So this was a pretty casually set up date (my favourite kind), I hadn’t been chatting to William for that long, but he suggested to meet as we seemed to have a lot to say. I think that was being a bit generous; we hadn’t had particularly riveting chat, but we hadn’t been messaging for that long – we’d talked about the usual things, he could string a sentence together, key criteria met. We’d agreed to meet on a particular evening but he then hadn’t messaged back for several days, so I actually messaged him again (it was his turn to message him) the day before to suggest a place but that if he wanted to re-arrange etc then that would be fine, but he responded apologising for the delay explaining it had been busy at work and agreeing to my suggested location.
Google maps worked out well again – I had just googled somewhere in between where we both lived (another sober date). But it was a lovely and surprisingly busy place for a Thursday evening. I feel like I should google map places more often for dinner with friends and family! I hadn’t had any dinner as we were meeting at 7pm so I hoped that this evening might at least provide some starters.
I got there on time, got a drink, from a very friendly barman who set me up a tab, and sat down at a table. No sign of William. It got to 7:05 and I thought maybe he wouldn’t show – it’s never happened to me before, but these things and I’d found a nice pub. Anyway, 7:06 and he messaged to say that he had just turned up. He’d come straight from work and was wearing a suit, which meant he looked good but it gave him a slightly formal edge.
He got a drink and we started chatting, we talked quite a lot about work – it was one of those conversations where he talked for a little while about what he did and then I did the same etc, there was some back and forth and when a couple of jokes – when he smiled his whole face lit up, but he also seemed to quite enjoy telling long stories. He told quite a long story about a weekend away he’d organised, where he’d made enquiries to two accommodation places and both assumed he’d booked them; it wasn’t as funny as it was long. However, that was the low point and otherwise we spent a nice evening just chatting about life.
Before we met he’d asked me what I was looking for and he had been very open about the fact that he was looking for something serious and I agreed but said that I wasn’t putting any pressure on myself to find something serious in a particular timeframe etc (which he agreed was sensible). Whilst this is a normal conversation to ask, it did mean that I got the feeling (potentially wrongly?) that every answer I gave to a question or information I provided he was sizing me up for a potential long-term investment. To be fair, he was in a job he enjoyed just about to get a promotion, he’d bought a family house and was looking for that next stage in life.
Again, we didn’t get round to talking about relationship histories (I’ve accepted that it’s just me that wants that conversation to happen – I would think that it’s because I want to get the whole ‘I’ve been married before’ off my chest, but I’ve always wanted to talk about previous relationships – I think it says so much about someone; whether they have the propensity to hold down a relationship, and you can tell a lot about someone from the people they’ve chosen to be with or why it’s ended – though I guess that’s quite a deep conversation for a first date. Although I did mention that I had previously had a dog, which I no longer had, as a result of a relationship breakdown – I gave a little more context (about the dog, not the relationship) and although it sounds a little weird, it felt good to explain a little about my background.
Anyway, it did get deep – we kept getting drinks (he had two pints, but then luckily swapped to coke, considering the lack of food) and talking about the kinds of things we’d do at the weekend, when he mentioned that he’d spent quite a few weekends back at home recently. I waited for him to elaborate and it turned out that his mum had been very ill at the beginning of the year and was still recovering. He was very open about it, the situation was obviously awful and he was dealing with it as best he could. Obviously all you can do is really agree that it’s horrific, which I did. However, the worst bit (from a date perspective, obviously the mother’s illness was much worse), was that after he told me all about his mum there was a short lull in the conversation and then he said “so I guess I better get off then”, and so that was it! I drained my drink, we hugged and I went off to settle my tab (I guess he’d been paying for drinks as he went along). It was a very abrupt ending and I don’t know whether it was because it was getting late (half nine, but it was a school night and I’m sure we were both starving – I was), he was just not in the mood after talking about his mum, or he just thinks it’s normal to end things abruptly…
Anyway, I had a good time, he messaged me the next day to say he’d had a good evening, I replied but nothing more for now, so I guess we’ll wait and see…
Tips for dating:
- Eat before you go out (I am very bad at this one)
- If you’re going to tell a very personal story, maybe wait a few minutes before leaving?
- Think of something vaguely useful to say when someone has some horrendous trauma happening in their life – I’m not sure “that’s tough” really cuts it.