The Newly-Single Friend, Part 4 – Bumble

Lucy has been having a promising flirtation with her charming, handsome and funny friend Amir.
To read what happened last time, click here.
Lucy and Amir have been mates for over 5 years, but since he broke up with his partner last Christmas their friendship has become increasingly flirty. Amir regularly tells her she’s gorgeous, and hints at the possibility of a date – but in spite of the endless compliments, he so far hasn’t quite managed to get to the point of actually asking her out.  Lucy is finding it both exhilarating and also mindfuckingly infuriating.
Last time they met, Amir asked Lucy for advice on how to create a good profile for the dating app Bumble. This put Lucy in a tricky position.  Obviously she’d rather be grabbed by the pussy by Donald Trump than help Amir hook up with another woman – but technically at the moment they are still just friends. So she had no choice but to agree to help.
She hopes her advice turns out to be a big pile of useless crap.
Since that last meeting it’s been a couple of weeks without any word from Amir.  Then out of the blue he pops up again late one evening – in a pretty spectacular fashion.

Lucy is on a work trip, asleep in a German hotel, and the vibrating of her phone wakes her up.  She reaches over blearily to silence it, and as she does so she sees the message.  For a moment she’s not sure if she’s awake or dreaming.
Stunning mildly crazy beauty?!  What a message to receive in the middle of the night!  He thinks she’s stunning AND a beauty?  As for the mildly crazy, while that might seem rude, it’s really just gentle teasing.  Lucy sometimes jokes that all women are a bit bonkers, but she’s definitely less bonkers than most, and Amir tells her he likes her brand of crazy because it’s cute and funny. So what he’s really saying is that he thinks she’s gorgeous and amusing.
This is definitely not the sort of message a friend would send.
Since it’s the middle of the night, Lucy goes back to sleep.  Let him wait.  But it appears he’s a bit impatient, because early the next day he messages again.

 

At this point Lucy is in a meeting, so it’s definitely not the right time to be getting into what could potentially be a flirtatious conversation.  Anyway, he vanished for over a week, so it might do him some good to have to wait a while.  Plus it’ll make Lucy seem important and unavailable, which can only be a Good Thing.
She finally replies at the end of the day with a message that she hopes will make her sound both hardworking and modest.
(In other words, get the fucking hint, Amir!  Ask for a fucking date already!)
The next day, Lucy flies back to London. Barely has her plane touched the runway than she fires up her phone, swiping furiously on Bumble in search of his profile.  To make sure she has every chance of finding it, she even widens her distance settings to show her every guy in the right age range within a 20 mile radius.  She’s determined to make damn sure he doesn’t slip through the net.
This has the unfortunate side effect of showing her dozens of potential new matches, all of whom she has to reject in the hunt for the one she’s looking for.  Lucy swipes left continually all the way through the passport control queue, where the fierce lady supervising the automatic gates looks at her as though she might be a terrorist and makes her put her phone away.  She carries on swiping through baggage reclaim, where for the first time ever Lucy is annoyed when her suitcase comes out first.  She barely acknowledges her taxi driver as he takes her bag and leads her to the car, all the time swiping, swiping, swiping… and just occasionally experiencing a small pang of regret as she bypasses someone who looks like he might be nice.  Sorry love, not now.  Right now she’s only interested in one man.
And then suddenly, there he is.
This might have been one of those terrible moments where, with the left-swipe action firmly established, Lucy could have rejected Amir by mistake before she could stop herself.  And maybe, with hindsight, it would have been better if she had done just that.
But she doesn’t. She stops and looks at his photos. The main one is one she’s seen before, on his WhatsApp profile, and it makes him look smiley and rather young.  The others are more accurate reflections of what he really looks like, a little grizzled around the edges, but sexier.  He hasn’t used the one she took of him in the bar last time they met.
That’s fine, she thinks. I’ll keep that one just for me.

She takes a deep breath, and swipes right.

BOOM! It’s a match.

Lucy exhales in relief.  After all the flirting – and his message – it would have been extremely odd if Amir hadn’t swiped right on her profile, but all the same, you never know.  Men are fucking weird sometimes and Lucy really has no clue how their minds work.

