The First Date Only Project

My Saturday Juggling Act May 16, 2010

Filed under: First date — Firstdateonly @ 9:23 pm
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I’m still nursing my hangover from last night, but I have to say… it was well worth it. An interesting weekend to say the least. Saturday night was meant to go like this:

Afternoon date (first date only, from the original ad)

Evening date

Engagement party for a friend

I just wanted to see if it could all be done. And possibly like the idea that I’m scheduling my life into a sort of bad sitcom, in which ridiculous and implausible situations take place, with hilarious mishaps resulting.

The afternoon date cancelled on me, which is just as well. He and I have rescheduled for next Wednesday and I’m looking forward to it. He’s French, and (I think) pretty hot. I have a thing for French guys… or maybe it’s just that I haven’t spoken French much since I moved here and I really enjoy the practice.

Anyway, it’s just as well that he cancelled because I ended up spending most of the afternoon talking to another guy who responded to the emo heart ad. And he is so great. He’s incredibly attractive and we get on annoyingly well. After talking online and texting for awhile, he called me and we talked for over an hour. We just really click. He’s funny and, it sounds ridiculously cliché but I feel like he “gets” me and we’ve known each other forever. He’s not really looking for a relationship and to be honest, I’m perfectly happy with the idea of just being friends.

So after my long chat with him, I got ready for my date (which I nearly forgot about and was late for).

The guy: responded to the emo ad, seemed to have a good sense of humour. Half American. Writer. Humorous email exchanges for the last week or so.

We met up in Old Street and went to Electricity Showroom. First impression: I could tell it was him, but for some reason he looked… different than I expected. He was also nervous. Very nervous. I forget that people get nervous on dates, because I usually just don’t at all. Maybe it’s just when I really don’t give a shit. And I definitely did not.

It was terribly, terribly awkward. The conversation did not flow, and I found myself drinking a lot more quickly than I normally would have because raising my glass to my mouth made me feel better than enduring the deafening silences. I thought about sabotaging the date, and realllllly drawing out those awkward moments, but I just couldn’t do it… when I feel uncomfortable I get far more chatty and funny and probably accidentally more flirty (which is possibly why guys don’t realise what a terrible time I’m having). There was a lot of that. He was just, I don’t know, a bit odd, just a very nervous person. He kept playing with the candle on the table, almost compulsively putting his hand over it, moving it away, putting it back… I just wanted to grab it from him. Oh, and he kept staring blatantly at my boobs. There’s really not much to see there. And it’s not like I was wearing anything particularly revealing. I’m not sure what he was looking for.

Again, in an attempt to stop being completely overly critical, he was a perfectly nice guy. And it definitely got less terrible after a pint or so, but I just wasn’t interested in drawing it out. Fourth first date only: FAIL. Luckily, I had the engagement party as an excuse to get out, after only 2 pints and an hour and a half of insufferable conversation. I got out real quick, with just a peck on the cheek.

On the way over to the party, the guy I’d spoken to in the afternoon and I texted back and forth a bit. I was already a bit tipsy (no dinner + 2 pints) and tried to get him to come out. He works excessively, though, and couldn’t. So I went to the party, and in between text flirting with him, I met a friend of my engaged friend, who is quite cute, and we flirted the whole evening. Drunk me spent a good hour or so jokingly trying to convince him that a giant elephant piece of artwork was actually a pinata, and that it was definitely a great idea to go kick it and see if there was candy inside. Thankfully, he did not. Though the bouncer started to get concerned about us lurking near the Art and advised us to move.

Cute friend had to get the last tube back, and I decided it would be sensible to do the same. Okay, so I actually was hoping that maybe we’d make out a little bit. And, yes, we did. Silly drunk boy was so distracted he almost missed his stop, and then had to rush off and said “Oh shit, I forgot to get your number… well, um, I’ll ask (our mutual friend)”. (I spoke to our friend this morning, who said that the guy had told him he was really into me, so he’s going to hook us up, apparently)

So a brief summary of this weekend:

1.One date- bad

2.One date rescheduled for next week

3.One snog- good

4.Many online conversations, texts, phonecalls with a new guy- excellent.

Photo source

 

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

 

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.

 

The Worst First Date of All Time March 16, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Firstdateonly @ 5:51 pm
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I started thinking about the first dates I’ve been on, and thought I’d share The Worst First Date of All Time (not just MY worst ever first date, but the worst first date that anyone in the world has ever been on). I assure you I have not exaggerated or made up a single detail.

