A 27-year-old finds out her Tinder date is married when he accidentally shows her a picture of his wife
A true story from the frontiers of Toronto’s app-enabled dating scene
My name is Jess and I’m a 27-year-old teacher. I downloaded Tinder about two and a half years ago, after getting out of a four-year relationship. I’m bisexual, and at the time I was still living with my ex-girlfriend. I was ready to try something new.
My first date was with this guy who, in his photos, looked around my age. Online, he was a pretty good conversationalist. We chatted about comedy. He made lists of comedians he thought I’d like, and he sent me links to funny stand-up sets on YouTube. I’m a really silly person, and he seemed silly, too. He kept raving about this Thai place, so I agreed to meet him for dinner. I gave him a heads-up that I was still living with my ex, and he was okay with that.
We met outside College station. He made the first approach—and it’s a good thing he did, because there’s no way I would have recognized him. My first thought was, “Oh my god.” He looked way older than I’d assumed he was. Judging by his receding hairline and forehead wrinkles, I guessed he was in his mid-forties. And he was wearing this hideous, super-shiny rain jacket, even though it wasn’t raining, which I thought was weird.
At this point, I think he sensed that I was nervous. He tried to break the tension by suggesting we go get drinks at a nearby pub. I don’t really even drink, but he had this baller attitude. He was like, “Order whatever you want.” So I had a few vodka cranberries. I didn’t say anything about his age, though. I’m too polite.
I was feeling a bit buzzed, and I didn’t really want to go dinner, so I suggested we go for a walk instead. We were strolling south along Yonge Street, and suddenly, before I had time to react, he swallowed my face whole, slobbering all over me in an attempt at a kiss. I think he was trying to be spontaneously romantic, but there was no build-up to the moment. I had to ask him to stop. All I could think to say was, “This is going too fast.”
He told me, “We can take it slow.”
I didn’t want to take this date anywhere, at any speed. But he was still determined to check out that Thai place. He was pleading with me to go. “Please come for dinner,” he said. “I really want to take you to dinner. Please please please.”
So we went, turning around and walking north back toward the restaurant. I ordered a few coconut shrimp skewers. As we sat down, his phone started ringing. It had a massive screen and I couldn’t help noticing the background image: two young kids and a woman. It was a professionally shot family photo.
“Umm, is that your wife?” I asked. And he said, “Yeah.”
And then, the logical follow-up question: “Does she know where you are?” She didn’t. I was definitely not okay with being on a date with a married guy who was lying to his spouse.
The date had become ridiculous. I decided to play along. He showed me a photo of his wife where she was wearing cargo shorts and asked if I thought she was a closet lesbian. “I’m not sure,” I said, “but there’s always a chance that a person is gay.” He asked me if I would sleep with her. I said no.
I had finished my skewers, so I told him I was leaving. We walked out of the restaurant and he asked me if I would go to a hotel room with him, which was an obvious nonstarter. Then he kept asking, using the same pleading voice he’d used to guilt me into dinner. I refused, and walked away. When I looked back, he was making a pouty face, like a child. Now, when I go on Tinder dates, I use this one as a conversation starter.
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