Sunday, 1 July 2012

The One About Our First Date . . .

In the January of 2009 I read an article about online dating, more specifically Sarah Beeney's website, My Single Friend.  It made sense, you write an online profile, but a friend of yours writes something too, you upload a couple of photos, and then if men looking at it like what they see they can send you an message through the site, and you can reply if you want to.  At the time I was working at a place where I wasn't going to meet anyone, and my group of friends didn't socialise with any single men, and I'm not the sort of girl who goes out on the pull in a bar or nightclub.  Plus, I'm actually quite shy and lacking in confidence.  It took me two months of thinking and deliberating before I broached the subject with my best friend, who then said she was going to suggest it to me but didn't want to upset me!  My mum took a little longer to convince, but I explained how safe it all was and that you get to know each other over email first, then can arrange to meet up if you want to.
At Glastonbury exactly a year later - two days after we'd moved in together
After a couple of dates with men that I just didn't have that spark with, Mark's profile came up on the site.  I emailed him first, and got a response back within a day!  We seemed to have a lot in common, and were messaging nearly every day.  It got to the point where I was excited to get home in case he'd sent me a message!  After 6 weeks of this we decided to meet up, (we would have met sooner but he went off to the music festival at the Isle of White).
At Mark's friend's wedding
Mark suggested that we go and play Crazy Golf at the Trafford Centre.  Now, at the time I wouldn't drive motorways because I was scared of them, and had only driven on them once myself before.  But as the only route to the Trafford Centre was by motorway, I asked my best friend to teach me how to negotiate them before I met up with Mark (that's how badly I wanted to meet him!)  We met up at 11am, and went for a coffee first, and just generally chatted.  All I can remember from that initial meeting was how nervous I was, and Mark telling me how his sister was pregnant with twins and showing me the scan photos!  Then we went off to play Crazy Golf.  Now I'm not very good at Crazy Golf, and needless to say I lost, but we had a giggle!  When we'd been round the course we decided that we weren't hungry for lunch yet, so went and played pool.  I'm even more rubbish at pool, but with this you can always ask someone else to help you line up the shot.  Which I did on a couple of occasions, just to get close to Mark!  I still lost though!
Mark's 30th birthday 'M' party - I was Morticia, Mark was Megatron - and yes he made the costume himself!
Then it was time for lunch, at Pesto, a little Italian place which serves up small dishes like at a tapas restaurant.  Which was new to me as I'd never been to one.  Well, I turned to the dessert menu first, which is something I always do when out - well how else do you know whether to have a starter or not because you want to save space for dessert!  And as I was looking the waitress came along and asked whether we wanted any garlic bread while we waited, which we did, and then we got talking about my love of desserts, and the waitress suggested that we just get a couple of dessert choices rather than a main meal.  And my eyes lit up!  I was being allowed not one, but three desserts, well that was it then - it had to be desserts all the way.  And because Mark could see my enthusiasm he agreed, (I later learnt that he's not actually a big fan of desserts - ever the gentleman).  He let me choose all three so there would be at least one that I like, and he still does this now, if we're out and the menu looks quite dodgy Mark will let me pick two main courses and if I don't like the one I'm given we switch.  (We've only had to switch the once when I ordered the curry in a pub, and it was far too spicy for me, so I had his lasagne instead!)  (Oh and whilst waiting for the food I went to the ladies and sent the obligatory text to Mum & best friend to say that yes I was ok and yes it was going really well).
At my friend Catherine's wedding
After lunch, because neither of us wanted the date to end, Mark suggested that we walk round the shops for a bit, because he needed a Father's Day pressie and card for his Dad.  We ended up choosing his Dad a T-shirt in Debenhams, and do you know what?  His Dad still wears that T-shirt now!
At my sister's wedding
We then went for coffee in Carluccio's, and then it was time for me to go home - I was going out for dinner for my Mum & sister's birthday, otherwise I think I would have stayed until we were kicked out of the Trafford Centre!  Mark walked me to my car and we discussed what our next date would be.  And did he kiss me??? Well I think I might just keep you guessing!
On holiday in Madeira
This post was brought to you for Sian's Storytelling Sunday, why don't you pop on over to her blog and read all the other stories for this month?

21 comments:

Louise said...

awww, think this story needs to be scrapped x

heart.hearth.home. said...

Glad to hear the on-line dating worked for you. Such a great bunch of photographs to add to the story of your first date.Like Louise, I think you should scrap your story. It will be good to look back on in years to come.

scrappyjacky said...

What a lovely beginning.

Mel said...

I keep telling my sister to try internet dating - I think its fine now and doesn't have a stigma attached. I have been to Pesto in the Trafford Centre and love it.

Missus Wookie said...

aw what a lovely story - glad you braved the motorway for him :)

Missus Wookie said...

aw what a lovely story - glad you braved the motorway for him :)

debs14 said...

What a lovely story! How nice to hear an internet dating experience that has such a truly happy ending.

Sue aka Greyhound Lover said...

Gem that was beautiful, thank you for sharing it with us! I hope you have or intend to scrap it one day for your beautiful daughter to read.

Sue x

WendyB said...

I really enjoyed your lovely story Gemma, fantastic first date x

Jane said...

Ahhh Gem, I can remember the start too, we were all so thrilled for you x

Chipper said...

awwwww! That is such a lovely beginning. I am glad you found each other.

Sandie said...

Hi Gem, popping over to thank you for the comment you left on my post, and wanting to say how glad I am because I loved reading the story of how you & Mark got together. You make a lovely couple and hope you are both very happy and enjoying your baby daughter.

furrypig said...

that is such a lovely story and those photos were brilliant!

Wanda said...

An excellent story...well told. Old as I am, I'm totally skeptical of internet dating so I'm glad to learn that it worked out so well for you.

Alison said...

What a lovely story Jemma..I really enjoyed it!
Alison xx

Ifa said...

Fantastic! He sounds like a treasure...you are very lucky.

Ginger said...

ahh!! I LOVE your story Gemma :) What a true gentleman letting you pick the desserts! The two of you look very happy together and this story will be treasured by Alissia ;)

Kirsteen said...

Hi Gem, I hope this reaches you, I have woken up to a major laptop malfunction this morning so I've had to resort to my mobile. Urg.

Jacqui emailed your voucher on Monday, can you check your spam and email me to let me know if you haven't received it? Thanks chick xx

Kirsteen said...

P.S. just read your story. I want to know what happened next!! :) what a lovely story x

Linda said...

awww, lovely story Gemma! Love the photos too:) I've also read your post about the zoo, sounds fun!

Sian said...

..and the rest, as they say, is history! What a lovely story this is - heartwarming stuff to cheer as I take a break from my unpacking! I love it.