Now they’ve matched, Lucy has a new problem. The rule of Bumble is that women have to make the first move – guys can’t message until the girl has.  This means that Lucy has to compose an engaging opening message.  OH THE PRESSURE!

Normally she’d send something brief but hopefully witty that shows she’s looked at the guy’s profile. Nothing too long in case he doesn’t bother to reply and it turns out to be a waste of time.  Nothing that sounds like it might have been copied and pasted from another chat (even though, yes, she’ll admit it… sometimes it is).

But this is different, she thinks.  This is Amir. He’s not a random stranger.  She doesn’t need to start with a friendly question because she already knows loads about him.

But then she has a brainwave.  What if she were to pretend that she doesn’t?  If the fact that they’re friends is getting in the way of him asking her out on a date, maybe removing the friends aspect will solve the problem.

Time for a little role play action…

And then she waits for a reply.  And waits.  And fucking waits.

Hours go by and there is no response.  The suspense is driving her bonkers.

According to the rules of Bumble, Amir has just 24 hours to reply to her message before the match expires and the connection will vanish.  The clock is ticking like an incredibly stressful episode of Countdown where the prize isn’t just bragging rights but the chance for love and happiness.  Lucy feels like Cinderella: she has just a few hours left to win her prince before the spell is broken and she’ll turn back into a pumpkin.

So why hasn’t he replied?  Is he busy? Playing it cool?  Has he lost interest?  What if he isn’t checking his messages?  FFS!

Lucy weighs up the options. Given his attention so far, it seems pretty unlikely that he’s suddenly lost interest.  No, she thinks, he must have notifications turned off, so he won’t know he has a match or have seen her message.  This is a nightmare!  What if he doesn’t check? What if the match expires?!

Calm the fuck down woman, she thinks.  It’s only a dating app.

But still, it seems like she is finally on the cusp of something brilliant.  She simply can’t let the opportunity slip through her fingers.  Not now she’s come this far.

So she sends him a message via WhatsApp.

Lucy doesn’t get a chance to reply to his text, because the next moment, he also pings her a reply on Bumble.

And she’s back in the game.
What’s more, he’s taken the bait.  The we-don’t-know-each-other role play is ON. Things are about to get interesting…

And just like that, Lucy’s stomach falls through the floor.

What. The. Actual. Fucking. Fuck?!

Is this really what this whole thing has been about?  All that teasing, all that flirting, for weeks… it was all just in the hope of getting into her pants?

Surely not.  It can’t have been.  Could it?

The shock and disappointment make Lucy feel slightly nauseous.  She doesn’t know how to respond. Is he fucking serious?  Or is this just part of the role play: they’re pretending to be two strangers on Bumble, so he’s ably playing the role of the typical dating app fuckboy.  It must be a joke!

Yes… it MUST be a joke, albeit a fucking crap one.  Amir could get a casual hookup anywhere, if that’s what he wanted.  Surely he wouldn’t be so stupid as to ruin their entire friendship for a meaningless shag?  He’s even told her about getting propositioned recently, but he turned the girl down because ‘that’s not what he’s looking for’.

But if his comment was a joke, why didn’t he follow it up with a winky face emoji, or a ‘just kidding’ like he did before?  Arrrrggggghhh! FFS!

No, it must be part of the role play. Surely she knows him well enough to know that he wouldn’t seriously proposition her like that.  Doesn’t she?

She decides to give him the benefit of the doubt and carry on playing.

This is better, she thinks.  Though the creeping doubt is still there, nagging her in the back of her mind.
But at least he’s asked her out now.  A date! An actual date! Break out the champagne!

 

This is much better, Lucy thinks.  A bit of humour, a few choice compliments, and he’s even showing off his excellent use of English.  It must be said Lucy does like a guy with a large… vocabulary.

From the comfort of her sofa Lucy smiles to herself.  Well it WAS a good line.  This conversation is about as much fun as Lucy has had on her own in a very long time.

