The First Date Only Project

Return from the dead January 19, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Firstdateonly @ 1:26 pm
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So you may have guessed that I gave up with my project. That’s because, I Met Someone Who I Thought Was Awesome and then, as all my friends probably expected, He Turned Out Not To Be Awesome At All.

Yeah… MISTAKE! In my defence, Mr Super Amazing Guy did a really good job of playing ‘hide the crazy’ for several months. I didn’t see him much, because of his insanely busy work schedule, and when we did see each other it was at bizarre rather unsociable hours because he would often work till midnight, 4am. He was pretty certain that we were going to get married and have babies and live happily ever after, but c’mon dude… you didn’t know me at ALL. Our relationship mostly consisted of having coffee and sitting around talking for maybe an hour, and then him sending me texts constantly throughout the week telling me how much he missed me and how perfect I am. Okay, I’ll admit it, I liked the attention, whether or not it made any sense. Then I discovered that he had completely unacceptable political viewpoints and there were far too many red flags to ignore.

So I dumped him.

And then I dumped him again.

And I swear to god, I spent all of September and October trying to dump this guy who WOULD NOT LET ME DUMP HIM. It was completely insane, I have never gotten so many pitiful text messages before. If I hadn’t already been certain that I didn’t want to see him anymore, he did an excellent job of convincing me.

And then! So remember the tall guy I met and accidentally really liked? (there are a whole lot of ‘accidentallys’ going on here… perhaps I should take more responsibility for my dating mishaps. Or not). Out of nowhere he texted me again in October. And we met up. And I still really like him. And now it seems we’re dating. And he is awesome. More about that another time.

Despite the fact that I’d made my intentions clear with the previous guy, as I said, he WOULD NOT GET DUMPED. And then the crazy got more intense. He texted me three times in the middle of the night one night- “are you ignoring me? I think you’re ignoring me” “you’re so stubborn you would be ignoring me ” “this would have been one of the nights I could have finally stayed over at yours. But you’re ignoring me.” I texted him in the morning telling him in no uncertain terms that perhaps we should not speak anymore.

A few nights later, he texted while I was on my way to tall guy’s saying he was coming over. I have no doubt he was actually on his way. I told him not to. He called me a bitch and said that it was obvious that I was dating someone and that “he had also started seeing someone” but that he just HAD TO SEE ME. Um… right.

Then began the phonecalls from a mobile number I didn’t recognise. A few more WHY DON’T YOU LOVE ME ANYMORE texts and emails. And to be perfectly honest, I was getting slightly concerned he would show up at my flat at any moment.

It’s been about a month since I last heard from him. I think he’s gotten the hint. And by “hint” I mean “very direct messages that I sent in plain English saying that I no longer wanted anything to do with him”.

Here’s the hilarious thing though. I met him through this– Please let me break your emo heart. I hate to say you got what you signed up for because it was totally tongue in cheek I certainly didn’t mean for it to turn out that way… but… uh…. you got exactly what you signed up for. Just sayin’…

image source

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Please let me break your emo heart May 13, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Firstdateonly @ 9:51 am
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Photo source: The Evolution of the Hipster

I might be a little addicted to writing Craigslist personals. I’ve started cycling to work, and have gotten into the habit of composing them in my head during my nearly hour long commute. I wrote this one the other day.

Let me break your emo heart.

Once upon a time I was a fun and feisty girl in her early twenties, gallivanting around the world and breaking hearts on my path to domination of all men.

Ah, how I miss those days, now that I am tumbling towards my late twenties, my friends are all getting married, and I seem to have switched teams from the heartbreakers to the heartbreakees. There’s nothing better than the feeling of knowing your boyfriend is so in love with you that you will, without a doubt, be the one who ends up giving the “it’s not you, it’s me” talk. And nothing worse than being on the other side, sobbing for him to take you back…

Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to be in a stable, long-term, happy relationship. But having endured a string of not-so-enjoyable breakups that were slightly less than mutually agreed upon, I think I need to get back the old awesome “me” before a “real life” relationship is possible. So I’m looking for a boy who will fall head over heels for me, even slightly obsessively, and who I will almost definitely eventually dump.

