The Man in The Mirror (The Student)

The Student meets The Man in The Mirror, and comes away reflecting on some realities of dating!

Miss Twenty-Nine xxx


I definitely abide by the rule that you can always tell a man by his shoes. Last night my date was wearing silver shoes.

Shiny silver shoes.

Fine. Fine, if you must.

To be fair, the rest of his outfit was very good: dark jeans, white shirt and a well-fitting leather jacket. So I could forgive the attention-seeking shoes. I quite liked the whole ensemble, but not in a prospective partner. I like my guys to be more unassuming. However, for a first date the silver shoes told me that this guy wouldn’t be boring, so I took it as a good omen for the evening.

This was a Tinder set up. We’d been chatting on the app and by text for a few days and had agreed to go on a date on Friday. Unfortunately due to a drunken mishap on Wednesday night, whereby I face-planted and managed to wake up with a fair few scratches on my face and a rather unsightly open wound on my chin, I wasn’t hugely keen on venturing out in public. (I know, aren’t I quite the lady? I’m sure everyone’s stopped wondering why I could possibly be single!) So on Friday afternoon I cancelled the date, telling him I didn’t want to inflict my horrible face upon him until it had recovered. He very graciously accepted my rain-check.

I liked him more after cancelling the first date. I always find that you can discover someone’s true character through the way they react to problems or situations, not through idle chitchat. He responded very kindly, saying that whenever I was ready to re-enter society was fine by him. Much appreciated.

Come Sunday my face was looking a lot better, so we organised to try again on Monday night. If anyone was in London last night they’ll know that I couldn’t have picked a worse evening to leave the house. It was pouring. As I’d spent most of the weekend cooped up, I definitely wasn’t too excited to leave again when I saw the outside world. Nevertheless, I knew I had to make my way to Old Street Station to meet my date.

I was late, obviously. Nightmare journey getting intermittently soaked, of course. But he was late too so we both arrived around the same time.

He greeted me with a big smile and a kiss on the cheek. Lovely. Though, I’m pretty sure his hand brushed my arse during our greeting, which I hope wasn’t intentional!!

He’d picked out The Golden Bee as our bar of choice. Though he admitted within two minutes that the reason he’d picked it was because it was the only bar he knew in Shoreditch! Fair enough, go with what you know!

He said it also had a really nice rooftop terrace, which of course would be a no go that night! So we had a giggle about the rain as we walked towards the bar.

Naturally, it was shut.

In stepped yours truly to save the day and take us down to another bar that I knew would be open on the neglected Bank Holiday Monday. I took us to El Paso, a little further down Old Street. We entered, ordered our drinks and got down to business.

Within five minutes I had an alarm ringing. He was a big ‘MJ’ fan. I mean, that’s fine. Lots of people like Michael Jackson. I like his music too, not all the time but I’m cool with him.

I like Michael Jackson’s music but I also recognise that he was a very troubled person so I can’t help but think that someone that likes Michael Jackson that much is not troubled, but just a bit odd. I know that’s a terrible assumption to make. But I just find it odd. That’s just me.

He also mentioned that because he likes him so much he ‘knows people.’ These people got him access to the red carpet to the This Is It premiere a few years ago. Okay… I mean, I like Ryan Gosling a lot but that doesn’t mean ‘I know people…’

I didn’t want to ask about ‘MJ’ because I didn’t really want to know. I don’t want to know about someone’s collection of original tour posters or vinyl collection. It scares me.

Besides this he was hugely interesting and great fun to have a good chat with. He was very interested in music (clearly) and was in the process of producing his first album. Conversation flowed, fabulous.

However, I didn’t fancy him. No spark. And I felt bad about this, but I think my body language made it clear. I can’t help it. I’m not the most confident person. I’m a good conversationalist and can talk to most people but that doesn’t mean that I’m not nervous or shy. It just means I’ve learned how to maintain a conversation. Basic skill. Clearly what I haven’t learned is how to hide my discomfort.

It’s not that I was uncomfortable in his presence; I just wasn’t able to fully relax at any point. I was closed and sat awkwardly the whole night, and I still can’t figure out why.

I think he picked up on this as at the end of the night we said a quick goodbye with a hug and a ‘nice to meet you, keep in touch.’ That’s fine, I’m glad we both realised it was a platonic night rather than romantic. He was genuinely a really nice guy to get to know and fabulous to spend an evening with.

I’ve come away thinking about how I conduct myself on dates.

I think we’re quite prone to finding the faults in our dates and using the rest of the population as scapegoats for our singledom. We come away from our evening moaning about our partner’s limp hair or terrible banter and forget that they might also be coming away saying similar things about us. It’s easy to find the faults in others, and much harder to find them in ourselves.

As MJ said, ‘If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself, and then make change.’

@The Student_30   xx

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