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.

20 March 2012

Mr #41 - Pocket Prince

The preamble:
Mr #41 and I had been emailing on and off for a couple of weeks, and what I liked about him was even on email he sounded incredibly enthusiastic about everything, and showed great interest in my knitting, which of course is automatically going to endear me to someone as one essential criteria I have in my list of my perfect man is the willingness to model my often errantly-sized knitwear. Soon after we exchanged numbers, and a few equally as enthusiastic texts later, we sorted ourselves a cheeky wee coffee date.

The man:
Age: 28

Profession: Post-grad student and part time shop worker
Random factoid: Once played for the Pakistani national football team

The date:
We'd both ended up leaving our respective locations a little late, so there were mutual warnings of tardiness. When I arrived at Kentish time 10 minutes after our designated rendez vous time, my date was nowhere to be see, so I assumed the position just outside the station and busied myself with my mobile phone until he arrived. 

Twenty minutes later, he still hadn't turned up and to be honest, I'd mentally given him five more minutes before I buggered off. Then he rang.

Mr #41: Hey!
Me: Hey, where are you?
Mr #41: I'm at the station, where are you?
Me: Me too
Mr #41: I can't see you
Me: Well I'm here, right outside Kentish Town tube!
Mr #41: Why are you there?
Me: Because that's where we're meeting aren't we?
Mr #41: No. I said Chalk Farm...
Me: Oh. Shit. I'll get the bus then...
Turns out when I re-read my message back, it was Chalk Farm. And not just any Chalk Farm, CHALK FARM IN CAPITAL LETTERS! Well done CTS you utter organisational muppet. 

I hastily leaped on the bus and within 10 minutes I'd found him at the Roundhouse. So much for him being late! But when I turned up in a bluster of apologies, he was incredibly sweet and gracious and scampered straight off to sort us out with some hot caffeinated beverages. When he sat down again I had a proper chance to look at him and he was absolutely beautiful, like a hand-carved Bollywood hero. Albeit a very little one. He was miniature. Properly ickle. He must have been the same height as me and I estimated about half my weight, with teeny tiny hands and perfectly smooth finger nails that looked like shiny pink beetle shells. This man must've had a manicure. But he was all smiles and wavy black hair, and quite delightful! And boy, could he talk! 

He spent the first 20 minutes giving me a lecture on modern economics before we moved onto house prices, Sainsbury's, his hatred of mobile phones, earthquakes, the Gulf War and charities. He was a fascinating little fellow, and told me at length about how he had harboured aspirations of becoming a pilot for the Pakistani air force, but his dream was scuppered after someone slashed the back of his ankle and severed his achilles tendon in a fight two days before the medical. Having seen Hostel, I very nearly vommed on my own lap at that choice mental image.

The coffee soon evaporated and we both had other places to be, so we pottered off to the station to say our cheerios. Once at the station we shared a little hug goodbye and as I started to walk off he caught me with a 'oi' and held out his hand. A handshake goodbye? How curious! We went our separate ways and that was that. When I got in, he sent me a very sweet message saying he had a lovely time and he was sorry he didn't take flowers. I told him I was sorry I went to the wrong station, and he offered me another coffee another time.

Memorable Quotes:
'All these goth shops in Camden scare me'. I decided it probably wasn't prudent to mention my extensive heavy metal music collection and university CV as a goth in the rock society...

Events of note:
Seeing Mr #1 with his big red hooter walking in to the venue just as we were leaving. Awkward! Luckily he didn't see me...

The Verdict:
Well well well, Mr #41 was a little pocket-sized treat wasn't he? He was bright, bubbly, beautiful and was delightful company. But in truth he talked a hell of a lot, and I suspected that deep down we didn't have anything in common. He was also way too small for me, and although I could easily keep him as a little Borrower buddy of mine, that's not really why I'm going on dates. I have plenty of wonderful friends already. There needs to be that something there, and with Mr #41 sadly there wasn't. That said, I may take him up on that offer of a second coffee sometime, if only to see if he could fit on the miniature sofa I'm currently knitting. A fiver says he could...


  1. Nice to find decent ones every once in a while, even if they are short!

    (I hope you don't mind that this comment isn't upward of 500 words... you sort of set a precedent on the ladder today!)


