Dating Diaries #1 – Cigarettes, Shots and Scotland

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A single, somewhat-carefree twenty-something, living in Bristol and trying desperately to get her shit together. My finances are awful, my job is unexciting and my love life remains non-existent. I’ve made a vow to date more, and then document the results no-holds-barred. Let the games begin…

We met on Bumble. He impressed me with surprisingly good conversation for the most part – we had a lot in common and he matched me in both cute banter and political discourse. After a few days, he asks me out (my witty repartee and the various photos of me in assorted low cut tops strike again). Inexplicably, we eventually agree to a date on a Monday evening (??!) after we’ve both finished work. He picks the time, I pick the location. Fan-bloody-tastic.

I felt pretty confident about this date when I was arranging it but come Monday I’m panicking. Shit. I haven’t been on a date in ages. I spend the morning at work thinking about what I should wear, and attempting to control my hair and makeup after cycling in during a torrential downpour. Show me a woman who eagerly anticipates the first date, and I’ll show you a liar. Too late to back out now though (and I made a promise to myself, god damn it!), so I have to at least TRY and get into a more positive mental attitude about it. I grab my bag the minute the clock strikes 5.30, rushing home in order to give myself extra time to get ready. I already have a carefully curated outfit (red top, black jeans, heeled boots, a bit of cleavage) but I’m stressing about what to do with my hair and how understated or bold to go with my make up. Eventually, I settle on low key makeup, so I don’t look like I’ve made TOO much effort, and a half up, half down do for my hair.

We arranged to meet at a pub which is conveniently located a five-minute walk from me (it’s only later that I find out he had to get a train to get there, which is actually unbelievably sweet).  When I stroll in he’s there waiting, with a glass of wine ready for me (another tick). He looks a little different to his pictures, but not enough that I don’t recognise him. What shocks me is his accent, he’s Scottish! Why didn’t he warn me? He’s sweet though, greeting me with a hug and a kiss on the cheek, and although he looks calm on the surface I can see his leg nervously bouncing under the table. He’s cute, with messy brown hair and a cheeky little smile – not exactly my usual type but definitely someone I could see myself fancying (especially after a few drinks). I actually had a glass of wine at home while I was getting ready, so this glass is my second. I drink it too quickly, feeling the nerves ebb away with each sip and as we grow more comfortable with each other. I know you’re meant to slow your drinking on dates but alcohol is my best friend when I don’t feel entirely comfortable – we all have our vices right?!

A couple of wines later and I’m anyone’s (literally). I can tell he’s a bit nervous, but luckily I tend to get more boisterous the more uncomfortable I feel – so my snarky nature and playful jabs eventually bring him out of his shell a little. It’s his first date in a long time too, for him it’s due to the break up of a serious relationship, but this makes me feel better. The conversation ranges from work to home life to eagerly explaining documentaries we’ve watched. He tells me about being from Scotland, I tell him about being from Cornwall. Being the fun-lovin-gal that I am, I suggest shots and he takes me up on it at lightning speed (is that a good sign?). Sober me is shaking my head at the me who just drank the equivalent of a bottle of wine to herself and is now getting shots, but drunk me thought it was a great idea! What’s more bonding than shots? Exactly.

After a round of jaeger bombs, however, it becomes apparent that this date has literally descended into one of those messy late nights, and we both drop all airs and graces. He sidles up to a nearby table to bum a cigarette off them, which we both share outside, and afterwards, I recklessly grab him for a snog.(At this point in hindsight I think about what the bar staff must have thought of us – probably absolutely creased watching an initially awkward first date get steadily drunker to the point of blatant PDA.)

It hits 11 and the bar is about to close, so we grab our coats and make to leave. He sweetly insists on walking me home and we meander into the night, his arm around my shoulders in a very comforting way. The guy is adorable, there are no two ways about it. When we arrive at mine I invite him in to share another cigarette (in the garden), and a bit more snogging happens. Nothing too pushy, he doesn’t try to feel me up or ask to spend the night. I really like that. He gingerly asks me out again – score! – and then leaves to get his uber.

I get ready for bed and return to my phone to find this text: “Well, that was great. You’re beautiful, very cool to chat to and good fun. I’d like to meet again xxx”

I guess I’ve got another date in the pipeline.