Criteria:
1. Skinny, trendy, Shoreditch type. Cycling and skinny jeans are good. Fake hipster glasses I can tolerate. Tattoos are absolutely excellent.
2. Low self esteem. I.e. maybe you spent a good portion of your teen years crying along to Dashboard Confessional. That’s what I’m looking for. CRY EMO BOY CRY. Maybe girls have hurt you in the past- but instead of this making you guarded and “unable to love” this makes you desperate for a girl’s affection (like, for example, me. I promise I will like you and be really sweet to you and give you at least a minimal boost to your ego).
3. You’re age 25-35, not married, live in London. I think this is obvious, but maybe not.
4. It would be great if you had a sense of humour and didn’t write me hate mail for posting this, I should also add.

So, you are probably wondering, why would you put yourself through this? What do you get? Well, first of all, we will have a good time. I’m a great date and a fab girlfriend. I’m cute and funny and really easy to be around, so I’ve been told. Despite all information in the previous paragraphs pointing to the contrary, I’m not malicious or terrible.

We can go to gigs and pubs and drink lots of beer and do Londony stuff and it will be great fun for awhile. And then, once I’ve dumped you, you’ll have some really great material to write poems/ songs/ diary entries about. Think about it. Maybe all you’ve needed all this time to get your band off the ground is a girl like me to break your heart.

Obviously it’s all tongue in cheek and I don’t really intend on meeting anyone from it. To be perfectly honest, I am just a master procrastinator and I like the attention/ responses I get. This ad has been particularly fun, and surprisingly zero hate mail! And actually, there might be a couple potential first dates. I liked this response:

omg you are good….and I mean good….do you realise you have broken my heart already….here I sit sobbing at my keyboard just at the mere act of reading your CL ad………

I can feel the words welling up inside me already……… there’s an estranged organ in my chest…it beats for you …it will not rest…

tissues some body !!! I need tissue’s !!!…this cruel heartless woman has broken my heart and she is laughing….laughing I tell ya, laughing….

hey oh back to the hamster wheel for me to nurse my crushed soul.

It’s pretty clear that there’s a common thread through the posts I’ve written, though… “I suck at relationships wah wah waaaaaaah”. And I use humour to cover the bitter, angry hole in my soul. Hahahha I kid. Sort of. Meh, I’m actually quite enjoying all this. Going on first dates is preventing me from accidentally jumping into another relationship with someone I really oughtn’t be with. My friends have thought most (all) of my previous boyfriends were losers (they were right), but unfortunately my best friends live in other cities (countries, actually) and haven’t been able to prevent me from repeating the same mistakes again and again. Okay, I suppose I could probably take some of the responsibility for my actions and for the guys I choose to date and for not listening to anyone’s advice. I’m working on it. And frankly I’ve realised that this project is probably the best way to force myself to be a bit pickier.

 

Guys with girlfriends / Guys with ex-wives May 11, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Firstdateonly @ 12:05 pm
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1.  I’ve got a bit of a moral dilemma. I’ve received a response to my last Craigslist post… well, I’ve received over 60 again… many of which seem to have mass emailed every single girl on there. Umm, did you even read my ad? Didn’t think so. Also, side note: have gotten responses from at least 10 of the same people who responded to my original First Date post. Including Beardy McIrishman. I did not respond.

