archivegood-looking

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...
Good dates

The Late Great

Stats: 26, 5’9”, brown/brown, Midlands Where: Brixton, SW2 Pre-date rating: 8/10 Punctuality is the politeness of kings, my grandmother always used to say, and while I’m not particularly regal, I do believe the least you can do on a date is get there on time. ‘Fashionably late’ is a flawed, dangerous concept. One man’s height of style is another’s fashion faux-pas. You mustn’t leave anything to chance. I have just arrived at the bar for tonight’s date with the latest inked entry in my increasingly pathetic social diary. All I...
Good dates

The Thriller

Stats: 33, 6’1”, black/blue, Gloucestershire When: Late 2011 Where: Shoreditch, east London Pre-date rating: 9/10 Dating is lonely; don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. You may be out night after night, making doe eyes at handsome strangers and maybe even rolling your tongue around their mouth, but it’s just a few short hours of conversation. The high is short-lived. Sooner or later you have to come back to your flat, the fridge filled with moulding vegetables (they never get used up fast enough when you’re cooking for one) and the...
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....
Good dates

The Graduate

Stats: 5’ 11”, 24, black/green, Oxfordshire Where: The local When: November 2011 Pre-date rating: 9/10 The true currency of dating, the one you never really think about, is time. Whether you’re buttering up a honey in a noisy bar, doing extra lengths at the swimming pool to impress a buff lifeguard or stumbling through endless online profiles, the amount of time you spend on this initial process can be disheartening if the end result is less than satisfactory. Checking out pictures, flicking through your favourites and, of course, fielding all...
Follow-upsGood dates

The Great Potential, part 2

Second chances don’t come along every day and you never get another opportunity to make a first impression. It is these clichés which reverberate as I make my way to this date, a last minute reprieve for a potential romance I’d long consigned to death row. After his most recent text message, which tells me he’s available again four months after our first date proved to be a dead end, I surprise myself by not bothering to ask what went wrong with the guy he chose over me. I find...
Good dates

The Great Potential, part 1

You need a thick skin to be an internet dater. Your popularity can wax and wane like a winner of a TV talent show, and while there may be weeks where suitors are banging down your inbox, there are others when the only emails you’ll get are from the dating site to remind you that you’ve been a customer for six months (already!) and must renew your subscription. Six months, and Mr Right still eludes you. After a summer of disappointments, I’m bracing myself for an autumn of discontent, until...
Good dates

The Dish from Damascus

Stats: 34, 5’8”, brown/brown, Syria Where: East London When: September 2010 Pre-date rating: 8/10 Dating can be a very solitary experience, despite the fact that you’re meeting up with another person. Travelling to the date you are alone in your thoughts, every possible scenario whirring around in your head, and nine times out of ten, you end up going home by yourself – OK, maybe eight. So it’s good to have someone else aboard at least part of the way. The best place for a wingman is the selection process...
Good dates

The Vision of Beauty

There is no ego boost greater than being contacted by someone very good-looking. I know that beauty is both only skin deep and in the eye of the beholder, and you can call me a shallow old sucker, but you can’t beat a winning smile and a pair of bright, sparkling eyes. He first contacts me after he sees I’ve looked at his profile. I had only looked in awe, not daring to click ‘Like’, but he gets in touch and tells me the usual openers about liking my profile,...
Good dates

The Backpacker

Stats: 26, 6'3", blond/blue, Home Counties When: August 2010 Where: South bank, London Pre-date rating: 8/10 It's always surprising when someone gets in touch who you may, at one point, have considered to be out of your league. In an utterly pointless act of 'playing hard to get', I have resolved not to add any new men as 'favourites' and instead see if they come to me. After all, the first law of internet dating appears to be "The ones you like, don't like you", so I figure it's time...
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