Welcome to 29 Dates, where we explore the weird, wild and sometimes wonderful world of dating — one date at a time.
After my marriage fizzled out, I spent the next 18 months adjusting to the new situation and co-parenting our young children with my ex. It was all fairly amicable and there were no third parties involved — until, the second summer after we separated, my ex took the children away for a few days and I found myself home alone. Something inside me was waking up. Clamoring for attention.
I went online.
Not to conventional boy-meets-girl dating sites — the idea of another relationship felt horrifying — but to sites where you could meet people to explore your sexuality.
I was entirely naïve yet entirely driven; I was also totally open and upfront about what I wanted.
Very soon I was exchanging the most erotic messages of my life with a total stranger.
Very soon I was exchanging the most erotic messages of my life with a total stranger. It felt insanely exciting.
For my first date with M, who lived a few hours away in another county, I told nobody where I was going, apart from one friend, who had M’s details and was primed to call the police if she hadn’t heard from me on arrival.
I was shaking as I knocked on the door of a small, ordinary house in a dead-end suburb. I was breaking every safety-first dating rule in the book.
M opened the door and all I could think was, Wow, you are so hot. Muscular, serious, dark eyes. He led me into his front room and I sat awkwardly on an ugly sofa, like it was some kind of surreal job interview.
I kept thinking, This is the man whose emails for the past few days have caused me to melt, this stranger from the internet.
He had done this before.
He was reassuring and genuine, and put me at my ease. Then he leaned in and kissed me, and it was the best kiss. The rest of the world fell away. Although this had been planned as a one-off experience, what actually happened was that despite having absolutely nothing in common socially or culturally — zero, zilch, nada — our mutual attraction was so strong that I ended up seeing him every weekend for two years.
For those two years, we were addicted to each other. It was bliss while it lasted.