No more swiping; find a spark! Speed Dating Nights in Glasgow Sept-Oct 2021

Are you single? Are you fed up with dating apps? Has the Pandemic been lonely? Are you looking for a spark? As a Dating Coach, Speed Dating Host and the owner of Jaded Dating, I am delighted to share ‘Urban Encounters’. for singles to meet in person, socialise and find a spark!

I have been hosting Speed Dating events for 3 years and I noticed something was missing so I spoke with single from ages 22-60 and launched ‘Urban Encounters; no more swiping find a Spark’ for bespoke speed dating and singles mixer events.

What exactly is Speed Dating? Speed Dating facilitates a group of singles to meet. Each person will meet around 12-20 other singles in one evening for 4-minute dates. At the end of the night, they tick who they want to see again. If two people pick each other, details are swapped to arrange a date. *

It’s a safe, kind place for people away from the apps to meet like minded singles and a potential romantic connection. The evenings are friendly, sociable and there is always a buzz of laughter, flirting and connections. When people match on the night, there’s instant sparks which is so much more natural than chatting on an app for weeks and then not having the connection you built up in your head!

Everyone tells me they are glad they came. Getting dressed up and meeting other singles is an amazing confident boost that the apps cannot give, and it is reassuring to meet so many others in the same boat as you- if you feel like you’re the last single person, I promise you aren’t. It’s a live action Tinder.

4 minutes may seem like a short time, but it is almost 100 times longer to make the decision than the 40 seconds spent deciding if you want to swipe right or left!

Urban Encounters will tailor each event to cover age groups, sexuality, interests so upon booking you know you’ll meet like-minded people and real potentials.

Recently, I was invited to talk about being Speed Dating on BBC radio with the Love Guru, Paul C Brunson from Celebs go Dating. He agreed that Speed Dating was the best thing a single person could do. Even if you don’t meet a potential, you are having on average 15 dates, so you’ve improved your dating game at least. We decided to call it the “dating gym” and I promise you that attending one of my nights… like the gym you won’t regret it!

My goal is to make single people feel better about being single, enjoy dating and to put themselves out there. I would also like to stress that I am not slagging dating apps, just suggesting a night off them and if the past year has taught us anything, in person really is the better option.

Now that events are allowed, I currently have tickets on sale for the following:


Facebook- Jadeddatinglife

Instagram- Jaded.dating

*Please note your details will never be given to a person unless you have stated you want to meet them too.

I look forward to matching you soon!


Welcome to Jaded Dating

Welcome to my blog. Your first question is probably “Why is it called Jaded?” Well, apart from being a clever play on words as my name is Jade, this is a relationship blog and jaded is pretty much how us twenty-something girls (and guys too maybe) feel about the romantic quest. I found this definition of the word:

Jaded: The end result of having a steady flow of negative experiences, disappointment, and unfulfillment fed into a person where they get to the point where their anger circuits just sort of burn out and they accept disillusionment.”

This blog is the stories and thoughts of an optimistic bitch (Babe In Total Control of Herself) in a jaded dating world.

I know what you’re thinking: Not another dating blog by a single lady in her early thirties who thinks she’s Carrie Bradshaw. A clueless girl on endless bad dates and constantly making bad decisions, along with her single friends: the optimist, the cynical one and the sexually voracious one, all on the same journey…sharing dating stories that everyone wants to read about that right?

Well, yes okay Carrie Bradshaw is an icon. I have been told I am the Scottish Carrie Bradshaw; wears heels most days, blonde curls and always has a good story about dating. But along with my own whimsical stories of dating dreams and disasters, I want to take this opportunity to look at the over analysing every little detail in dating and where our concept of “Mr Right” comes from.

I’ve always been interested in the quest for Mr Right, from the story of Cinderella at the age of 5, to being obsessed with the ‘will they won’t they?’ story of Ross and Rachel at the age of 13, discovering Sex and the City at 16, round about the same time I started reading Jane Austen. Aaah Mr Darcy. Then from Higher English to a degree in Drama I discover the beauty of Shakespeare and learned that “All is fair in Love and War.” I continued to lose myself in the love stories from books and TV. I then wrote my undergraduate dissertation based on this obsession: Does 21st century television portray women’s search for Mr Right any differently to 19th century literature?

I wrote this dissertation before I became the sassy serial dater that I (like to think I am) today. And despite the endless books and articles on feminism, fairy tales, literature, gender and even the somewhat corrupt tales by Angela Carter, I have no idea if life can be a fairytale and where our Mr Darcy is. Seriously, where is he? Is he going to be the guy in the suit at the bar on a Friday at 6pm? The book worm guy that gets on my bus at 8:30am Monday-Friday? That athletic guy on the treadmill at the gym at 5:30pm? My workplace is huge… maybe he is sitting in an office a floor or two above? Is he really going to be on the notorious Tinder’? Or what about that random bearded man with the tattoos that liked my selfie on Instagram? As I sit on my tablet responding to “I know the best spot in town for…”on Hinge and ‘Hot or Not’ on Tinder, I begin to realize that we have so many different ways to meet men, wither it be socially , randomly or on one of the many social media platforms. Although this can be exhausting and frustrating, this is  pretty damn exciting. Times have changed, online dating isn’t for the desperate, socially awkward anymore. It’s full of fun, attractive, successful singletons. And a date with the 6ft guy, average body type, Aries, guitar playing accountant from the dating site brings us one step closer to finding him than sitting in watching The Notebook with a bottle of wine while imagining Ryan Gosling proposing to you.
As I said before, this blog is not just my own dating life, I will share the books that all women should read from ’Pride and Prejudice to ’He’s just not that into you’. I will give my opinions on all the dating shows we have on TV such as First Dates and Love Island. I host singles events and Speed Dating nights too so I will give some insight there.

Don’t hesitate to leave your thoughts and ideas. I am happy to answer any questions you may have and start discussion boards too. Please note that I can only offer opinion as I am no expert and I sway between being an optimist and pessimist…

6 lessons from Love Island 2021

After 56 episodes of bombshells, challenges, chats, head turns, “graduating” and explosive outbursts, it is the finale of Love Island 2021. The final four couples in with a shot of winning 50k are:

  • Millie and Liam
  • Faye and Teddy
  • Chloe and Toby
  • Kaz and Tyler

An eclectic and interesting group and certainly not the final 4 we anticipated a few weeks ago following Liam’s head turning, Tyler’s Casa kisses, Toby’s indecisiveness, and Faye’s outburst and of course, no one expected the breakup of Liberty and Jake which resulted in them leaving.

The personalities and twists of the season have been absolutely what we have become accustomed to and what we watch it for. Reality TV is a social experiment and many of us identify ourselves and our friends in the contests. As a dating coach, I would like to highlight 6 lessons we have learned from this year’s Love Island

  • Trust your gut

Never before have we seen a couple become official, declare their love and break up during their time in the villa. Ever since the movie night, Liberty’s gut had been telling her something was not all it seemed in her relationship with Jake. And despite him claiming he loved her and continuously assuring her she was his “gurlfriend”, she knew it wasn’t right as he often put her down and she ended it just days before the final. Liberty showed great emotional maturity and humbly left with her head held high.

