After our date, J went on holiday for a week, so naturally I didn’t hear much from her. I got on with my life as she went gallivanting around the mountains in Switzerland. In fact, it sounds kinda bad, but I actually forgot about her a bit until she texted me when she got back, but it was a pleasant surprise seeing her name pop up on my screen.
We made plans for our second date. At this point, my life was becoming increasingly busy, not only with all of these dates I was going on, but other things such as my new job, and various social events that kept popping up all over the place. We found some time on a Saturday to meet up – I was going to a friend’s house that evening as she was having a few people over for her birthday, however I had ample time in the day for J. Instead of just going for a drink, I suggested that we go to the Top Secret Comedy club and see a comedian, because they often do shows that are free or ‘pay what you like’.
On the day of the date, J was a bit quiet that morning, as she had been out the night before. This didn’t phase me so much; she mentioned she was meeting up with an old friend from the US and was playing tour guide. She probably had a bit too much to drink – I thought, if our date was anything to go by – so was probably feeling a little bit hungover.
It wasn’t until I left the house to get the train into London that I received a message from her, asking if we could meet a bit later, as she was struggling to get herself together.
“Must have been one hell of a night,” I joked. So instead of meeting at 2pm, we were meeting at 3pm. Was I slightly annoyed that she didn’t message me a little bit earlier, because I was already at the station, and it could have saved me some time and allowed me to leave a little bit later. I tried to rationalise: she couldn’t have known when I was leaving, surely? Although, she did know that I didn’t live directly in London, so it takes me a little longer to get into the city.
I brushed it off. So I had to hang around another hour? Inconvenient, but not a huge deal. When I got into Waterloo, I hung around the Foyles bookshop for a bit, and ended up finding a really nice book, which I spent some time reading in the cafe we had planned to meet at.
And it’s a good thing I did buy a book to keep me occupied in the end, because I was waiting longer than anticipated. When 3pm loomed, J sent me another message of apology, that she was on her way but still another half an hour or so. This was getting to be increasingly less fine. The idea behind meeting a couple of hours before the show was so that we’d actually have a chance to hang out, because I would have to leave shortly after to see my friend for her birthday.
My friend isn’t the kind of person that’s a stickler for people being rigidly on time, and wouldn’t have minded if I was a bit late. But J had also mentioned that she was going to a friend’s house for dinner that night. So we both had places to be, and our window to hangout was getting smaller, and so was my patience.
I digress. J finally got to the cafe, full of apologies, and asked me if I had been waiting long.
“Mhmm, kinda,” I said. I didn’t want to make her feel bad, because she already seemed to. Called me old fashioned, but when you’re in an early dating stage, I feel things like timekeeping should be high on your list of priorities, especially when you’re generally trying to make a good impression. I’m not saying that J shouldn’t have gone out the night before, but maybe if you know you don’t deal with hangovers well, and you have plans in the evening… maybe don’t make plans in the day?
Anyway. We still had the chance to chat for a bit and catch up, J about her holiday and me about my new job, before we set off the to comedy club. The comedian, Tim Renkow, was really good; I had only seen clips of his on YouTube, as well as an interview with Romesh Ranganathan. So it was great to see a full hour of his, as he geared up for the Edinburgh Fringe.
After the show, J and I had a little bit of time to go to the pub across the way from the club and have a drink. As we chatted, I revealed to her about this ‘dating project’ I’m doing, and she was surprisingly cool with it (or just had a really good poker face). After a few more moments of chatting and flirting, we walked to the tube stop together, kissed and then parted ways, making promises to meet up again soon.
After that second date, it was becoming increasingly difficult to actually make plans to meet up again. Because we had slightly different work schedules, it was hard to find time in the week to meet up, and both of our weekends seemed full. And then, we had around a week where we weren’t even texting at all. And the thing is? I kinda forgot about her again. With the rush everything going on, J got pushed to the back of my mind, and I found myself not that desperate to see her again.
But I didn’t just want to leave things to fizzle out like that. I thought I owed it to her, to both of us really, to send a message saying that it was nice to meet her, but it’s probably best to go our separate ways.
She read my message but didn’t reply, which was fair. On telling a friend of mine, they said that that probably meant she was probably a little bit more into me than I was her, and maybe felt a bit hurt. Which could well be the case. I felt bad, but I think I ultimately did the right thing.
I know a lot of you loved the post about our first date, and I’m really sorry that I don’t have better news to tell you all! I did have a really good time with her the first time we went out, but that’s just the way life goes. Sometimes you have one or two really great dates, but that’s all it’s supposed to be. You just gotta carry on.