ANYWAY, long side note there, but speaking of Irish guys… so I received a response from an Irish guy, who lives in Ireland but comes to London frequently for work, he wants to meet up for a drink because he gets bored here. There seem to be a lot of “I’m only in town for the weekend/ would like someone to show me around London” types. Normally I don’t respond to those because I definitely get a “creeper looking for an escort” vibe from them. But, I’m a sucker for Irish guys, so I responded, cynically asking him what it was he was looking for. Not surprisingly, he’s got a girlfriend. He assures me he’s not looking for a London-side booty call or anything of the sort, but that I sound funny (he does too, being Irish) and it might be nice to just have a beer.

I am morally torn about this. On the one hand, I am really not into going anywhere near guys with girlfriends. On the other hand, I’ve certainly got plenty of unavailable male friends with whom I have a great time and there isn’t any funny business. Is it at all possible that maybe he does just want a drinking buddy while he’s in town? Or am I just being uncharacteristically naive because I really do love Irish guys?

2.  Dilemma #2 : divorced guys. The tall guy wants to see me a third time. I’ve mentioned this before, yes, but we chatted online yesterday and I coyly told him we couldn’t because of “the rules”. He may have logic-ed me into it- saying we could just meet up for a NETWORKING drink, as two people in the same line of work, and that it wouldn’t be a date and we wouldn’t have sex so it wouldn’t be breaking the rules. Flawless arguments.

I can’t decide whether I should, regardless of “the rules of my project” and all that. On the one hand, I like him, and it’s good harmless fun. On the other hand… he is recently divorced. Being only 25, I’ve never dated a divorced guy before. But I am very, very wary of Guys With Ex Issues. The last guy I dated had recently gotten out of a 10 year relationship (so he might as well have been married), and clearly wasn’t over that. A few others have seemed to never have gotten over former breakups, or had an ex lurking around in the background waiting to pounce. Obviously, at this point I certainly would expect a guy to have some exes, but I don’t know how to sort through the Normal Guys With Exes and Guys With Ex Issues. I am pretty sure Tall Guy falls into the latter category. I’ve certainly never been with anyone for anywhere near 11 years, but I reckon it takes more than 2.5 seconds to get over it. And I am pretty sick of being a rebound.

SO, I can’t decide if either of these are an issue in the context of this experiment. The whole point is for me to enjoy dates and have no expectation whatsoever of it going anywhere. I probably shouldn’t go out with Tall Guy for a third time (though, as he expertly argued, it wouldn’t be a *date* as such). And I can’t decide if meeting a guy with a girlfriend is just asking for trouble.

Photo source

 

Third 1st date. Uh oh. March 25, 2010

Filed under: First date — Firstdateonly @ 12:14 pm
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Shit.

So, the first two first dates I went on were more or less what I expected- fun enough, but also easy to let it go after just one. Unfortunately, this third one was a bit different. I actually quite liked him. Shit.

We agreed to meet up last night at 7 in Covent Garden for drinks. I was at a work do beforehand and briefly considered “wouldn’t it be funny if I showed up drunk to my date…” but decided against it. I got there on time, and waited for about 10 minutes before I started getting slightly annoyed. Texted him to say I was there. It turned out he already was as well and we just hadn’t recognised each other.

So this guy: I had a good feeling about him before I met him, maybe it was the distinctly “not weird or obsessive” vibe that set him apart from the other candidates.  He’s 32, works in something vaguely politics-related, and is tall. Very tall. 6’6, in fact. And quite handsome. Adorable Northern accent. Great smile. Sigh.

We had a pint at the Porterhouse– it was really busy, especially for a Wednesday night, but finally we found a spot to perch. It only took about 5 minutes before he admitted to how much he knew about me by googling me. I jokingly accused him of being a stalker, but let’s be honest, I would have done the same had he not had such a common name. Unfortunately for me, it turns out I am the only person with my name on the internet, and I am plastered all over it. I suppose it’s a good thing I don’t have anything to hide.

We got on really well immediately. We told stories about terrible first dates (I told him about the Auto Show Date, and he told me about once when he discovered a date rifling through his bag to make sure he wasn’t a spy). He ended an 11 year relationship only a year ago… hence the interest in the *just a first date* concept. We talked a lot about politics and definitely have a lot in common work/interests-wise.

