“After his first question, ‘Which is your favourite train model?’ (I kid you not), we sat in silence. I don’t think he was impressed with my answer. I told him my favourite train was Thomas. Before the bell rang to signal the end of the three minutes, he had already got up and left the date”
I don’t know why I didn’t think of it years ago. I’ve tried Grindr, Plenty of Fish and various other dating apps. I’ve attempted blind dates, set up by well-meaning friends. I’ve even turned my hand, or should that be legs, to bike rides in the country. All to no avail.
So I saw an advert for speed dating in Leicester Square and decided I had nothing to lose. Other than a clock load of three minutes.
I came to the conclusion that even I couldn’t go wrong with speed dating. Only three minutes with each man. Surely even I couldn’t show myself up in that time frame.
This will come as no surprise to my friends, family or avid followers of this column, but I had a Savvy B to calm my nerves and give me a drop of Dutch courage. A rather large drop of Dutch courage. I say a glass, it was actually a bottle.
The bell rang and it was time for my first three-minute date. I was at a table with a rather handsome man, who at a guess, I would place in his early forties. He had such beautiful eyes, I felt myself start to swoon. I believed I was about to meet my perfect man.
Well, let me tell you this, whoever coined the phrase, looks can be deceiving deserves a medal. He opened his mouth to tell me his name was Derek. He had a voice which only the word monotone could be used to describe. Trainspotter springs to mind.
After his first question, “Which is your favourite train model?” (I kid you not), we sat in silence. I don’t think he was impressed with my answer. I told him my favourite train was Thomas. I mean, I was only joking but he had obviously had a sense of humour bypass. Before the bell rang to signal the end of the three minutes, he had already got up and left the date. RUDE. Things can only get better. I hoped.
I’d never been so grateful to hear a bell in my life. Well, apart from dinner time back in primary school. I was a fat kid, what can I say? I got up and moved to my next victim. Whoops, I mean man.
I found myself sat opposite another handsome man. But I told myself not to judge a book by its cover after my first failure. Wait until you hear him speak, I heard a voice in my head tell me. And when he did, I fell in love. He was very posh, well-spoken and far from monotone.
He asked me a question about my occupation and as my gob opened, I saw an eyebrow raise on his boat race. Our voices and accents couldn’t be any more opposite. He clearly came from Barnes and me from Staines.
“It’s like being on a date with a character from EastEnders!” I kid you not, those were the exact words that left his mouth. I would have raised my eyebrows too, but after botox, I struggle to perform this action.
He was clearly put off by the way I spoke so instead of raising my eyebrows, I raised my arse from the seat and finished the date prematurely. Third time lucky I hoped as the bell rang again.
I clutched onto my glass of Savvy B and decided it WOULD be third time lucky. I may be the unluckiest gay in the dating world but I would never lose my optimism. PMA. Positive mental attitude. I’m going to have it etched on my gravestone.
I sat down at the next table, well I say sat. I’d had a few glasses of New Zealand plonk by this point, so the word stumble is a more appropriate description of how I travelled to my seat. I soon sobered up as I clapped eyes on my next potential beau. DING FUCKING DONG.
It was a refreshing joy to finally meet a VERY handsome man who seemed reasonably normal. And we seemed to hit it off like a house on fire. We laughed together and he even asked me out for a drink after the speed dating had finished. Maybe the undateable gay’s curse is finally lifting. WATCH THIS SPACE…
Mark David Woollard graduated from Brunel University, West London in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Creative Writing and Journalism. Since then, he has written for many publications as a freelance writer. He has been ‘The Undateable Gay’ for The Gay UK magazine since 2015 where he documents his unsuccessful dating life. He wrote an opinion column for the national Student Times, discussing LGBT issues.
He also writes educational pieces for ‘Massage World’ magazine, giving advice to Reflexologists about treating certain ailments. He authored a novella in 2013 entitled ‘The Fun and Frolics of FIFI a L’Orange’, the crazy adventures of a drag queen.
And is currently working on a series of LGBT books for children and a collection of flash fiction.
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