  2. thirtysomething21 March 2012 at 19:43

    I have just finished reading about all 41 of your dates in about three sittings. You write endearingly well so it wasn't difficult. I conclude you are not ugly, dumb or lacking in charm/humour. However I can already tell you how it ends: Date 52 happens; you're no closer to having a beau. Reason: You wait to be approached (online), never approach yourself. If this method works for you, fair enough. If this is an amusing way to pass the time, fair enough. But if you're seriously wanting a boyfriend, which I gather you do, then I think you should rethink your methods because you don't sound like you remotely fancy any of these men.

  3. hi Thirtysomething, thanks for your comment. Actually, I do go to great lengths to approach men that I like the look of online, but very rarely do they like the look of me in return. So to keep up my quota of going on a date a week, I have to cast the net wider so to speak, and go on dates with people I wouldn't have otherwise agreed to. But of course, you don't hear about the 10 or so wonderful looking men I must email a week in the faint hope of getting a date, as 99% of the time they ignore me. Sad, but true. CTS x

  4. Sending 10 emails a week is nothing! You should be sending 30-35 emails to men you are actually interested in every week. From these you should get 2-3 responses of which one should materialize into a first date.
    I know where you are coming from as I tried to go on a date per week last year, and when no one is responding its easy to settle for '...he'll do, and can be my date for the week', but its better to hold the no date anxiety, and actually approach and try to go on dates with men you're attracted to. You'll be more excited about the dates you go on, there'll be more anticipation, and at the end of this 52 first dates experiment there is more likelihood you'll have actually met someone.

  5. I love your blog and totally dig what you're doing, however I agree with the posters above. Having done internet dating for a while a few years back myself, but now three years into a lovely relationship with a nice man I fancy (who I met on-line) I must say that if you are going for the fantastically good looking ones only, that is probably why you're not getting very far as they have the pick of the bunch!
    I remember getting really demoralised when even the freaks didn't get back to me, but I changed the way I was looking. If they looked and sounded nice, with a personality and I reckoned they shared the same level of attractiveness as myself (you have to give yourself an honest appraisal, with no false modesty or negativity) I went for it. I had many dates and a few flings but finally got there. Don't judge a book by its cover when approaching people. Cast your net far and wide and don't go looks-wise for what everyone else does. And stop going on dates with people you know for sure you won't fancy. We will forgive you if you don't his the full 52 week quota!

  6. Hi guys, thanks again for your comments. Curiousreader - with the greatest of respect, I don't think 30-35 emails is realistic at all - I don't have that sort of time to email that many people with personal, thought out emails, I work a hell of a lot, and struggle as it is to keep on top of replying to incoming emails as well as sending outgoing ones. There are lots of people out there who cut and paste generic messages to what must be hundreds of people, and you can tell a mile off. It's thoughtless and does nothing to make people think you've chosen their profile specifically.
    And Stephbospoon, I'm afraid I ahve to disagree with you there too - I don't go for the phenomenally hot people at all, I do believe it or not have the capacity to look deeper into people than that. The people I choose to email all have similar interests or outlooks on life, do things that I find interesting or have a sense of humour that appeals to me. And as I said, very rarely they get back to me because I think on dating sites especially, boys are more shallow and judge on photos than girls are, not the other way round as you seem to think I'm doing. I've been on lots of dates, and I am well aware that people rarely look as good as they do in photos, so that is not why I choose them. I think you mis-read me when I wrote 'wonderful looking' - I didn't mean lookswise, I am far from shallow! I meant their profile looks wonderful to me in terms of who they describe themselves to be. The whole point of going on a date a week is ot meet people I wouldn't normally have chosen and not to be judgemental which is exactly what I'm doing, and in a fair few cases I've been very pleasantly surprised. I'm just not there yet. But I will get there.

  7. I take it back then! Boys are silly aren't they! Just for your interest, when I read the current Mr Spoon's profile, I didn't think we had any interests or anything in common, but there was just something about his photo and his profile that charmed me. He was also 10 years older, but I didn't let that put me off, though it so easily could. He was totally flattered to be contacted, but didn't reply that frequently because he was working crazy shifts. He wasn't a graduate (I am) but he had his own flat and car and had something to say that wasn't just football.

    We still don't have that much in common on paper, but we just 'get' each other. Ultimately we are very good friends; I fancy him but its not total pant wetting lust, its love. So hard to quantify. Good luck with your search however, can't wait for no. 42!

  8. It's 23.18 on Sunday night. I have work in the morning. My hand is going numb holding my phone up whilst I continue to read about all of your dates. I might be shattered in the morning, but if I don't finish reading them tonight, I'll have to throw a sickie and continue tomorrow instead of going to work! Better crack on then! Nina


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