Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Date 157

"I'm spellbound, oh but a woman divides."

This was another very rare occasion in all the years I've been doing this, that I thought wow! However, this was during and not after the first date.

Giving Tinder another go, I wasn't amazingly into her before we met and the feeling before we went for drinks was that of nervous dread that the date wouldn't last long rather than excitement. I knew as soon as I saw her that we'd get on though. And that we did.

I was straight away attracted to her and we also had the same interests, in particular; a mutual love for Twin Peaks and cats. We drank for a good five hours or more and she could certainly put them away and to me, the signals were there that she liked me as well with her being very touchy feely and tactile. It was definitely one of my favourite first dates and I felt she was the complete package.

On the way back to the bus stop, by which time we were both quite drunk, she said that she wanted to see me again but that there hadn't been any fireworks for her. I found this quite an odd thing to say and at first thought this was a negative thing but she assured me that she'd had a great time and that we should go to the cinema for our next date. At this stage we'd still just been communicating via Tinder and without me asking, she made sure to give me her phone number and instructed me to contact her to arrange date two. In theory this sounded promising but the 'fireworks' comment put a lot of doubt in my mind, even though I tried to tell myself otherwise.

We texted for a few days and were in the process of arranging a trip to the flicks when the messages just stopped from her. I knew her birthday was the day after Halloween so I waited until then to make contact again to wish her happy birthday and see if she replied. She did but I felt if I hadn't been in touch then I wouldn't have heard from her. I mentioned meeting up again and she said she still wanted to but not for a couple of weeks as she was busy at work and the texts stopped again.

I waited until the week she said she was free and she suggested we go and see Widows the following week on a Tuesday night, so I felt positive again. Three hours before we were due to meet she cancelled due to work commitments. I was a bit pissed off as that really was short notice but I still wanted to see her so asked if she was free the following week. She was and we made plans again.

I didn't hear from her again so texted her the day before to check we were still on and she said she was up for it if I still fancied it. So the date took place and we caught up a bit before the film started. After it had finished I suggested something to eat but she declined saying she was tired even though it was 8pm and went home but she said she'd had a great time and wanted to meet again.

The next day I messaged her to see if she fancied coming to mine for dinner in a couple of weeks time but she said she was busy on the days I suggested and that she'd looked at her diary and was busy with work and social commitments until after Christmas so I decided to take the hint and leave it. Rumours of my unimaginative cooking had somehow clearly reached her...

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Date 156

"It just wasn't like the old days anymore." 

I've not been on a date for ages, and although I've not been as proactive as usual; it's not been for the want of trying. This date, which I'll mention a bit later was the last one I'd been on and that was in June!

The not going on dates thing has largely been down to setting them up and then the other person has either cancelled or mysteriously disappeared. I've also dealt with a few oddballs along the way too. The last date I was meant to go on had all been going well in the initial stages. We'd arranged a time, day and location and had been texting regularly. In the week before our meet up for drinks I'd sent her a text that she hadn't replied to or even opened. Then I knew she was away for the weekend so didn't want to force the matter. I texted her on a Monday morning (a few days before our Friday date) to check if we were still on and received this reply:

Erm, ok....

More recently I'd been in contact with someone off Bumble for about 2 days. She rung me a couple of times and after speaking to her (she mainly spoke at me) I was genuinely scared of her and worried about her state of mind. I would never normally do this but I panicked a bit and blocked her and she proceeded to leave me three abusive and very unsettling voicemails from three different phone numbers between 3 and 7am. At least I found out that even if you block someone on an iphone, they can still leave voicemails.

I also received a drunken 1am phonecall from someone I dated a couple of years ago telling me that the reason she didn't pursue me is because I'm gay. Which was news to me as I had no idea.

Onto this actual date now. It was a really good one. We met along the Southbank on a really beautiful day and we seemed to get on well. We had drinks for a few hours then went for dinner and ended the evening with a lot of snogging.

