The First Date Only Project

… and then I accidentally met someone June 7, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Firstdateonly @ 9:53 am
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I haven’t been around for awhile, but I’ve got a good reason. I’m probably not going to do any more first dates for awhile, because I met someone. And he’s amazing.

I mentioned him in my last post, actually. He responded to my “let me break your heart” ad. He was the one that I talked on the phone to for over an hour before going out with the awkward, boob-staring writer. After that eventful Saturday night a couple of weeks ago, he and I continued talking. Constantly. Until finally (I say *finally* but it was… um 3 days later) we met up.

He works ridiculous hours (often until 2 or 3 am) so he didn’t come pick me up until 11:30 at night. He was exactly as I expected him to be- handsome and sweet and so… normal. We went to Primrose Hill and sat at the top for awhile (romance!) and then walked around a bit, and finally kissed. Le sigh. I had this really strange feeling that I *knew* him, like I’d met him before… something about being with him felt so familiar.

So that’s why I haven’t been blogging for the last couple of weeks. I haven’t been able to see him loads because of his job, but I am a bit wrapped up in the whole situation.

Of course, this whole first date project was to prevent me from getting into one of these quick and intense relationships YET AGAIN but I can’t help myself. I am infatuated.

More soon, I promise.

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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

 

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.

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I’ve run out of dates May 8, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Firstdateonly @ 8:31 pm
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I have a problem. I managed to take too long to set up all the dates from my original craigslist post, and I think I may have lost several along the way. In fact, it’s been nearly 2 months since I started this, and I think it may have passed the expiration date with a few I forgot about.

There is one who I’ve been emailing and texting with relative frequency since the beginning (including some ill-advised drunken St Paddy’s day text exchanges where I almost agreed to come to the party he was at. Luckily logic outweighed Guinness). We’ve actually made and broken dates twice- the first I cancelled (due to either laziness, skintness or something better to do), the second he cancelled (but I was relieved because it was for the night before I was leaving on holiday). I’ve only just returned from my holiday and he’s away this week, so I suppose we’ll have to see once he gets back if we’re on or not. I just realised what a long and boring explanation that was to say “we still haven’t met up”.

I’ve been spot on for my predictions of the three I’ve met so far (“desperate”, “a bit weird” and “normal and fun”) but this one I’m really unsure about. First, I don’t entirely  know what he looks like. The picture he sent was low rez. But he seemed good enough looking? We seem to have a lot in common on paper, studied the same things, did a term in France, run marathons. He called me once, to set up cancelled date #2 and I was surprised at how posh he sounded. Is being turned off by posh accents odd? I dunno, they just don’t do it for me.

SO aside from this one, I’ve got none left and I can’t decide what I should do. Post on Craigslist again? I’d have to be careful with that; I don’t want to get the same guys to respond. Go to a dating website? And if I go with dating website, should I be honest about the first date only policy?

Photo source

 

Hello, it’s been awhile April 23, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Firstdateonly @ 12:02 pm
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Oops, I’ve been gone for nearly a month. In my defense, I got caught up with “life” and “running a marathon” which took precedence over “boozing it up with craigslist randoms”.

Hampstead guy texted me once again after Easter. Amazing, really, the persistence. I’ve got to give him credit. But not enough credit to even contemplate the horrendous idea of seeing him again.

I decided to go out with the tall guy again, though I made him wait nearly 3 weeks (again, the marathon…).

We met up for cocktails in Soho. I managed to pass right by him at the entrance to the bar without seeing him… am I that blind?? The guy is 6’6. I’m wondering if I had been that drunk on our first date that I actually forgot what he looked like. I’m so classy.

We went through a few cocktails relatively quickly and it didn’t take long before he started kissing me. Which I did enjoy, though I kept getting distracted and bursting out laughing at the conversation of two ditzy Essex girls behind us. For some reason I was incredibly giggly all night and felt like I was acting a bit odd, going off on bizarre tangents and stories that were only funny to me… perhaps the reason he kept kissing me was to shut me up. We went for dim sum and then traipsed around various bits of London for more drinks. He wanted me to go home with him, but being a lady as I am, this was not an option. Okay, it was actually more the fact that he lived disturbingly close to a guy I used to date and in my head I had a horrible vision of us running into him and all the terrible drunken awkwardness that would ensue. But, for the sake of my pride and dignity, let’s just say it was because I am classy and have morals.

Though he joked that this was the last time we’d see each other, I teased him that he was definitely going to try for a third date. Which he has. He’s texted asking if I want to go out “for a third and final time” this weekend. I’m going to have to decline. I’m pretty sure he just wants to bone me, anyway.

 

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.