Back a few years ago, when I was living in Montreal, our downstairs neighbour was obsessed with me. And I honestly don’t know why, because while I’m generally pretty awesome, there was no way he could have known this, as every conversation we ever had consisted of him talking a million miles an hour AT me (sometimes in French, and I couldn’t understand his accent at all) and me smiling and nodding.

One day, I returned home from studying and he was outside. Excited to see me, he begged, “let me take you for a drink!”

I declined. I was hungry.

Him- “I’ll take you for dinner!”

Me- “I… can’t… I… said I would cook for my flatmate?”

Him- “She can come too!”

Out of excuses, I went upstairs to beg my flatmate for an excuse but she was no help- “just go, get a free dinner, how bad could it be?” WELL.

He and I went to dinner. The next indication of the nightmare this date would become was when he told the waitress, “This is our first date. The first of MANY!” I think I threw up in my mouth a little. The actual dinner part was okay- I was able to eat in peace while he bothered the couple next to us in French the whole time, pausing occasionally to gaze adoringly at me. At one point, he mentioned that he and I should go to this Auto Show being held. I had seen the commercials for it and thought it was in a couple weeks, so I dismissed it, “yeah, we should go some time.”

Oh no, not *some time*. That night. So he dragged me to an AUTO SHOW. I’m not sure this even needs clarifying but no, I do not have any interest whatsoever in cars. I began wondering if this was actually my life, trailing him through endless show rooms of cars, as he oggled and drooled over every single one. “Which one is your favourite? Do you like this car? What about this one?” I DON’T CARE. One of the car models noticed me rolling my eyes and staring in disbelief and laughed at me. I swear we were there for 3 hours. I just didn’t know how to get out. I did actually consider RUNNING AWAY while his back was turned and pretending that I had gotten lost.

Finally we left. I thought the date was over. Oh no, he wanted to go DANCING. No, no, absolutely  not.

“I can’t- I have this party I have to go to.”

“I love parties! Let’s go!”

“Uh, yeah… I dunno, it’s for this women’s club I’m a member of.” (READ: Man-hating femi-Nazis)

“Cool! Sounds fun!”

” AND WE HAD TO GET TICKETS BEFOREHAND AND IT IS DEFINITELY SOLD OUT”

“I’m sure you can…”

“NOPE SORRY”

And I got out of the car. Thankfully he didn’t try to kiss me. I had to be very, very careful answering my phone and leaving/ coming home for a few weeks afterwards.

 

First Date #2, M* March 13, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Firstdateonly @ 6:30 pm
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This second guy, M, was also really nice, but unfortunately for him he A. Fell into one of my Categories of Undateable Guys and B. met me at a time when I was particularly undesperate and not willing to compromise on those categories.

M was cute enough, a bit short and slightly stocky (ie out of shape rugby player). Very posh. Public school boy. Banker.  Three strikes against him. But three strikes that made him perfect for just a first date.

We met up after work (I, again, for some reason had made it there early so I ended up accidentally going shopping and buying a bunch of work clothes) in Covent Garden for drinks. M was shocked when I ordered a pint. I am still more shocked when guys don’t expect that I drink beer. Is it that odd? I am certainly no girly girl when it comes to drinks.

We went somewhere else for dinner, which he also paid for, and then decided it was definitely a good idea to check out a shit student club around the corner and have one last terrible terrible rum and coke there, which he also paid for. Had a kiss. It was nice. And then he called me a taxi and I went home.

All in all, rather unremarkable. However, I was drunk enough on the taxi ride home to call up my go-to drunk dial friend (in the STATES, unfortunately for my phone bill) and go on a 20 minute discussion (well, rant) about how weird it was that he had paid for EVERYTHING. I realise this is a strange thing to complain about. And I certainly don’t have the kind of money to be splashing out on round after round of £12 cocktails. And I know that he definitely does have the money.

BUT, for some reason I would have felt better if he had just let me buy ONE drink. His wallet came out on at least 4 occasions through the course of the evening. I suppose it’s the modern independent woman in me that doesn’t ever want a guy to feel like I EXPECT him to pay. I certainly don’t. I don’t expect to always split things 50/50 (in fact I’d prefer not to make a big deal out of it) but I also don’t like a guy flashing his cash all over me. Eh.

Anyway, funny thing about that rant was that when I finally got off the phone, the taxi driver timidly asked from the front seat, “don’t guys in America pay for a girl on a date?” It was cute and made me feel a bit silly.

So, M. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a fun time, and he made me laugh and was definitely a good guy. But not my type. Which, actually, is the best possible scenario for a First Date Only.