The Wrong Peter

Stats:5’9″, 34, brown/blue, Bristol
When: May 2011
Where: East Dulwich, London
Pre-date rating: 4/10

There are good days and there are bad days in the dating world. What constitutes a good day varies greatly. Sometimes it will be a day where you have myriad emails from suitors to reply to: all of them handsome and witty and wise, with porcelain teeth, bright eyes and shiny hair. Sometimes a good day is a day when you don’t have anyone to respond to, as you have despatched your oh-so-clever, multi-layered communiqués with ease, as if second nature. And sometimes a good day is when you manage to go on a date with the right person. Today, then, might not be a good day.

As well as using the internet dating site which has served up the majority of my ‘guys’, I’m also using an iPhone app which hooks me up with other men looking for dates. I’ll be brutally honest here: a lot of them are just looking to put their John Thomas in you or on you. Many of them, however, are, like me, just looking to meet new people. It’s fairly easy to weed out the ones who just want a bang – they send you a picture of their penis within the first minute and/or have a headless, gym-tortured torso as their profile pic. To counter this, there is a very handy and, in my case, oft-used ‘block’ button, and the decapitated pec monsters are consigned to the slop bucket of the internet. It is through this medium that we arrive at This Guy. Continue reading The Wrong Peter

Dating 101: One night only

Not sure whether they like you or not? Or whether you like them? Really? Do yourself a favour. Ten signs the first date will be the last:

1. They are otherwise perfect but there is one fatal flaw that you can’t stop looking at, thinking about and trying not to mention, even though it is taking over your mind and threatening to launch itself from your tongue and across the table like a bile-covered missile. It could be anything: a crooked tooth, a liney forehead, a third eye. If you were really into them, you’d disregard it.

2. You start more than three sentences with “So…..”

3. They see you finish your drink and don’t offer to get you another. Yes, not even the prospect of getting you drunk and/or seeing you through beer goggles is enough to prolong the date.

4. The date begins discussing options for getting home, making it very clear that you will not be accompanying them on this journey. “I have my moped just outside…”

5. You’re so pissed that you can’t see but the date is sitting there gently sipping a Diet Coke, with a look of contempt in their eyes. Yes, you should have brought that miniature bottle of vodka with you.

6. The bumbling attempt to make physical contact is met with horror, followed by derision. Stop now before he calls the police.

7. Your parting shot is “Nice to meet you”. Come on, if you’re parting with that inane pleasantry you’re not banking on having to make small talk with this dullard ever again. “Nice to meet you” is what one says to vicars at weddings, not someone you’re hoping to brutalise between the sheets.

8. The date points out a spot or other flaw in your complexion. “Is that a cold sore?” Yes, this is the way to get to bone me; well done, you arsehole.

9. When strangers ask you if they can share your table, you welcome them so fervently that you end up making lunch arrangements, planning a holiday together and, if you’re especially lucky, with your hand down their trousers, while your date looks on blankly.

10. They talk about their ex. Incessantly. Until you just want to grab their mobile phone, call up the ex and say “Look, do you want this cunt back? Because I’m done with it. DONE”.

The Keen Bean

The fag-end of summer approaches over the horizon and I have fair torn through the dates in the last 4 or 5 weeks. To say I’m weary by this point is an understatement, and when this guy gets in touch and starts whispering virtual sweet nothings, I’m fairly indifferent.

He doesn’t have a lot to say for himself, and when he does his grasp of grammar isn’t a huge selling point, but he seems a  decent guy and in the absence of any other stimulating suitors, I think I might as well. When I accept his invitation to meet him for a drink, he seems genuinely pleased – excited even – rather than playing it cool and being non-committal, which is kind of a plus after being on the receiving end of so many dreary attempts at ‘mind games’. How refreshing to meet somebody who isn’t going to a date with a gun at his head – myself included. So we agree to meet after work for a couple of pints on a late summer’s eve.

The day arrives and by the time I am heading to the date, it is pissing it down. Summer is having its last laugh. It’s warm, yes, but the rain is torrential and east London looks very sorry for itself as its entire population’s denim cut-offs and flip-flops are drenched in the bucketing rain. If there’s one thing guaranteed to put me in a shitty mood it’s arriving somewhere wet, if you know what I mean, but I try to push these natural urges of fury to one side and paint myself all sunny and smiley in my mind so I don’t give the date the wrong impression – or should that be the right one?

And there he is, waiting for me. He’s fairly attractive, his profile pictures being a true representation of what he looks like, so another point in his favour. (It’s really rare.) He’s dressed in a contemporary style that doesn’t scream fashionable and looks like he knows his way around a bar of soap.

Continue reading The Keen Bean

Dating 101: The big bad brush-off

As regular readers will know, not all of my dates have gone very well. In fact my hit rate for me actually enjoying my dates is hovering at or below around 40 per cent. When you consider the amount of dates I have out myself through, that can make for some depressing times.

So given that most of these first dates have ended in disaster, how do you make it clear that the first date shall be the last, and that the only thing unique about your fateful meeting is that it will never happen again? It rather depends on your suitor’s attitude, but here goes: Continue reading Dating 101: The big bad brush-off

The Invisible Man

Sometimes you have those periods where you don’t have a date for what seems like decades. Then, before you know it, you’re swamped. A mere 24 hours after my bizarre, yet fun, adventure with the drama teacher, I am once more heading to a date. I might as well get my kicks while I’m young enough to get them, right?

This next guy is someone I wouldn’t say I’m particularly interested in, looks-wise. His pictures seem OK, if a little blurred, but his profile is funny and the emails and texts we have been exchanging have been good-natured and definitely on my wavelength. He also seems very interested — I’m still at the stage in my dating ‘career’ where someone being keen is an attractive trait to me — and so, after less than a week of chatting, we agree to meet for a drink and, if we’re not horrified at the sight of each other, go on to dinner. Continue reading The Invisible Man

Dating 101: Playing favourites

There are a variety of ways to show someone that you’re interested in them on an online dating site. Some sites allow you to ‘wink’ at the object of your affection, while others allow you to ‘star’ them or ‘add them as a favourite’, which has given rise to a new, dreadful verb: to favourite.

Winking, for me, is a cop-out. It doesn’t say that you’re flirtatious, it says — nay, SCREAMS — ‘I’m not a paid subscriber and this is the only way I can register my interest in you without shelling out some of my cash’. How epic. How romantic. Continue reading Dating 101: Playing favourites

Location location location: How to pick a place for the perfect first date

Where you meet on a date can be quite a tricky decision. You don’t know this person very well — you may not even have spoken on the phone — so you won’t be quite sure of their taste. There’s no duller a question than ‘where do you like to go out?’ on email or on the actual date, but sometimes it’s good to get an idea of where these people socialise, as you can usually get a pretty good handle on what kind of person they are. Unless they’re a stupid show-off who relies on dreadful style magazines to choose their outlets of entertainment.

Inner turmoil comes in an instant when the choice of first date venue is left to me. It’s so easy to get wrong. What if it’s too busy? What if the weather turns bad? Perhaps they’re a former alcoholic so suggesting meeting where there’s a 2-4-1 on Absinthe may turn out to be quite a different evening from your expectations. So where should you go? What should you do? Continue reading Location location location: How to pick a place for the perfect first date

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