After spending more than a year in lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I couldn’t wait to go on my first date which happened to be a coffee date. My love life had seriously suffered during that period, and I struggled to cope with the idea of being alone for so long. So, like many, I went searching for love online. It was weird at first. I never thought I’d that person but with limited human contact, there were very few options. I decided to do things a little differently, however. Instead of going on dating apps, I checked my Instagram DMs. Trust me, you’ll find one or two people hitting on you there.
Just as I thought, there were about 7 unread messages from guys “shooting their shot”. After stalking their pages, I narrowed I down to one. Some seemed too young while others weren’t even in the country. However, Michael seemed good enough so I replied to his message from 4 months ago.
He didn’t take long to answer back.
“Hey lovely. I finally got a reply,” he wrote.
Since I was online, I DM’d him back.
“Yes. I just checked my messages yesterday. I’m not very active here.”
I don’t know why I said that because I had posted a story a few hours ago and my last picture was from a week ago.
“Well, I’m not complaining. How’s lockdown taking you?”
“Stressful. I can’t wait to go on a normal date.”
“I know. At least, there are signs things might go back to normal soon.”
We chatted for another hour and exchanged numbers that day. Michael was surprisingly easy to talk to. I didn’t have high hopes for finding a date online, much less Instagram, but he proved me wrong. The lockdown went on for another month until the day everyone had been waiting for arrived. After that Presidential speech, my phone wouldn’t stop buzzing. Clearly, most people were waiting for things to open up just like me. I scheduled a date with Michael on the weekend which he agreed to.
I must admit. I was not only excited to go on a date but also to meet him in person. He struck me as someone I‘d enjoy his company so I was looking forward to the date. Our conversations over the phone were interesting and I got to know him more and more each day. So, I could only imagine how interesting he was in person.
Like most people, I had forgotten what to even wear to a date so I chose to go on a coffee date where I could wear jeans and a t-shirt which is exactly what I wore. Nonetheless, I looked good and hoped that my date would appreciate my looks.
I knew immediately he walked in that he was the one. Though he didn’t have many photos on his Instagram page, he had a certain aura that was unique to him. Once he spotted me, he made his way to where I was seated and we stood next to each other exchanging pleasantries.
“I’m glad you didn’t dress up,” I said to him.
“Oh, yeah. It would have been too much, right? I see you also went with the jeans and t-shirt,” he replied.
I knew the coffee date was going to go well. Even in person, he was easygoing and had a calm demeanour. I was immediately drawn to him.
“So, how has work been since the pandemic?” I asked casually expecting a generic answer.
However, it seemed like I had opened Pandora’s box. He took the question as an invitation to tell me all about his career. Even when the waiter came with our order, he continued talking about all the business ideas he had. It felt like I was listening to a business pitch. The monologue went on for almost thirty minutes until I had to interrupt it.
“Excuse me, I need to go to the washrooms.” I didn’t even wait for the reply.
As soon as I sat back down, he asked, “So, what do you think about my ideas?”
“They’re good,” I replied.
Honestly, I don’t remember even one thing he told me that day. The whole coffee date had gone so bad so fast. However, I assumed that he was maybe a bit too excited to talk to someone and to be on a day. So, I was a bit nice. I didn’t leave the date and I was patient enough to even let him drive me home. He still didn’t stop talking about his business ideas.
It’s safe to say I will never go on another date with Michael no matter how desperate the pandemic makes me. I felt no sparks and all I could think about that night after the coffee date was the many different business opportunities you can do in Nairobi. Unfortunately, I was looking for a boyfriend and not a business partner so we just couldn’t be.
Before blocking him on Instagram, I checked out his page one last time to see if someone had maybe said something about him. All his photos had a few likes and one or two comments so I couldn’t find anything. However, his bio explained a lot about him and how he behaved on our date. Of course, I had read his bio before we met but nothing struck me as odd. Reading it again after the date, it all made sense.
The first thing he wrote about himself was that he was an “insurance plug”. Basically, it was a fancy way of saying he sells insurance. Though I was upset that he turned our coffee date into a business pitch, I was impressed that he didn’t try to sell me insurance even once. Maybe it would have happened on the second date but we’ll never know. That was the first and last time I answered a “thirsty” DM. if you thought Tinder was bad, try Instagram.
Dating is hard. Check out more stories in The Singlehood Series: