Date One – The ‘Normal’ Fish!

Ok, so I’m back from Date 1, and I’m feeling a tad mean! Those of you following the date on the live Twitter feed @30dates will know that my first post of the night was to let you all know that ‘Boring Fish’ did turn out to be a boring fish! I’ve had a think … and I wish to retract that comment!

Boring Fish was rather boring. Or at least, I was bored. However …. I also realise I’m a tad abnormal!

I’ve done an awful lot of living for my 29 years – maybe I’m just a rather abnormal fish! And it’s gonna take an equally abnormal fish to keep me interested! In which case, maybe I get bored more easily than most?

With that in mind, I have decided to amend ‘Boring Fish’s draft name, and rename him ‘Normal Fish’.

Because to be honest, he was a nice enough guy. He just ‘wasn’t my cup of tea’.

I’m not gonna lie, I wasn’t overly excited getting ready for the date. None of the conversations I’d had with Normal Fish over POF had been massively inspiring, and I realised I’d actually forgotten most of what he’d told me about himself! :S (Stark contrast to HB, and the fact I had committed every little fact and comment to memory ….) However, knowing about 500 of you are now following the challenge (and that I really need to stop comparing men to Henley Boy), I made the effort! I blow-dried my hair, donned a silk skirt and figure-hugging vest top, and put on my ‘game face’ of make-up.

I went against the general consensus of Twitter followers, and chose high heels over flats …. More fool me! I’d forgotten that ‘online dating six foot’ actually means ‘real world five foot ten’!! When Normal Fish came over to greet me in the car park, I was barely shorter than him in my two inch heels.

He was less attractive than his online dating photos. I know that’s the norm – I watched a programme a few weeks ago where they said that the average online dater uses pictures which are at least 3 years old. (The same show also stated that Vegetarian online daters lie more than Meat-eaters, and Christians lie more online than Atheists ….. For the record, I’m a meat-eating Atheist 😉 )

Ironically, I think my online photos are probably less attractive than real-life me! I purposely chose photos where I’m playing sport, or wearing no make-up, so that there are no unfortunate surprises when someone meets me in real-life! Some of my pictures are a few years old, but only because I’m doing cool stuff in them – like running a Marathon, hiking the Inca Trail, or doing a bungee jump. All my close-ups are taken within the last three months.

Am pretty sure ‘Normal Fish’s close-ups weren’t taken in the last three months! And yet he wasn’t necessarily unattractive. Just, again, not really my cup of tea! He was slighter in build than I would normally date (think runner rather than rugby player), and more of a football fan than a rugger bugger.

And this is where I lose the majority of my blog following, by admitting that I’m a little bit of a snob. Scrap that, I’m a pretty big snob! Though, only when it comes to my love life…

I like to think I can get on with anyone. I backpacked for almost three years, a lot of that time on my own, and one of the requirements of spending that much time alone is that you have to be able to talk to anyone and everyone.

I have friends from all ages, backgrounds and vocations.

But when it comes to dating …. I am bit of a snob, particularly where intellect is concerned. (If anything, one of the reasons I agreed to do the Blind Dates challenge is because I know what a big snob I can be, and figured it would take me out of my tick-list comfort zone!)

I guess I’ve always thought of dating and romance as finding an ‘equal’, and because I spent 5 years in further education, I guess education is quite a big ‘equalising’ element when it comes to me. As far as I’m concerned, relationships work best when you’re on an equal footing with one another. There’s nothing worse (for me at least) than being in a relationship where one person tries SOOOO much harder than the others. Whichever side of the scales you end up on, if they’re tipped heavily in one direction, it’s just no fun. I don’t want a boyfriend who is way more into me than I am him, or vice versa.

And by the same token, I would hate to be in a relationship where one partner feels superior.

Not that I’m saying I feel intellectually superior to people. But a definite side-effect of having a Law degree from Cambridge, is that people often refer to it. Over the years, I’ve dated at least a couple of guys who brought up my degree a regular basis, as if they weren’t good enough to date me, because they didn’t have the abbreviation ‘Cantab’ after their names. As it turns out, sometimes dating someone who sees you as superior to them is just as bad as dating someone who thinks they are superior to you!

In reality, I didn’t really date anyone while I was at University, and I can’t actually imagine myself dating anyone I met in my time at Cambridge.

