So a little dating update for you. I had a date. There you go.
OK, I’ll divulge a few details, just for you. There’s this guy, obviously, and I’ve seen him about as a ‘regular’ shall we say – just like me I suppose – on this particular dating site for years. And I mean YEARS. I often have long dating breaks but whenever I come back online you can bet that at some point, I’ll get a message from this guy, nothing too creepy, just a ‘Hello stranger, how’s tricks?’ type comment, and then he’ll ask me out, and then I’ll say no. Again.
Why have I always said no? I’m not 100% sure. He has a really nice face but there’s just a nagging doubt about him. I’ll get back to that point later.
Anyway, for some reason, when he asked me out again over the Christmas period, I actually said yes. I think I surprised myself more than him – must have been the Eggnog.
He doesn’t live too far away from me (but far enough not to be able to just ‘pop round’), drives, works, lives with his brother (not ideal), and on paper seems pretty normal.
We decided to meet for a coffee, which I think is always a good bet for a first date. Totally less pressure, plus I get to drink coffee and eat cake. Win/win. We met at Costa but I couldn’t bear to go back to that Costa after being man-handled on the sofa by the 6ft 7” policeman, so we went to another one nearby. I got there first and waited outside, freezing my proverbials off, and then I saw him. Or rather, I saw his denim combat jean/trousers first.
He was SO tall! I’d say 6ft 4”, which made a nice change after my last date lying about his height and being a short arse. As he made his way towards me I thought yep, yep, all good, nice face, nice smile – all good.
We kissed on the cheek and it felt like we’d known each other for years which, in some weird, internety way, we had. Conversation flowed easily – he was charming, witty, smart and funny. Not afraid to drop the occasional F-bomb, but not drop too many. We talked about the dating site, MOTs (no idea how we got onto that subject), our respective jobs, why we hadn’t met before, how he went to a private school and picked up an affected accent, my last interview – all good first date stuff.
He was very complimentary about me, not overly so, just the right amount of appreciative comments. After all, the man’s only human. I jest of course because what I’ve found, after having a year-long dating break, is that I seem to be in an awful … funk. Yes, funk – that’s a good word for it. It’s so easy to get into the habit of staying in your PJs as a freelancer, not bothering with make-up, not even getting out of the house some days, and I think what’s happened is that I’ve become a bit of a hermit. So when someone deigns to say something nice about me I don’t know how to respond. I think I just smiled and changed the subject. I wondered whether it was protocol to return the favour and say something complimentary back but couldn’t quite find the words.
I’m just out of practice and need to start putting myself out there again. In the most ladylike of ways of course, but when I think back to how I used to be, even as recent as 3 years ago, I seem to have just lost my mojo when it comes to men.
It’s something I talk about with my best friend (who’s also single) and we’ve come to the conclusion that it’s only natural when you get messed around by guys online – you don’t know your bleep from your bleep. It’s gotta take its toll.
For those amongst you who are lucky enough to be in a happy relationship, you might find what I’m saying hard to understand, but when you’re single and dating online, it can actually really knock your confidence – even someone as confident as me. I’m not sure quite how to find that confidence again but I know that hiding away is not the answer.
Today was as good a day as any to get back on the dating horse and I’m glad I did. Baby steps. He wants to see me again and I’d be happy to but … and here’s what I alluded to earlier, I have this strange feeling he’s married. He hasn’t really given me any reason to believe he is, as in, I asked him straight out and he said no, but my spider senses are tingling.
Watch this space. I will, of course, keep you updated on whether I manage to sabotage the whole thing before it even gets started. Which is highly likely.