Special mention to Millie and Chloe who although had been “mugged off” by Toby and Liam at one point but took them back after grovelling as they knew in their gut it was right thing to do.  And Kaz too with Tyler for that matter!

  • Be your partners cheerleader

Who else noticed the smile on Liam’s face as he watched Millie play the keyboard at the Villa Talent show? As she started to shake while playing, his smile got bigger and he nodded. If she had looked up and seen his face, it would have reassured her to keep going. Adorable.

In fact, the full season has had many “challenges” such as the Police Challenge, sexy cat and mice, playing the field and that awful spit roast challenge. But you could tell who was genuinely into their partner by how they cheered and smiled while they performed.

  • Don’t worry what other people think

Of course, the name of the game is for you to be the winners which is “favourite couple” so while in the villa, if your fellow contestants vote you “least compatible” the vision of you winning is starting to blur. However, I do always advise that no one knows the couple more than the 2 people in the relationship. Faye’s reaction to being voted least compatible showed her own insecurities about her romantic relations and her friendships. It is fine to politely ask others why they have the opinion they have but kicking off is never advised.

  • Thoughtful gestures make an impact

When you are dating, you might receive flowers or pick up a bottle of their favourite wine to show you are thinking of them but when isolated in the villa, there isn’t many options to “woo” potentials or show them you care. However, the morning iced- coffee has been a prominent gesture of who you like in the villa. Each boy making their girl a coffee and handing it to her in front of the others. In the early episodes. Boys could be seen rushing to be the first to bring a newbie a coffee to peacock and then the girls would “aww” at the gesture and share who makes the best coffee.

Other cute gestures this season have been Liam’s birthday pancakes (stated his favourite breakfast) by Millie and Toby creating a picnic for him and Chloe.

  • Good friendships are SO important

From the early days, there was petitions for Liberty and Kaz to win the 50k due to their friendship. It was weird and quite frankly, out of order when Jake held Liberty back from hugging Kaz following her being asked to be exclusive by Tyler. You could tell Liberty was hurting watching her friend from afar. And Kaz set the bar for what a good friendship is when she returned from her last date and chose to sleep next to her heart broken friend in the day bed rather than cuddle with Tyler. Liberty didn’t even ask- immediately Kaz told her that is how it is.

However, it’s not just Kaz and Liberty. It is how all the girls are with each other. Remember when Millie returned from a chat with Lillie about Liam in Casa Amor…

All the feels. Through the season, the girls have really been there for the other girls, the boys have been there for the other boys and allowed each other to be vulnerable. And even platonic boy/girl friendships. Millie and Toby just hug and laugh consistently, Liam is always lifting Kaz for hugs and no wonder Faye blew up (again) when she saw footage of Jake encouraging the other boys to cheat. Faye highlighted that Jake had called the girls his sisters but that is not how you treat your sisters. She was right.

  Side note, egging your mates on to cheat is not ok. Don’t be like Jake.

  •  Relationships are a journey

Toby and Chloe. As a couple and as individuals they have been the marmites of the season. And it was no surprise Toby’s head turned quickly. However, since they coupled up again, they have proved to themselves, the other islanders and a majority of the public that they are a great couple and meant to be. Millie has forgiven Liam. Teddy has forgiven Faye. You might not get it right first time. Sometimes you make mistakes but how you communicate with each other is really how you make it!

What lessons have you learned? Who do you want to win?

Haunted. A visit from a ghost in lockdown.

“He has a tattoo of a pin up girl on his arm” I say.

Mum raises her eyebrow, remembering how happy I had been when my Gil Elvgren book on pin up art arrived… or her despair when I went out for Halloween as an army pin up girl.  

“And it looks a bit like me…” I continue as I scroll Facebook on my blackberry to show her the blonde curly haired woman, with her hand on her hip and head titled in a standard “Jade pose” inked on his forearm.

“Must be an omen.” She says as she roles her eyes and takes another sip of her white wine spritzer.

An omen. I didn’t know if he would be good or evil but I knew he would be a significance.

  • –  – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

That was nearly 9 years ago. It has now been a year, since after 2 and a half years of no contact he liked my photo of Dusty on Instagram. I mean she is a beauty. It is a great photo. Maybe it is because of the Kings of Leon lyrics? Maybe it is because a guy is tagged in the post? Don’t think too much of it I tell myself…but it is lockdown and I am on furlough so my mind has space…and I am currently reading a romance novel called ‘The Versions of us’ which is all about two people and the “what-ifs” of their life.

He doesn’t like the next Dusty post I made the following day. He likes the one on the third day. A few days later, he likes a selfie. This is strange, he never liked my posts when we were …when we were… well whatever we were. But I do have that red lip thing in this one…

The following week or so after, I was challenging myself to wear a different pair of dinosaur socks everyday for a week. Yes, I was that bored and have that many dinosaur socks.

As the week ended, I posted my Saturday ‘Winosaurous’ socks, Jurassic World 2 on Netflix and I wrote “No more dinosaur posts. Promise” on stories.

I got reply to this story saying “Boo.”

He meant “Boo” as in sad/disappointed.

But I took it as the meaning of a cry aloud that ghosts make when they say “Boo”.

It is said that when a ghost is around, your temperature suddenly changes, goosebumps, you feel like you’re being watched and you suddenly feel weak.

Before I knew it, I was smiling while we “ping – pong” chatted away and he guessed right at what part of Jurassic World I just teared up at.

Trying to focus on the second half of the film was challenging as the Malbec started to warm up inside and my thoughts were disturbed by the poltergeist in my head throwing things around.

I’m sure he will still have his girlfriend the sane, alive side of me says.

Over the next few weeks, I continue being active on my stories and posting the odd selfie-most or maybe all are liked by him. Just what my confidence needs to be brought back to life.

After all this time, even without contact in so long, I get a high from him and forget the come down.

The last time I saw him was when we walked past each other behind the mall. Thank god I look good and have this outfit on I remember thinking to myself as I held my breath to make eye contact with him.

“Have you just been waiting here this whole time?” I say smiling, holding the eye contact as we walk past each other, exactly as we are. I say this because we had crossed that same path, the week before, on the same day at the same time.

“Yeah, I’ve just been walking up and down waiting” he laughs while waving his hand over the path. I glimpse that pin up tattoo but he has loads now.

I flick my hair and make an obvious “HA” noise. I keep walking and tell myself not to stop. As if it would be him waiting for me. I strut on and my neck and shoulders tense as I tell myself not to look back. I’m appearing so much more confident than I am.

He texts me later that evening. Obviously.

Two weeks after my “Boo” DM, I share my ‘First Date in Quarantine Blog’. I haven’t blogged in so long; people are loving it and I am on cloud 9. I have turned this negative pandemic into a positive for myself.

The temperature drops as I read a DM from him, “I was hoping for a happy ending.”

“Well, are we surprised?” I reply.

“I suppose not, no. Doesn’t mean it’s right though eh?”

“He has read it and apologised.” I say quickly as if defending Jay…or trying to make a point.