But I am still a bit of an intellectual snob. I don’t think I’ll settle down with someone who didn’t go to university, because I would hate for the comparison to always be drawn. And normally, the kind of guys I’m attracted to are science boffs, because I gave up science after GCSE and know nothing about it! So I’m always in awe of the stuff that they know …

So there we go … my dirty little dating secret number one. I’m an intellectual snob, and also a complete sucker for a posh voice (in case you hadn’t guessed that from my ‘perfect date’ with Henley Boy!) ( I told you, us meat-eating Atheists are pretty damn honest …. I know a lot of you will disagree with that aspect of me being picky, and I guess by all means prove me wrong with your provision of Blind Dates … I’ve agreed to date anyone between 25-35 who is male and single, remember!!!)

But back to Normal Fish. Well he was …. decidedly normal. He couldn’t remember the last time he went abroad, worked in construction, and spoke with a textbook ‘Reading’ accent. But those weren’t the main things that made him ‘normal’ for me … as my last proper boyfriend had an accent verging on Cockney, and left school at 16!

What made him a bit too ‘normal’ for me, was the fact that when we talked about travelling and life experiences, and anything really beyond family or work, he had very little to say. And by contrast seemed awed by the stories I had to share.

Don’t get me wrong, every girl likes a bit of awe!

But I also like my story to evoke one of his stories. And then vice versa. So conversation properly flows, instead of me telling a cool story, and then him awkwardly telling me ‘how cool’ that story was. End of conversation.

I’m not saying conversation was awful. Like I said, I have friends of all ages and backgrounds, and I like to think I can speak to anyone about most things.

We had perfectly polite conversation – about Wimbledon, the Williams sisters, hen dos, stag dos, landscape gardening, the construction industry, barges, etc etc

But it was the polite conversation I might have with someone sat next to me on a bus, or a friend’s parents.

Not the excitement fuelled banter of a romantic interest. A romantic equal. It was conversation which had me thinking about the errands I needed to run back at home. The three unanswered text messages on my phone. And the slab of chocolate waiting for me in my kitchen!

And so, that’s where we leave ‘Normal Fish’. My first of thirty dates.

We met – at a riverside pub in a village about 15 minutes from where I live (that I had never ever been to!). Ironically the temperature on my car thermometer showed 30 degree heat! The location was really nice, the pub garden atmosphere relaxed, and he had carefully chosen the pub so it was on my drive between work and home (earn a point for that one!)

I drank – White Zinfandel and Lemonade. He drank – Peroni (so probably not a secret alcoholic, like Henley Boy conspiracy theory number 1!!) He bought Round 1 (earn another point). I bought Round 2 – my unconscious signal that I don’t really see things going anywhere and am treating my date more like a mate.

The date lasted – just under two hours, and felt like two hours. I started noticing the cold an hour in, and managed to escape to the loo half way through to update anyone following the date live @30dates on Twitter.

The date ended … when I remembered I had a really nice slab of Hotel Chocolat chocolate in the fridge, which I’d bought for the Henley picnic that never happened. I used the age-old sign that I wanted to go home, by pulling my handbag into my lap and complaining about the cold!

Marks out of ten? A very average five to get the ball rolling.

Miss Twenty-Nine xxx

9 Comments on Date One – The ‘Normal’ Fish!

  1. Well im already hooked

  2. If only i met any of the criteria, but alas, im over 35, under 6:2, have met you and am not single… I’m guessing there is some ‘wiggle room’ but not that much!!!

  3. There really is no problem with feeling superior to a man and you should never feel that you need to apologize for it – seriously. Men have it so easy in so many ways and aspects in life that having some leverage is really good 🙂

  4. I’d be curious to see a blog posting as to why someone would want to date you. What do you have to offer potential mates? For example, check out this guy’s post:

    So basically, why should a guy choose you? 🙂

  5. I’m already hooked! As a secret snob, I totally agree! I’ve been on many a date with a ‘normal fish’ and have come to the conclusion that just because someone’s done interesting things, it definitely doesn’t make them interesting. Intellect is one of my biggest dealbreakers!

    • Haha I think this post received the biggest backlash out of any I’ve ever written on the blog! (Mainly over Facebook from friends of friends who’d never met me!) let me know what you think of the other 29 … There are some good’uns! 😉 xx

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