Welcome to 29 Dates, where we explore the weird, wild and sometimes wonderful world of dating - one date at a time.
I hadn’t had a date in a while. Which is why, after his eighth "When am I meeting you?" DM slide, I thought, Fuck it. After the boring dates I’ve had, I deserve this – especially if he’ll come all the way from Hackney in east London to west London where I live.
At the pub with friends, I was already a bit drunk when an enthusiastic "HERE" text popped up. I'd waited too long to cancel and my reckoning was waiting eagerly outside.
We went to one bar before returning to the pub my friends were in. We hid around a corner, although this guy seemed alright. An animator from South Korea, he had worked hard for years, got offered his dream job but decided to follow his heart and come to London 10 ye–
"Sorry, did you say 10 years ago?"
"But your dating profile says you’re 28, so that’s..."
There was barely a flicker of recognition as he said: "I didn’t think anyone would want a date if I said I was 38! Anyway, I came here and–"
I couldn’t believe the nonchalance with which he chopped off 10 years – a whole decade! – and moved on.
I saw my pals coming around the corner and headed for the bathroom to cut them off. "It’s, uh...going well. Go home. I’ll tell you later."
Feeling plucky and not wanting to waste the courage afforded by four negronis, we started kissing.
Feeling plucky and not wanting to waste the courage afforded by four negronis, we started kissing and I relaxed. I ploughed ahead with questions, asking him where he lives and who with, trying to wrestle the ever expanding age gap from my mind.
"I live with my ex-girlfriend, actually," he said.
"I guess that was a fleeting thing then?"
"No," he said. "We dated for five years but I wouldn’t live with anyone else now, we get on so well!" I ordered negroni number five.
He insisted on walking me home and kissed me at the door. I thought, Well, we’re here now, the least I could do is make him go down on me, which, to be fair, he did diligently for 20 minutes until a moment of clarity hit me like a glass of cold water to the face. "You should go," I said. "I’ve work to do tomorrow."
"On a Saturday?"
"Uh, yes. You know..." I shrugged. "Freelance life, eh?"
In our house he's known as the "lick and flick" now. Every cloud, I guess.