Here's the deal. I've been single since time immemorial. So, in an attempt to remedy my eternal singledom, and to get over my nauseatingly pathological fear of dates, I've decided to challenge myself. The challenge? To go on one first date a week for a year! So in 52 weeks time, I will have either found my Mr Right, or I'll stay forever Miss Write. This is what happens...

The Rules

Here are the rules to the 52 First Dates challenge...

1. A first date must be had once a week, EVERY week, for a year, that's 52 dates in 52 weeks.

2. Taking someone home after a drunken night on the cider does NOT count.

3. Second and third dates are allowed, I must continue first dates unless there are exceptional mitigating circumstances. For example, God forbid, the start of a relationship.

4. Each date must be blogged.

13 February 2012

Date #36 - as told by Mr #36 himself

In case you’ve not read my write up of Mr #36, I think perhaps you should get up to speed first right here. As Mr #36 and I walked to the pub before the date we chatted about 52 First Dates,  and I offered him the chance to write his review of how the date went.

 This is what he said...


 ‘I want to start by saying that "You should see my pigeon fanciers film" is a tried and tested line, it's melted the heart of many a date in the past.  Granted the anecdote about swinging a toddler into a tree was a bit of a Hell Mary and the awkward silence that followed has led me to reject it from my future repertoire.

With that out of the way I should go onto the meat of the evening which on the whole was good.  CTS is fun, smart and noticeably weary 36 dates into her experiment although that could have been a reaction to my hulking appearance. The night began awkwardly, in part due to the speed in which it came about but also because I was distinctly aware that my terrible banter would be scrutinised and in a very public way.  Despite that I was determined to act no differently to how I would on a genuine date, despite the numerous slaps, glassed over expressions and restraining orders it's provoked in the past.  You know that on first dates first impressions count and this is where I think I fell down. I wasn't expecting to meet anyone that evening so was dressed as a dishevelled hipster farmer, an olive green burlap sack of potatoes tottering on a pair of burgundy chinos and black brogues.

 After my awkward introduction we headed to the pub and the evening was pleasant, right up until the text. Lots of topics were covered a good few laughs shared and I felt it was going ok.  When I read the message I couldn't help but feel a little disappointed, (not that she didn't fancy me, I'm an acquired taste, think Sloth from the goonies with a touch of Vince Vaughn), but because she couldn't wait until after the night had ended to crystallise her opinion of me and tell my mate.  Like CTS said I was expecting to be critiqued but not at that very moment.  It was a genuine mistake and one I can't be too sore about because it was at least a compliment (in part). What she did fail to include in her account of her reaction was what she said when I showed her the message, which I think was the most telling part of the entire evening. Having shown her the embarrassing error she responded by saying, "Well I guess you're lucky I wanted to stay this long." And this is where I think CTS's adventure is going to fall down, she is looking for that instant spark, that unrealistic staple of the American rom-com, the stars have to align and ideally shine in the eyes of her handsome romantic male lead (probably Ryan Gosling, he'd totally be my pick!). Her impatience to look past the confines of the dreaded first date, to see guys for who they grow to be instead of just that first ungainly encounter means sadly 52 first dates may never be enough. I say sadly because she is clearly an awesome catch (if you like parrots, Dominoes and jokey conversations about 85 year old holocaust survivors), and within a more traditional encounter the fact that she enjoyed my company could have led to her seeing me in a different light and a happier ending for all you good readers.’

I think we can probably all agree I got off lightly don’t you?

However, I can’t really end this post without a little bit of justification, self-defense, call it what you like, as I’m sure many people out there will have been questioning the whole process and the fact that it’s so rare I meet someone I click with. 

I think we can all agree I was a Grade A goon for my texting antics on this particular date, and I know I’m not the only person in the world to have done such a thing. Let’s face, it, it could have been a LOT worse, if I had done so on pretty much all of my other dates. But that’s not the point. I suppose the point here is the questioning of my expectations from 52 First Dates. Don’t get me wrong, a date with Ryan Gosling would undoubtedly be the best thing to happen to me ever, but I doubt very much he’s lurking around dating sites looking for a small round brunette with a penchant for parrots and cupcakes...

