That awkward moment when singles get stuck in the London tube on Valentine’s Day

London Tube. Credits to Dafne Berdini

Let’s be straightforward. Right after having stepped foot in London you will join the lonely-hearts club. No doubts of that. Coming from Italy means that you’re by far used to public mushy stuff, and even worse. Especially youngsters seem to be stick with glue. Of course, every Italian city’s background screams romantic stuff, from the Coliseum to the Florence Dome, to a trip on Venetian gondolas. Therefore, snogs at every corner.

But what if you’re looking for a fresh start in London? I mean, we are more than 8 million of people here — I thought — my kindred spirit must be hidden among these lost souls. After a while, I realised that I was wrong.

No magic happens. It’s not like in the movies, where you snap your fingers and you get Prince Charming to lead you to the door. Here the choice is simple: there’s loneliness, or there’s Tinder. Where people awkwardness is well hidden behind sexy pics of biceps or fake eyelashes.

At first I thought it was awesome. To shape a perfect handsome stranger that fits you well. You match with him, chat a little bit then you date. It goes okay. But the second time is more troublesome to catch up. Two or three weeks after the first date, you have already forgotten his name. And then you start thinking that Tinder wasn’t such a good idea, and that you might don’t want your independent single life to be compromised.

And you realise that you would have been better at home, watching Netflix and drinking wine while chatting with your flatmates and having fun. It’s far less painful than getting yourself dressed up, wax and half an hour of tube for a stranger that will probably not be worth the effort.

So, you jump in your latest and cosy Primark pyjama and give up the idea of being in couple on Valentine’s Day. At least you have your friends.

Then the notorious day arrives. And you’re simply not prepared for it. You would rather be under your sheets all day long, pretending to be somewhere else with someone else but yourself. But you have class in the afternoon, and you must do something today. So, you reluctantly get in the tube.

The tube. An essential part of Londoners routine. The perfect example of commuters’ dread to make every sort of eye contact. Everyone’s gaze is on the mobile phone, or on the Metro newspaper.

Now you think if it can possibly get worse, yes it can. On Valentine’s Day, it gets definitely worse. Your loneliness is enhanced by gazing upon those girls’ chuffed grins while holding a bunch of red roses. The usual routine suddenly becomes a battlefield. You struggle between trying to avoid “those” girls and in the same time try not to look as a poor, looser single bothered by them. It gets tough. Meanwhile your mind is silently sending them every kind of curse for being so fucking happy and acting so fucking superior. I’m single and happy to be. I mean, I’m happy not to be one of those couples, at least.

Second tube note while Valentine’s Day. Even more uncomfortable than flying-roses-everywhere is to make eye contact with people from the other side. Which means lonely hearts as you. Awkward moments spent watching each other watching badly at “those” girls. Then realising the thing and feel like a weirdo.

Finally, it’s your stop and you start to sweat while hurrying to the exit. It’s not over yet. Bank station is over packed with people queuing on the opposite side. Then you have to sneak into the bunch of motionless souls waiting for the red arrow to become green. Eye contacts are now impossible to avoid. You bump into roses, fake smiles and embarrassing grins. While trying to breath cause there’s no air inside.

Finally, you got out of that hell of jungle. Out in the real world, where traffic is the rule and no one is forced to be stuck into suffocating trains. However, there are still couples around. And you start thinking whether you’ll maybe, in a far future, will get close to be like them. It’s better if it remains a fantasy. At least until next 14th February.

Credits to Dafne Berdini
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