Dix’s Quest for a Valentine

James DixRecently my sister got engaged to her boyfriend of about seven or eight years. I know, it sounds great and it is really exciting, but it only reminds me of the fact – I am single and it is almost Valentine’s Day.

Is it that I need a boyfriend to be fulfilled in life? No. Is it me being competitive? Quite possibly. I wanted to find a valentine so I could prove that a queer relationship can function just as well as my sister’s well-functioning heteronormative relationship.

Ensue a trio of nights out. Enter Rusty’s. The weekend became a blur of hopping from one bar to the next and seeing the same members of staff so often that they must have thought I was an alcoholic.

Little came from going out on Friday night apart from a terrible hangover. Although, one of my female friends was telling me about how she was getting on with Tinder.

Saturday came and I decided to give Tinder a go, (whilst out on an all-day bender, having slept for about four hours, hair of the dog and all that). Hesitant at first to swipe left or right to judge someone at face value, I gave up my morality and started harshly judging people on their dress sense.

I showed a few men to my friend to help me out but instead she criticised my profile picture saying I could make myself look better. I saw a few people from Uni and had to close the app and re-open it, so as to refresh the person in order to avoid awkward moments.

In the end, I grew sick of the app when I got matches but nobody actually wanted to chat back to me. App deleted.

On to the next venue, I went to the Dancing Peppermill where I was pretty sure the barman was checking to see if I was single by asking if I was on a date with my female friend, (as if). A great start to the evening, but it was pretty clear he was just as friendly with every other customer.

Having been drinking all day I decided to call it quits and download a new app to find love. I have recently been watching a TV show called Looking by HBO. On the show one of the characters Patrick played by Jonathan Groff uses OKCupid to find love.

I gave it a go and started answering some questions to see if I had any matches. One of the questions asked ‘If you turn a left-handed glove inside-out which hand will it fit on?’ I wasn’t sure how it would help me find love but answered it regardless.

I found a guy who seemed to be interesting and we had about 50% match, which was pretty low compared to others, but he seemed to be genuinely nice. I said to him about going on a date on the Tuesday, but in the end he said he had a shift at work. He might genuinely be working, but it felt like an excuse not to go on a date with me.

After that disappointment Sunday happened. I hate Grindr, I always have, but I felt like I was coming to the end of my tether and thought I might as well give it another try.

The usual thing happened, some guys send a picture of their genitals, and others tell you how gorgeous you are for your photo and some just put hi and never talk back after that.

I was looking for love not NSA (no strings attached) fun. I kept coming across invites for a cheeky fun, but in the end I got talking to a fellow student and ended up asking them if they wanted to help design posters for me. Love was not found, a potential new friend yes.

My quest for love had lost all hope. The weekend had come and gone, it was Valentine’s week. The two dine for £20 deals from M&S were out.

After a long day, I was invited out by Music Society and a sabbatical whose name will not be disclosed for professionalism. I said yes, because I had heard that Rusty’s were doing a Spice Girl bomb and the first one was out that Monday – the Baby Spice bomb (raspberry sourz and energy drink).

I ended up in Powerhouse and ran into loads of friends. The night was going well, I was happily drunk and ended up playing a stage game of pass the water orally in order to win a free drink. Unfortunately it was Foster’s so I had to give it away…

Then it happened, I found someone, I’ll spare the details. Now I have a date. The point is – as soon as I stopped being nervous and worried about finding someone and just felt confident with myself, I found a valentine.

We need to stop putting so much pressure on ourselves and let things happen organically. Sitting behind a screen and judging people might work for some, but it was hours of pointless time wasted for me.

If you are single, this is not advice to tell you to be in a relationship, decide for yourself, we have free will for a reason. Now I just have to make sure I still have a date for my sister’s wedding.

By James Dix