There is a first time for everything… Dating is a weird game. We all feel a bit awkward going on that first date with good reason. Are you making the right decision? What if you don’t get on? What if she doesn’t look anything like her photos? All questions I had going into my first ever date. Yes, I repeat FIRST. I want to tell you all a story… A story of anxiety, romance and deception. I don’t go on many dates at all. I’m someone who believes in love at first sight. I’ll see someone, she’ll see me and we’ll just give each other a sly nod acknowledging that we are both the perfect match for each other. And the rest writes itself. But I mean a lot of people date. There must be a reason for it. So let me have a little dabble, let me see why numerous people are willing to put themselves out there in a space of vulnerability in the small hopes of finding true love. So the story starts how most stories start. The internet. If you’ve read my previous post of Why I don’t have a girlfriend then you know all about my animosity towards dating apps. For you people that haven’t read it, I suggest you do as it is a good prologue to this story. You read it?… Sweet… let’s continue. So after getting cramp in my thumb from swiping left and right so much I finally found someone who didn’t ignore my message and could actually carry a conversation. Trust me that’s not easy to come by on most parts of the internet. So I thought you know what, this person deserves my time, I don’t know if you guys know this but I’m a pretty big deal now so need to use my time very wisely. But most importantly, she actually wanted to see me! This is a surreal feeling for me. So we arranged to meet and with this comes the first dilemma in dating. Where the hell do you go? Do you keep it chill and hang out at one of your houses? Or is it too soon for that and maybe she’ll only think you want one thing? Shall we go to a restaurant? What if she’s a vegan? I know… cinema. But that doesn’t really give you an opportunity to talk. Because I’m a fat pig we decided on a restaurant, and thankfully she wasn’t a vegan. Not that I have anything against vegans but… yeah. Now at this point I had a brief idea of what kind of food she’d be into. But even so, deciding where to go was more of a collaboration. None of this letting the guy decide. I’m not about to be held responsible for going somewhere dead. We “settled” on a nice Italian restaurant. You can’t really go wrong with Italian and garlic bread is the way to my heart so I could only assume it was the way to hers too. So a few days before the rendezvous I send messages about how excited I am and what not because I am romantic like that. All my cheesy lines land well and for once I am actually excited to leave my house and mingle with the outside world. But this is probably the peak of my experience. Get ready for a rollercoaster of ups and downs. So it’s the day of the date, I get there a bit early as I should because as my old man used to say “If you’re on time you’re late” which actually doesn’t make any sense but I just didn’t want her to be waiting for me. Which brings me to fail number 1. Now I know girls are going to post their best photos to social media. So it is very unlikely that they’re going to look exactly like their photos. I anticipated this so was expecting someone who looked slightly different to their photos. Which is completely fine, not a problem at all. But one thing I didn’t anticipate was that once I was in this mindset this then meant the possibilities of what this girl could look like broadened infinitely. I also didn’t clock that I really can’t put photos to faces. So you can kind of see where this is going. I get to the restaurant not expecting her to be there. But I see a girl who “could” be her. I literally had to get a photo and double check. I honestly couldn’t be sure. I could’ve phoned to ask where she was, I even could’ve texted. But do you know what my dumbass did. I just assumed it was her, went over with the stupidest grin on my face and said “Hi (insert girls name here)”. From the first word she said it was clear this wasn’t her and my smile quickly disappeared into nothing. How do I recover from this? A silver lining. The girl was also waiting for a date and we ended up small talking. It was actually good practice. Or so you would think. Kids here’s a lesson. Don’t be talking to another girl as your date arrives. trust me, doesn’t matter if it’s your sister, your maid or your nan. The girl won’t care. You only get one chance to make a first impression. And what’s even worse I said hi to my date then began to introduce her to this other girl who’s name I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW! I then turned into a babbling mess trying to explain the series of unfortunate events that got me into this mess. My date didn’t seem too mad. I try to play it off and she seemed cool. So I was like cool, no more craziness from here on in. So we walk in, I