So in mid March I had my first actual date of 2012.. it's not for want of trying, I've joined OKCupid, done speed dating and been to a couple of Lovestruck events - but alas, no joy yet. And then I got a nice message the other week and all was well! After a few exchanges he suggested meeting for a drink, and as I keep suggesting this to other guys and then receiving absolutely nothing in return, I was pleasantly surprised.
So, who is he? In a nutshell, he's Australian, my age, works in investments, and does a bit of illustrating on the side. So far, pretty good. We had a lovely date on a sunny sunday afternoon in Carnaby St; went to Cha Cha Moon (which is lovely, if you're ever looking for a place to go) for some noodles and conversation. We got on really well, I could tell he seemed a bit nervous though, he later told me this was his first ever online date! So we chatted a bit about that, and the terrible messages you seem to get on sites like these; he was cute but I definitely didn't feel an amazing attraction to him, physically.
After the food we went to a pub nearby for a drink, we seemed to be getting on pretty well, wasn't really any awkward silences or anything. But at the same time, there wasn't really any electricity or flirting either, just a pleasant time. At about 5 ish he suddenly said he had to go as he was cooking dinner for his housemates. This was a bit baffling seeing as he'd just eaten with me but nevermind. We said goodbye (no kiss - I wasn't feeling it, clearly neither was he) and that was that.
I left it for a few days, and after a week I realised neither of us had spoken after the date. Not a great sign. So I text saying hello, a bit of a conversation was had, but it just kind of fizzled out. No texts since. I'm not bothered, he's clearly not either, but it's funny; you can get on so well with someone but if there isn't that 'spark' then it just won't happen, no matter how nice they are.
A similar thing happened this week; I went on a date on tuesday with someone from OkCupid, we'd been chatting for weeks and weeks, and he finally asks me for a drink. To be honest, when the day came I really couldn't be bothered; it was raining, I was tired, and I'd met someone at the weekend (more on that later), but I'd agreed to go, and in keeping with the whole thing, I went with optimism and a smile on my face. Also, we were meeting in a pub a mere 5 minutes bus from my house so that helped a lot! Unfortunately, as soon as I saw him I knew it wasn't meant to be. It was a case of his profile pictures looking so much better than he did in real life, which can happen, but it was a shame. However, we sat for a couple of drinks, had a laugh, he seemed a really interesting, nice guy, I just wasn't attracted to him from the off. Annoying, but there's not a lot you can do. After a couple of hours I made my excuses (I had to get up early the next day too, early start at work) and headed back. Again, no kiss, as it just didn't feel right.
The next day I got a text off him saying "I had a nice time last night but I don't think the vibe is quite right between us for anything to happen, all the best" - which I was a bit 'oh' at. It's funny, because I completely agreed, but it's that whole 'I wanted to say that first, not you!' thing; illogical, yes, but I felt a bit weird that he felt like that. Perhaps it was my subconscious ego thinking, 'how dare you not fall madly in love with me on a first date, never mind that I don't like you, of course you would think me amazing!' Or some other silly notion. In hindsight, actually, it was really nice of him to text me and say that - so many people (including myself, I'll admit) will choose to just stop texting rather than say that. At least I knew from the outset where I stand now and I don't have to waste time, if indeed I did like him. I replied saying thanks, maybe see you around, etc. Standard.
The point in all this, is that I'm talking about The Spark - that elusive deal maker or breaker that you can't explain, you can't quantify, but you either have it with a person or you don't. On paper, both of these dates should have been great, and Australian guy was pretty attractive too; but that feeling just wasn't there. Even though we'd been chatting for a while before both of these dates, you just can't tell a person until you actually meet them, I think. Which is where I think the whole online dating thing is flawed. You can put so much time and effort into a person before you really know them, and the pressure of a first date is immense; even if you don't fancy each other when you meet, it's hard to just be friends from that because the initial meeting was based on potential romance. You can meet someone in real life and be friends or perhaps more, but I find it quite difficult to maintain a contact with someone if the first date hasn't gone amazingly.
Par example; last saturday (as I said earlier) I met one of my housemate's* friends, who'd come up with a few others for the weekend to visit him. I'd never met him before but essentially he was just in my living room when I came home so I sat down and chatted with them all, a cup of tea turned into a few beers and suddenly I was coming out for the night with them all. I must admit, Alex, as we shall call him, was completely hot and I thought that as soon as I met him, but genuinely didn't think anything of it, he either probably had a gf or wouldn't have been interested in little me. BUT. He was! I know! You could probably see the glee from my face from a mile off. Basically, we were just chatting loads all night, and The Spark, whatever the hell it is, was 100% there. And then (many drinks and much later) he kissed me - and seriously, it's been years, years since I've felt like that. Teenage rush of drunken need and bad judgement. Hurrah! He was staying at our house anyway so things just kind of happened that way... and without going into too much detail (this isn't THAT kind of blog) my dreaded 3 year curse has been lifted. You can't image the relief. Someone actually thought me attractive enough/minimally annoying to want to sleep with me. I genuinely thought it would never happen again.
(Ladies: Side note. Not having sex for three years causes all kinds of things to... tighten up. Oh good god. It wasn't as bad as the first time... but yeah the initial bit was... surprising. And Christ, I was nervous. Genuinely had forgotten how nerve wracking the whole thing is. I'm sure I was terrible. Very out of practice, of course.)
*This is the housemate I have a
It crossed my mind a few days later that I may have inadvertently ruined it anyway with said wonderful housemate by sleeping with his friend. Cue panic. But, logic tells me that he's never going to know I like him anyway so it wouldn't matter. If, by some miracle, he likes me, and he found out I liked him, I don't think a one night stand is going to get in the way... right? Hmm. Alex was lovely but I didn't even get his number so it's not like that at all. I'd quite like a guy's opinion on that actually. Would you be put off a girl if you knew she had a random thing once with one of your mates?
Anyway, that's a massive detour. Housemate and I will never happen. End of. In the meantime, yay for sex!
In conclusion, the spark is something which you can't determine. If there wasn't a spark with Alex, I would never ever have slept with him. But I know what it was and what it wasn't; in fact I'm quite happy for it to have been a one time thing; I think I've surprised myself with my maturity over it. Three years ago I would have been all 'Omg he's so hot I want to see him again, maybe we'll get together and get married' and now, for once, I'm completely happy being single. So long as I keep meeting hot guys like him and there isn't another 3 year drought then that's fine...