“Only because you shamed him. Shitebag.”

As if he wasn’t real, I write, “I have thought about writing about you. Would shaming you get an apology?”

He responds immediately. “I have thought about apologising to you in the past. But I would have been doing it to make myself feel better, which I don’t think is valid. But I know I didn’t treat you well at times. I am sorry for that.

I mean it.”

I wanted to scream but like when you see a ghost, I was paralysed. While frozen, I felt the wound that never healed open back up and ooze.

Over the last year, since then, we have innocently chatted on and off. And I’ve cried more times than I can count. Not because he’s not here but I cry remembering how tightly I held on to the hope of a life that could have lived. I cry because he still haunts all my “what-ifs.” I am haunted again because I didn’t accept it and release it the way they say you should.

Why does he still haunt me? Why did I allow it…

I never talk about him. I haven’t in years. So maybe I do need to talk about him…and my most cathartic activity, write.

‘Why haven’t I written about him?’ you might ask.

  1. It has been too hard to admit.
  2. The poltergeist has thrown all the thoughts in my head around and it’s messy.
  3. And finally, because I feel it would be another stroke to his ego that I don’t want to give.

He once asked if I do write about him to give him a sexy pseudonym but to be petty for not getting what I wanted for all those years, he’s not getting one.

“Ghosts are spirits that have not yet had closure with leaving.” Meghan Castro,

Eat, sleep, cheat, and repeat

By guest blogger Jane Fulton.

A woman’s intuition is a powerful thing. Us women can sense when something isn’t right, and not only that, we are fantastic at getting to the source of the truth.

Research on non-verbal communication skills has clearly shown that women are, as a group, better at reading facial expressions than men are. As a result, women are more likely to notice the subtle emotional messages being sent by others. If I have learned anything from my disaster dates, then it has to be: always go with my gut instinct.

I had been dating Sean for six months. It wasn’t a perfect relationship, but I persevered because I know relationships take work. The reason why it wasn’t perfect was that he didn’t have a romantic bone in his body. What he did have was humour, and they do say laughter can be the way to the heart.

I had met Sean when I was working as a TV researcher. I had been sent to interview him about the Commonwealth Games being held in Glasgow in 2014 – he was a basketball player.

Now, Sean was 6 ft. 4”, good-looking, and hilarious. He was childish throughout the relationship, sometimes I felt like I was dealing with a toddler. Nonetheless, you forget those moments when there are enough good times in a relationship.

One thing about Sean was that he never had money. He always said he spent a fortune on his sport, and he was a student, so that didn’t leave much for himself. Our dates consisted of visiting each other – mostly me driving to him – and not actually going out.

I decided to take him out of his familiar surroundings and book a hotel; I wanted him to relax because he’d been training more than usual. As I had booked the hotel, he said he would treat us to dinner (that would be a first). When we arrived at the hotel, he said he didn’t want to go out for dinner and would prefer a takeaway, so he could spend more time in the hotel with me.

It turned out that was a lie, the reason was he hated eating in public. Even though the dishes get washed, he didn’t like the thought of other people he didn’t know having eaten off a plate he was being served.

He told me to relax in the bath, and he would come back with a takeaway. Now, I am thinking Italian, Thai, Chinese…nope, he came back with a McDonald’s. The reason why he chose this cuisine was that it didn’t involve using plates from the hotel kitchen. The romantic night I had planned turned unromantic the moment I found out we were dining in with a McDonald’s. I paid £150 for the hotel, and he spent £15. You may think £15 is steep for McDonald’s, but he got a large meal, sides, and McFlurry for himself, while I got a medium-sized meal.

I had hoped, once his competition was over, he would be more romantic. One could always hope. Sean was adamant that we shouldn’t be Facebook friends because his last girlfriend was psycho and was always questioning his innocent statuses – that was a warning sign right there.

Why is it that the women get called psychos when it’s the men who made those women lose control? Men start to act secretive, and that’s when the female intuition kicks in. My friend, Louise, is incredible at sussing out men. She honestly should be in the FBI. I just have to give her a name and five minutes later, she has images, related comments, blood and urine, family history, and shoe size – she is very impressive, my very own Sherlock Holmes. We aren’t psychos, we are psychics.

Sean said he was still feeling anxious about letting any of his relationships into his private life. Okay, that’s fine; I was curious to know what he was hiding but just brushed it aside. He said, out of interest, can I see your Facebook, so I let him take a look. He went through my pictures asking me to send some so he could keep them on his phone.

When he got to one picture of me and a girl I went to college with, he stalled. He asked how I knew her. Lesley and I had studied together. I asked him if he knew her, but he said no, she just looked like someone he knew. I instantly knew he was lying. His body language had changed, and I was determined to find the underlying cause of it. I could tell he did know her; it was so obvious that he was lying.

The next morning, I messaged Lesley asking if she knew Sean, and she replied back saying he was dating her best friend, Ashley. Lesley continued on to ask how I knew him. I felt sick. My instinct had been right. I was so upset that he had been cheating on me. All those times he had said he was putting in extra hours at training had been a lie. He had been with her.

When I replied to Lesley telling her I was dating him, she instantly called and asked me for how long? Turned out he had been dating Ashley just as long as he had been dating me. The utter wanker. My friend put me in touch with Ashley. We were both in shock he had played us along for all that time. I had been nervous about speaking to Ashley, because I didn’t want it to turn into a screaming match. We were both innocent and hadn’t known about each other. Luckily, Ashley was lovely, and neither of us could understand why we hadn’t left him sooner – we had both had the same doubts.

Of course, Sean denied it. He told me she was a psycho, then told her I was a psycho. Did the idiot not remember us telling him we were in touch with each other?

He even had the cheek to try to get us both back a few months down the line. I messaged her saying Sean was trying to get back with me, and she said he had sent her the same message. That boy had some nerve.

The Girls Chat

Jane – Sean is a PRICK! I swear this time, I AM DONE WITH MEN!

Louise – Caps are on, you must be livid. What happened? Senga – About time you got rid of him, whatever it is will be a blessing in disguise

Weejo – At this point, can I say I’ve never liked him Jane – He’s been seeing me and another girl at the same time. How do guys like this get away with it for so long? I actually know the girl now – she’s really nice

Louise – I bet he was making her pay for all his food as well

Senga – He’s probably been living like a king with all that money spent on him by both of you

Weejo – Jane, please in future never buy things for a guy, unless you 100% trust him


  1. If your date/partner doesn’t want to add you on his social media be suspicious; they may be hiding something.
  2. If you have found out a partner has cheated, block and delete their number, so you are not tempted to message them.
  3. Listen to your intuition; I always felt something wasn’t right.

*Jaded Dating Note: Jane is a very close friend of mine who has just released her debut book ’30 reasons to swipe left’! ‘Eat, sleep, cheat and repeat’ is a chapter from this hilarious dating book which is available now on Amazon that you can now get paperback or kindle here

Lockdown Dating. A Mans Story.

By guest blogger Pete.

Lockdown 2020.

Lockdown 2020.

