Date one was on Friday, date two on Saturday, yet I had not received a single sign of life by Monday. There was nothing left to do but to summon Harry to Starbucks for a thorough interrogation. He arrives late but cheerful, we find a seat in the back. Before he has even had a chance to sit down, I fire my first question at him: ‘how was it?’
“I think the best word would simply be good, it wasn’t great, but I had fun. I don’t know what I was expecting out of it, but I think the girls and me didn’t really hit it off like some people on dates would.”
My heart sinks into my stomach, I manage to squeeze out a high pitched ‘why?’. He stumbles over his words, clearly trying to spare my feelings. “I have a concept of dating but it’s not something I’ve done much of. I didn’t really know what to expect of it. I expected more feelings, but I didn’t have many feelings after.”
I decide to go through the dates step by step kicking off with the one on Friday. Harry and mystery girl number one were sent off to Darnley Coffee house for an afternoon of tea and scones.
“The first five minutes I was quite awkward, but she was really bubbly, there was never a dull moment between us. It was a good conversation which was nice. We never checked our phone during the whole thing, it lasted for a good two and a half hours”.
However, there was a small incident: “I went for a tea which was bad, I was shaking with the tea and I was spilling it everywhere”. He acts out the anecdote, complete with imaginary teapot and concludes with the words: “She must have thought I was a nervous wreck, but I’m just really clumsy with teapots.”
Just when I start to wonder if the tea incident is to blame for Harry’s lack of enthusiasm, he mentions how the date ended. After Harry slides in a smooth “this was fun we should do it again” he’s met with the classic “I’m super busy” excuse. When I ask if he texted her after he gives me a solid thought out answer. “I was going to get drunk, and I didn’t want to send her a drunk message. And then I was too hungover the next day to send her a sober message, so I just left it.”
We quickly resume to mystery girl number two in the hopes of some more sparks and romance. It becomes clear from the start that we are not about to embark on a modern-day Romeo and Juliet.
“It was really awkward at first. I didn’t have a first name, just a picture. So, I saw a girl that kind of looked like her, so I’m panicking.” When Harry does eventually find his date, the conversation is halting. “A lot of the conversation was me asking open questions and her giving closed answers.”
He abruptly stops in the middle of his sentence and his eyes light up: “this changed my life”. I freeze, in anticipation of an unexpected plot twist, a first kiss maybe?
“At one point she asks me ‘do you like video games?’ So, I’m thinking yes this girl likes video games something to talk about. I say ‘yes do you?’ and she goes ‘No, you just look like someone who likes video games’.”
He stops, his eyes grow wide “So then I was ‘I look like a nerd then?’ I put two and two together. Video games…like a sloppy sweaty nerd who reads comic books”. He shakes his head, “After that I’ve changed my life, I’ve been eating healthy and have been to the gym three times. What I said to my friend Martin was that ‘If I’m going to look like a nerd, I’m going to look like a hot nerd, ok’!”
By this point I can’t contain my laughter, I high-five the man and ask if his six pack is showing yet. He assures me that she was honestly a nice girl, but that the spark just wasn’t there.
When I asked him if he has any tips for past Harry, he points out that he wouldn’t do anything differently, “In essence, just be yourself.”
With just one more date on the horizon, Harry asks me the age-old question, “how do you find that connection with someone?”. Now it’s my turn to stumble over my words, I apologise and tell him I haven’t found the answer to that question myself just yet.
But who knows? Maybe Harry would find that answer himself on his final blind date, that night.