Welcome to 29 Dates, where we explore the weird, wild and sometimes wonderful world of dating — one date at a time.
I was 25 and living in London and had been single for about six months. He's American and we met on a dating app.
At first I was like, Oh that’s weird, he won’t be interested in me.
I wasn’t necessarily a fan of his but I have enjoyed a lot of films he’s been in. I told my friends straightaway and they thought I was insane; he's about 20 years older than me. But let’s put it this way: my group chats were going off!
He tried to fly me out to Europe for our first date but due to commitments I couldn’t go so he flew to London. We FaceTimed a lot first so I knew he was legit.
For our first date we went for dinner near his hotel. He’d paid to close off some of the restaurant, which was pretty flashy.
I definitely fancied him. It was quite an intense evening; we had instant chemistry. I did think about the age difference but he made me feel really good about myself and confident, too. He was so confident himself and I found him endearing.
We went for dinner near his hotel. He'd paid to close off some of the restaurant, which was pretty flashy.
We talked a lot about our common interests — politics and literature — and about ourselves and our backgrounds. He grew up in the public eye and his sense of reality is very different from mine. I grew up in a not-so-happy house with no structure or support and he had the complete opposite. He’s also dated some incredibly beautiful and famous women. There was little me, wondering why on earth he would want to date me.
What can I say? I liked him, he listened to what I had to say and remembered the small things: books, authors, songs I liked. He was considerate.
He told me some mind-boggling stories about very A-list stars behaving badly — affairs, drugs and one story about a star who nearly got fired halfway through a movie for crashing a car into the set, getting out, doing a line of coke on the bonnet and telling everyone to go fuck themselves. He didn’t get fired though, and the movie did really well!
He ended up staying in London for a couple of months and I saw him regularly at his hotel and for dinners around the area. He’s private so he only met one of my friends and I definitely didn’t tell him about my group chats! I met a couple of his friends, all very arty, charismatic people.
I don’t regret it at all. He taught me things I didn’t know about myself; I didn't have much self-confidence or self-worth after previous relationships and he made sure that I knew he thought I was great every day. I also learned that intelligence and the ability to carry a conversation is important — but being able to leave a situation if it’s not for you is even more so. You have to learn to say no.