Mr First Date was my first.
Not that first, but the first of my quest to find a great man (or just a man would do) via selected outlets available for online dating.
We met on Match, on my first day as a member, and he was good looking and ten years older than me (I like men to be older than me). Within hours we were messaging back and forth, and I was happy to find that we shared the same sarcastic humour, as well as both having children and both being professional types. The banter continued over the week, as he made the effort to send me good morning texts (always get brownie points for that) and call me in the evenings. I dared myself to think that I might have found someone interesting on my very first attempt.
Our date happened mid way between our hometowns, which was only a ten minute train ride for me. We were going to a nice country pub with a classy feel. I spent ages agonising (torturing) myself with outfit choices that night because I really wanted to impress this one. I decided on skinny jeans, nude heels and a grey silk top with a bit of sparkle around the neckline for a feminine touch. Finished with a black blazer and newly purchased, happily coordinated handbag, I felt ready to go.
I arrived at the train station and he was no-where to be seen. Five minutes later I got a text saying he was running late and would be there in ten minutes. Not the best start.
Fifteen minutes later I was freezing cold, my teeth were chattering and my just-stepped-off-the-train confidence had been replaced by annoyance. He pulled up and apologised, I got in his car and I asked (told) him to turn the heating on before I came down with frostbite, thanks to him. He overslept, he said. Nice to know how bothered he was.
When we arrived we swapped our pre-arranged joke gifts. Let me tell you, this was the best ice breaker ever, so if you need one, do this! I had given him a framed picture with Frank and Pat Butcher posing. (Our joke via text was that I could arrive, and actually look like Pat. I don't). I told him it was a memento of our first date, his laughter gave me great satisfaction. He gave me the most hideously awful looking/sounding zombie film. The type that's so bad you have to laugh (I did). He had actually listened when I told him the type of films I liked - more brownie points were mentally awarded, but hadn't yet made up for his lateness.
The date lasted from 8:30-11pm and we talked non-stop. We laughed a lot, we flirted, we drank at least five drinks each and covered weird and wonderful topics in-between. He was as good looking as his photo's, but I quickly discovered that his profile-listed height of 5'7 was a bit on the generous side, and therefore in my heels I was taller than him. Hugely disappointing. He was also a charmer with an Essex accent, which usually would be a turn off, but actually was massively endearing with his personality. And probably thanks to the five G&T's.
By the end of the evening, we were the last ones in the pub, still chatting and laughing, and flirting more than ever. He was tactile, touching my arm throughout the date and when he took hold of my hand, I admit I got butterflies. We sat there alcohol induced, smiling (with hindsight, like goons) at one another until our cab arrived. As we drove to the train station, he took my hand again. (I gather this is how men 10 years older do things). When we arrived at the station, he kissed me twice which totally took me by surprise, and I imagine I looked like a puffer fish, and in my shock I forgot to move any part of my face in response. Not my finest moment. I got out of the cab, and off he drove. I stood there a little shell shocked.
Left on my own at a random train station with a bunch of scary looking, hoody wearing men, as my 'charming' date drove off. I was very unimpressed. And freezing once again. When I got home, I text him to let him know I'd arrived safely. His reply was "that's a bonus. x" Appreciating what I assumed (hoped) was his sarcasm, I went to bed thinking that even if he wasn't the most gentlemanly (that can be re-taught) he was great company, easy on the eye and I'm sure that i could buy him some shoes with a hidden platform.
Unfortunately over the next few days he all but disappeared. Our heavy texting slowed down, and I actually wondered if he was dead at one point. I had to fight the temptation to contact him constantly and tried my hardest to play it cool. Which is not my strongest point.
By the third day I had lost my patience and when he contacted me, I asked him outright (with softened edges) where I stood. He replied several hours later flattering my ego, but saying he hadn't felt a spark and asking if we could be friends. My first reaction was indignation, I don't really think it's appropriate to go around kissing people if there's no spark. But hey, maybe I'm old fashioned. Either that, or the puffer fish kiss had been weird for him too.
Friends? Yes, I said. Gutted, I felt. But hey-ho, I liked the guy, we got on well, so why not?
Then I saw on Facebook a message from the night after our date, from a woman thanking him for the previous night (especially the "after party") and saying she hoped to see him soon.
We haven't spoken since.
Date Rate: 6/10