Note to self: you cannot drink as much or as fast as a 6’6 tall man. Got drunk. Relatively quickly. But I think (hope) I kept my composure. After a couple of drinks we left to get dinner. Outside the bar, he leaned down and kissed me… mmmm. Aside from the awkwardness involved in kissing someone over a foot taller than me, it was really good. I had definitely wanted to do that since I met him. I’m getting that butterfly-y feeling in my stomach thinking about it now. Eeee.

We went to Wahaca around the corner for Mexican food. (I am slightly obsessed with burritos. Definitely the #1 thing I miss about the states.) This of course also included margaritas. I have to admit, it’s a bit fuzzy from that point. But I do know that a. I texted a friend of mine saying how well the date was going, and I am near positive he saw it over my shoulder as he returned from the toilet and b. I didn’t end up finishing my food because I was too busy talking. I hope I said anything interesting. Or at least coherent.

We didn’t leave the restaurant until past midnight, and apparently it didn’t occur to me that oh yeah, I had to work the next day, because we ended up at Belushi’s, of all places, for a last drink. He had paid for everything else throughout the date but let me get this one (thank you). We didn’t even drink them, anyway, though, because we spent awhile longer just makin’ out. It started to rain a bit and he pushed me into a doorway, held me against the wall. It was all very, very sexy. He asked me to come home with him but I declined, much as I didn’t want the evening to end.

Ahhh I wish he hadn’t been so great! When emailing each other beforehand to plan the date, he had asked when we should meet up to  “crash and burn in a spectacular fashion”. Unfortunately there was no crashing. Even less burning. It was actually just a really great first date, with someone that I would totally like to see again.

He texted while I was on the bus ride home and joked that he *might* consider to extending to a 2nd even so that we can collectively screw it up. I promised that if given the chance, I would do my very best to fuck up.

I’m not sure how much longer I can continue doing this. Having gone out drinking twice on weeknights this week, I am SHATTERED. And seriously, it is not easy to meet someone who’s attractive, has a great sense of humour, is confident and well educated and interesting… and think, welp, that was fun, but that was enough.  I sure do wish he had more than just the “long term ex” fatal flaw. He was annoyingly awesome.

 

Beardy McIrish(?)man in Camden March 23, 2010

Filed under: First date — Firstdateonly @ 2:46 pm
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I’ve given myself a bit of a ridiculous schedule this week: a date last night, one Wednesday, and a third on Friday. I’m wondering when/if I’ll get first date fatigue.

So the one last night. It was honestly exactly what I’m looking for through this project. A lot of fun. But not too much fun.

I wasn’t sure what to expect this guy to be like. His emails were… odd. To say the least. Lots of bullet points and seemingly unrelated statements. But he said he was Irish and I’m a sucker for the accent so I decided to give it a go.

We agreed to meet in Camden for drinks. He was 15 minutes late. And didn’t look a thing like his picture (I suppose the same face was under there somewhere, but with added beard I probably wouldn’t have found it on my own). He looked very Camden, all skinny-jeaned and trendy glasses-ed.  And his accent surprised me- very, very London, not Irish at all.

The date didn’t get off to a fantastic start. We went to the Elephant’s Head on Camden High Street, got a couple pints of Guinness and he not long afterwards launched into a long thing about how he wanted to be shot into space when he died so the aliens would put him back together or something. I think it was a long and convoluted joke, but I’m really not sure. Oh, and have I mentioned he was wearing a Star Trek badge?

But it did get infinitely better from there. I liked that he swore a lot, as I myself have been known to drop numerous f-bombs and it makes me feel awkward if people think that swearing isn’t polite or whatever. After a couple of pints, we moved to one of my old favourites, the Good Mixer. Ah, how it still smells just faintly of vomit and piss. I do love it so.