And then of course I tried to make plans for a second date but she never got back to me. Dating's not what it used to be.

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Date 155

"Oh, I know I'm alone."

I was excited beforehand by this date as we were a similar age and seemed to really like the same music. In fact she'd contacted me initially due to our shared love of The Smiths.

Although it was a bit of a trek for me, we met in a pub over the road from where she had been attending a ukulele group and it was a good choice as they served milk stout and the barman was very knowledgeable. That was the best part of the date though.

I was sitting at a table near the back and she came over to me and I have to say that I wouldn't have know it was her as she didn't look like her pictures, not in a bad way though, I just think that they were old. I could instantly tell by her eyes though that she was disappointed by me. After a few minutes I got the distinct impression that she didn't want to be there.

Although we talked about music for a bit, and we did indeed like all the same stuff, she declared that she was coming down with a cold. It was her round and she went and got me a drink then said she felt ill so had to leave. I was then left the unenviable task of drinking alone on a date so I downed it pretty quick and left.

I had genuinely thought she was ill but I didn't hear from her again so I suspect it was just an exit plan. I was pretty disappointed because I definitely fancied her and thought there was potential due to having other things in common too but I guess I wasn't the type of guy she was looking for, and she made up her mind pretty quickly!

Date 154

"But oh, my darling, why did you change?" 

Of all the blog entries that I've written I think that this one neatly encapsulates modern dating. It's still fresh in my memory so I still feel a bit hurt and sad which doesn't make sense as she turned out to be a bit of a dick in retrospect.

A couple of months before, I'd deleted all my profiles on all the dating sites that I belonged to but decided to give online dating another chance, so signed up for a week's subscription with Guardian Soulmates. We seemed to get on very well after exchanging a few messages and then switching to Whatsapp at her suggestion. She was an incessant texter so things became very intense, very quickly and we were pretty much in contact virtually all day every day, which I always found a bit strange from her end as I couldn't work out how she could maintain her job but still send me messages all the time. We also got into a routine where, without fail, one of us (predominantly her at first) would text to say good morning and good night. That's a really nice thing when it's happening bit when it abruptly stops it's not such fun.

An early drawback, however, was the fact that I live in Brighton and she's in East London. That wasn't really an issue at first though. I think we met after 10 days to two weeks after we'd first been in contact and I'd agreed to go and meet her along the SouthBank after work. We were both so nervous (most unlike me) but we hadn't needed to be as we got on great. I really fancied her and it was one of my favourite first dates. So much so that I didn't get home until about 1:30 am as we kept going to different pubs and from my point of view I didn't want the night to end.

Still being very much in contact, a couple of days later she had a free Friday evening so I suggested she come and visit me in Brighton after work. She agreed at first but then offered up an excuse a bit later. As it turned out she just went home and had a few drinks on her own and she first mentioned how distance might be a problem. I was in London the next day for a friend's birthday and I intimated meeting up afterwards but we didn't.

We then set up the following Saturday as our next date. She said she'd definitely come to Brighton and fancied the cinema. So, I messaged her about times and films and said I could book us tickets then a restaurant afterwards. At this point she got a bit funny and said how she didn't want to be tied down and hated having plans but preferred to do things last minute and that she'd probably only have time for a meal and drinks as she had responsibilities in her life.

A couple of days later she asked if I'd like to come to London again as she'd got free tickets for a matinee musical in the West End called Ruthless. This was when I started to realise that she liked to do things on her terms. However, I agreed because I wanted to see her again and I don't mind going to London as it's easy to get to from Brighton anyway.

I wasn't as nervous/excited as I had been for the first date and to be honest I was a bit apprehensive. This is quite normal for second dates anyway as I think there's more riding on them than a first date and they're relatively make or break. As it turned out we had another great time. She loved the musical and I have to agree that it was entertaining (even though it wasn't really my thing). She then took me to a very exclusive cocktail bar where we had espresso martinis and then an amazing restaurant.

