It’s July 2019 and I’m almost unable to recite exactly how many dates I’ve been on since this started. Of course, there are some individuals that will forever be welded to the memory corners of my brain, but the majority have become one big clump of experience.
Almost like one big date with a multi-headed creature that resembles all the women I’ve dated that I don’t remember too well. I’ll call this creature Simone, Simone the hydra.
Speaking of notable individuals, there was one particular character that changed how I looked at dating for good; I can firmly say it was one of the best dates I had ever been on… no… the best date I’ve ever been on. I daresay it was awfully familiar to that “spark” thing people jabber on about. A concept that confused and baffled me enough to give it its own article.
To make things anonymous I’ll refer to this individual as Tammy, please note that Tammy is not part of Simone the hydra.
Keep your expectations low – the perfect date
If you’ve been on dating apps and dated for a while you’ve probably learned to keep your expectations low. It’s a sad and natural fact that playing the dating game erodes your enthusiasm. You expect potential dates to be late, boring, uninterested, shorter, cancel, socially inept, murderers, or to not be in a position to be dating in the first place – so why get your hopes up?
Admittedly I did not think Tammy had exes buried next to boiled bunnies, but I didn’t expect to be blown away by a perfect date either. Tammy was a petite Caucasian woman with long brunette hair and round, keen, adorable eyes; an educator of children and with a passion for travel. Days before our date we shared a fun conversation here and there and traded a couple of simple messages till D-day.
As I waited for her to arrive, I tweeted a little on my practically dead and silent account and performed a somewhat common pre-date routine, a routine where I remind myself what their name is and refresh what they look like by a quick scan of their dating profile. “Pretty and brunette” I think to myself before browsing Reddit for laughs – one may think that I didn’t care about the date from my behavior but it was more like a position I’ve become comfortable with, like a dentist treating his 53rd alligator.
Tammy arrives and we notice each other in the distance. We give each other the platonically polite “hello” hug and begin to walk towards our date location.
From the moment we meet we converse in a way that could be compared with watching two politically incorrect individuals rallying in an impressive game of table tennis, blindfolded…. with nunchucks.
This might be interesting.
Poke the stranger – the perfect date
Does the date begin the moment you meet or when you get to the bar? Well if it starts at the bar then I already fucked up because I somehow neglected to confirm my booking. Why I need to confirm a booking I’ve placed is lost on me but it somehow worked in our favour. The nice lady gave us a table… well, more like a ledge at the corner of the room right next to the bar entrance. We firmly planted ourselves and ordered a drink.
Tammy was someone who gave off the vibe of being very personable and attentive, every quip was returned (with nunchucks) skillfully and with equal wit and humour. Being near the entrance meant there was a high chance of us being interrupted by random bouts of conversation and the frigid winter winds of the UK, but she was fully focused on the nonsense shooting from my face hole.
Being the proud weirdo I am, I made a joke about being able to touch any visitor without their knowledge. Making a reaching gesture, I performed an example while feigning eagerness, my fingers just out of reach of a potential “Me Too” campaign. And then it happened.
She looks at me with a face full of challenge: “Oh, okay”. With her arm stretched out, she pokes the back of a gentleman’s jacket. “Like this?”
I am shocked, excited and motivated. “OMG”, I say “I’m so surprised you actually did that! You’re winning now!” My competitive and almost FOMO nature urges me to even the score. Later on that night we dub this odd game “Poke the Stranger”.
In between stimulating nunchuck swinging conversation, touching random bar guests and realising how much we have in common, we’re told that our time is almost up. We realise that we’ve spent so much time interacting with each other that we’ve barely drunk our initial drinks, we leave the bar and agree to continue the evening elsewhere. She wins Poke the Stranger.
The date that lasted 15 years – the perfect date
By the time we make it to the next bar, we’ve shared a kiss or two and are holding hands like children who haven’t developed the hyper-awareness for personal space. Strangely the holding hands on a first date is more alien to me than the kissing, everything feels too easy, too comfortable, almost like opening a jigsaw puzzle with the pieces perfectly placed.
We discuss how freaky it is that we have so much in common and after 5 hours of hanging out we still had so much to say. I like to think the best conversations are the ones that grow tangents upon tangents, where you’ve barely finished a conversation piece before another one shoves its way to the forefront of your brain.
Eventually, she casually begins to vet me, a move I believe happens when things seem too good to be true. They were simple to answer questions, almost like an innocent suspect being politely questioned for a crime that hadn’t been committed yet.
“So what are you looking for?” which I translate as “Are you a fuck boy?”.
“Have you been on many dates?” which I translate as “what’s wrong with you?”
In the dizzying heights of new intimacy and the constant flow of endorphins, I let it slip that I own a dating blog, this very one you’re reading yes… or skimming.
I wince and adjust in my seat as I prepare to explain why it’s called “Diary of a wannabe fuck boy”. To my surprise, her eyes light up like I just surprised her with a puppy!!
Maybe that’s the trick, always bring out a puppy when explaining why you have a dating blog.
To my surprise, instead of the usual defensive head turn and eyebrow raise, she wants to know more, to read a post and even wants to be featured.
She makes a joke about how it’s like we’ve been together for 15 years and no one would think this was the first date. I agree and wonder if this is that elusive feeling fellow daters strive for, like we’re all bottle-shaped containers filled with flaws and desires, grasping a bottle cap that doesn’t fit, searching for that person who’s cap effortless twists over our heads.
In reality, the date actually ends about 6 hours later, though not in the way I or some of you might have hoped. I leave her on the train while still trying to keep up with the never-ending, nunchuck juggling conversation. We decided we would continue on another date.
A moment of clarity – the perfect date
As I walk home, the evening dances in my skull, strange bliss rests against the soft parts of my brain. “That was really good”, the words escape a cracked smile on my face as I try to control my excitement and not look like I just stole a puppy.
Being the kind of analytical person I am, I occasionally evaluate the dates I’ve been on, if I like them, what they might be thinking, what I could have done better, if I should have kissed them or if my attempt at kissing them gave thick fuck boy vibes. Instead, I was preoccupied trying to pick up and analyze the penny that dropped in my mind.
Was what I experienced always the goal? The kind of connection two people should have before even considering a second meet. Had I been too open-minded about it all.
Surely not right! In my years of first dates, I have never felt such connection and attraction, at least not at the same time and definitely not had those feelings returned. If this was a prerequisite for all my dates, I’d die a single male spinster who weaves his own vaginas… and they’d be itchy.
As I lay in bed horizontal and pondering, I felt no need to load up any dating apps, no need to prepare a backup in case this lady fell through. Although I didn’t think that she was “the one” *cough*becausethatsbs*cough* I did feel so emotionally invested that the thought of talking to anyone else seemed almost pointless and nonsensical.
Time would tell how the remaining dates would transpire. Would I finally lay down my weapons of dating, or would I join my comrades in arms, swiping till the ends of time?
To be continued in How the perfect date ruined dating part 2