And we had a great time. Bizarro space story aside, he was really very fun and easy to talk to. We talked a lot about music and funny stories from childhood and drunken mishaps. It turns out, by the way, that he is indeed Irish but only lived in Ireland from age 10-20 and somehow managed to hold onto his London accent. Confusing, but interesting.

At no point did I find myself dropping into what I have discovered is my dating coping mechanism- endlessly joking about how amazing I am. I really do wonder why it is that I do this, and you’d think it would be a turnoff to guys, but I suppose I do it in more of a “charming and funny” way than an “obnoxious and egotistical” way. I suppose maybe it’s better to do that than tell my “drunkenly puked on my friend’s shoes” story or my “killed a baby pigeon” story. Oh wait, both of those came out last night. I’ve got no mental filter.

Even after our last drink we continued to talk until I realised it was 12:30am on a school night and decided it might be wise to get a night bus home. He walked me to the bus stop and we stood kind of a safe distance apart from each other, until he said something about whether he could kiss me. I allowed it. Wow! A very, very pleasant surprise. Until, naturally, a drunk homeless guy tried to interrupt us asking for change. Not now, guy, bad timing. Jeez.

We continued kissing for awhile (my bus took AGES to arrive) and he asked if I was interested in going to a gig this weekend. It didn’t seem necessary with him (as it did with Hampstead guy) to drive home the ONLY ONE DATE notion, so I said I might be into it.

So I have a dilemma now. I had a lot of fun last night. And while most of the evening I was thinking, yeah I might like him to become one of my friends, he actually turned out to be a fab kisser.

Though, fact of the matter is that I wouldn’t actually date date him. I’ll be honest, the whole space and Star Trek thing… yeah, not really gonna do it for me. He also seemed genuinely surprised that A. I would go out with him to begin with at all and B. That it would be totally easy and fun and he wasn’t socially awkward around me.

So perhaps best just to leave it at the one date, though I really do want to make sure that he knows I had a great time and I’m not blowing him off because I’m such a bitch. Or maybe *just* a second date as well?

 

First date: Hampstead Guy March 20, 2010

Filed under: First date — Firstdateonly @ 8:02 pm
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My first and DEFINITELY ONLY date with Hampstead Guy was today.

I met up with a friend at Borough Market beforehand, and discussed the possibilities of the date. She also works in finance (he’s a banker) and said she was certain she could determine exactly what type of guy he’d be based on what type of work he did. “So he works on six spreadsheets at a time… he’s a trader. Which means there are two possibilities: either he’s a nerdy, socially awkward maths guy who has started to think he’s pretty cool because he makes a lot of money. Or he was a pretty cool guy and then started to make a lot of money and became incredibly arrogant. Judging by his excessive texts, I’d bet money it’s the former.” Spot on.

I arrived 15 minutes late to our date (my friend and I decided I might as well do lots of “date no’s” on this date as I didn’t expect it to go well). He looked like his picture… except shorter than I expected, and chubbier.  First impression: Not good.

We walked to the pub (The Freemasons Arms), where we had whatever-meal-you-call-it-when-it’s-3pm. I had pizza (carbo loading for a long run tomorrow!) and we shared a bottle of wine, and then an amazing brownie with ice cream.

I’m going to do my best not to be overly critical, because he was honestly a really, really nice guy. We chatted and had nice banter, he asked me a lot about myself and I talked away. It probably would have been a really good date had I been remotely attracted to him. But I really wasn’t. So I tried a bit of date sabotage. I mentioned my millionaire Italian exboyfriend (and that he had given me the bracelet I was wearing). I- no joke- showed him that when I’m really full I can make my belly look pregnant (and also mentioned that I used to occasionally try to freak out my exes with this). I talked endlessly about myself. Aren’t these all things that are supposed to put people off? Unfortunately, it turns out that my date sabotage tactics are incredibly endearing. Dammit.

