It’s been a funny old few weeks here at Billie HQ, not much going on in terms of real-life romantic developments, but plenty going on in the murky world of online personas. Secrets, lies and shock revelations have dominated October. It’s been a lot to get my head around, so THAT is maybe a story for another time, along with a recent date with Dancer with a surprise twist. Follow me on Twitter @billiesdates for live updates on the date that’s given me plenty to think about…
In the meantime, just like Dumbledore looking back at Tom Riddle, I’m sticking my head into the Pensieve with a vial containing memories that make me question why I didn’t see the obvious. Memories of the beginning of my current single streak, in fact. Those of a nervous disposition may want to look away now…
Back to the start
Rewind 4 years, and I was newly single after HIM. Y’know, the guy that I adored. Still adore. Will always adore a little bit.
After the customary moping period following the break-up, I’d been tempted out of the house to go indoor climbing with some friends. One of the instructors was pretty cute, and we struck up a conversation about his outdoor activities.
“If you ever fancy giving outdoor climbing a go, give me a shout. Here’s my number.”
Well, I wasn’t brave enough to scale a rock face without the comfort of a crash mat (and it was winter) but I WAS brave enough to message him and ask him out for a drink instead.
I was so nervous. Still smarting from being dumped a couple of months before, as the night of the date approached, I typed and deleted a text to cancel dozens of times. In the end, after a talking-to from my nearest and dearest, I headed out to meet John with what felt like a swarm of bees in my stomach.
We met in a student-y bar and actually hit it off very quickly, chatting, laughing and finding that we had lots on common.
After an hour or so, a group of lads approached us.
“JOHN! What a surprise to see you in here!”
It was his brother in law and several mates. This was quickly followed by: “And you must be Billie. We’ve heard a lot about you, it’s great to meet you!”
Far from being mortified by this, John seemed chuffed that his mates had miraculously turned up in the same bar as us, and spent the rest of the night telling me how he couldn’t wait for me to meet the rest of his family. His sister and I were going to get along GREAT, and his mum was going to love me, apparently.
In case it’s not clear, I have, and had, no doubt that the arrival of his brother in law was no coincidence. This realisation made me veeeerry uneasy.
Already a bit tipsy, I decided to ignore the bees once again congregating in my stomach, and just have a good night. Kissing ensued, accompanied by distant cheering from John’s friends across the bar. Great. They were still there.
Saying goodnight at the taxi rank, John became very earnest.
I knew I wasn’t going to like this.
“I really like you. I know you’ve been hurt recently, but I’d really like to be in a relationship with you, and be the person who makes you happy for as long as you’ll let me.”
LET ME RE-ITERATE: THIS WAS A FIRST DATE.
I have never needed a taxi to come around the corner as much as I did in that moment. Unluckily for me, it was another excruciating 5 minutes before one arrived, and after mumbling something along the lines of “let’s see how it goes, yeah?”, we attempted to make small talk while the look on his face screamed “poor abandoned puppy”; vibes.
Finally, the taxi arrived to whisk me away from all the awkward, and I headed home certain that I just wasn’t ready to date again.
What has been your most awkward dating encounter? Let me know in the comments, or tweet me @billiesdates.
Love, Billie x