open the door for her because I’m a gentleman, thankfully she doesn’t call me a sexist. I then approach the waiter and say “Table for two for Byran”. He then says, “Ah yes for Bryan”. Common mistake and I am used to it, but this time it irked me. Like call me Bryan all you like in private but when man is trying to make a good impression you better come correct, PLUS I just told you my name is Byran. I then decided not to correct him as I evaluated the whole situation in my head and decided it wasn’t worth it. I also don’t think my date heard. We get shown to our table and take a seat. Thankfully there’s no ketchup on the table. The room is nice. It’s well lit so I get a proper look at her face. She was actually really pretty. But you know when you see someone and you know its them from the photos but something ain’t the same. I had that, but that’s in no way a bad thing, I just had a completely new perception. So the conversation begins to flow, good conversation actually. Her online personality translated well to real life which was a big relief. There were a couple of times you know when it goes silent then you both go to speak at the same time. It’s the one thing that causes me the most anxiety when talking to someone because it just makes things very awkward. But this time it was okay and I was very relaxed. We’re about a good half an hour into this date now and things are going well. We both ordered a pizza which came but… oh my gosh. She said possibly the worst words I could ever hear. Are you ready for this? She goes “Do you have ketchup?”. Now first of all if you know me, you know I despise ketchup. Like actually. It’s like a busktucker trial for me. So this already just bothered me. Secondly… WHO HAS KETCHUP ON PIZZA ANYWAY? Did i walk into some sort of parallel universe? Should I get some hydrogen with my water? From this point forward I knew the date was over. The bottle came and my eyes were just fixated on the red bottle of death. She poured some on. Literally POURED until the container was empty. I was like okay maybe I can see past this. I mean things have gone great up until now I can’t let a condiment ruin everything. She then said the second worst thing… “Do you have more ketchup?” From then I was like okay that’s a wrap, from here it’s just damage control. And I know what you’re thinking, I’m shallow for being like this over some ketchup. But that’s not the point, it was the application of the ketchup and the inevitable possibility of more ketchup in the future. Am I willing to put myself through that? Not on your nelly, not even for true love. You best believe if anything is going to come between me and someone else, it will be a bottle of the red stuff. After this ordeal I just couldn’t concentrate. She attempted to speak as she was eating. Ketchup was flying everywhere I had to dodge it like I was Neo from the Matrix. Then she had the audacity to say “I love ketchup” as she licked her knife clean. So what seemed like the longest meal of my life, finally came to an end. Well not before she grabbed a spoon and started scooping up the excess ketchup from her plate. The waiter took our plates and said “Dessert?”. To which I replied “hell no, can we just get the bill please?”. I then offered her a chewing gum which she declined but I was like “nah I insist”. I wasn’t about to inhale remnants of ketchup stench for the rest of the evening. I tried to keep things civil, like we still had a good conversation but you know when you’ve seen something that just scars you and it’s in the back of your head. Yeah, needless to say that I had that. All of a sudden this person I once found attractive was… I don’t want to say “revolting”… lets say unappealing. And we finally reach the climax of the ordeal. The bill came. Now we hadn’t spoken about who was going to pay and it wouldn’t surprise me if she was expecting me to pay. I know I said I’m a gentleman but that only applies when being a gentleman is free. When money is involved there needs to be a financial plan in place. Plus its Christmas and I’m broke. Having said this though If the date had gone well I would have no problem paying. What irks me is when people expect you to pay. So the waiter puts the bill on the table. I take it and I notice she ain’t moving. She ain’t reaching for her purse or anything. So I’m thinking, well damn she’s expecting me to pay. What she didn’t know is that I had a voucher for the reach which is why I suggested the place in the first place. So I confidently say “Don’t worry I got this”. If I didn’t have the voucher she would be paying believe me. I am not above paying my share and just dipping. But my deceptive generosity did me more harm than good. We leave and she asks “Let’s do this again some time”… I say “hm”. I quickly bolt to the train station and jump on the wrong train because I am completely flustered by the whole event. And I haven’t seen her since.
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