That Awkward First Date

After two months of being single, I decided it was time to start dating again, you know, like they do in America (ahem, Sex and the City…). A guy online had been pestering me for weeks to go out for coffee. So one boring morning I figure “what the hell?” and agree to meet him. I thought maybe I’d also get some new material for this blog and I wasn’t wrong.

Picture this, a quaint little café just by the centre of town. It’s part of one of the many hipster-coffee chains that tries way too hard to be effortless and minimal in it’s appearance despite having way too many promotional advertisements inside. Now, my date is an older man, a student doing a masters degree in Law and from Libya, although surprisingly his English is quite good, but he certainly wasn’t prepared for my Northern-English dialect.

We meet and he greets me with a handshake, which just foreshadowed how bad this date was going to be. His profile said he was 6 feet tall,  errrm, perhaps they calculate measurements differently in Libya, I don’t know. However, I take a seat down and wait for him to bring me a medium skinny white mocha. I found my wait to be extensively wrong, as there was a problem with his card, which forced him to run outside to a cash machine. Already, a part of me was hoping he wouldn’t come back. But perhaps that’s a little mean.

The conversation begins, we chat about mundane topics; university, backgrounds, hobbies etc, pretty much the standard checklist of things to talk about on a date. But as soon as that was over, which was approximately 20 minutes, the silence quickly creeped in. I remember literally sitting in complete and total silence for 15 whole minutes. Yes, a quarter of an hour we spent in the quietest café in the world saying absolutely nothing, only hearing the sound of each other’s breathing and I began to find myself becoming one of those people who checks their watch wondering when this torture would end. At one point he actually began to scroll through his Facebook timeline right in-front of me out of boredom. I guess we were both too polite to just say “shall we call it a day?”.

After the excruciatingly long pause that seemed longer than the wait for Azealia Bank’s debut album, I chirped up a question, probably about his family or a future career or something along those lines, which added 3 minutes of conversation and it felt like heaven. The date (which lasted an hour and 10 minutes in total: believe me, I was counting) continued to be an on/off response of boring question-answer-long pause-repeat for the remainder of our time at which point he finally said, “let’s go”. My imaginary self reacted by jumping for joy with the flailing of uncontrollable arm spasms as though I’d just won the lottery. Hallelujah.

It’s not like I was expecting it go anywhere at all or at best maybe it could have surprised me. So in a recent update, it seemed the guy sent me a message saying “was great meeting you” seems throughout the many, many minutes of silence he daydreamed an entirely different date. Good for him.

Through life we will always have a string of bad dates, good dates and dates we’re not quite sure of but the fact you have put yourself out there, experienced those bad dates for every awkward moment that they entail means you’re keeping yourself open to any possibility and that can never be a bad thing.


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