an extended dirty weekend, pre-lockdown, turned into seven days of self-isolating together – then full-on cohabitation with a stranger, as the Government introduced even more stringent guidance for all members of a household with suspected coronavirus symptoms to isolate for 14 days, that Monday.
It’s no secret that I want a boyfriend, so this fast-forward relationship has had its magic – it’s been fun playing Mr and Mrs after such a long time single, and I live alone, I was glad of the company to begin with. But as the days wind into weeks and I’m actually getting to know this guy, it’s become clear you should be careful what you wish for.
His “educated opinions” are swerving into mansplaining territory, that confidence now looks a lot more like arrogance and I’ve discovered a bald patch.
Meanwhile, I’ve gone full skivvy (in my own home!) tending to his every need like a Stepford Wife. He’s not lifted a finger to help me out around the house, enjoyed his fill of my food and wine without once whipping out his card to restock or order a takeaway (“let me know how I owe and I’ll ping you some cash” is not the same as actually contributing) and seems to think I ought to be helping him out with his work, because I’ve not had any symptoms, when I’ve got plenty of my own to be getting on with.
It’s like we’ve been married 40 years when I don’t even know the guy! So why haven’t I told him to do one? Firstly, I’m taking Government orders seriously, but to be honest, the sex is great and I don’t fancy being quarantined alone.
I’ve been trying to break my patterns of unhealthy relationship dynamics so I hate myself for not taking my best advice but I think I’m almost addicted to this scenario now. We joked about our situation “Going Viral” – now the secret’s out.
*Name has been changed