When I started out on 52 First Dates, I did it to get over my pathological vomit-inducing  fear of first dates, which 36+ dates in I can safely say has worked. I also wanted to meet as many different people as I could to try and broaden my horizons and counteract the pickiness I’d previously had that led to me only ever accepting 2 dates a year. And as you can tell, I have also done just that *pats back*

One of my main dilemmas throughout the process has been leading my dates on. I think considering the volume of dates I go on, to see many more of them on more than one occasion ‘just in case’ will mean I’m on a date every night of the week which would not just be knackering and expensive, but more importantly that doesn’t feel very fair on these other dates who’d be investing more than one evening with me if I’m doing it ‘just to see’. I’m not here to toy with other people’s emotions, waste their time or get free meals. That’s just not cricket.

This experience is definitely making me learn far more about myself than I ever expected. I do make a lot of poor choices (especially when I have to pick a date last minute) and a lot of mistakes (when I text the wrong person whilst actually on a date - eejit). But I’m only human. I am also learning more and more of what I’m looking for. I am neither naive nor sappily romantic enough to expect a thunderbolt love-at-first-sight experience on a first date, but what I would like is that small funny fizzy tingly feeling you get when you meet someone and there’s just something a little more there, something that just clicks and makes you want to dig that much deeper. I have experienced it in the past, and I hope I will experience it again.
Of course I would love my own happy ending, happy endings are ace (and I’m not talking in massage parlour terms), but this is real life, this is the truth, I'm not conveniently manufacturing anything and I genuinely don’t know when or where it may come from, if at all. I’ve not found it yet, despite having met a fair few unexpectedly nice guys that haven’t quite worked out, but rest assured, I won’t be giving up until I do. 52 First Dates has become such a big part of my life now, I can’t just let it go for just anyone. But for the right person, I will absolutely want to, and I'm sure you'll all be most happy for me (and maybe yourselves) that that'll be the last you ever hear from me.

Once more unto the breach, dear friends.


  1. This must be my most favourite post of them all! How fantastic to let the nice guy get a chance to tell his side of the story.

  2. Oh deaaaar, trust that "incident" to happen. I'm sure you'll be triple checking texts in future ;)
    But I have to say, I really like this guy. And his view on the date; despite what happened is quite nice.
    What I like more is your addition to his post, very well justified CTS.
    Love this.

    Lucy x

  3. You know I'm not one for shameless self promotion, but I would like to refer Mister 36 to this story...

    It happens. The spark exists. Shush now Mister 36.


  4. A great twist and turn on this site...c'mon guys you sound good for each other and I think he should have the option of a second date with you, one where he has brushed his teeth, cut his toenails and splashed some Brut all over and then maybe things could be different?

    Give love a chance...

  5. I feel like I've been talking to myself here. Mr #36 was a nice guy, we got on, and I'd see him again as friends, but there is nothing more, I repeat, nothing there for me. I won't be press-ganged into going on second, third, fourth dates with whoever just because I let some guy have his say on my blog and everyone feels sorry for him because I texted him by mistake. That's just not right. It's not fair on him and it's not fair on me. You've all read about Mr Snowglobe, Mr Off-shore and Mr Mexico? There was something definite here then. And I wanted to see them again to see what might have been there. I don't have that here. End of.

  6. AMEN CTS! What is the point of wasting time? You are far too fabulous to settle for someone you already know you're just not that into.

    I can think of a certain book and movie on the subject that this guy should probably take a look at...

    Settling is lame. The end.


  7. Oh hear, CTS. It seems you've let yourself down on when you could be bagging an obviously far superior writer/entertainer and a magnanimous somewhat chivalrous gentleman, all for mediocrity of 'dates'. I admire your lack of foresight and self dilusion. Perhaps you should look him up when you grow up a little.

  8. Thanks Anonymous, I knew I could rely on you to completely misunderstand the situation. Once again, I reiterate (albeit with blue face now) - there have been dates I've been on where I wanted to see them again. This wasn't one. It’s not because he wasn’t an ‘entertainer’ (not my choice phrase, I don’t go on dates to be ‘entertained’, good conversationalist is more than enough), and not because he’s a superior writer (subjective, of course), I just didn’t feel anything. I literally have no idea what more I can say. I have absolutely no intention of leading anyone on by going on further dates with them when they already know how I feel. It’s really degrading to them. Why would someone want to see me again when I’d already made myself clear, by text, blog or whatever?

    CTS x

    PS I admire that you've resorted to personal attacks on writing style, that is rather clever of you, well done. If you don't my blog it, you really don’t have to read it.

