I remembered The Finn telling me on our first date that her favourite cuisine is Turkish, so I did research on the web and found the best Turkish restaurant in North London. I make a booking for the next night and in the evening talk to The Finn about my plan. Unfortunately she had already been to that restaurant, but I wasn’t going to make another booking elsewhere.
On the day I get there very early and kill time in a nearby busy coffee shop. Two young women are at the table next to mine. One of them, a pretty brunette, keeps looking at me. I find that flattering but I do nothing about it. I don’t think I’ll ever have so-called ‘day game’ whereby I chat up a stranger whom I find attractive. In the recesses of my brain I keep telling myself that there’s a 95% probability that she will want children. I’d be wasting my time. I ignore her flirtatious glances and coy smiles. In the past two years I’ve had this happen several times and each time I rebuff the unsolicited attention. My friends think I’m crazy for ignoring these opportunities, but I know what’s good for me. Well, I like to think so. What intrigues me is how women know that I’m single.
I meet The Finn at a nearby train station and my initial reaction upon seeing her again is positive. She is the prettiest woman I’ve seen all day. The sight of her makes my blood flow faster. I kiss her hello on each cheek which makes her almost blush, then I lead us to the restaurant.
Conversation doesn’t flow easily and naturally. On second dates you find out a lot more about a person. Well I did. She never asked a single question about me again, which made me think that she isn’t taking me seriously as boyfriend material.
A far greater issue is that it’s becoming apparent to me that, besides a mutual physical attraction, we have very little in common. For example, I asked, “So what’s your favourite kind of movie?”
“I don’t watch much television or movies. I definitely don’t watch horror films.”
“Okay, so what’s the last music concert you went to?”
After much thought she answered, “My last concert was a Nordic music festival.”
“I see. I was meaning mainstream pop music.”
After more thought and an uncomfortable silence she answered, “I can’t remember.”
“Okay, not a problem.”
I’m trying to come across as making polite small-talk, but inside I’m becoming alarmed at her seemingly having little cultural pursuits and what she is into is nothing like mine. I’m trying to not make the date sound like an interrogation, but her answers or lack thereof was making it so. Nevertheless I persevere.
“What kind of books do you read?”
“I definitely don’t read horror stories.”
What’s a guy to do?
For the rest of the evening it felt like I was pushing an elephant up a mountain. Conversation was as dry as the Atacama Desert. Her impenetrable answers give me no idea about whether she’s a Taker or a Giver, but quite honestly, I now don’t care because she’s become boring to me. What chemistry there was is fading.
I decide to stop asking questions and let her deal with the awkward silences. It’s an old dating tactic of mine to not break the silence, to let the other person speak their mind as it reveals much. She would do so every time by starting to talk about her favourite pastime of hiking. I hate hiking.
By the time the meal ends I have come to the conclusion that we have very little in common. Our interests and pursuits are worlds apart. The question is: Do I take this as an opportunity to broaden my horizons or do I decide that we have little basis for a relationship? This was to play on my mind.
Neither of us feel like dessert as the Turkish meal we had just shared was sublime. We chose to settle the bill, which I paid despite her offering to pay her half. I sometimes wish I wasn’t such an old-fashioned gentleman, but letting the woman pay even half would spoil the experience for me.
It’s a balmy Summer’s evening and a very pleasant temperature, so we decide to go for a walk along the high street where there are many boutiques, restaurants and pubs. She seemed to have eaten at every second restaurant that we passed, which surprised me because of how skinny she was. Then I remember that she confessed to having been on many dates.
As we walked past an old-fashioned butcher, she asks me, “Do you like venison?”
“Absolutely. I like all sorts of exotic meats. How about you?”
“Yes, me too. Growing up in Finland we’d have elk after the Summer hunting season.”
“Well, my town has a monthly farmer’s market where there is a butcher who sells all sorts of meats. Would you like to visit it sometime?” I asked, hoping for an enthusiastic response which would indicate to me that she was open to growing a relationship with me.
Instead I get a stony silence.
