So… this is one of my most favourite dates over the last 18 months and although it didn’t materialise into anything for various reasons it still has a place in my heart. Last Christmas (and yes… I’m singing Wham! too), my first ever Christmas as a single woman, was very odd. Before I get into the date story, I should probably point out that the first yuletide period on your own is hard. And by hard, being entirely honest, I spent more than one night of my enforced two weeks off work with tears streaming down my face singing along to sad songs, Bridget Jones style. There was a hefty dose of feeling sorry for myself and contemplating all my future Christmases alone. Thank god for good friends who, on more than one occasion, physically dragged me out of the apartment, or at least guilted me into socialising.
It was one of those evenings between Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve when you don’t know what day it is that this story begins… I had been invited out and had decided that come hell or high water I was getting dressed, putting on make-up and moving my arse out of the house. One of my best friends had invited me over for the evening as herself and her husband were having some friends in for drinks. Now I’m generally a bit nervous about lots of new people in one go, I get a bit shy. However, when my friend described her husband’s friends as a bit odd, I knew I had to go. Odd is my wheelhouse!
I headed over for the evening, with a general plan to head home earlyish. However, when I got there the prosecco was flowing and the banter was at an all-time high. I was reminded that there is nothing as comfortable and welcoming as an Irish gaff (house) party in full flow. By the end of the evening I had managed to good naturedly tease everyone present and as my wonderful friend was drunkenly bidding me adieu, she asked me if there was any chance that I was interested in her husband’s best friend. Now this friend is very good at identifying my type and was spot on!! I agreed that he was lovely but didn’t think too much of it and headed off home.
The following morning, as my hangover was kicking in, I vaguely remembered the conversation and did a quick check with her on whether she’d said anything to him after I’d left. I was secretly hoping she hadn’t, as I had a mild case of the fear and had a vague memory of being entirely obnoxious. She reassured me that to the best of her memory she hadn’t! I didn’t think much more of it and settled down for an evening of hungover Game of Thrones and G&T’s. If you can’t solo drink at Christmas, when can you?!?
Lo and behold… as I’m sat on the couch in my pjs, I get a text from a random UK number. It turned out that in her inebriated state, my dearest friend had in fact given my phone number to her husband’s friend and then forgotten all about it. I hesitated in texting back, and then reminded myself that it was the 29th of December and I was sat in my pjs at home on my own. What was the worst that could happen! So, I text back and after a couple of messages back and forth, I ended up heading out to meet him and some of his friends in a pub in town.
Now as many of you may know, that first date interaction can be nerve wrecking, particularly when all his friends are there, and you don’t know them, and you don’t really know him either. I also hadn’t figured out how drunk he was the night before, and if he’d even recognise me. Was it a case of beer goggles at play? I’d coyly Facebook stalked him before coming out just to make sure that I was interested, and it wasn’t just the prosecco on my part!
After arriving at the pub and being left at the mercy of his friends for a little while, I got my first hint that he was interested. I have a nickname that I generally go by, and it was the only thing I’d been introduced to him as. However, at one point when he’d wandered off to the bar, his friends referred to me by my given name…. which meant that he must have tracked me down on social media! At least I knew then that he at least knew what he was getting into before inviting me out!
The rest of the night was spent chatting about anything and everything. We’d discovered a similar interest in music and rugby and carried on chatting about our mis-spent teenage years and many nerdy common interests. Eventually his friends headed off to another bar and we stayed put in No Name on Fade Street. After a particularly heated conversation about a particular song that was playing, he leaned in for the kiss, asking me if it was ok first (you’ll find a running theme throughout my posts… which is CONSENT IS SEXY AS ALL HELL!!!). Suffice to say I swooned and there were many more smooches as the night went on. At the end of the night, he walked me all the way back to where I was living (the far far other side of the city), kissed me good night at my door and headed off in a taxi home himself.
What I’d learned from my mid-Christmas break spontaneous date was;
- Sometimes your friends know you way better than you know yourself
- There are some genuinely great guys out there
- Take a chance and say yes, you’ve nothing to lose
- No Name is an amazing place for a date
- I swoon when someone asks can they make a move, it shows respect and confidence at the same time
- Christmas is a really difficult time when you’re single, particularly if you’re not from a close family. The best thing you can do is surround yourself with friends and make plans in advance. Don’t give yourself time to sit on your couch crying… ok… fine, only the one night though!
As for the rest of my story there was no waiting around for a text the following day, with him messaging before 10am. We continued with dates throughout the next week. Unfortunately, he was based in the UK and after a few visits over after Christmas, long distance wasn’t going to work. But more on that another day!