Dating: Expectations vs. Reality

by Charlotte Briggs

In the words of Charlotte York, “I’ve been dating since I was 15 years old. I am exhausted. Where is he?”. The girls from SATC always experienced a string of romantic rendezvous, against a glamourous back drop of NYC. 

Meanwhile in reality, we're lucky if our online date matches his profile picture. So what should us gals expect in the real world of dating?

1. Your Dream Man

Expectation: Just like Ross in friends, you’ve written a list of things that you do and don’t want in a partner. Think a 6ft, sensitive, fine specimen of a man.

Reality: He has a hairy back and a rubbish tattoo. But, he’s still a babe.

2. How You Meet

Expectation: You’re rocking off-duty chic in a quirky coffee shop, when you exchange glances over your matching soy lattes. He’s never seen anyone quite as beautiful as you, and you’re charmed into exchanging phone numbers.

Reality: If you’re lucky, you’ll meet him at a bar/club/house party with most of your make up still intact. Or, you’ll manage a Tinder date where you didn’t get cat fished. Result!

3. The First Date

Expectation: You go to a busy little restaurant and the sparks will fly. He finds you utterly delightful and it ends with a movie-worthy goodnight kiss.

Reality: You head to a bar because if he’s a terrible person, at least alcohol can numb some of his remarks about Trump and Brexit.

4. The Third Date

Expectation: You’re starting to feel a little bit smitten, everything about him is spectacular, the sun is shining, the birds are singing. 

Reality: I mean, if you’ve made it this far and he hasn’t done anything completely weird, that’s a pretty good sign. Congrats!

5. Saying I Love You

Expectation: You’re led into a room filled with candles and rose petals after a perfect evening together. He holds you in his arms and tells you how wonderfully in love with you he is.

Reality: One/both of you are drunk, someone says it first and thus follows a day or two of awkwardness before it (hopefully) is said back.

6. Your First Fight

Expectation: After having a squabble over some form of miscommunication, he turns up to your house with flowers and a heartfelt apology.

Reality: It turns out that you’re both pretty stubborn, so you’re lucky if it’s resolved within 72 hours.

7. Moving In Together

Expectation: You’ll house hunt the perfect property, and then spend hours in Ikea hunting out the best flat pack furniture that money can buy.

Reality: One of you will get stuck with a psycho house mate/a dodgy landlord and move into the other's flat with the empty promise that you’ll only be there for one month (suckers).

8. Marriage

Expectation: It’ll be the perfect fairytale day, and you’ll be wearing that Vera Wang dress surrounded by your friends and family. Ed Sheeran might even surprise you for the first dance.

Reality: If you’ve survived from the first date to the altar, you’ve done a damn good job. For the rest of us, we’ll get our happy ending. One day.