In my last blog post on internet dating I talked about setting up your profile. Let’s get onto the scary bit… getting a date!
Whatever you do don’t spend ages chatting… get on and meet. I spent nearly eight months chatting to ‘Alan from Balham’. His picture made him look dishy, he was SO witty and amusing that I would rush home to see what messages I had from him, we even exchanged endless texts. Eight months into this virtual love affair I was in London manning a stand at an exhibition and decided that as he was just down the road it was time to meet. I have two words ‘unmitigated’ and ‘disaster’. He didn’t look a bit like his picture, he admitted that he would go to a local coffee shop and think about his instant witty retorts for hours and even the spaniel he sent pictures of belonged to his parents. Unfortunately, as we all know, written communication allows us to read whatever emotion we want into our messages. I read ‘Man of my Dreams’ and got ‘Where is MY Alan from Balham???!!!’
Watch out for the weird dates. A lot of guys liked that I was sporty and one of my pictures was of me on a running machine at the gym. That picture was a huge mistake. I thought it would show I have energy and that I was, at the time, dead skinny. It just attracted fitness freaks. Three, yes three, guys wanted to go out for a run as a first date! As if I could make a good impression whilst semi naked, sweating and gasping for breath… I went on one date that was supposed to be a dog walk. Half way between us turned out to be forty miles from me but off I set. As I got nearer the skies got darker and darker. By the time the guy turned up in the car park we were in a thunderstorm with rain akin to something you find in the Amazon. Undeterred I got out of the car, expecting to be told that we could just head for the pub, but no he pulled out a second set of waterproofs from the back of his car and off we set…. My spaniel was happy… me… not quite so…
Have an escape plan. Tell a friend where you are going and get them to ring you after an hour. If it’s going well you can ignore them or get rid quickly. If you are hating every second you can tell him it is a emergency and head for the car. Life is too short to spend it interviewing a hopeless case for the role of future love of your life. Get home and back on the computer to see who else is out there.
I have some funny stories: The guy who sat outside the pub for an hour and a half in the rain while I was waiting for him inside (can’t believe he didn’t look in the door especially as he said he had seen my car in the car park), the man who shook hands and then asked me if I wanted kids ‘just so he knew where I stood on that issue’, and the one who met me in a restaurant and then told me he had eaten before he came out and he wouldn’t be paying for my food (I didn’t expect him to anyway!). There was also the time where my date looked so normal and just what I had hoped for that when he walked past the pub (I later found out, to get some cash from the cash point further down the street) I rushed into the street and shouted ‘Phil, Phil, it’s me , Penny, I’m here!’…
Have fun ladies, and remember to keep a sense of humour!