Top Five Dating Disasters….

Since I started writing this blog I’ve been inundated with absolutely nobody wanting me to provide relationship advice of any kind. Although I was initially surprised at this, a little trip down memory lane reminded me why I am the very last person anyone should seek out as a subject matter expert in this area. The following are are a summary of my top five dating disasters, all were completely my fault and not anything to do with my dates who were all (apart from maybe one) delightful. If you recognise yourself in here then I apologise for being the clown I was/am. If you’ve been on a date with me but don’t recognise yourself then think yourself fortunate that, although you may have thought it a disaster, it wasn’t as bad as some poor girls had to endure.

1. Primary School shenanigans in the Wendy House

My age: 7

Chances of Date reading this: 0%

I was an early starter when it came to being useless with the opposite sex. Not sure this particular encounter can really be classified as a date in the truest sense but when you’re seven the fifteen minute ‘relationship’ I had with one of the pretty girls in the class felt like the most exciting thing that had happened to me since I received the Action Man toy with the swivel eyes the previous Christmas. We had ‘got together’ in the lunch queue whilst waiting for the spotted dick and pink custard pudding (some artistic licence obviously taken here. The custard wasn’t pink) when I was asked out on her behalf by one of her friends. Being painfully shy I obviously gave the friend a Chinese burn instead of an affirmative answer but, nonetheless, this random act of violence was accepted as confirmation that I was ‘bang up for it’.

After lunch it was ‘play’ where basically the three R’s were put to one side so the kids could let off a little steam while the teacher had an extra cup of tea. In our classroom we had a brand new Wendy House and it was there to where I was summoned to commence my journey into adulthood with the love of my seven year old life. Unfortunately for me my date was something of an exhibitionist and she’d also invited three of her friends in there with us to watch us smooch. Having only previously ‘smooched’ my mother and my teddy bear this was a step too far and I panicked and exited the Wendy House before my big moment arrived. I’d of been happy to leave it there and put it down to experience but the girls in the Wendy House were having none of that. They told everybody, and even told the teacher I’d been mean to my date. I was mortified and I can’t even speak to people named Wendy to this day without severe anxiety being suffered.

Was there a second date?

No, she barely spoke to me again. A few weeks later she began a long term (three day) relationship with one of the cooler boys and I was forgotten. I never forgot her though, she’s where my fear of all things ‘dating’ began.

2. Third date misunderstanding but a good lesson in being loyal to friends

My age: Circa 18/19

Chances of Date reading this: 0%

The first date with this girl had actually been a blind date. We’d got on well enough to go on a second date to the Cinema and had agreed to meet in a Public House the following weekend to continue our steady, if unspectacular, progress. My first mistake was to spend the afternoon prior to our meeting drinking at an alternative venue so I was already drunk when I arrived. She’d been given a lift there by one of her friends who was waiting with her but I didn’t know that at the time. Being the generous soul that I am I offered to buy her a drink, as well as my date, but when she requested a diet coke rather than something more substantial I apparently (although I’m not sure this is true) asked if she was pregnant. Once she’d left I was completely oblivious to the frostiness of my date for the rest of the evening and, due to my inebriation, didn’t really notice when she said she wanted to go home about 9.00 pm.

Was there a fourth date?

No, as I was unaware of how my behaviour had been interpreted I called in the week fully expecting to arrange our next rendezvous. I was somewhat surprised when she told me she didn’t want to seem me again because I’d been so rude to her best friend. She also said that I seemed to be get drunk really quickly for someone who only had about three drinks while she was with me. I cut my losses at this point and went off to cry in the shower.

3. Love at first sight ruined by extreme shyness and general uselessness

My age: 22/23

Chances of Date reading this: Quite high, possibly 50%. She might not recognise herself though but if she does this was all me, I was useless.

If such a thing as love at first sight exists this was the closest I ever came to it, not the love of my life but the one I liked the quickest as it usually takes me a little time. I was infatuated with this girl from the first moment I saw her but was also struck down by such crippling shyness that I couldn’t bring myself to speak to her, I quite literally used to shake in her presence.

