I’ve recently rejoined a dating website. It was a website that introduced me to The Fez, as well as a couple of other fairly serious girlfriends. It’s one of those sites where it is free to look but if you want to actually talk to people you have to pay.
The plan was to browse a bit over Christmas and maybe ask some people out in the New Year. I have a wager to win after all.
This website lets you add people to your favourites, and they are alerted when you do so. It’s the Internet equivalent of catching someones eyes in a bar. Or that is how I think of it.
Shortly after re-joining this very pretty girl added me to her favourites.
She sounded really interesting, looked pleasingly kooky in her photographs and was also quite tall. I’m under-playing this a bit really, she was so interesting that within about a minute of finding out she had added me to her favourites I was upgrading to a full account so I could message her.
Messages were exchanged, and a meeting was suggested and I spent rather too much of the weekend looking forward to our date.
I was a little bit late because I had to change my outfit three times to find something that worked, and even then I left the house in something that wasn’t warm enough but looked good.
The plan was to meet for a hot chocolate, the best hot chocolate in London and then see how things went from there. I arrived 15 minutes late because of the outfit issues and she was waiting outside.
The hot chocolate place didn’t really have anywhere to sit so I suggested we amble over to the Tate and so we walked and talked.
She was half Swedish and half Indian, tall with long dark hair and dark brown eyes combined with a slightly cheeky smile.
Her accent was mostly Californian but every now and there would be a hint of a Swedish. It was utterly beguiling, the way a woman talks is almost one of the most important things to me and she had the charm in bucket loads.
She was also extremely smart and writes for a well-known science magazine about really grown up things. It would be an understatement to say I was impressed by her.
A massive understatement.
The walk to the Tate was lovely, frosty and revealing. We swapped housemate stories, talked about California and the quirks of Londoners. When we arrived at the gallery I noticed that the Gauguin exhibit was still going. I’d wanted to see it months ago when The Teacher stood me up so I suggested it, she agreed.
I bought us tickets and we went through the exhibit. We alternated between making insightful commentary on art and silly quips. It was a very giggly visit to the gallery. We both picked out our favourite pictures and decided that Gauguin was probably a bit of a nightmare to know.
After the exhibition we got some drinks and chatted for a while with views of the Thames. We talked about jobs, hopes and plans for the future it was quite grown up. I mentioned I had a party I was going to go to in the evening and said she would be welcome to join me. She said yes and so we went off in search of food.
After a short and very chilly walk we ended up in Ping Pong eating dim-sum and talking about the dating book The Game, a mutual love of hot food, relationships and family backgrounds. I revealed quite a lot for a first date which is unusual for me. We split the bill, hopped onto the tube and then ambled down Regent’s Street to go to the party in a private members club.
Max Factor were launching their new face of one of their ranges of make-up. The face came out, gave a short gig and then disappeared. We watched, drank free wine and played with the fake diamonds that were scattered all over the bar.
At about 8 she said she had to go (she had mentioned earlier in the date she was supposed to be exchanging Christmas presents with flatmates) and so we left the party before the goodie bags had even been made up. We saw what was in them, and since neither of us had a burning desire for blue eyeliner we left into the night.
We said goodbye at the Tube and she said she would text me. I don’t have her number so I must wait now to see if she will. Waiting is painful. I won’t give her a name unless she text messages me.
I’d love to see her again, she is probably my favourite so far.
Marriage percentage: 35%
Gauguin was a very messed up puppy but he did do some nice paintings.
Giggly dates at the Tate are always a win.
Unless a girl grabs my leg, or sexually assaults me I have no idea if she is interested or not.
Waiting for someone to text is painful.
As you may have gathered from Toast’s account of the housewarming party, I was saved the catastrophic awkwardness of having both Noir and Elizabeth turn up to the same party as neither of them came. Toast had lunch with his and Elizabeth’s mutual friend (the birthday girl from Hallowe’en) a few days prior and Elzabeth had apparently discussed that I had ‘not mentioned’ the party to her.
Oh the shame.
