Bad dates

Bad dates

The Ex at Stage Left

Stats: 31, 5’11”, mousey brown/blue, Worcestershire Where: Columbia Road, East London  Pre-date rating: 8/10  Breaking up is hard to do. I know; I’ve done it. Relationships can be a long, languorous drive around winding country roads. The break-up is the huge tractor or speeding idiot who appears from nowhere, slicing through your cosy hatchback of coupledom. If you're lucky, the end of your romance can result in a friendship that no amount of crashing and burning could ever break. Your ex will find somebody else and they will be happy,...
Bad dates

The Quizmaster

Stats: 37, 5'8", brown/green, London Where: South bank, London Pre-date rating: 6/10 No. It’s a simple enough word to say. Just the solitary syllable, after all, and one I always delighted in spitting out as a child when asked to do something. And it’s the word I’m focusing on as I sit opposite Alistair, a good-natured, OK-looking civil servant who’s been sitting bolt upright in front of me for the last two hours. However did we get here, to this date which has very quickly turned into a hugely unsexy...
Bad dates

The Aspidistra

Stats: 34, 5’9”, mousey brown/blue, hometown unknown When: Summer 2011 Where: South London Pre-date rating: 6/10 I’m not really a fan of slogans. They belong to cheesy adverts and the kind of T-shirts I used to wear in the early 2000s. If I’ve something to say, I prefer to say it directly; mottos, maxims and proverbs are not my thing. One slogan I do have a fondness for, however, is ‘shop local’. It’s nice to keep things in the neighbourhood, to contribute to the good of the community, and so...
Bad dates

The Boy on the Beach

Stats: 23, 5’11”, brown (on his photo, at least)/blue, London When: February 2012 Where: A pebbly beach on the south coast Pre-date rating: 7/10 When your lake becomes devoid of fish – or you’re sick of catching the same old ones – you must cast your net farther. To the sea, even. And so I find myself in a seaside town, firing up a dating app (allow me the indulgence of fooling myself that the men on this app are only looking for dates and nothing more intimate) and seeing...
Bad dates

The Associate

Stats: 5'9”, 31, brown/brown, London When: Winter 2012 Where: Soho, London Pre-date rating: 8/10 One shouldn’t mix business with pleasure, they say, but it is a redundant cliché. Many of us needn’t be warned: the only pleasure a lot of people take from their work is skipping right out of it at 6pm. If you are the kind of person who derives gratification from their metier, it’s unlikely that you’ll need to find it in the groins of your colleagues or other pursuits in the workplace. As tantalising as Ken...
Bad dates

The Marrying Kind

Stats: 32, 5’ 10”, grey blue/auburn, London Where: South London Pre-date rating: 5.5/10 The old saying goes that the Devil finds work for idle hands, but he also seems to run an interesting sideline in spicing up long, boring afternoons. A day off with nothing to do can be a dangerous void stretching out in front of you, and sometimes the only way to plug that gap is to half-heartedly stumble around social media applications until something happens – a potential inferno in search of a spark. It is one...
Bad dates

The Straight-talker

Stats: 28, 5’10”, brown/brown, Cornwall When: March 2012 Where: South-east London Pre-date rating: 7.5/10 One can spend what seems like a lifetime wading through the deep and meaningful in search of love, or whatever your approximation of that is. As I have learned with the majority of my pre-date wooing, sometimes the build-up isn’t worth the final result. You’ve spent all that time laying foundations, only to run out of budget for your skyscraper before it’s topped out. With this in mind, and reluctant to hand over more subscription money...
Bad dates

The Right Peter

Stats: 30, 6’0”, blond/blue, London Where: East Dulwich, SE22 When: Summer 2o11 Pre-date rating: 8/10 I’m a big believer in putting things right if I can. If I’m in a supermarket and knock something over, I’ll quickly pick it up and place it back on the shelf. Should I underpay (or overpay) for something, I’ll endeavour to fix it so that nobody’s out of pocket. I like everything just-so. My date with this guy, then, simply had to happen whether I wanted it to or not, so I could make...
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