Tall poppy syndrome dating story

Tall Poppy Syndrome

About all of her Tinder pictures were taken outside, on relaxed hikes, boozy afternoons and the beach pic – not too revealing, just to tick the boxes she’s pretty and fun. Her description started with her height, study, and then a list of likes and dislikes in clearly marked headings. I guess she loves the good life and is of the well-organized kind.


The profile-impression turned out not to be incorrect. She was tall and well-groomed. She did mention early in our date that she had to negotiate with a Japanese delegation earlier in the day to explain for her business attire, but I felt it worked well for a date night too.


Negotiating with the Japanese was a beautiful topic to start with, and immediately set us outside of the usual ‘what are your hobbies’ etc. type of opening questions. In the safe environment of work-related topic I learned immediately that she was sensitive and culturally aware, with a good sense of humour and respect for other values. I also learned from her story that if a Japanese negotiator would propose something unattainable, you can’t say ‘no’ or ‘that would be impossible’. Instead, you say ‘I’ll take that into consideration’ and then subtly suggest an amended counter offer. I like girls from whom I can learn something, even though I don’t expect to negotiate with a Japanese delegation anytime soon.


She was full of great stories, assuring me this date would not have that uncomfortable moment of ‘what do I talk about next’ in the back of my mind. We sat at the bar in the back, listening to the jazzy funk band next to us and watching the cocktail shakers make their moves with the drinks like I would want to make moves with the girl. Maybe I should just become a bartender and quit this blog altogether?


It was cozy sitting there with her, sipping our drinks away in the bustling Friday evening frizz. She was very interested to learn more about me in a genuine manner. I ordered a pineapple infused gin cocktail for her; she choose the rum mixed with fresh herbs and ice for me. This evening I learned that girls basically fall in three categories:

  1. Girls on the one side of the scale who enjoy men paying as in the classical role model; there are girls that offer to chip in just out of politeness, but basically still fall in the man-pay kind.
  2. Then there is the middle range with girls that may pay a round as well just to show they are emancipated, just ticking the box they did not show up just for the free booze
  3. Finally on the other end of the scale there are girls insisting on paying half – fiercely. She was one of those kind, so strong about it that when I ordered a cheese plate, she would insist on having another round of wines only to match my expense.


Apart from negotiation tactics with the Japanese, I also learned the difference between ‘north Sydney’, ‘northern beaches’ and ‘north shore’. As any classy girl would do, she wouldn’t reveal her high-end background too early, but as our date progressed she opened up quite a bit.


‘North Sydney is actually just the extended CBD. They didn’t have enough space for the office buildings. The actual living starts from Neutral Bay onwards.’


‘That’s about the most expensive suburb of Australia’


‘Yeah nah, it kinda starts there. But it’s still below Manly. And Manly is for city-siders wanting the beach and a good environment for their kids’.


‘Well Bondi is also close to the city and near the beach’


‘Bondi? That’s for hipsters!’ she took a dirty face when she said the word ‘hipsters’. At this stage I couldn’t remember whether I revealed I live near Newtown, but I certainly have mentioned that I work at a marketing agency in Surry Hills… even though I don’t have the long beard and tattooed arms myself, I am definitely suspicious of being surrounded by those Hipster folks or worse, be one of them.


She continued as if the word ‘Bondi’ has never been mentioned. ‘Manly is… okay. Just for the ease of commute with the ferry.’


‘So that’s why you like the North Shore?’


She laughed. ‘Manly is not North Shore! You’re getting it all wrong! Manly is Northern Beaches. The northern beaches is for city-slickers.’


I made a mental note of the word ‘city slickers’.


The real place to live is the North Shore’ she continued. ‘People there don’t need to be in the city all the time. They go now and then for appointments on the way to the airport’.


Aha. I made another mental note. I thought it was fancy to work around circular quay. I learned it is even fancier to work around circular quay, but being so high-up that you don’t need to show face.


‘But oh, people really have a tall puppy syndrome in the North Shore’ She noticed I didn’t know the word ‘tall puppy’. ‘It’s about those people wanting to be bigger than they are. Some are so pathetic with having to have organically farmed wood smoked salmon just for the sake of it’.


She laughed a bit. She definitely had self-wit which undid the difference in class we lived in. So I made a joke to light it all up:


‘Of course you wouldn’t go to Subways for lunch’


Joke did not gain any laughs, but well, she didn’t interpret it as a joke anyway.


‘Oh we own Subways. I mean not all of them, just a few branches. It’s investment diversification, you know. I go sometimes, just to make sure the quality is at appropriate standards.’


She accepted my suggestion to go on a walk. It was a nice Friday evening on Circular quay, with a few boats arriving, some bustling bars on the background and a few empty spots on the waterside. Perfect place for a kiss. It was a polite kiss, long enough to make it a real one, yet short enough to keep hungry for more.



Beautiful girl, classy and fun. Smart and cool to see the irony of her bubble. Would have loved to see her again, yet no responses to my messages. Guess the kiss was all there was to it for now. Maybe she’s taking my suggestion to go on a second date ‘into consideration’. Or she’s just diversifying her dating portfolio. Or I am being a tall puppy to even think I as a city slicker could date her for real.



Hi I am Arthur, I am on my quest to find love and I blog about my dating experiences in Sydney, Feel free to subscribe and follow my date adventures here, or get in touch to share your story.

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