Impeccable Table Manners

Alan and Graham


A gay Blind Date to kick off New Year. While Alan and Graham might be the kind of names you’d expect to belong to world-weary middle managers, greying at the temples and with soup stains on their ties, today we have a musician and an HR adviser, aged 31 and 26 respectively.

I really wish they would stop posing them like that – we know they’re not in the same room.

Read what happened on the date before we dig a little deeper. I have a feeling that haircut is going to be a problem.

Alan | Graham
First impressions?
Tall, although most people are taller than me.
Long hair.

Height. It’s very important to some people. It is, without question, the thing most men lie about on dating profiles. I have never looked down on so many ‘six-footers’ in my life as I did when I was on Guardian Soulmates. And yet, despite it being such an obvious lie to uncover, I never mentioned it – instead I would wonder what else they were capable of lying about. So Alan is a bit short, but that’s OK as some people don’t mind that. I never did, as long as they didn’t lie in advance.

Alan and Graham

Hair. Also very important. You don’t often get gay men with long hair, do you? Hair can make or break a first date. Usually, there isn’t enough of it (thank you, dishonest and outdated profile pictures) or, as in this case, there’s rather too much. I have a feeling the hair put Graham off straightaway – the rest of his commentary is complimentary but decidedly cooler than Alan’s. This is rather shortsighted of Graham – hair can be chopped. Most men get it all lopped off once they hit 35 in an effort to knock off a few years.

Any awkward moments?
A guy fainted by our table. We both stood up to offer help, but kind of hovered. I’m guessing we’d both be useless in an emergency.

I love this. So evocative. ‘Props’ also to the attention-seeker at the next table who’s probably been trying to get on a Guardian Blind Date for years and saw his chance.

Good table manners?
Perfect. He was incredibly apologetic for being late, as well. He didn’t need to be.
Yes, although there was a lot of “You choose, I don’t mind…”

“Perfect.” “He didn’t need to be.” Do you think Alan rather fancies Graham, viewers? Being late for a date is a huge no-no, unless it’s really unavoidable and you keep in contact with profuse apologies. Anyway, Graham was apologetic and Alan accepted it, so that’s all good.

Graham, however, is less forgiving. Indecision isn’t very sexy, is it? Alan probably thought he was being charming by leaving the decisions to Graham – although I can’t really work out what they would have been deliberating over. Wine? Black or green olives? Dunno. Anyway, Graham prefers a man to know his own mind, to plough ahead, to take the plunge. Forceful. He was after a top, basically.

Best thing about Alan?
A really nice guy. I also wanted to steal his coat.

“Hello, yes, I’d like a taxi to the Friendzone, please. As soon as you can. Thanks.”

In the end, Graham gave Alan a 9, but a more cautious Alan awarded Graham an 8. Both went off to meet other friends after the date, which I find frankly bizarre – although a date once actually started texting his mates during pudding to line up the next phase of his night out, which did not include me.

Both guys exchanged numbers and said they’d meet up again for a non-romantic drink, which is gay code for “I will delete this person from my memory after about three Tube stops”.

Also, hats off to the cheeky Guardian employee who arranged a gay date to be held here:

Graham and Alan ate at Le Coq, London N1.

Sadly that’s the only Coq that saw any action that night. Well, while they were together, anyway.

Photograph: James Drew Turner for the Guardian

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