Continuing the series of ‘Where are they now?’ type features on some of my former 30 Dates, it’s time to check back in with my first proper blind date of the Challenge – The One with The Sign (or TOWTS as he’s become affectionately known!)
Date 2 of the 30, TOWTS met me under the bridge outside the British Film Institute, on a blazing summer’s day last July. I’d been stuck on the baking motorway for hours, and had to nip inside the South Bank Centre to redo my make-up, as I was melting. True to his name, he held up a sign, declaring that he was my Date Number Two – no easy feat, as the bridge was full of second-hand book stalls, and eager customers hunting down bargains.
We spent the afternoon picnicking on the South Bank, and exploring parts of London I’d never taken the time to really see. As we wound our way through tourist London, in uncharacteristic blazing summer heat, I was reminded of my days as a backpacker – when spending the day with a stranger was nothing out of the ordinary. And in that moment, I found my passion for the 30 Dates Challenge, and all the adventures it would bring.
Of all of my 30 Dates, TOWTS is probably the one I’ve become closest to. He has written for this blog on several occasions, and often attends singles events with me and Miss 32. He managed to cause a bit of uproar amongst the Experimental Daters, by snogging both The Rebound Gal and Miss 32 on the same night … oops! But above all, he’s a lovely guy, who went so far as to meet me back at our first meeting point, on the 1 year birthday of the blog, this time holding a celebratory sign! What a legend!
So how has his year been, in his words?
TOWTS, who is 29 and lives in central London, has been single all year. The biggest change in his world over the past twelve months was a career one – after changing job in October from one which in his words “made me miserable, I now love what I do, and look forward to going into the office when I wake up in the morning!” Something I’m sure a lot of people who favour over a relationship!
When asked what the most adventurous date he’s been on in the past year was, he replied “Yoga pub dating felt pretty adventurous, as did going on a blind date for the Guardian” (both things, I should probably add, that I made him do! 😉 ) . “In terms of more conventional dates, I arranged a treasure hunt through town.”
And his best date? “I had a particularly good second date a few months ago. We met for drinks, then played table tennis and considered joining a ukelele sing-along before settling on dinner instead out of sheer hunger. We got kicked out of the restaurant at closing time. It was fun, relaxed and things seemed to flow quite easily.”
How about his worst date?
“There are two that stand out. The first one is a bit of a blur. It was my fourth first date in the space of about 10 days. I hadn’t realised how tiring first dates were until I turned up and not only forgot the girl’s name, but also couldn’t remember what we’d talked about before meeting, so had to feign knowledge of things I couldn’t quite remember. The second was funny rather than bad. It involved a few too many bottles of Prosecco and having to carry a girl up some stairs. Let’s just leave it at that!”
So what’s the biggest lesson that The One With the Sign has learned in the last year?
“I’ve managed to reframe fear. Whereas I used to see fear of something as a reason to avoid doing that particular thing, I now know that being fearful of something means it’s probably because I’m excited about it and should therefore run towards it. I’ve also learned not to take things so seriously all the time.”
Finally, did being a part of 30 Dates change his attitude to being single at all?
“It hasn’t changed my attitude as such. It has simply confirmed to me that being single is good fun, as long as you embrace it and make the most of it! It has, though, changed my attitude towards dating. I’ve been on more dates in the past year than in all the previous years combined, and now no longer get so hung up about making a great first impression! I’m confident enough to just be myself on a date. If the woman likes me, great. If not, then that’s fine.”
Huge thanks to TOWTS, not just for all his help with the blog over the past year, but for being the kickstarter date that I needed, back in early July of last year. Without his fun, carefree approach to our blind date on the South Bank, I genuinely doubt I’d have carried on with my Challenge with so much enthusiasm. He truly was a ‘bar-setter’, proving just how much fun you can have on a blind date, and what great single guys London has to offer.
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx