archiveawkward

Bad dates

The Lollipop

“Go on, just suck it. You might like it.” I roll my eyes. Yet another date who confuses sleaze and innuendo with flirtation. For an old prude like me, they’re uneasy bedfellows. I’m sitting in the park on an unseasonably warm day for the time of year. Before me is a mini banquet of all manner of romantic foods: chocolates; adorable cupcakes; dinky little sandwiches with the corners cut off; fizz. And yet there is no spark whatsoever between me and my date, who now sits next to me proffering...
Dating 101

Awkward! Three situations guaranteed to give you that ‘morning after’ cringe

We’ve all been there. You wake up, slightly disoriented, amid bed linen which feels unfamiliar. Strange sounds emanate from a mass not too far from you. As you open each eye slowly, cursing them for the amount of time they’re taking to adjust to the light, you realise you’ve done it again – you’re back at theirs, for the first time. It’s the morning after the night before. You may have no regrets at all at the dawn after a night of passion, and the person lying next to you...
Brief encounters

The Boy in the Apple Store

The Apple Store is a strange place. It does its very best to pretend it isn’t a shop. There are no tills ringing or sour-faced shopgirls stacking shelves with garish product or hurrying along pretending they’re too busy to help you, no groaning rails or higgledy-piggledy stacks of boxes. The Apple Store, especially the one in London's Covent Garden, is more of an ‘experience’. Smiling pretty boys in skinny jeans loiter at the doorway with eager smiles and eyes so wide they can only be the result of a recently...
Bad dates

The Pedal Pusher

There are some dates you feel you should go on, even if you really ought not to. Maybe it’s because somebody incredibly handsome has deigned to ask you out, or perhaps you are lonely, and your diary tells you this coming Friday is a blank space, its page a polar landscape. Whatever the reason, sometimes we say yes when we should be raising the drawbridge in an emphatic no. Johnny, 28, is such a no. But his square jaw and icy blue eyes draw me in, and he pets my...
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 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...
Good dates

The Sculptor

Stats: 31, 5'11", blond/blue, Kent When: Spring 2012 Where: London, W1 Pre-date rating: 7/10 Sometimes, when you haven’t spoken to another person for days, you long for human contact. It can be anything: a smile from a shopkeeper as you hand over the money for your pint of milk, a phone call from someone in India claiming to be called Valerie and asking if you have had an industrial accident lately or, more usually, someone sitting opposite sipping from a pint while you imagine what kind of kisser they’ll be....
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...
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