I’ve been single now for 6 months. I’ve been through a few breakups in my time but this one was different. We were together for 4 years and I thought I was going to marry this girl. For the first time ever after a breakup, the thought of being single didn’t excite me.

Usually, immediately after a breakup I’m straight on bumble/tinder. Sliding into the DM’s on Instagram, posting a good photo on socials and organising a big night out with boys. Basically, I’d cast a wide net and reel it in in an attempt to have sex ASAP. The best way to get over someone is to get under someone else?? This may sound shallow and vacuous to some people reading this, but I guarantee you, this is exactly what 9/10 guys will do in similar circumstances.

This time however, I was genuinely dreading the thought of having to make small talk with strangers. It filled me with dread. Furthermore, we’re in the middle of a fucking pandemic. I could just about get my head round the idea of meeting someone in a nice bar in the city, having a few cocktails etc. But a sober, socially distanced walking date? Fucking no thanks. I thought I’d just chill out, wait until the new year and be lonely and single for a bit. I’d get over it and come round to the idea of dating again.

A month later. 

I’m feeling better. I’m fortunate enough that I’ve been able to work during the pandemic so its been really good to throw myself into that and not worry about dating. I’m not thinking about the ex on a daily basis anymore (great) and I’m generally in a much better mood. Cue Friday night after a pretty hectic week at work. I’m sitting at home. Its 10.00pm. I’ve had a couple of G&T’s. I’m on the ‘gram.

I respond to someone’s throwback story about Espresso Martinis/nights out.

I say someone; her name is Connie. Connie is 29, long dark hair, beautiful, and works as a lawyer. She has an extremely dry sense of humour and is very quick witted. I’ve known Connie for about 5 years, just through nights out/ mutual acquaintances etc. We’ve had a bit of a flirt in the past but nothing inappropriate.  Either she’s been taken, or I’ve been taken. I’m aware shes single. She’s aware I’m single. I fancy Connie.

Me – What I’d do for a night out atm, even just being able to see the boys  **cryingface emoji**

Connie –  Oh don’t me too!!

Connie – Why don’t you come over for some espresso martinis? If you’re free? I’m going a bit lockdown stir crazy.

Is this a booty call?!

Connie – That also sounded like a booty call, its not **laughing face**. Next weekend?

Dammit. But this sounds like a date to me. Am I ready for a date? Fuck yes. Couldn’t care less if its highly illegal at this point in time, I’ve had gin. And this girl is roasting hot.

Me – Hahahaha, I’d fucking love to. Next weekend sounds great. Saturday?

Connie – Perfect. Whats your number? I’ll whatsapp you.

Me – 07*********

Connie – Text you tomorrow we can sort out the deets. Night xxx

Well. That was fucking easy.

We’ve exchanged a few texts throughout the week but absolutely not full on texting. I like this. She’s not needy. I’m still deciding whether or not this is a good idea and the fact that she’s chill is making me more attracted to her. I decide not to bail.

Friday afternoon she texts:

Connie – Still ok for tomorrow?

Me – Absolutely! I’ve been asked to work during the day though, so will be coming straight from work. Is it ok if I get changed at yours?

Connie – Yeah of course! What time will you be over?

Me – Around 7.30-8ish?

Connie – Looking forward to it see you then

I am working on the Saturday and could easily get changed at work. However, I’m a uniformed worker, so, this is serving two purposes:

  1. If I get stopped for whatever reason en-route I have a decent excuse as to why I’m out.
  2. Girls fucking LOVE the uniform. I’m peacocking. I don’t care. I’m shameless.

Saturday Evening

I’m en route to hers. I am uncharacteristically nervous.

I’ve picked up a bottle of red, some gin, tonics and some olives. I’ve shaved and shaped my beard/stubble. My hair is looking pretty good (its super long right now with the hairdressers all being shut, however its kinda flopped into an accidental Hugh Grant/Harry styles long cut.) I also shaved my pubes earlier cause you never know right?? I’ve got my work bag with a change of clothes in it. I stop outside her front door and touch up my aftershave around my ears. I also pop a fresh piece of chewing gum in. I turn round and give myself a final once over in the window of a parked car. I look good. Rugged, yet sharp and the uniform is helping.

Here goes nothing. I ring the bell.

Connie answers. Fucking Wow. She looks unreal. She’s in a black, summery floaty dress that comes just past the knee. She’s showing quite a bit of cleavage but by no means a slutty amount. Her hair is down to one side and shes got a face of makeup on.

She bursts out laughing.

Connie – “That uniform!! Come in. How you doing?”

Uniform – Check! I kiss her on the cheek, she’s got a really nice perfume on.

Connie – “You smell amazing, btw, what are you wearing?”

I tell her and silently congratulate myself on putting the aftershave on before I rang the doorbell. I repay the compliment. She’s wearing Chanel. Classy – I like it. She leads me through to the kitchen and there are 2 Espresso Martinis on the counter waiting. I am delighted to see them and I tell her so. The kitchen is dimly lit, shes got candles on and the place smells amazing. I’m not sure what it smells of but its that single girl scented candle vibe. Shes got a low-key chilled house playlist on, its vibey and putting me in a great mood. We cheers and I take a deep pull on the Martini. Its well-made, chilled and delicious. I can feel the nerves melt away.

The conversation is easy and flowing, I’m mid-way through espresso martini number 1 and already enjoying myself. We’re keeping eye contact as we chat and I’m trying not to look at her cleavage. Espresso Martini #1 is over within minutes for both of us. Maybe shes a bit nervous too?

Connie – “Another?” She gestures towards my empty glass

Me – “Silly question! However, do you mind if I get changed first and then I’ll make you one to repay the favour” I smile at her.

Connie – “Haha yes no worries I’ll show you up.” She beams back at me.

She leads up the stairs to her bedroom;

Connie – “There you go . I’ll go and wait patiently for my Martini” She smiles and closes the door behind me.

Her room is gorgeous. Well decorated. Smells great. I notice fresh sheets on the bed and start to daydream about sleeping with her…. I snap out of it and dig my stuff out to get changed. I’ve opted for black tight fit jeans, a fitted long white T, and a khaki green overshirt. I feel this strikes a good balance between smart/cas and think its quite a good compromise for a home date. I check myself in the mirror and adjust my hair. I’m feeling confident now and I look good.

I walk back into the kitchen where Connie is now sitting at her candlelit kitchen table, legs crossed and texting. She puts her phone down as soon as I walk back in and smiles at me.

Connie – “I love your shirt.”

Me – “Thanks!”

I once again silently congratulate myself, this time for choice of outfit.

Me – “Right. Martinis. You wont get offended if mine is better than yours will you?” I grin at her.

She laughs.

Connie – “Good luck with that Pal, my martinis are champion.”

Little does she know I spent 5 years working in cocktail bars. I whip up 2 more martinis. They’re really good.

Connie – “Fuck. Ok these are great” she laughs.

I graciously accept her compliment and explain to her I have a slight unfair advantage. She laughs again and tells me I can make the drinks for the rest of the night in that case. I laugh and accept.