  9. Oh dear. It sounds like Mr 36 is tasting some sour grapes? Get over yourself dear, there's a good boy

  10. The thing that makes me giggle at my desk the most is the fact that Mr 36 thinks we DON'T KNOW that he is changing his name and posting comments on his own post.

    Out of work, are we dear?

    Good lord.

    Don't let it get you down CTS, just get booking in that next date!

    Your public adore you xxx

  11. Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt my friend. If you don't feel it, you don't feel it and I agree, not nice waisting someone else's time. YOu keep going gal, Mister Right is out there somewhere.

    Aimee ^_^

  12. Mutual friend of CTS and #3615 February 2012 at 11:51

    How about a new twist on this, anyone who thinks CTS has been unfair or not given #36 a good enough chance should go on a date with him?! Through doing so Mr 36 might find his true love and CTS might be able to get on with the purpose of her blog...roll on #37, dying to read the next one!! x

  13. Thanks 'mutual friend' ;-)

    CTS x

  14. Some of these comments feel al little harsh – give the girl a break! He knew what he was getting into hence the name of “52 First Dates”. What’s the point in seeing someone more than once if you instinctively know there will never be anything between you, it is a waste of their time and yours and will just make the moment when you tell them so all the more awkward. Having some kind of spark is essential in any relationship. Fancying your partner is, in my opinion, an essential criteria otherwise what kind of relationship can you expect to have?
    Keep on dating CTS…you’ll find your guy…it’s just not this one.

  15. Hi #36 here, just thought I should step in here as this is all getting a bit heated. This is my first post on here and I have absolutely no reason to be anonymous! No Sour Grapes here. I think it would have been fun to have seen CTS again and last night I suggested we have a second date when this whole 52 thing was over, because I thought we'd had a laugh and it would be cool to see where that could go and I'm an optimist. This morning she said, 'Maybe... I will think about it...' which is all anyone can ask for.

    Now I'm thinking that isn't such a great idea after all. I think I've been pretty honest through all of this and CTS is right I wouldn't want a date just because people feel sorry for me, though I'm not entirely convinced that's what people meant, I think they just thought I sounded nice.

    The truth is I didn't hugely fancy CTS either, but I recognised something interesting in her that I thought would be good to get to know before I discounted her completely.

    I'd love to have that pit of the stomach feeling everytime I went on a date to tell me whether or not that person could be 'the one' but to be honest my gut has got it wrong on so many occasions! My gut literally has shit for brains! I would much rather trust my own, somewhat limited, intelligence, at least then I only have my self to blame and I'm not left wondering how 'a funny feeling' led to me crying alone on a park bench with a can of Special Brew.

    So anyway this has been fun! CTS, the problem with giving someone the right to reply is that you have to be open to hearing something you might not want being said. I'm sorry if i opened a bit of a can of worms! We had a laugh it was a good night on the whole and I really hope you meet someone awesome!

    ps Anonymous... you are being unfair CTS's writing is perfectly adequate!

  16. Ah Steve aka Mr #36, welcome to the party! You've arrived a little late...

  17. Mutual Friend, that is an interesting suggestion... and as ever I'm game, I guess. what does the rest of the internet think?

  18. Wow Steve, moving on already? Was it something I said? ;-)

    Oi, internet (ladies specifically)- listen up - who wants to go on a date with Steve? Nice guy, expert bull runner, confident anecdotist, penchant for country casual wear, very tolerant of text faux pas. Hands up who's in...

  19. ooooh... CTS... Is pimping out one of the more eligible candidates out of your dating pool not entering dangerous territory...? Finding and setting up your own dates is knackering enough without having to set someone else up too...!

    (would I fancy him......??) ;-)


  20. That pit of your stomach Hollywood style love definitely does exist! Keep looking CTS. I knew this one guy, he was a billionaire and he went to Beverly Hills for a business trip, but he got lost on the way to his hotel and met this hooker and in the end......oh wait, no, that was Pretty Woman.

    Love and kisses,

    A man who met his wife the moment he met her

  21. Hi, I know I've found the blog late, but I can't stop reading, and feel the need to make the odd comment. I'm totally with you on this one. It's impossible to explain, but I just call it chemistry. It's either there or it isn't, and it doesn't matter how nice a guy is, if there's no chemistry, there's absolutely no point in seeing him again! Nina


Thanks for reading 52 First Dates! And thanks even more for commenting!