After a few weeks of boring my friends about her one of them took it upon himself to inform her of my attraction (how embarrassing for a twenty something year old) and miraculously she agreed to a date. I was delighted and panicked by this at the same time but decided that the Cinema would be the easiest option and settled on the big hit of the time; ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’. The main reason for choosing the Cinema was that I wouldn’t be expected to do as much talking. That would have been a decent plan if I hadn’t got us to our seats about an hour early and found that we had the theater to ourselves for a good forty five minutes which felt more like forty five years. Not because she wasn’t capable of holding an adult conversation but I certainly wasn’t.

Once the film had finished I drove her home and, once there, decided that I should at least try and kiss her. Unfortunately I’d neglected to undo my seat-belt so, when I finally got up the nerve, I moved too fast and the seat-belt did what it was designed for and stopped me moving forward beyond a few centimeters therefore leaving me hanging half open mouthed and eyes closed a good distance from my target.  After this aborted attempt there was no second chance and she quickly exited this car and sprinted into her house. I sat there for a few minutes. Not because I wasn’t desperate to get out of there as soon as possible, so I could die of embarrassment somewhere less public, but because the windows had steamed up and I couldn’t see to drive.

Was there a second date?

No, but I did kiss her once at a house party about a year later before she quite literally left the country.

4. Blind date etiquette or lack of it

My age: 27

Chances of Date reading this: 0%

Following the very messy and painful breakup of a relationship I descended into the usual drink based craziness, which is my default for all things that go wrong, during which time, even if I’d of been capable of spending time with a woman, they wouldn’t have given me (quite rightly) the time of day. At some point during this period a friend of mine, out of some misguided act of kindness, set me up on a blind date. I met her in a pub and, although I did find her attractive, it was obvious that wasn’t reciprocated and I think we both knew after five minutes conversation that we were chalk and cheese. In my mind though, we’d committed to the date and I would have seen in through. She, however had other ideas, and in the third pub saw some bloke she knew and said she was just going over for a few minutes to say hello. About thirty minutes later, when I think she thought I wasn’t looking, she left with him into the dead of night never to be seen again.

Was there a second date?

Take a wild guess…..

5. Crowded pubs, car chases and kids with balloons

My age: 28

Chances of Date reading this: 50%

I’d been pursuing a girl for a few months but was so pathetic that it was her that eventually asked me out. We’d had a few false starts in that we’d met a couple of times in town but I hadn’t remembered previously talking to her (it was still my drunken crazy phase) and I’d sent her a few texts which had left her thinking I was little weird, and somewhat illiterate, although it later transpired that this was because it was her first mobile phone and she didn’t realise you could ‘scroll down’ to read to the end of a text message.

We arranged to meet in the car park of the White Rose pub but when I arrived it was packed and my date was waiting outside the door. At her suggestion we decided to go elsewhere, to the pub further down the road, so both returned to our cars and I said I’d follow her which I did! In my mind I’d thought she meant the Woodman (now demolished) that was about half a mile down the road towards Leeds so was a little surprised when the car I was following sped past it. Not especially concerned at this point, just thinking she’d forgotten about the Woodman and meant somewhere else, I continued to follow as we turned right and headed up towards the Tommy Wass in Beeston. When we drove past that, however, I began to think something was a little strange. These fears were confirmed about a mile further on when, out of the blue, a little kid popped up from the back seat of the car I was following waving a balloon. As I was fairly certain my date hadn’t brought a little kid with her to meet me I realised I’d been following the wrong car. In a panic, because I really did like my date and knew she had a lot of other options, I turned my car round and headed back from where I’d come. As I passed the Woodman I caught sight of her just pulling out of the car park, where she’d been all along, so I furiously tooted my horn to alert her of my whereabouts and thankfully she waited for me to arrive. I was so stressed by the events of the previous fifteen minutes that, although she graciously accepted my version of events, I sat opposite her sweating profusely while she attempted to tell me about her day. Perhaps unsurprisingly the evening ended without so much as a peck on the cheek, let alone a commitment to a second date….

Was there a second date?

Unbelievably there was, there was also a second, third, fourth and fifth date followed by the arrival of two children and the purchase of two houses together. To this day, Adele says she wishes she hadn’t waited for me at the Woodman. One minute later and I’d still be a crazy drunk in the pub….

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