We ease into what turns out to be a great night of easy conversation, laughter, eye contact and heavy flirting. Her conversation is great, she’s really interested in my work and I’m interested in hers. She’s highly career driven which I find attractive and talks about her job with passion. 3 hours slip by quickly and we move onto the G&T’s. I excuse myself to go to the bathroom, when I come back shes standing at the counter making us drinks. I sidle up next to her and nudge her

Me – “Thought this was my job?!”

Connie laughs

Connie – “You can make it up to me”

She turns, faces me, puts her arms round my neck and pulls me down for a kiss.

She kisses me hard. She’s a fucking great kisser and I can feel myself getting turned on. She clearly can too as she pulls away, looks at my crotch, smirks, pecks me on the lips and sits back down with her G&T. I grin at her and take my place opposite her and we carry on chatting.

Connie – “So, I take it you’re staying?” Shes playing with her hair as she asks. Pretty sure this is a solid sign she a) fancies me and b) we’re having sex.

Me – “I mean, if that’s ok with you?”

Connie – “Of course don’t be silly. But I’m telling you now cowboy, we aint having sex” She laughs. I smile at her.

Me – “Understood. Loud and clear”.

I wouldn’t have judged her for sleeping with me. Although this does feel very first date-ish we have known each other for a good few years. Equally however, I am attracted to the fact she’s not a complete push-over.

We carry on chatting, we’re getting progressively more and more drunk and I’ve lost count of the amount I’ve had to drink. I’m not really caring though, the conversation is really great. We’ve got a lot in common and we’ve both lamented the fact we hadn’t done this before now. We exchange a few more kisses and there is clear chemistry there. I’ve not looked at my phone all night, and glance at it. Its 3am! Fuck, I’m tired all of a sudden but don’t want to be impolite and end what is a great date.

Me – “Might get back on the espressos… whatcha think?”

Connie – “Yes I’ll have one too”

I nip to the loo to splash some cold water on my face and try and wake myself up a bit. I come back in and Connie has her head on the table across folded arms. Shes snoring softly. I smile to myself. She looks cute. I nudge her. No response. Nudge her again slightly harder, no response. Once more, a solid nudge/shove. Nothing. Fucks sake. I can’t leave her here and she is out COLD. She’s sitting at a side on angle to the table, so I put my arm under her knees and the other round her torso and lift her up and carry her up the stairs to her bedroom.

Her bed is massive so I put her down on the nearest side to the door. With her eyes closed she wriggles and squeezes herself under the duvet, fully clothed. I feel super tired now. Its almost 4am. I grab my toothbrush from my work bag and use her en-suite to brush my teeth. I walk round to the other side of the bed, take off my jeans and overshirt and get into bed beside her. I’m asleep in minutes.

Where am I and what the fuck happened?! It starts to come back to me, bit by bit. Its daylight, Connie has blackout curtains and I’m so thankful for them. My head is POUNDING. How much did we drink?! I’m spooning a now half naked Connie. I also have a large morning boner and I’m prodding her in the back although I’m not horny in the slightest.

I roll over onto my back, she stirs and wakes up at the same time.

Connie – “Oh my fucking god my head”

Me – “Me too. You got paracetamol?”

She gets up silently and walks out the room holding her brow with one hand. She comes back 2 minutes later with 4 paracetemols and 2 glasses of water. Amazing. She checks her phone.

Connie – “Its only 7.30 can we go back to sleep for a few hours”

Marry me.

Me – “Yes. Perfect.”

She gets back into bed and snuggles into me, but facing away. I fall asleep again almost instantly.

I wake up and I’m spooning Connie again. The morning boner is back and this time I am extremely horny. The dreaded hang horn. It was a matter of time. Fuck. She’s stirring too. She starts to push her bum into my crotch.


I push my crotch back and she pushes her bum back further. She grabs my hand from the mattress in front of her and puts it on her boob. Her hand leaves mine and reaches back for my boxers…

The sex was brilliant. Perfect hang cure. We spooned, then she went on top, then doggy, and then she asked for missionary but wanted to put both legs over my shoulders as it was “guaranteed to make her cum”. It did. As did I. One of those rare sexual chemistry moments where you both climax almost simultaneously. Although I will admit it was fucking hard to hold it back.

We fell asleep a third time after the sex and I woke up a few hours later. Connie wasn’t in bed, but walked back into the room a few minutes later wearing my shirt from the night before and holding a cup of black coffee for me.

Connie – “I don’t normally do that…”

She was referring to the sex and acting sheepish. I’m not sure if I believe her to be honest but frankly, I don’t care. I had a great time and a great evening.

I smiled at her

Me – “Honestly don’t worry about it. Zero judgement here and it takes two to tango.”

She seems relieved.

Connie – “Wait till you see how much fucking booze we drank last night”.

I finish my coffee and drag myself out of bed. The kitchen is a bomb site. There is an almost empty bottle of vodka and an empty bottle of gin. Holy shit no wonder the hang is bad.

I help Connie clean up, its not awkward or strained. We’re chatting away and I feel good about the date and the sex. But my hang is getting worse despite the paracetamol and coffee. The hang is accompanied by a huge sense of neediness and anxiety that I only ever get whilst hungover. I need to go otherwise she’s going to think I’m a stage 3 clinger.

I make my excuses and tell her I have to go. She walks me to the front door. She’s done her teeth and leans in for another long kiss. I pull away, smile at her, and tell her I’ll text her that evening. I peck her once more on the lips and leave.

My Phone pings 20 minutes later.

“I had a great night . Let me know when you’re home. I’m going back to bed. x”

We text on and off for a few days and arrange a second date.

Its been over 2 months and we’ve still not had that date.

She’s definitely done that before…..

*Jaded Dating Note: This post was written by a friend of mine Pete. Pete is straight, handsome and charming. His idea and all his words. I didn’t change or edit. Let me know what you think of my guest blogger as you can imagine, he has plenty of dating stories so more could come…

Dating in Lockdown; Virtual. Social. Distant.

Chapter 3b. Distant

After our movie night date via Facetime I crawled into bed. I slipped out of my loungewear playsuit and washed my face as my phone lit up with a message. It was from Jay.

“That was fun!”

I smiled. It was fun…and unbelievably sweet. Literally distant but sweet. Damn distance. If only it had been in person. Would he have put his arms round me when I cried?

“Yes, it should be in person next time.”

“Agree, in person next time.”

I bet I still had a smile on my face as I fell asleep.

The messages became more regular and flirtier over the next week or so as we picked a Saturday to finally have an in person date. Finally! 7.5 years after we matched on Plenty of Fish and 6 months after our first date on Skype. In hindsight, of course this build up meant a huge amount of pressure and expectation but I was far too much in my “rom com” movie mind set to realise that.

With my romantic mindset, I insisted I got the train to Edinburgh for our date. I used to live in Edinburgh and I miss it. The city absolutely takes my breath away and I am much more likely to fall in love there. Plus, we are allowed to drink in the streets of Edinburgh so it was a no brainer as bars had just opened again and were booked up so the take away drinks option would probably be our option.

