Nearly a year ago now, I signed up with Dating Agency no 2. Dating Agency no 1 had only yielded comic (or tragic) stories which were the inspiration for this blog. This new agency was run by an escapee matchmaker from Dating Agency no 1, and she promised a minimum of 6 dates (rather than maximum) and empathised that my experience of wildly mismatched dates with No 1 was a common one. She seemed to have a couple of people already in mind that would suit, and less than three days after signing up I was booked into a singles cooking class, and matched with my first date. The beginnings seemed auspicious. As well as being a client, Mr X was a personal friend of the agent’s husband. He was smart, funny, quirky, tall, wanted a family, interested by what he had heard of my weird life.. all promising.
So we met at a swish bar at the classy end of South Bank on the river, and had a lovely couple of hours having a drink or two. He suggested staying on for dinner, I hesitated. It had been a great first date, but I had nearly reached my limit of being on my best sparkly behaviour (while trying hard not spilling anything on myself). But what was I thinking? Here was this kind, fun man offering to take me out for a beautiful meal, and I wanted to go home? Geez.
So I stayed. The conversation showed no signs of flagging, and dinner was fantastic. Now we were at the four hour mark. Mr X, being the gentleman that he is, wanted to savour the moment. Perhaps we could go for a romantic stroll along the river? Or at least he could drop me home? My insomnia of the last few months caught up with me, I was done. I was happy to see him again, and assured him that I’d had a lovely time, but I needed to go home.
The next day, I received a call from the agency. Mr X was worried that I wasn’t interested, and was concerned that I had gone home so early. After four hours? Isn’t that a marathon innings for a first date? What’s a girl to do?
The air was cleared, and Mr X was reassured that yes, I was interested, and would meet for date no 2. His suggestion was to pick me up at 4pm, hang out at my place, then take me to a wonderful Japanese restaurant..and so on, with a full plan through til 11pm. It was too much. It’s one thing if a date is so wonderful that it turns out to be 7 hours, but to have a seven hour plan for date no 2? I couldn’t cope. For all of his loveliness, I was about to bail and wait for someone who was lower maintenance. The dating agency convinced me to compromise, to let him pick me up at 5:30pm (still early for dinner!), that he was just keen and being a gentleman. Still…isn’t there something to be said for gradually getting to know someone, and gradually spending more time as you become closer?
How long should a first date or two be? How long is a piece of string?