Warning: This post contains a Grey’s Anatomy Season 5 spoiler. If you haven’t seen it yet, then what TF have you been doing with your life? Oh, and also, you might want to look away now…
Previously on Lucy Goes Dating…
Lucy had made up her mind not to meet up with any more guys from Twitter. It’s just too complicated dating someone who knows so much about her before they’ve even met.
But then, somehow, she started interacting with Ben, and Ben managed to win her over (click here to find out how), and before she knows she’s storing his number in her phone and agreeing to message him via Whatsapp.
He has one condition, though: he tells her she has to promise to be ‘highly repulsive and annoying’, to prevent him from falling for her. The problem is, he’s been on three dates with another girl, and although he doesn’t yet know if it’s going to go anywhere, it would be very bad timing if he were to fall for Lucy now.
Lucy’s pretty certain he’s safe – her luck is simply never that good – so she takes a deep breath, writes a very brief WhatsApp message, and hits send.
And straight away they are texting furiously, words (and typos) coming so thick and fast Lucy can barely keep up.
Ben tells her he tried to see if he could find and match with her on Bumble, and Lucy reveals that he would never have found her, since she has her distance radius set to just 10 miles and he lives nearly two hours away in the county of Wiltshire, which he likes referring to as ‘The Shire’.
Ben tells her he was in the middle of trying to do a workout at home when she messaged, and asks her how her day’s been. Lucy reveals she spent most of the day doing an online job application for a highly competitive job which she’s certain she won’t get, not least because she had to redo the entire thing after losing the first version to a computer error.
So he finds her ‘very distracting’? Lucy realises she’s finding him the same. He’s quick witted and sweet and he has a turn of phrase that she finds very appealing. This is already going way better than any chat she’s ever had with any guy off a dating app, and Lucy finds her heart starting to beat a little faster every time a new message from Ben pops up.
Conversation turns back to Twitter, and they both agree that being anonymous gives them more freedom to be themselves online than they would have if people knew who they were. Lucy tells Ben that in a way she almost prefers the online version of herself as the Lucy online can be much braver than the Lucy in real life.
He thinks she’s attractive? Lucy finds herself blushing. But what will he think if and when he meets her in person?
Lucy has no idea why Ben would have insecurities. To her he seems super sharp and quick-witted – but she does also find the vulnerability deeply attractive.
She’s also delighted that he still seems keen to chat with her even though he still doesn’t know what she looks like. Her WhatsApp profile picture is of a pretty scene from her travels, and so even though he now has her phone number, Ben is still none the wiser about who she really is.
Lucy realises that at some point, if they are to meet, she’s going to have to be brave and let him know her real identity. And that will involve letting him see what she looks like.
So she steels her nerves, and sends him a photo.
Lucy smiles to herself. She can’t be sure, but what Ben appears to be saying is that he asked her to be repulsive, and the photo she’s sent has firmly broken that rule.
To be sure, she sends him a second.
Lucy is having THE BEST time. She doesn’t think she’s ever had such a sparky and entertaining conversation with any guy before, let alone one she’s never even met. She can feel her hopes for this thing rising. Who cares about the other girl. That’s not even a thing. The other girl will fade away and and she and Ben will meet and fall instantly in love.
At least, a girl can dream.
But just when things seem to be going wonderfully well, Ben tells her he needs to go. It’s late, he hasn’t showered or eaten, and his phone is about to die.
As if she’s not going to think about him. While Ben goes away to shower and eat, Lucy pretty much does nothing BUT think about him, and re-read the messages for hints and clues, until, an hour later, he returns, sending her a screen shot of the episode of US hospital drama Grey’s Anatomy he’s currently watching.
Lucy’s seen up to about season 9 of the show, so she thinks she recognises the storyline Ben is referring to. It’s from season 5, and is where one of the main characters, George O’Malley, gets shockingly killed off in a road accident.
Lucy realises with horror that she’s completely misunderstood. Ben’s not talking about that episode AT ALL, and she’s just given away a MASSIVE plot twist!
Suddenly she can’t stop laughing. She’s seized with fit of giggles so intense that she has to put her phone down so she can draw breath. She knows she ought to feel bad for spoiling Ben’s show, but her mistake is just so ridiculous, and Ben’s reaction so stomach-flippingly adorable, that’s is all she can do not to dial his number and tell him she wants to meet him right there and then.
Lucy has NEVER laughed so much during a text chat with any guy, ever.
Eventually Lucy manages to catch her breath and the laughter subsides. But she’s still grinning from ear to ear, and for the first time in a long time, feeling happy and curiously optimistic.
But then Ben reminds her she’s supposed to be going on a date with someone else tomorrow.
Could Ben be jealous? Lucy only told him about the date because he’d previously warned her he’d been on three dates with another girl, and she wanted him to think she’s all cool and casual about it. After all, they’ve never even met, so of course they will be dating other people, and of course she’s not allowed to be annoyed or upset.
Even though right now, she’s not feeling cool and casual about the idea of Ben dating other women AT ALL.
And already she’s lost interest in this other guy, and she doesn’t want Ben to go on any more dates with the other girl. And it seems Ben may be feeling the same way.
Lucy smiles to herself at the thought that Ben might already be getting jealous, and might just be feeling as into all this as she is.
And it appears he is, because his next question is about where she lives, as if he’s already thinking about the logistics of them meeting up. Lucy tells him she’s in one of the dodgier bits of West London, and he assures her that even if it’s a bit questionable right now, her area is almost certainly up-and-coming.
He’s calling her awful now. This must mean he really likes her.
Lucy can’t help smiling again. This was all entirely unexpected. Ben is just a random guy off Twitter, and she swore she was never going to meet another one of those. And yet… here is he is being clever, and funny, and utterly adorable, and even though all of Lucy’s instincts say she shouldn’t meet him, it’d be too risky, and it’s bound to go horribly wrong, she can’t help it. She’s definitely catching feelings. For a guy she hasn’t even met.
Which is, of course, utterly ludicrous. He might not even be real! Yes she’s been chatting to him for a while, and has seen photos, but that’s IT. He could be a fucking catfish for all she knows, some bored teenager in a bedsit, or a con artist. It’s this sort of naive behaviour that causes lonely middle-aged women to mail their life savings to Nigerian scammers, and Lucy would very much like to think she really is not nearly that stupid.
And even if he’s not a catfish, could she really meet him? Lucy’s still not sure. She’s tempted, but she’s also afraid. Afraid that she won’t be attracted to him IRL, or that he won’t be attracted to her. He seems like a really great guy and they get on well, but do they have enough in common? From what she can gather their lifestyles and backgrounds are pretty different – for starters Ben is a vegetarian, he didn’t go to university, and he’s quite a bit younger than her… would these differences cause problems in the long run? Is it worth risking her anonymity over?
FFS! she thinks. Why do I have to overthink everything?!
Something has just happened here. Lucy doesn’t know exactly what yet, but something. Has definitely. Happened.
And he’s gone.
To find out what happened next, go to Part 3, Feelings.