Saturday arrived. The day I was going to Edinburgh to finally have a date with Jay. Jay in person. Not distant but right beside me. No screen between. I got up feeling fresh after my face mask, body butter, nail painting duties the night before (Prep night. All girls will relate) After ‘Feeling Peachy’ virtual workout class, I had my breakfast and checked the weather. It was to be sunny, no rain and warm enough for just a light jacket. Perfect. I let Jay know what train I would be getting and he asked me to get off at Haymarket and he’d meet me there. I pulled on my favourite ‘lift and shape’ black skinny jeans, matched with a bouclé Zara top and my new Adidas Continentals. Luckily hair dressers had opened the week before and my hair was no longer “swamp witch” so I slid a pearl clasp into my golden drop curl do and opted for my favourite floral mask that my mum had made and left. Taylor Swift has released her surprise album Folklore that week so I headed to the train station with Cardigan playing in my ears as the sun felt warm on my shoulders.

The train journey to Edinburgh seemed quicker than usual and I had a panic about how long the mask had been on and not being able to powder my nose and reapply my lippy before stepping off the train. As I stepped out of Haymarket station I felt a rush of excitement and wanted to say ‘eeek’ out loud. Although, I always have that feeling when I get to Edinburgh so maybe it wasn’t about Jay. The butterflies in my tummy were about Jay though. I removed my mask and looked around. It was busy but not the usual busy that we see in Edinburgh in the summer. I took a deep breath in and started to walk towards Starbucks. I saw a tall guy in a hoodie and scruffy cons walking towards me. Is that Jay? From our movie night Facetime, I knew his hair and beard were wild and he had mentioned his long overdue appointment at his barbers wasn’t for another week. I caught his eye and he nodded. Yup that was Jay walking towards me. He was thinner than I expected (no doubt he thought the opposite of me) and I was in a little bit of dismay. 7 years of liking his 3 piece suit posts on his instagram was quite the contrast. Jay was now standing in front of me and I didn’t recognise him. I tried to match the greying curls, messy beard to the hot, crisp guy on Instagram. He smiled and his skin crinkled around those sparkling blue eyes. He was certainly handsome. I felt like I couldn’t breathe.

“Hug?” he asks now towering over me with his arms open wide.

“Yeah” I say as I open my arms and go up on my tip toes to hug him. We are not distant now.

“I was thinking we could walk up to Stockbridge and get a coffee?” Jay says.

“Sure!” I say unable to take my eyes of his face.  I am finally on a date with Jay. I am finally on a date with Jay. I am finally on a date with Jay.

We start walking, a route I used to know off by heart through the west end and Jay asked about my journey up. I commented on staying away from people not wearing masks which led to a discussion about a news story on a shop that had a no mask policy and those who believe that the government have made the pandemic up. Quite a heavy and anxiety inducing topic for a date but we are completely on the same page about this, that’s a good sign I think to myself while trying to stop the I am finally on a date with Jay thoughts in my head along with Taylor Swift’s Cardigan tune…don’t sing out loud I remind myself. I want to look at those blue eyes again but we need to look ahead as we walk through the city and try stay away 2m from everyone that passes. I still felt like I couldn’t breathe.

Jay picks up the pace and I try to keep up as we walk up a cobbled path. ‘Vintage tea. Brand new phone. High heels on. Cobbled stones…’ comes into my head. I’m never going to get Cardigan out my head. Jay stops. I look at him and turn to see what he is looking out at. We are beside the water of Leith, on a small bridge and I spot a heron standing completely still at the other side of the water. We walk to the edge and look over the water, directly across from the heron, standing right next to each other. My heart flutters with how in love with Edinburgh I am. The heron still isn’t moving and I can see that everyone around is taking photos of it. I take a deep breath in, “Is it real?” I ask Jay laughing a little nervously and hoping I can pull it off as a joke if I am being completely ridiculous. Although, I am not just asking if the statue like creature is real or that I am actually here, in Edinburgh on a date with Jay is real.

“Yeah” Jay laughs “Let’s go to the most instagrammable street in Edinburgh!”

As quickly as we stopped, Jay spins round and strides off. I look back at the heron and say bye in my head to it and awkwardly walk behind Jay. Within what felt like moments, I look up at the curved lane in front of us, with bricked houses lined so perfectly along the cobbled street, identical potted plants at doorsteps, each building separated not by distance but by perfectly cut hedges and wild ivy taking its own form to make each building different.

Jay is a little ahead of me, not beside me and he looks over his shoulder “Circus Lane! This is where you come for your instagram apparently” he shouts back to me as he keeps walking briskly. I want to shout “Slow down. Just stop a minute” but I’m not sure why. We leave Circus Ln and suddenly I see Stockbridge in front of me. My heart flips and I tell myself to breathe.

We come to a hipster coffee shop which has a few tables outside on the wide street and we take a seat. I watch Jay bring out his phone and scan the QR reader for track and trace and to get the menu up. I watch him type away and realise he’s not what I expected at all. Scruffy, chilled and more hipster than I expected. A waiter comes to take our order. “Cappuccino please” I say smiling as I dig around my bag for my sunglasses. “Flat white for me” Jay says. How hipster I think. I take a deep breath and let out a sigh. Relieved to be sitting and ready for a coffee.

I am actually exhausted as I am still struggling with fatigue and general lung capacity after being so unwell back in March. This just doesn’t feel how I expected to feel today and I am not sure I fancy him. Or if he fancies me. There is no chemistry or flirting. He must sense that too.

We sip our coffee and talk about food. We are both good at pasta dishes and both love the peanut butter and banana combo. I talk about Graceland and the Peanut Butter shop as Elvis loved it. Conversation is great with Jay. We have so much in common and there hasn’t been even one awkward silence since our hug at Haymarket. We finish our coffee and I awkwardly put my facemask on so I can run into the place and use their bathroom. Can I take my mask off and apply lipstick? I better not I think and scurry back outside so I can take my mask off and I continue to rub in the hand sanitizer. He won’t smell my Olympia perfume with how strong this stuff is I think to myself.

“It’s a Marvel bathroom here!” I tell Jay and he nods in approval.

Jay gets the bill and we decide to walk around and find a place for a drink. Oh how we need a wine I think. As we walk away from Stockbridge and through New Town, we talk about dating stories that we have blogged about, reactions people have had to us having a dating blog and major faux pas we have made in our 20s with dating. “Why did you stop your blogs?” I ask. Jay shrugs and starts to tell me another story about a girl he was dating. The way he describes how much he liked her makes me so jealous. I quickly zone back into what he is saying, smile and nod and enjoy when he gets to the part of it not working out. Of course it didn’t work out, he is here with me.

After what feels like hours this time, we get to a gin bar I know and we ask a waitress if we can have an outdoor table. She shows us to our seats and lets us know we have about an hour and a half until a booking is in. I order a wine and Jay orders a beer. I breathe and tell myself to relax and that it will feel like a date now. Our drinks arrive and conversation hasn’t stopped. I look at him. He is handsome but this doesn’t feel like a date. Up the flirting I think to myself. I know it’s there. That chemistry I felt through the screen. Jay has rolled his sleeves up a bit and I notice a watch on his wrist. It looks plastic. Not what I expected at all I think and realise I have been staring at his wrist longer than I should. I smile and make eye contact as he finishes what he is saying. Here I go I think to myself and reach over to put my hand on his and ask about the watch. Body contact will help. I am sure of it. I reach over and knock his bottled beer over and on to the watch. “I am so sorry” as I wish the ground would swallow me up. He probably hates me now, “I was just going to ask about your watch!”