At least (as was pointed out by @markaconell) I was saved the ‘Frasier‘esque farce of trying to keep them separated in the kitchen and living room on some flimsy pretext, desperately dashing between the two to make polite conversation and avert the impending disaster.
For the record, I was attempting to NOT snog Toast’s friend at the party. Her sister is ‘The Artist‘ who I met in the pub and who made Toast and I pose for photos. I would actually rather like to kiss her and I have discovered that it is bad form to kiss two sisters. It can make them quite cross.
The Date with Elizabeth
With the party out of the way I was free to get on with my date with Elizabeth. She had been texting me fairly regularly and was really rather keen; a little too keen to be honest and it worried me slightly.
However I had been reciprocating the messages and we did seem to have a lot in common so was holding out a lot of hope. If the date went well then it would be a very promising relationship situation, although would do nothing to resolve my dilemma.
Rather than just go to a random pub I had arranged for us to go on a walking tour. For those who’ve not been on one before, you (and anyone else who is going) meet a guide at a prearranged tube stop and then they take on a walk, explaining things as they go. They are great for dates because you have time to listen to interesting things and then some time to chat as you walk between each location.
This particular tour finished in newly the entrance shaft to the Brunels’ Thames Tunnel which was open to the public for the first time in 145 years (I highly recommend it if you get the chance).
Elizabeth had arrived at the rendezvous a few moments before me. Again, I didn’t recognise her for the first couple of seconds but gave her a grin and a hug the moment I did. She had no idea what I had planned so we chatted in the entrance to the station whilst I maintained the air of mystery.
What became painfully obvious to me within the first 10 minutes is that I just didn’t fancy her. We clicked on a number of levels but every time she noticed something else that we both had in common her eyes widened and she gave a little sigh. I was, therefore, trying to downplay everything because I could see her getting very hurt if she carried on down this route.
The walking tour was aces. However, I had neglected in any way to dress in a manner appropriate for almost freezing temperatures and the cutting wind chill of the Thames breeze. This was because I thought that the tour was mostly in a tunnel. It was not. The tour was mostly outside. 80 minutes of ‘outside’ in fact. My T-shirt, summer coat and insubstantial scarf was just not cutting it and Elizabeth was losing feelings in extremities too so she spent most of the time clinging on to my arm, occasionally giving it affectionate caresses.
After the tour we stopped at the museum for cake and then the log-fire heated ancient pub for a couple of beers. I could see she was getting more and more in to me and I was strategically positioning myself out of opportune snogging range.
I’ve posted a lot before about chemistry and how resistant to rationality and deduction it is. We had a lot to talk about and plenty in common but I just didn’t feel the chemistry and didn’t fancy her.
On the walk to the station and waiting for our respective trains I was acutely aware that this is the time that you would kiss a girl if you were going to on a date. We had already done a lot of kissing at Hallowe’en so I believe there was a degree of expectation on her part.
I dealt with this the same way I do with most challenges in my life. I just kept talking. Lots. She even deliberately didn’t catch her first train that departed a couple of minutes after we got there. When mine arrived a minute or so later I thanked her for joining me and gave her a hug and a kiss on the cheek.
This was the ‘highly conspicuous kiss on the cheek that we both know is not on the mouth’ kiss. As I leaned back she looked up and pulled me in for a kiss on the lips. I gave her a closed mouth peck on the lips and bounded away for my train.
Although it was a little painful because I can tell she is going to have hurt feelings, it’s much more awkward than usual because of the mutual friend. I have to play it much more delicately than with a random girl off teh internets because I don’t want to reflect badly on Toast, come off badly myself, make her friend cross or hurt Elizabeth’s feelings. It is not unlikely that we will run into each other socially in the future.
Marriage percentage: 8%. Despite the common ground, the chemistry just wasn’t there.
- When it is winter, wear warm clothes. Especially if you have arranged a walking tour OUTSIDE.
- Isambard Kingdom Brunel is pretty aces and I need to learn more about him, or at least hope someone makes a film so I don’t have to read too much.
- Snogging on the euphoria of a night out does not guarantee any chemistry in the real world.