Towards the end of the night we got into some deep conversations about our lives and I told her some pretty personal and sad stuff about that I'd endured growing up. Upon hearing this she cried a few times and I had to comfort her. Although, it might have been the drink, I genuinely thought that we had a connection and on the train going home she was needlessly apologising for her tears but also saying how she'd had a great time and that she'd definitely be coming to Brighton for our third date. The third date never happened.

At this point I'll touch upon what different people we were and how our lives were miles apart. I've never been married and I don't have any children. Having lived in London for over 20 years: most of my friends live there. I've been in Brighton for just over 4 and I don't know that many people and my social life goes in peaks and troughs and revolves around gigs, live comedy and the cinema.

She's 3 years older than me, has 3 children (2 at university and 1 living with her some of the time), is divorced and until a year ago had been in an 8 year relationship until he cheated on her. She also lives in a mansion, drives a BMW 4x4 and has worked in the city most of her life.

Things then started to change. The previous year she'd told me she had gone totally mad on the partying front, been on a lot of dates and one night stands, but she was settling down this year due to her family. I'd suggest meeting up but she'd say she didn't have the time then would would send me selfies of her at stupid o'clock, shitfaced in various bars.

We had a very deep text conversation one evening in which she wanted to know what I was looking for in a relationship, what she was looking for and whether we were compatible. I found it quite weird and she said that she couldn't give me children as she didn't want any more and I said that wasn't a priority of mine anyway. We both came to the conclusion that we'd enjoyed the dates so far and wanted to see how things went but that we were both happy with how things were going. She kept reiterating the distance between us and and other things like being busy at work and wanting to spend more time with her family. I said that due to all these things we could call it a day but she didn't want to and that she was comfortable with our arrangement.

Even though I'd not instigated that conversation it made me feel that things were going to progress but they actually got worse. The texts decreased after that and she stopped the good morning and good night ones. I also felt that she was getting a bit mean to me and she would go on rants about how to live my life. To illustrate this, during the most recent bank holiday weekend I wasn't really up to much but the weather was lovely and I was out and about but spending time in my garden reading. It was really relaxing. She was at some very messy barbecues and I said I was jealous, although I wasn't particularly. She got a bit angry for some reason and told me I needed to expand my social life and there was nothing stopping me from having my own bbq, getting loads of people round last minute and cracking open the Jack Daniels. She'd do this with other things too and really tell me what to do, I was very close during these times of actually telling her we should call it a day as she was becoming more passive aggressive. From then on she'd regularly send me messages telling me I should be going out if I had nothing to do or when friends were busy and it got to the point where I'd dread her asking and I felt guilty for not being out one night even if I had been the previous one.

In all this time, she hadn't mentioned meeting up again either. I'd suggested it but she said she was busy packing for her holiday so wouldn't be socialising and then proceeded to go out every night the week beforehand and get pissed after work, so I thought I'd wait for her to mention it. I'd still be hearing from her every day but there'd been a mood change. She then went to Spain for a long weekend and was still texting me during it apart from one day. She'd also stopped putting kisses on her texts, which is a small but noticeable thing.

I happened to be in London for a comedy show on the day she was coming back from Spain. I think she was on the beach then waiting for her flight and her messages were very jokey and it felt like how she used to be.

The next day I texted her to see if she was tired as she'd got back relatively late and had to go in work and she'd said she was busy so I thought I'd let her get on with it. Four days later and I'd not heard anything from her so I dropped her a text on the Friday and she said she'd been busy with family stuff and then proceeded to reel off the social piss-ups she'd been to that week. I thought I'd just go out and say it and asked her when she fancied coming to Brighton and she wrote me a long text in which she said if she did it would only be on a platonic level.

She also said she'd been thinking about things and that she didn't want to give me the impression we could be anything other than friends and that she wasn't the right person for me in terms of time, distance and commitments.