“Don’t worry! It’s just a cheap one and not much has spilled” he says while wiping his arm on his trousers.

Take a breath.

We continue to chat and I know the conversation is going good but it’s not flirty and I’m not all in. I know I am too much in my head. I wonder if he is the same. I can tell he is really trying too. We are getting on so well but something isn’t right. Is it me? Where are those sparks and the hands on thighs while laughing that I expected? It’s not right, and I don’t know why.

We have to leave the bar so I ask for the bill and hand my card over.

“Oh, I would have got that” Jay says.

“It’s ok” I smile.

“Your card has been declined.” the waitress says. I suddenly feel sick and have the need for the ground to open up and swallow me again.

I laugh awkwardly and suggest I try putting my pin in. Jay is standing with his hands in pockets and I can’t look directly at him.

“Yeah that’s it gone through fine. Happens quite a lot if you use contactless a lot I think” the waitress smiles as she hands my receipt over.

“Yeah, just not used to using it… Have a nice evening!” I say with a forced grin on my face as I awkwardly get out of the flimsy metal seat and put my coat on.

I am exhausted. My brain feels like a washing machine. It’s not that this is going bad but it’s not going how I imagined. I have no idea what he is thinking and I realise I am over thinking and tell myself to try and relax and that anxiety is taking over because I don’t know what is happening but tell myself to just enjoy it. I am finally on a date with Jay. I look up at Jay. “Come on” he smiles, “Let’s see what is happening at the gardens”. I nod and think ok maybe now it will start to be the date I imagined. Luckily Jay walks more to my pace this time as we walk along Princes Street Gardens and try and see what is happening. Oh Edinburgh, I love you and will never get bored of looking up at the castle.

“I don’t think we will get a table anywhere now” Jay says. “No, prob not” I say defeatist.

I want to go home but at the same time I don’t. I want my amazing first date with Jay. Not a tour of Edinburgh with my hipster pal. We are approaching Waverly Station and I have a feeling this is when I should check my train times.

“Oh this looks good” Jay says pointing to a pop up bar beside the station. There isn’t any tables but people are drinking from plastic cups and standing in 2s or 3s or sitting on the steps. Jay jumps in the queue and asks what I want.  “I think I’ll get a cocktail” I smile. Something fruity and zesty is just what I need. I read the cocktail menu on the blackboard. There is only 3 options and I am allergic to something in every single one. Just my luck today I think to myself. I hear Jay call my name and he is being served already.  “Oh just a red wine please” and I point to the steps to let Jay know I’m off to find us a spot. He comes over with 2 wines. Large measures in plastic pint glasses. I smile and thank him but I am a little worried about drinking all this as I haven’t eaten since my apple on my walk to the station 4 or 5 hours ago and have already had 2 glasses.

I feel more relaxed now. I like sitting this close to him, I feel safe with him and the hustle and bustle around me while holding my plastic cup reminds me of what I have missed during lockdown.  We continue to chat easily. Its good conversation and we are very alike in so many ways. I sigh as I realise the subject for most of the day has been our dating history and fails. Maybe that is why I am bummed out. Jay then mentions the new Taylor Swift album and how much he is enjoying it. Oh, he is mentioning Swift. He must be trying to win me over.

“I think I’ll need to use some lyrics for instagram” he says with a glint in his eye.

“Oi, that’s my thing!” I say as I flick my hair.

“Hmmmm we will see” Jay says with a laugh and the conversation turns to music.

The drinks are almost finished now. “I’d like pizza. Do you want pizza?” Jay asks. “Yeah!” My face lights up at the thought of food as I am reassured he still wants to keep this going. Maybe he does like me. He brings out his phone and after calling 4 different places with no tables, he says he doesn’t think we will get anywhere and should maybe head home. I bring my phone out and I have literally just missed a train. It’s another hour until the next train to Glasgow. We can’t drink anymore on empty stomachs and I wouldn’t want Jay to wait with me all this time.

“Since I have time to kill, I will walk back to Haymarket since it’s on your way home?” I suggest. It was to kill time but I wasn’t ready to end my date with Jay. It had to go the way I thought and maybe we needed the booze to lower our guards.

“I’m just going to see if the toilets are open, 5 minutes!” Jay says as he stands up and shoots of before I can even get words out.

A little woozy from drinking 2 pints of wine, I looked over Princes Street Gardens and looked up at the Royal Mile. My heart sank.  Edinburgh always took my breath away but today I was a different kind of breathless. I felt sad as I realised that anxiety was on the date with Jay, not Jade.

Jay suddenly appeared again, “Ready to go?” he asks, smiling.

I nod. I really am ready to go but I am more ready to shake this heavy feeling off and breathe. I need to get home.

We arrive back at Haymarket and we sit on the wall outside. We are deep into conversation about my latest obsession with Lin Manual Miranda. We really do have so much in common and I smile at how Jay lights up when he talks about movies. He really is lovely. I don’t have a bad word to say about him.

“I better head in” I say. We stand up and Jay wraps his arms around me tightly, without asking this time. It is so nice to be hugged by him. Nice but there hasn’t been those butterflies in my tummy since I first got off the train. I gave him a kiss on the cheek and I knew there wasn’t the chemistry for the kiss we had admitted we wanted after our First Date via Skype. I took a step back and we smiled at each other.

“Text me when you get home” he says. “Will do.”

On the train back to Glasgow I wanted to cry. I don’t know why. I was absolutely drained and the day had been so lovely. I couldn’t say it was bad, not at all. It just wasn’t what I had expected.

It was distant. Not literally distant like before. But distant.

Dating in Lockdown; Virtual. Social. Distant.

Chapter 3a. Distant

At one point during lockdown, I can’t pin point when exactly but I got into the Marvel movies. Having never seen any of them, I started with Thor (obvious reasons why). The day I had started writing about my first first date in Quarantine, I sat down to watch Thor: The Dark world. The second Marvel movie I had ever watched. Around half way through, I paused the film to go on Instagram to admit I had no idea what was going on as I felt like I was missing something and ask should I have watched the Avengers in between. (Tip for single girls- ask Marvel questions on social media and heterosexual men will bombard your DMs) My messages were going crazy asking what I had watched from MCU and I was sent the chronological order of the films. Just as I said I was going to put my phone down and try focus on the last hour and 18 minutes, I get another DM. It is from Jay. Jay who ghosted me after our First Date on skype 9 weeks before. It was a surprise he messaged but I found this very strange since I had been writing about him that very day… weird.

He told me not to worry too much but a few things to spot and asked what I had seen so far. I mentioned my love of Loki.

“Ah God of Mischief. Don’t trust him.” Jay says.

“God of Mischief? Sounds like the guys I date.” Bold of me. Perhaps a little dig. I love how sassy I am after just one gin.

