Never Mind the Gap! The Hazards of Dating on the Tube.
I’ve always been a great advocate of London dating. Early in my 30 Dates Challenge I realised London was a mine of never-ending dating fun, far more entertaining and exotic than anything Reading could offer. As a result, my life quickly became a litany of Tube Station instructions. Men arranging to meet me at x, wearing y …. After all, with most of the population moving around the city underground, the stations are the obvious landmarks. I met the Enigma by the statue at Euston Station, Mr SC under the Waterloo clock, and Captain Charm-Offensive at Notting Hill Gate.
But whilst Tube Stations are a great place to start a date (so great in fact that I now have a list of favourites, which are almost guaranteed to kick off a successful date), they are a really dreadful place to end one!
As I look back over 18 months of dating, I relive awkward farewell after awkward farewell. The time on Shoreditch High Street when the Voice seemed to lunge for me, and I all but ran to the opposite platform, only to then have to sit awkwardly avoiding eye-contact with him across the tracks! The moment on the Tube when the Online Sleuth pressured me into saying I’d had a great time, when I really hadn’t, and I silently thanked every religion going that we were saying goodbye on a crowded Tube carriage and he was unlikely to attempt a kiss.
Saying goodbye at a Tube station can be really difficult. There’s the odd social awkwardness of knowing when to part ways. Are you going in the same direction? Has the night come to an obvious end? What do you do if you end up following one another down to the same platform? But then saying goodbye to someone in a Tube carriage is even worse. Suddenly you’re no longer in an intimate setting, just the two of you. You’re surrounded by strangers in halogen lighting, and it all just seems so public! Up in Edinburgh on my date with the Groupon Guy, we said bye at a taxi rank, and a few days later he admitted he would have kissed me, but it all just seemed too public. And that was 3am, pretty pissed up, in a dark taxi rank. Imagine the idea of snogging someone with an audience actually sitting around you on seats? And not just snogging someone. Snogging someone for the first time.
No thank you!
Why do I bring this up? Well yesterday I went on a rather fun blind date. A blind date, which ended on a Tube. He got off first, and as he stood to leave, I also began to stand – my plan being to politely kiss him on both cheeks. “Oh are you getting off here too?” he asked confused. I stopped, halfway out of my seat. “Err, no?” I replied, suddenly really awkward. “I was getting up to kiss you … twice!” I added firmly, feeling myself go red. “Oh, argh …” he dawdled in the open doorway of the train, not knowing whether to step out or come back and say bye. Worried the doors might close on him, I all but shooed him from the carriage.
And then the train stayed at Earls Court station for the best part of five minutes. The doors wide open, and my date standing awkwardly on the platform, as I sat on the train, playing aimlessly with my phone.
Never end a first date in a Tube carriage!
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx
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