I was out with a friend when I received it which was good as we spoke about it for a bit. I then slept on it and spent the next day mulling it over and working out what to say in response if anything. On Saturday evening I got a text from her demanding why I hadn't replied...

I said I was still processing things and in all honesty I didn't know what to say as I felt that what she said wasn't open for discussion. She said she was just being honest and didn't want me to think she was being dismissive; which is what she was doing, surely?

I asked her a couple of questions but she didn't answer them and then I didn't hear from her. So on the Monday I texted her to ask why things had changed since we'd had the deep discussion a couple of weeks beforehand. She reiterated that her family and job came first and that she didn't have the time to commit to me, plus she said she wasn't romantically inclined towards me and wasn't feeling it but that I should give her a heads up if I ever fancied a drink in London. Ruthless indeed...

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Date 153

"And I would like to give you what I think you're asking for."

Having cancelled our first planned meeting due to her head not being in the right place, and after a loss of contact for a month; we set up a coffee date for a Saturday afternoon in Brighton.

Being a scout leader, Disney obsessive and self-confessed crazy person, I was a bit worried that we wouldn't be compatible. She let me know at regular intervals as to how crazy she was.

I also found out that she had a voracious sexual appetite. Eight days before we were due to meet, I was out on, what turned out to be, a very substantial pub crawl in Lewes with a male former work colleague. We'd intended to meet for a few pints at midday and still found ourselves drinking at around 9pm. I got a text from crazy Daisy that her Ann Summers party had been cancelled and that she was out on the piss near where she lived. She wanted me (and my friend) to come and meet her and then go back to hers to spend the night (I'm not sure if she meant my friend for that part though). When I received the text I was on the train home very inebriated and just wanted to go to sleep. I did give it some thought though, as her explicit texts were very persuasive, but getting home when I did and not having a hangover the next day proved to be the best decision I could have made, especially as I had a Morrissey gig the next evening!

On my way to meet her the following week for coffee, she texted me to ask if I'd be wearing a red carnation and waiting for her under a clock. I asked how I'd recognise her and she said I'd know it was her as she'd be the nutty one...which is no mean feat on the concourse of Brighton station.

We had coffee and lunch at a cafe (which she kindly paid for her) and she talked about sex the whole time. This also included showing me pictures on her phone of her dressed up in a couple of sexy Christmas underwear outfits. After going for a walk along the seafront, in which she talked about sex, we went to the pub for a couple of drinks and she told me what she wanted to do to me sex-wise. She had to go home to take her 19 year old son to a party and then wait for him for four hours and bring him back when it had finished. However, she kept thinking up plans how to have her wicked way with me that evening. Her best one was have me go back with her then go to the cinema while her son was at his party and not watch a film but sit at the back while we did stuff under a coat....

I turned down this classy suggestion and said we should call it a day while the going was still good. On the bus home, she texted me to say she couldn't read me and wondered what I'd thought of her. I could have taken the easy option and said I'd meet her for a second date, get home and regret it, then worry about meeting her again, go through with it and not enjoy myself. I then had a bit of an epiphany and decided to take the brutally honest route. I told her that I couldn't see anything between us other than something sexual (which I'm not even sure I could see anyway). This offended her and she got arsey. I've never had a fuck buddy before, so it's not something I've ever enquired about with anyone but she really wasn't impressed with my suggestion. 

After going on a bit of a rant saying she didn't want to be anyone's friend with benefits and that why couldn't I just see how things go between us, she said she'd step aside so I could meet someone else and that we're both at different stages of our lives in terms of what we're looking for. I got home and felt a huge sense of relief. What a crazy afternoon.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Date 152

"Girl Afraid"

This is probably the most extreme example of how people can turn out to be very different from their online, or in this case telephone, persona.

During the week before our date, this woman began ringing me up every night and we'd talk for 3 or 4 hours at a time. She was confident, hilarious, charming but a bit intense. For her job she spent most of her time on the phone and did the occasional voiceover for her clients' telephone information services, and her voice was very sexy and her enunciation was very pleasing on the ear.

