Stats: 31, 6’1″, brown/blue, Durham
When: June 2010
Where: South bank, London
Pre-date rating: 6/10
Another day, another date. Being single is hard work. I’m drinking a ridiculous amount of alcohol on these dates, plus expending a great deal of energy exchanging emails in order to make myself seem attractive and ‘dateable’.
It’s somewhat disheartening that I have made it to five dates without meeting my Prince Charming. Save for a few passionate yet confusing weeks with G2, the others have been dead-ends. I am at the cul de sac of love, with no sat nav.
So it is with low expectations that I arrive at our designated meeting point. This Guy has so far been something of a mystery. His emails have been short and to the point and he doesn’t have any publicly available photographs: I have to ask to see them. One of my policies is not to talk to people who don’t have images on their profile. There are many reasons, but the main ones are that no photo usually means that the potential datee looks like Ann Widdecombe or is married. Neither of which are very attractive prospects.
When I do see them, he seems confident and good-looking, with a tang of wit. I show a couple of friends, but they’re not keen. Whatever. I arrive first. It is blazing sunshine and as I stand and wait for him, I wonder whether I should bother at all. Perhaps I should bail out. I realise I can’t remember what he looks like, so anyone who walks past me looking vaguely quizzical or perusing a mobile phone is appraised as if they are my potential date. After 5-10 minutes of waiting, I get a text: he’s here. I walk to meet him and find a tall, handsome man wearing double denim and looking nervous. We shake hands and walk toward the bar, making overly light, throwaway conversation. We get a drink (him wine, me beer) and take a seat outside, overlooking the heap upon heap of tourists enthralled by the delights of Eat, Giraffe and Strada below.
First of all comes the all-important teeth check. All present. White. Yes. His hair looks like it might have a dye on it and his skin is good, although quite tanned. I can’t tell whether the tan is real or has been helped along by creosote or a tanning salon. He is quite chatty. He talks about his job, and while he gives a lot of information about it, I still get the feeling that he’s being vague. We have similar interests and a few parallel moments in our lives. He is a homeowner and lives with his sister in south west London. Everything’s going well and we’re getting on like a house on fire, but I’m not sure where the sexual attraction is. Perhaps it will ‘pop out’ at a more appropriate moment. The more drinks we have, the looser his tongue becomes. Soon, he is telling me that he is a relative latecomer to being gay and has never had a relationship with a man. His vague filter comes into play again, but he seems to be trying to tell me that his ‘experience’ is limited. I chew this over. Some men would find this a very attractive proposition, but I remember only too well what my head was like at that stage in my life. It wasn’t pretty, let me tell you. Undeterred by this revelation, we continue to chat, but when things start to dry up, we resort to going through each other’s iPods and in turns berating and congratulating each other on our musical taste.
We decide to move on somewhere else, and he takes me to a wine bar. He’s a bit tipsy now, as am I, but we’re still getting on OK. I am his first internet date, it transpires. I recount the story of my disastrous date with the cherry popper, which amuses him no end. He says he is glad that his first date isn’t a bad experience. I lie about how many dates I have been on, so that I look more selective.
We then decide to move on to an unprecedented third venue. I choose a gay-friendly venue just in case he goes in for the kill, although I’m pretty sure he won’t. Again, I really like him but can’t seem to muster up attraction quite yet, even though he is handsome and takes care of himself.
Eventually, it is time to part company as I have to meet friends and hadn’t envisaged the date lasting so long. We clock in at 4 hours, my second longest so far. As we leave each other in the street, we say we should do it again, and I think we both mean it.
I walk away hopeful to have found a new friend, but I don’t think a love affair is in the post here. I’m not sure I’m quite up to the task of being anyone’s first love.
Post-date rating: 7/10
If the date were a song: Show You The Way To Go