I don’t feel like dating, but living with a couple – and the boredom of lockdown – forces me to try.
The dating pool in Cornwall is terrifyingly limited. One girl I know here says, in all seriousness, that she has ‘completed Tinder’. Still, the options can’t be worse than the people I dated in London, where I mainly went out with toffs, artists and start-up CEO w—kers. My particular type was mummy’s boys and bad intellectuals who could quote Jordan Peterson while I was trying to orgasm.
The potential for dating in Cornwall is more exciting – at least I tell myself that. As I write this, we’re the only county in tier 1, so at least if I meet someone I can legally take them to bed. ‘You could date a plumber, then an electrician, then a gardener while you do up the house,’ my friend Martin suggests, pragmatically.
I start in the obvious place. Not the pub – I am a millennial – but by joining Tinder. I find a glut of sixth-formers and divorcees; I suppose most people in-between have left. Everyone my age has at least three children – or five if he’s hot. Instead of showing off with Porsches, as men do in London, here they pose with tractors or trawlers, surrounded by dogs, or jumping off rocks.
When I wrote in this column that after moving to the country I wanted to meet a hot farmer, a girl messaged to say there are ‘ZERO hot farmers’. Besides, she warned, farmers are ‘very much mummy’s boys looking for a wife to breed their next brood from’ – which actually sounds pretty good. She added, ‘I would describe having a go on a tractor a lot like having a go on a farmer: bumpy, short-lived and disappointing’.
I match with a fisherman with tattoos, an undercut and an Instagram account. He appears 5km away, then 250km away, because the trawler he’s working on has sailed to Ireland.
I chat to the barman at my local. ‘You can’t date him,’ Tanya says. ‘If it doesn’t work then the next pub is too far away.’
In the end I beg Tanya and Andrew for help. ‘There must be someone you know who you can set me up with?’ They look back and forth between each other.
‘Father Keith?’ suggests Tanya. ‘The local MP?’ Andrew counters. Tanya thinks not: ‘He wore a Christmas jumper to the count.’
Suddenly they’re on a roll. ‘Mr Peterson?’ ‘Mr Atkins?’ ‘Mr Coleman?’* These turn out to be teachers at their son’s school.
I tell Tanya I quite fancy dating a fisherman, so she immediately googles ‘fishing singles’ and finds a fishing-dating website. She starts setting up my profile with the username Hakey Katie.
‘How often do you go fishing?’ she asks, reading the sign-up questions.
‘What kind of fishing do you most enjoy?’
‘I think you’re on an angling website,’ Andrew interrupts.
Eventually they set me up with their friend ‘Stoner Jude’, who comes over for dinner. His conversation ranges from David Icke to anti-vaxxing. I give up when he insists his conspiracy theories about 5G are accurate because, ‘I’ve watched hours of YouTube videos about this.’
The next day Tanya comes home from the school run. ‘I asked the mums who you can go out with. And they laughed,’ she says. ?
*Names have been changed. You can read Katie Glass’s column, What Katie did next, every Saturday at 6am on Telegraph.co.uk. Follow our Stella Facebook page for the latest from Stella Magazine, and join the Telegraph Women Facebook group, a place to discuss our stories.
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