Small World Moments in Cape Town Dating

Small World Dating Moments in Cape Town
The Future of Dating in Cape Town

Internet dating wasn’t something that had crossed my mind 6 years ago when I was last single in London Town. As a young(er) twenty something with better things to do than sit behind a computer screen scouting for men, why waste my time carefully crafting an OKC Profile when it’s easier to find a bloke (and get him to buy you some ridiculously overpriced drinks) while out partying (or even on the night bus home)? However, I do regret that I never did the dating thing in the Big Smoke. There is after all something lovely about the anonymity that comes with living in a big city. You can date (or drop panties with), pretty much whoever and whatever you want, without anyone ever finding out (as long as you don’t go publicising your amazing night of passion of Facebook).

Sadly, this is not the case here in the Mother ‘City’ (the term rural village might be more apt), where everyone knows everyone. This is not the place to play the field, especially if you are a Backpocketing Guy that doesn’t want anyone to find out about ‘us’, because they will. Rest assured, if you create a reputation for yourself here, it WILL precede you. And don’t be surprised if you are innocently swiping away and suddenly spot someone you recognise, it might be a friend’s long-term lover or maybe their Dad, who knows?

A Cheap Form of Speed Dating

Let’s rewind to one earliest Tinder dates back when I was naïve enough to let my ‘friends’ swipe (and do a full background check on said date) for me. I don’t kiss and tell but let’s just say it was foot-popping. So there I am the next day excited for the debrief, till I find out that no one has the slightest interest in hearing about my story. In fact, they have a story that trumps mine. Turns out the friend who’d swiped for me, well through a complex mathematical process he’d deduced that we’d just done some strange date-swap as his lady-friend from the previous night had just recently had a hellish date with my ‘dreamboat’. Perhaps that should have raised a red flag that things with this bad boy could only end in disaster?

Sloppy Seconds

If that isn’t enough to put you off. Meet the overly-attached guy whose one requirement is that his woman is vegetarian. Silly me for not figuring out that the chances of him having worked his way through all the veggie girls in a carnivorous place like Cape Town, are pretty high. No better way impress a lady than by telling her you’d dated another one her herbivore friends a few weeks ago. If I was a brighter spark, maybe I’d have realised there was a reason why she’d so promptly ditched him. Lesson learnt – no more sloppy seconds for me.

‘Do I know you from somewhere?’

And I am in no way unique. These days you can’t even enjoy a summer’s day in Green Point Park without a random coming up and insisting he knows one of friends from somewhere. Luckily, (for her), his little mind just can’t quite figure out where from. As he walks away with his tail between legs, she turns to you and utters those dreaded words of doom: ‘TINDER!!’.

By now you’d think I would exercise more caution but as it turns out I have a date with someone tonight who Facebook tells me is BFF’s with that famous wannabe Indian Prince. Let’s just hope he has better fashion sense, hey?

And the moral of the story? Dating in Cape Town is a dangerous game. Its a small world where everybody knows your business and people love to talk. If you want to harbour dirty little secrets, maybe its best you do that sordid stuff elsewhere, Stellenbosch, perhaps?

Now over to you rinsers, share your small world dating stories and help me feel like less of a clown…


  1. You think only you have bad dates ?lol before I met my now wife…I was on a datin site and someone ran across my profile and decided to reach out to me . Fine we messaged each other then exchanged phone numbers then we talked on the phone for a while and arranged to go out on a date….long story short I showed and she didn’t and she didn’t bother to call me. I waited a while (30 minutes) and called and asked if we got our signals crossed and were we supposed to meet at this time? She said she didn’t feel well, ok so a phone call would have been nice since I showed up/ She said you showed? yes I replied …oh…so at that point I wished her well in her search on finding love …then she got an attitude…what do you mean you wish me well??? You could have called me and told you were sick and I wouldn’t have come to where we supposed to meet. At that point I thought iot was best to hang up which I did. She was a 50 something year old woman and I expected better communication from her since she wanted and agreed to go out on a date.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wasn’t even complaining about the dates themselves, it was more about the pool of eligible bachelors being to small her in CT.

      Pretty rude to stand a person up I think. So far, I haven’t experienced that. But they’d never get a second chance if they did that. With some guys the issue has been the actually setting up a date is a huge mission in itself.


  2. Hmm, have to say EnglishRosiee I completely disagree with one of your opening ideas. It is pretty insulting and rather inaccurate.

    “As a young(er) twenty something with better things to do than sit behind a computer screen scouting for men, why waste my time carefully crafting an OKC Profile when it’s easier to find a bloke (and get him to buy you some ridiculously overpriced drinks) while out partying (or even on the night bus home)?”

    First, the insulting part: “better things to do than sit behind a computer screen scouting for men” – what better things did you have then that you don’t have now? Meeting people online is completely normal. That statement practically shames people who don’t believe in your idea.

    Second, the inaccurate part: Exactly how easy is it to meet someone with relationship potential on the bus or out partying. Sure I have meet a great guy on the bus when I was younger (unfortunately, he moved to Toronto the next week) and partying is a great place to meet the person who will ply you with drinks, but real long-term potential. Also, often people who have profiles online are also looking in person. They may be the shy one in the group and, hence the one without a lot of success going up to someone new and striking up a conversation. Or they may have “success” in meeting new people, but still want to keep their options open.

    Guess that your article speaks to an attitude that just gets on my nerves: that there is something wrong or shameful about meeting people online or on Tinder. Spell out what you are looking for and own it! I told a Tinder match that I bumped into one night that we were matches… the next day he deleted his account. Yes, Cape Town is rather small (so was Vancouver) so you are bound to run into people who your friends have dated, you have been matched with through an app, or just was ridiculously drunk last time you saw him or her. Who cares? Down with negative judgement!


  3. Hey u !!

    It wasn’t meant to come across as soooooo negative. But you know there is something ewww about finding out that you are dating a friends sloppy seconds (he was generally quite eww regardless) but I guess by the time we hit our 30s we are all somebody’s ex (unless of course you are spinster/30-something virgin) so its not totally an internet/CT thing.

    Maybe the opening line was a bit mean but I was being honest. When I was 21 I was partying like a crazy person so I was always out and about meeting people (poor quality blokes mind you) so I really didn’t have time for OKC and Tinder. Now, I have learnt the error of my ways and realise if you want to find better quality people you need to either start hanging out in libraries or do internet dating. (See I am not a total hater)

    Oh, and 1 thing…totes possible to find something long-term in a nightclub. It might not end in happily ever after, but half a decade is longer than most marriages these days 🙂


  4. It’s so true that Cape Town is a really small place. Especially if you happen to have a not too popular nationality (like Polish) you’re just bound to be recognizable. The best tip is to be at your best behavior at all times 😉


  5. […] Cape Town is a small place. Especially if you’re one of the expats you tend to hang out with certain groups of people. The fact that everyone knows everyone can be a positive thing but if you happened to be single in this environment at some point it’s more of a curse than a blessing. One of the most awkward situations is bumping into your exes (that’s assuming you’re like yours truly, meaning NOT Mature and Best Friends with all of them). You’re having time of your life at a party when suddenly you start feeling uneasy on your stomach. Someone’s staring at you, you can tell. You look around and you can see him pretending he’s looking in another direction. Say hi and make sure that he saw your engagement ring? Ignore and pretend you didn’t see him before if he approaches? Options are many but from my experience such encounters are often awkward, unpleasant and a bit sad. With or without your new partner at your side it’s never nice to encounter the failed project of yours. […]


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