As we had so much in common music and humour-wise, she'd already arranged our second date before the first one had happened. And she saw us meeting and getting on for our first date as being a formality. This was also her first dabble in the world of internet dating and I think she got carried away with things.

I thought she was great too but every time she'd make plans for the future with us, I'd say let's get Sunday over with (the day we met) and take things from there as there is the possibility that we wouldn't get on. She'd told all her friends and family about me and she also was so desperate to meet me that she tried to see me before, firstly, she asked me to come to a friend's party with her which I turned down as I said that would be weird as I'd not met her yet and the second time she wanted me to meet her for drinks near where she lived and spend the night with her, either with her or in the spare room. On this occasion I was doing something else.

During our time on the phone she'd find it difficult to hang up and the first time we spoke until 2am. Another time we'd talked for 3 hours and she texted me afterwards to say that I was difficult to let go of. She also said on more than one occasion that our calls and texts had been the most romantic few days of her life. I found that weird. I enjoyed talking to her and I was really looking forward to meeting her but the language she used in those cases worried me a bit.

Finally the day came to meet and it was a total anti-climax. It was underwhelming and flat. But not due to my efforts.

She'd warned me beforehand that although she appeared outgoing on the phone, she was a total introvert and extremely shy. She drove to my village from Kent and was over an hour late as she'd got the time wrong but that was ok as she'd let me know and she was coming to me. I knew she was nervous so I wanted to try and make her feel at ease and I wanted to impress her so I bought her flowers, chocolate and a CD. I don't normally do that on a first date and I won't again.

She didn't look anything like her pictures. If we hadn't been talking on the phone when she got out her car then I wouldn't have known it was her. She had no make-up on and looked a bit scruffy. She had very nicotine-stained teeth too which was a turn-off. In her photos she'd looked glamourous and she'd also sent me a pic of her going to a party the night before and she was stunning. I genuinely felt like she hadn't gone to any effort to meet me, whereas I felt that I did.

We went for coffee initially, then a pub and she wasn't the person I'd been speaking to for hours on the phone. It felt like I was with an imposter. She told me she was on edge as she'd never met a 'stranger' off the internet before, as she put it, but even taking that into consideration; she came across as cold and unfriendly. Before we'd met she told me that the first thing she was going to do was run over to me and snog my face off...that never happened as she was very stand-offish.

After lunch we went for a long walk along the Brighton coastline, where she chain-smoked, and although the conversation flowed, I got the impression she didn't want to be there. However, despite all this I wanted to see her again as I felt sure that if we met for a second date then her nerves would be gone and her loving, funny and warm personality from our phone calls would come out. I tried to make the day less nerve-wracking for her and put her at ease. I'd also probably fallen into a trap a bit as all the things she'd said we could do together in the future sounded fun.

She had other ideas though. I contacted her afterwards but she ghosted me for a few days and sent me this text:

I had my phone next me all night and no call came through. This really disappointed me as I'd said after the date that I wanted to see her again. Even though the date had been a bit shit I'd hoped that we had enough in common to show that there was potential. I'm also sure that I'm just the same online as I am in real life. I replied by saying that I'd not blocked her as there was no reason why I would have and told her to take care. She must have really not liked me in person...

Date 151

"Bought on stolen wine."

This was a successful date in terms of us both really getting on but sadly there was no romance between us, however, we're still in touch as friends.

Having the same taste in music was a rare treat for me so it was good to talk about our favourite bands and she's definitely got excellent potential to be a gig buddy (writing this has made me wonder why I didn't invite her to one I went to on my own to the other at least this has jogged my mind if nothing else!). She's also allergic to beer and wine, which is a very unfortunate side-effect from a bout of malaria years earlier, thus making her tastes in alcohol quite specific. I think that I may be allergic to red wine too but I only seem to get a reaction after two bottles.