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Kiss and Tell: “My Tinder match cold-called and kept me on the phone for four hours”

Demetra, a 23-year-old student, didn’t manage to escape until after her date insisted on singing her a lullaby

Kiss and Tell: “My Tinder match cold-called and kept me on the phone for four hours”

Welcome to Kiss and Tell, a series about the steamy, surprising and frequently absurd world of Toronto dating. Send your most memorable stories from the pursuit of love and lust in the city to .

—As told to Juliann Garisto


I was newly single when I re-downloaded Tinder, and I wasn’t looking for anything serious. I’m an introvert, so I was mostly hoping to build my confidence by interacting with hot strangers. I matched with a woman who seemed sweet in her photos. She had a radiant smile and short, curly dark hair. I thought her thrifty, minimalist aesthetic was cool, so I swiped right.

After messaging back and forth for a couple of days, we found out that we both went to U of T and shared some similar opinions. We identified as feminists and agreed that university should be free. She was super smart, so it was fun and interesting to talk to her. We exchanged phone numbers and arranged to go on a date the following week.

A few days after I gave her my number, I got a call around 7 p.m. There was no caller ID. When I answered, it turned out to be my Tinder matchI realized I hadn’t saved her number yet. To me, cold-calling someone from a dating app seems odd, but she acted like it was the most normal thing in the world. It felt like she expected me to recognize her voice.

At the beginning of the call, there were some pleasantries and small talk. Then the conversation started to become more one-sided. She quickly started telling me about her most recent therapy session, then segued into a story about her high school ex from six years ago. She complained that she hadn’t been in a serious relationship since then. Apparently, she’d been on only first dates in the last few years, and no one had called to ask her out a second time. When she’d tried to follow up herself, she told me, she’d been either rejected or ghosted.

The call was definitely raising some red flags, but I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt. After all, it was only our first time speaking. I thought maybe she was just extroverted and excited to meet a new person.

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About an hour into the call, I started trying to hang up. I kept saying, “Excuse me, I have to go now.” But she wouldn’t stop talking: about her family, her friendship troubles, the layout of her room, her former jobs—all this random stuff. At one point, I went to the bathroom and left my phone in the other room. She didn’t even notice.

Around 11 p.m., I started saying I had to go to sleep. Still no luck. Meanwhile, I had laid down on my bed and closed my eyes. I wasn’t listening at all anymore. Finally, I reiterated that I truly had to call it a night and told her that talking for hours was a bit much for a first conversation. Instead of being like, Oh my god, sorry, I didn’t realize what time it was, she said, “Let me sing you a lullaby.”

Then she busted out “No Children” by the Mountain Goats, which she sang in its entirety and a cappella. I spent the whole four and a half minutes with my phone glued to my ear in horror. When she finished, she said, “Have a beautiful night” and hung up. It was incredibly confusing. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit curious. No one, in my adult life, had ever sung me a lullaby.

I gathered from our lengthy phone conversation that this person had no sense of boundaries. She clearly didn’t understand what was appropriate to disclose to somebody you’ve never met. I worried that she was just looking for an audience. But maybe I was overreacting, I thought. Maybe things would be different in person.

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When the day of our date rolled around, I told my friends that the person I was meeting seemed a tad unhinged and really self-involved. They asked me to send updates. We planned to meet up at a subway station near where we both lived so that we could head to the Christmas market in the Distillery District. When we met, she seemed bubbly and sweet. She was wearing this cute knit hat and a sage-green puffer. But, by the time we’d walked into the subway station, she was already talking a mile a minute and hadn’t asked me a single question. I quickly zoned out.

When we got on the train, we managed to snag a couple of seats. It was rush hour and super crowded. Then she asked if I had ever heard of the Omegaverse. “No,” I said. “What’s that?” The Omegaverse, she explained, was an online male-impregnation fandom where people wrote stories about men who morphed into wolves and were able to reproduce with one another. She talked about it at great length and told me she thought it was super hot. Then she wanted to know if this piqued my interest. She was asking very loudly—heads were literally turning.

The next topic she brought up was golden showers. She asked me if that was something I was into. I told her, honestly, that it wasn’t, but that it was fine for other people. I did add that it was a weird thing to bring up on a first date. But she kept on talking about it anyway, revealing that she wasn’t actually interested in kissing a woman but that she would really like to try golden showers with one.

At that point, I seriously considered getting off the train and going home. I’d have had to shove my way out through a throng of fellow passengers, though, and the prospect of drawing even more attention felt daunting. It seemed easier to just go through with the rest of the date.

In an effort to change the topic, I asked her about her workout regimen, since she’d mentioned that she liked to go to the gym. In response, she pulled a metal ring with flash cards out of her pocket. Each card had the name of a different exercise: pull-ups, burpees, squats, etc. She started explaining them one by one until she came across a card that said “clapping Bulgarian push-ups.” I asked her to repeat the name, and she interpreted my request as a desire to see a demonstration.

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Suddenly, she was on the floor of the subway doing actual push-ups and clapping between each one. There was snow outside, so the floor was covered in slush. I couldn’t believe she was basically lying in it. I tried to stop her, but she got through twenty or so. Her puffer was covered in dirt by the end. I felt extreme second-hand embarrassment.

When we finally got to the Distillery District, I was in a terrible mood and starving. I suggested we go find something to eat, but she said she didn’t want to spend money. So we just walked around in the freezing cold. I basically disassociated the whole time, just saying “uh-huh” or “yup” every couple of minutes. She was content yapping on about herself.

About an hour later, we took the subway back to the station where we’d met. She told me that she thought the date had gone really well and asked if I was seeing anyone else. I told her truthfully that she was my third date that week. I didn’t tell her that I’d found the date thoroughly unenjoyable, but I made it clear that I wasn’t looking for anything serious. We acknowledged that we had different dating goals, which spared me the trouble of explaining that her behaviour was really overwhelming.

Since then, I don’t tolerate oversharing. It often seems like an attempt to create a false sense of intimacy. Trust has to be earned naturally, over time; it can’t be forced right away. If I learned anything from this experience, it’s that boundaries are important and relationships are meant to be reciprocal.

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