Stats: 26, 6'2", brown/brown, Devon
Where: Clapham Junction, London, SW11
When: Summer 2011
Pre-date rating: 8/10
There is no ego boost greater than being contacted by someone very good-looking. I know that beauty is both only skin deep and in the eye of the beholder, and you can call me a shallow old sucker, but you can't beat a winning smile and a pair of bright, sparkling eyes.
He first contacts me after he sees I've looked at his profile. I had only looked in awe, not daring to click 'Like', but he gets in touch and tells me the usual openers about liking my profile, and we chat for a few days. He's astoundingly hot and intelligent, the kind of guy that would have overbearing mothers salivating and speeding off to M&S to choose their two-piece for your wedding, which would take place in summer in a country house. Before we can ever get that far, however, we have to arrange a date and I am not keen to ask him out, so fearful am I of the inevitable rejection. Congratulations, I think, you're a 15-year-old burbling schoolgirl. This can only end badly.
He asks for my number and sends me a few text messages, effectively asking me for a drink. Despite his age, he appears remarkably grown-up. He can't meet me on Saturday because he is hosting an afternoon tea for his friends, he says, but he does want to meet me sooner rather than later. Ooooh. And so we plump for Sunday.
It's a hot day, and I am thrown into a wild panic. I don't cope well in the heat, and have no idea what to wear. He's chosen the venue - a cocktail bar I've never heard of - and the thought of arriving there 'fresh' off the bus all sweaty and flustered makes me cringe. I burrow through the piles of clothes scattered around my bedroom, finally selecting a T-shirt and chinos. I'm running late, so throw on my shoes and wince at my crimson face in the bathroom mirror. I mustn't keep him waiting.
Just as I am beginning to wonder if I should invent some dramatic explanation for my tardiness, my phone rings. It is him.
"Hello." His voice is like chocolate in my ear. Well, not chocolate, as I don't really like chocolate that much. And I certainly wouldn't want it poured in my ear. Think of something really nice in your ear - it's like that. I digress.
He's ringing me to tell me he's going to be late. God is smiling upon me for once. He has lost his wallet but still wants to come on the date; he just needs to sort himself out and borrow some money from his flatmate. Obviously, in my flustered state, I take his dedication to getting to the date as a sign that he is already in love with me and that I should start thinking about what colour curtains I want in our bedroom.
The bus arrives and I sit anxiously checking my reflection in the mirror. I look so RED. Why is it so hot all the time? Oh yes, it's summer. Despite it being a Sunday and sweltering, the whole universe has decided to take its Mondeo for a spin and so I am stuck in traffic, snarling at the thought of being doubly late.
I arrive and scurry into the bar. There is a group of people dressed up in neon hotpants and joke afro wigs sitting outside the bar, so I decide he can't possibly be here yet. I text him to let him know I'm here. He quickly replies that he's also here. There's nobody in the bar. I glance outside. Just the neon afro weirdos. I'm in the wrong place. Panic. Or, he's one of them. Extra panic. But, no, it seems there is an outdoor bit I've missed, because all of a sudden, a tall, handsome man appears from absolutely nowhere, peering at me in the semi-darkness. He says my name, I say his. He makes apologies for being late and I dismiss them, before we head to the bar. It's 2 for 1 cocktails, a special offer which has often been the catalyst for some of the biggest blackouts I've ever had. We kick off with a vodka martini and head outside to a secluded table. Well, secluded to say it's on the high street.
The conversation is easy. He's bright, enthusiastic and, more importantly, really beautiful. He has the kind of good looks you can only have in your twenties, before time and circumstance take their toll. He's tall and lithe, wearing a polo shirt and shorts and a pair of plimsolls. I can't stop staring at the open neck of his polo shirt and the 'delights' which must lay within. I start to feel like a dirty old man after a while, and so concentrate on his eyes after that, but my eyes keep flicking over his body at regular intervals. I can't help myself; I feel like I'm looking at a huge Christmas lunch that's sitting behind glass. He tells me about his family, his university life (still fresh in his head, you see), his friends and, well, just about everything. As we neck further cocktails, I feel more at ease with him than I have with any date in the last six months, I would say.
As the Dark & Stormy starts to take effect, I can just about imagine how things could be: running in the park; up early to do something spontaneous; making dinner with friends; holidays in the sun and snow. And as all this runs though my mind, and the ideas excite me, I realise that there's one thing missing. As beautiful as he is, I just can't imagine the sex, or indeed that there would be any. He's too hot for me. I wouldn't feel sexy next to him; I'd be self-conscious and awkward. I picture being introduced to his friends. Like him, they'd all be young and good-looking. They would all be puzzled, I can see, at what we were doing together. As would everybody else. As would I. He's 26, gorgeous, successful and popular. I can't compete with that, and I don't think I'd want to.
We wrap things up, my eyes now firmly locked onto those big brown eyes. He says he'd like to do it again and I agree. And I mean it. I would, if only to see that face up close and personal again. I leave the date half-excited, half-apprehensive. This guy is the very definition of a catch and has absolutely everything - but I don't think I want it all. I'm not that greedy.
Post-date rating: 9/10
Date in one sentence: One of the most handsome, perfect men I've ever met takes me out on a date and I manage to find something wrong with him.