I now got the impression that she isn’t that interested in me. After all, if the person you were interested in invited you to visit their town with an implied visit to their home, you would jump at the opportunity, right? I feel down-hearted and somewhat confused by her inaction that borders on rejection.
It was now getting late so I escort her to the nearest Tube station. In that time I decide to test her by trying to kiss her. You can tell a lot from a kiss. Maybe this will be a catalyst between us and a relationship will spark into life? We approach an escalator and I stretch my strides so that I can stand in front of her. Was it going to be like the first kiss with Baltic Babe?
I turn around and face her, a naughty smile on my face. She smiles too and I think she suspects what I was up to. I lean forward to kiss her, but don’t go all the way in, choosing instead to hold back just a little bit, waiting to see if she comes in to kiss me too. After all, I don’t want to force myself on her and I was looking for an indication of interest and attraction. If she doesn’t come in for the kiss, then I would know that I was wasting my time and for sure wouldn’t be seeing her again.
The Finn puts a dainty hand deftly on my shoulder and leans forward to kiss me. Her lips are so fine that I can barely feel them. Our lips are badly mismatched and the kiss is unappetising; a big disappointment. It is my worst first kiss ever.
Instead of the date ending on a high, it was a deflated feeling. I got an answer about the level of attraction that she felt for me, i.e. minimal. I have also never encountered such a bad kisser before. I’m learning that a bad kisser gives bad blowjobs.
I wait with her on the platform until her train arrives. Conversation is stilted. She hops on board without any hint of wanting another kiss. We smile politely and I give a perfunctory wave goodbye as the train pulls off. A part of me suspects that I might never see her lovely face again.
By the time I get home I’ve decided that she isn’t right for me. Despite a promising first date, this second encounter was a big let down because it became obvious that we have very little in common. Our interests are too divergent and I can’t see a basis for a relationship other than what, at best, seemed like a mutual physical attraction. If all I wanted was easy sex then I’d spend more time on her, letting matters meander to the bedroom…or my sofa after watching Californication. She is beautiful and seducing her would no doubt be a sweet experience. That’s not what I want.
I’ve learned that first dates are about pleasantries and formalities; everyone is on best behaviour. On a second date you find out if you really have anything to talk about. By the end of the third date you know if you want to keep talking. With The Finn I know that I don’t want to keep talking and it’s only been date two.
The young White Knight me would have tried to see where things could lead with the Finn, but I have enough experience, knowledge and, crucially, understanding to know that I would be trying to make love out of nothing at all. That would be foolish and I’m not that fool any more. The me that I have become, this older Grey Knight, knows what needs to be done next.
The Finn was going away for the weekend to Finland for a wedding and returned on the Monday night. That night I sent her the following message:
I’ve spent a lot of time over the weekend thinking of you.
I’m sorry to say, but I have come to the conclusion that I do not believe that we are right for each other.
We just don’t have enough common interests that we can enjoy together. I have optimistically thought that we can introduce each other to new things and broaden horizons together. However, I realistically know that that is not likely to be the case. At this stage of life we are all set in our ways to a large extent and our interests are fixed.
I hope you understand, and perhaps even agree?
You are a remarkable woman and have much to offer – and deserve much in return.
I wish you all the best in your search.
Her response arrived a few hours later:
Thank you for emailing me your thoughts rather than becoming uncontactable.
I know what you mean by perhaps not having enough similar interests. Although we didn’t really have a chance to find out if something you like could develop an interest in me or vice versa, which has left me slightly disappointed.
Anyway, meeting you has given me hope that there are decent men out there! You are a lovely guy and I really enjoyed your company and our chats.
Good luck with your future dates.
All the best,
This experience felt cold, icy even. This was my time of Ice. Fire was next, but I didn’t know this.
LESSONS LEARNED: 1) A profile’s words has to invoke a sense of “wow – I want to meet her”, not be just a few pretty pictures. 2) Don’t get your hopes up until after the first kiss. 3) Physical attraction is more common than a cerebral connection.
Air Supply – Making love out of nothing at all