I don’t do dating. I’ve had three strikes at it – enough to know that it’ll end badly. Like that time I slammed a door in a guy’s face when he tried to kiss me. (I was too shy to say: “Actually, I’m really sorry, but I just don’t fancy you.”) I now firmly believe in what I term the “friendship-evolution” method.
The worst date I’ve ever been on was with a guy I barely knew. He called me up and was evidently nervous.
“Hi Phoebe, h- h- how-er….” he stuttered.
“I’m fine, thank you. How are you?” I replied quickly, wanting to smooth over his embarrassment. I was a little taken aback, but shyness can be endearing, right?
He said he had free tickets to see a movie and would I like to go? Well, I didn’t know him and I didn’t fancy him, but there was always a chance that something might develop. He might have a dazzling personality and provide thrilling flirtatious conversation.
My hopes were cut short, however, because he was too nervous to organise meeting me for a drink beforehand. We met 2 minutes before the film and hurried into the cinema. We spoke for 5 minutes during the adverts, watched the film and then began the 10 minute walk back. There was zero rapport and zero time to strike up any rapport. It was hopeless and I was annoyed. If attraction were rated on a scale from one to ten, I was hovering around two.
We reached the street where our routes home separated. He paused and there was a very awkward silence. It was so awkward that I was trying very hard not to squirm.
Bravely, I thought it was time to acknowledge things.
“Well, this is awkward,” I ventured. I felt sorry for him – always a bad sign – and this made me generous. I intended to steer him down the path of “Maybe we should meet for coffee so we can get to know each other better.”
He, however, had other ideas. He looked directly at me.
“Shall we just kiss now and get it out the way?”
My face must have said it all. I couldn’t contain my horror at the proposal. I tried to recover my facial muscles but it was too late.
He steeled himself. “Perhaps not then,” he muttered.
That was the last time I dated.
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