We left the pub and started walking through Hampstead Heath towards the overground station. I started dreading that he might try to kiss me, but just prayed that he might be too much of a gentleman (or too shy). Nope. As soon as there were fewer people around, he started to put his arm around me (I elbowed him in the stomach) and then he turned me to kiss him. I didn’t know how to get out of it, so I let it happen.

And I got a whiff of an unmistakable odour. Eau de Fat Steve.

I should probably explain. Fat Steve was a guy who lived in my rez in first year. He, as you probably interpreted, was really very overweight. And the showers in our rez were very small, and I do wonder if he fit in them. Possibly not, and this would explain his incredible odour. Something like stale body odour, mixed with a bit of foot and possibly some rotting junk food. I once had to go into his room, and was seriously overcome with this stench. I have never forgotten it.

Hampstead Guy smelled- just slightly- like Fat Steve. It didn’t help that I wasn’t attracted to him at all to begin with, but kissing him and smelling this was pretty difficult. I’ll give him some credit, he wasn’t the worst kisser in the world, but I suppose that having to close my eyes, hold my breath, and think of someone else probably takes away from the kissing experience.

We walked through the Heath, with him occasionally trying his “ignore-your-defensive-elbows-and-try-to-take-you-in-my-arms” kissing approach. Finally we got to Gospel Oak Station. It was closed, and we’d have to walk one further to Hampstead Heath Station. Dammit.

He joked about our possible second date. I told him the rules. JUST FIRST DATES, YO. He was pretty confident that this one was good enough to merit a second, and in fact, how did I know for sure that I wouldn’t want this to go somewhere, that this could in fact *be something*? I walked faster, and began talking non-stop (about how super amazing I am at all aspects of life) hoping this was deter further kissing attempts.

Finally we got to the station. He asked what I was doing tomorrow after my run, or later during the week. Conveniently (and actually, not at all untrue), I am actually very busy. So he suggested maybe we meet up next weekend. I said coyly that we’ll see.

He texted me when I got home, saying that I’m awesome and that it was really great to spend time with me today.

At least he can’t take it personally when I don’t respond. I warned him that was how it would be.

I might go brush my teeth now.

 

Date tomorrow March 19, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Firstdateonly @ 2:44 pm
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I’ve lined up my first date from my craigslist ad. He lives in Hampstead. So I shall call him Hampstead Guy. Frankly, I’m not really looking forward to it. Mostly because the guy I’m going out with is REALLY REALLY EXCESSIVELY KEEN TO MEET ME. I’m a little concerned he’s never had a girlfriend before.

I decided to go out with this one because he seemed really nice through email, quite smart and funny, etc. I saw his picture, and he’s cute and rather unassuming looking. But then again, so is this guy.

He gave me his number, we texted back and forth a couple of times and set the date for Saturday (tomorrow)- we’re going for lunch at a pub near Hampstead Heath. Great.

But he KEEPS TEXTING. A LOT.

“How are you today? How’s xyz going? How’s work?” Every morning. Sometimes again later in the afternoon. For the last 4 days. He sent one such text this morning, which also detailed his whereabouts and what he’d been up to for the last 12 hours in excessive detail (the longest text I’ve ever received). I didn’t respond, because A. I was at work and B. Chill the fuck out.

A few hours later, he texted again, “Bzz, all ok with you? Still on for 3pm tomorrow? Hope you’re well!”

I texted back saying that I was busy at work, and yes, I would see him tomorrow. He responded, “Hoped it’d be something like that. See you tomorrow, I’m looking forward to it :-D” ARE YOU? ARE YOU REALLY? I HADN’T CAUGHT ONTO THAT.

Maybe I’m being a bit mean, and he may very well be a perfectly well-meaning individual. But wow, coming on awful strong. Maybe I should be really clear and remind him that THIS IS JUST ONE DATE. I do have the distinct impression that he’s going to have a hard time leaving it at just that.