She just needs to give Amir a bit more encouragement.

The Quantum Leap reference makes Lucy laugh out loud.  She absolutely loves that Amir is on exactly the same wavelength as her – cracking jokes that she finds hilarious and making slightly obscure pop culture references that only certain geeky kids of the 90s would get.

 

Lucy once told Amir that she’d kissed a guy who wasn’t very good because his rhythm was too mechanical.  Clearly he was paying attention.  So he’s a good listener too.

But the fact that he’s suddenly brought up kissing is an interesting new development.  Is that what’s on his mind?

The idea makes Lucy’s imagination stray to places she’s not sure it should go.  Things are so up in the air with Amir that she really doesn’t want to get her hopes up.  But oh how she’d love to find out if what he’s just said is true.

How to respond, though?  Is this his way of bringing the subject back round to sex – trying to see if she’d be up for a shag?  Or is it just a joke (the emoji suggests it is)? Should she encourage him by flirting back?  Lucy must admit she’s pretty tempted – she wants to see where such a conversation might end up…

But hang on a tick, she thinks.  This is a role play. They’re pretending they’ve never met.  So she should say the same thing she always says to total strangers who get a bit too carried away:

And the moment is gone.  Immediately Lucy is disappointed.  Did she shoot him down too soon?  Is she giving off the right signals?  Maybe she should have let the subject run a little and see where it led.
I’m so mind-blowingly useless at this, she thinks. No wonder I’m fucking single.
But there is no point rushing into things with Amir.  He’s only just come out of what was essentially a marriage. She needs to take things slowly and find out what his intentions really are towards her.

 

 

This is interesting.  He doesn’t say he’s looking for anything serious – but what man fresh out of a 10-year relationship would ever say that anyway.

But now the conversation has lost its fizz.  Before it was sparky and light-hearted, and now it seems to have fallen flat.  This is my fault, Lucy thinks. I shouldn’t have shot him down.  Why the fuck did she do that?  

Lucy wishes she could get the banter back. She needs Amir to think of her as fun and sexy, not needy and serious.  And more than anything, she needs to bring him back round to this date idea.

Lucy’s confused. Did he not just suggest cocktails?  But now he’s proposing a meal.  Or about a dozen other things.  Which is it?  This seems to be typical of Amir: he spends a lot of time coming up with great ideas for dates – but never actually makes good on the promise.

Well this time, she’s determined to make sure he does.  And THEN they can have a few drinks together and let alcohol nature take its course.

After a bit of to-ing and fro-ing, they manage to agree a to meet up the Sunday after next.

 

Lucy’s not sure why Amir thinks she’s being high-maintenance, but she doesn’t care.  She’s just thrilled beyond words that they’ve got a date in the diary. This is the BEST Bumble chat EVER! 
Obviously it sucks that it took a stupid role-play on a dating app to get to this point, but Lucy’s not complaining. They have a date! An actual date! AND he promises he won’t ghost her because she’s awesome!
And Lucy’s sure he won’t ghost her because he’s not a typical dating app fuckboy.  He’s one of the Good Ones.

 

Of course she’ll let him touch her hair. And anything else he wants to touch for that matter.

And he’s gone.   Now Lucy will have to somehow manage to get through the next two weeks before she can see him. That’s assuming he doesn’t cancel on her again like he did last time.  She’s really not sure she’d be able to bear it if he did…

(To find out what happened next, click here

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2 Comments

  1. Pea
    28th December 2017 / 10:02 am

    You really do chase after the wrong guys – red flag at him cheating and messing you around – if you want a long term stop going for them …give the nice guys who may not be the perfect checklist a chance – you’ll realise checklist guys are always fuckboys

    • Lucy
      Author
      30th December 2017 / 3:36 pm

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, Pea! To be fair, I didn’t chase after him, I thought he was chasing after me at first, and then I thought about it and decided I should give him a chance! He’s definitely not checklist – newly-divorced, two kids, and no taller than me… I do try to date nice guys, honest! But they seem to be quite rare and even when you do find them most of the time they turn out not to be so nice in the end either…

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