Liz Jones’s Diary: ‘In which my date mysteriously vanishes’

I’m like catnip to men. Catnip!

I was having a quiet Sunday evening watching my new friends on Love Island, when I had a message alert on Twitter. It was from a man who had texted me Happy New Year, but I’d heard nothing since. This time, it was a naked photo!

Abbey Lossing at handsomefrank.com

Well, not completely naked, but a bare torso emerging from reeds in a river. He looks a little like Michael Fassbender.

I replied, ‘Blimey! Looks cold!’

He said he had sent it by mistake, but that was obviously a lie. He said he had been for a swim after a stressful day. Then he typed: ‘Can I ask, why the Goddess Twitter handle? Is it because you are so good looking?’

I replied that, no, ha ha ha, I had named my limited company Goddess, as I wanted the chippy people at HMRC to be forced to call me that every time they opened my file.

‘It’s a pleasure to virtually meet you,’ he typed. ‘Shame it’s not normal, like in a bar or a café… So, I will take a leap…’

And he sent me his phone number!

We are both divorced; he lives in the Midlands. We decided to meet in a pub in the Peak District which, I tell him, is one of my favourite places.

He replied: ‘Well, if you are there, I probably won’t notice anything else.’

Very smooth! I tell him I could ask a million questions, but it all boils down to attraction. He replied: ‘You are a big tick in that column!’

We both tried to find a pub or hotel with rooms, as it is a few hours’ drive for both of us, but they were all fully booked. Would the virus like to find any more ways to thwart my love life? The only slight red light was that he sent a screen shot of a double room in a Premier Inn for £95, with the message: ‘There is only one room left, we’d have to share’, which I pointedly ignored.

I’m not staying in a Premier Inn!

We ended on him saying that we would meet this Saturday, and that we would ‘work out what to do’. He then went to bed. I started Google Earthing the car parks of various pubs in the Peak District National Park, to work out the terrain vis-à-vis heels.

The next day, I show Nic his bare torso in the river, and tell her we are going on a date this Saturday. ‘Let me see more photos!’ she says, which I hadn’t thought of. And so I open his profile on Twitter and, lo and behold, it says, ‘Sean XXX has blocked you. You can no longer send messages to this person or view his tweets.’

Oh.

‘Go on WhatsApp and see if he has blocked you there, too,’ she says, unable to contain her glee.

This is turning out to be very similar to when I had just moved to London aged 18. A man on Tottenham Court Road stopped me and asked me for a drink. We went to a pub, he went to the bar and… never came back.

‘How do I check if I’m blocked on WhatsApp as well?’ I ask her. She is well versed in these sorts of situations.

‘Message him and see if it goes through.’

‘But how will I know if I am blocked there too?’

Lizzie Bennet never had these problems.

‘You will get one tick, which means sent. But you won’t get a second tick, which means message delivered.’

So I type, ‘Hi, Sean. Have you drowned? Been eaten by a duck?’

I wait for my ticks. It’s a bit like a pregnancy test, but without the fun part. I wait. And I wait.

I have only got one tick! He has blocked me on WhatsApp too!

I then stare a bit, and notice that me saying ‘Night!’ on Sunday, seconds after he said we would sort our date, only got one tick as well!

What is going on? Is this worse than being stood up by Cambridge Man? I suppose at least this dumping was so swift I hadn’t had time to wax.