Date of the week is an online Grazia franchise chronicling the anonymous adventures of those involved in the ever complicated and increasingly unbelievable world of modern dating. To submit your story, fill out the form below.
_This week, Megan, a straight actress from New York who’s Tinder date turned out to be a bit too family-orientated…_*
Having a great conversation on Tinder is rare, let’s be honest. Whether the conversation fizzles out or the banter doesn’t translate over text, more often than not matching on Tinder means generic small talk, awkward banter and dwindling interest with every minute passed. That’s why, when I started talking to Alex* and there was a natural, easy and fun flow to the conversation, I may have got a bit overexcited about the prospect of an IRL date.
After a few days talking on Tinder, we start texting and he tells me he's coming to New York City (where I live) for work and suggested a date. I jump at the idea. Just from our week or so of messaging, we seem to understand each other so well, I feel like I could be myself around him and I don't even feel nervous about the prospect of an IRL meet up, which is really unlike me.
We had plan to go for a drink later in the week, but last minute he messages and asks if I want to meet up sooner. He has a spare afternoon free and doesn't know too many people in the city. ‘Screw it!’, I think, and an hour later, I'm on my way to drinks, excited about an IRL date for the first time in ages.
As I approach the bar, I see him standing outside waiting for me - which I think is sweet. As I get closer I notice an older woman standing beside him. A million thoughts rush through my head, ‘am I approaching the wrong person?’, ‘is that his wife?!’, ‘am I about to be propositioned for a threesome?!’
I greet him with caution, he looks at me awkwardly and turns to the woman beside him, ‘this is my mum,’ he says by way of an introduction/explanation.
I'm pretty much lost for words, and my first instinct is to turn around and get the hell out of there - but politeness prevails, so I say 'nice to meet you,' shake her hand, and we all troop into the bar together. At this point, the energy has totally shifted - I've gone from being excited to meet someone I was sure I would like, to confused at what weirdness is playing out front of me. Seriously, who brings there mum on a first date?! When is that ever appropriate?
It turns out, it’s appropriate when the guy you’re on a date with can’t say no. She has come with him on his work trip, didn't want to be left alone for the afternoon and asked to tag along to the date. He also tells me she wanted to know ‘what kind of person I was’ and says that he felt bad turning her away since he doesn’t see her often.
I can't think of an explanation he could have given me that would have made me feel better about the situation, but despite their apparent boundary issues, I tried to shake the whole thing off and enjoy the afternoon with my date. And his mum.
This is harder said than done, because it turns out I'm on more of a date with him mum than him. If you substitute the word 'date' for 'interrogation.' She asks me everything you expect a mum to, where I live, what I do for work, where I see myself in five years’ time, what I want to accomplish in life. Of course, you expect those questions three months into seeing someone, not three seconds.
'So, do you want to get married?' she blurts out as I stare into the bottom of my glass of wine. 'Erm, I haven't really thought about it,' I reply, staring at her son with 'please help me' eyes as he evaded my gaze awkwardly. 'What about kids? You must want kids', she persists. 'Honestly, i'm not really sure,' I splutter, getting increasingly more uncomfortable and patiently waiting for my Tinder guy to find his voice.
At this point, I have already planned my exit. There's no way I could survive a second drink, not when the guy who had a lot to say over message had suddenly become mute in his mother's presence. It's one thing to bring a parent along to a date, but to let them sit and interrogate your date without a word? No way.
As the waiter comes over to ask if we wanted another drink, I prepare my excuses to run for the hills. 'I best be getting off, got a lot of errands to run,' I exclaim, getting up before anyone could protest. We say goodbye, have the most awkward handshake in the history of the universe, and off I walk out of the bar as quickly as possible.
On my way home, as I debated deleting Tinder for good, Alex messages me apologising for bringing his mum. Nice try, but in all honestly, when I really think about it I had pretty much written him off as soon as he introduced me to her. And watching a grown man sit in total silence while his mother interrogates you is never a great look. Great Tinder connection or not, no spark survive the awkwardness of bringing your parent on a first date.