Jay was now transitioning from the Ghost to the Zombie*

The next day, I finished and posted ‘A first date in Quarantine’. After his message last night I thought it would be best to message and say I wrote a blog about him. As someone who had a dating blog before and knew about mine surely he would understand and expect it? A few hours went by and he hasn’t said anything about it. Despite the influx of messages from friends and followers saying how good it was, they were sorry to hear he ghosted, he was stupid to do so and a rather patronising one from an ex saying he was hoping I had a happy ending, I hadn’t heard from Jay. If Jay hadn’t messaged about Thor the night before then I never would have messaged to tell him about the blog and then have anxiety creep in about him not responding. Finally he messaged to say he did read it. He thanked me for the nice things I said about him, apologised for ghosting, complimented my writing and said, “for what it’s worth, if it was an in person date I would have wanted a kiss at the end too”. I thanked him and said it was for the best as the pandemic was lasting longer than we initially thought.

Over the next fortnight, we went back to how we had been pre-pandemic and liked the odd post and responding to stories. My stories, of course were entering the MCU world as I had decided to go with the chronological order to watch them in. Every Marvel story resulted in a reaction from Jay. Had I peaked his interest again or was it just because he is a so into Marvel? This pondering was answered when out of the blue I received a DM:

“Just a thought, but we could do a joint Marvel movie watching sometime? I could furnish you with exciting and not at all nerdy trivia and answer any Qs you have etc. Might be fun.”

Well, I didn’t see that one coming. It made me smile and Jay’s language is similar to mine, hesitant, a tad self- deprecating but overall charming. How could I say no?

We agreed to watch The Avengers (first one) the folllowing Friday. We agreed a time and to use facetime. I was still on furlough and had a table booked at a new Spanish wine bar with a good friend that afternoon. The sun was shining and I was so happy to be sipping a Rioja with James who I have been close with for a decade now. The wine bar was 3.5 miles from my flat and as I walked back to my flat, 2 wines and a tummy filled with bread and olives, I got a coffee to sober up. I arrived at mine with 20 minutes to spare for a quick body shower. I dusted loose powder over my T zone, keep my hair up in a high pony and apply a tinted lip balm. The flat was so warm and I opted to wear a strappy playsuit for the film but kept a light cardigan nearby. Like our first date, I lit a candle and brought a bottle of red and glass to the sofa. Wait, was this a date? If not, what was it? What is the term for face timing while you watch a movie with a person you have admitted you would want to kiss and know they would too? Also, are we going to just facetime at the start and then hang up to put on? Or do we facetime the whole movie? Hmm. I grab two hardback Jane Austen novels from my nearby desk and rest them on the arm of the sofa to put my phone on so I don’t have to hold it and it is level with my face. I am as ready as I can be and I find myself staring at ‘Mansfield Park’ and ‘Sense and Sensibility’ wondering what Jane Austen would say about all of this. Do we have it easier or harder than in 1816?

My phone goes and I swipe up to see Jay on a smaller screen than our last date. The barbers and salons are still closed so his hair and beard are wilder than before and he has been decorating all day so his hoodie is covered in paint splats but that is attractive to me. I am so used to seeing his Instagram with photos in suits so this was much more rugged. Hipster maybe but attrative. Going back to my obsession with Lord of the Rings (another thing Jay and I have in common) and my sexual awakening brought on by Aragorn, I enjoy this side of Jay. We have made much less effort than our first date but we are clearly more nervous and awkward. Maybe because we are more casual, and virtually on a sofa rather than virtually across a table it feels more intimate. Jay makes sure I have a wine poured and we laugh as we make sure we are starting the movie at the exact same time. As it starts, I see the film length is 2hours and 25 minutes. I start to panic how this play out… and not sure one bottle of wine will last this long…but I don’t want to drink too quickly or switch to spirits and make that mistake again.

Jay and I have similar set up with our phones being beside us and I slyly glance over at my screen and see him looking ahead at his TV. He glances to his phone. I am sure we have caught each other. This is absolutely adorable. I don’t have a clue what to expect with Jay or the movie. Over the start of the film, I ask questions. Naturally, I had the fear as I asked that I was sounding stupid. Jay telling me I was asking a good question relaxed me and I could tell he loved being able to answer my questions and I was loving that. Isn’t it weird what gives us butterflies in dating sometimes? There was of course a few awkward moments when I asked to pause will I went to the bathroom and had to be so cautious how I stood up and how he might have seen my short shorts of the playsuit on facetime. That could really go either way!

I don’t remember much of the movie now until we were 2 hours in, I still had wine left and was completely into the story, understanding what was going on and really enjoying it. The next thing I remember is trying to hold the tears back as Tony Stark floated through space. Jay laughed and I hope he thinks I am adorable and likes that I am so into the film rather than mentally unstable. The film finishes, and I think we are both exhausted from the week, the heat, drinking for 2 and a half hours, and the concentration of it all. The night was cooler so I now had my light cardigan on. We spoke for about 5 minutes and said good night. I turned the telly off and picked up the rose candle in a glass jar and blew it out. Soon after, I climbed into bed and as I set my alarm for the morning, I messaged Jay to say:

“That was fun. I think it should be in person next time.”

“It was fun. I agree, in person next time” replies Jay

Chapter 3b will tell the next part of this story and if you missed my first date with Jay that happened the very first weekend of Lockdown, you can catch it here: https://jadeddating.wordpress.com/2020/06/21/a-first-date-in-quarantine/

*Zombie-ing is a dating trend when someone who has ghosted or properly ends things with you comes back. It is very common from guys and I am sure everyone who is single has experienced this- especially during lockdown! In fact, every guy I have dated over the last 3 years actually got in touch since the pandemic hit. A zombie comes back from the dead.

Things guys have said to me in dating

Something that has come up often over the years of dating is things that have been said to us on dating apps, on first dates, in bars or even surprisingly by someone we are seeing. There has been 100s of times I have screen shot messages and sent to my friend and in writing this blog, I regret my new phone earlier this year as there must be so much there that I have blocked out. I laugh these comments off or question / snap back at things said to my face but I know I am lucky enough to have this type of reaction and if anything did bother or upset me, I have people to talk to but many don’t. Many are already fragile and low in confidence when dating and the unkind things are said can be detrimental.

I missed a trick here with not writing this post last week on World Kindness Day as the dating scene is absolutely problematic with many using their energy to be unkind and hurtful.

To keep this simple, I am simply going to share things that have been said to me by guys  and not give an explanation on who said them, when, what lead to this (if anything) or my response. Just as an example of the things that are said on dating apps or after the third beer on a first date or worse, as someone starts to show their true colours in the early stages.

 “You’re built like fag paper and have nae tits.”

“You look vanilla.”

“You’re a provocative dresser aren’t you?”

“Hmmm… you look too thin for me.”

“I’d prefer if you were thin”

“Hen, pull your finger out and message me cause  your clock is ticking”

“Oh dear, I liked you until I saw you had a cat.”

“I bet you’d push a baby out no bother”

“You’re limbs are long for your body.”

“I just prefer girls that are dead thin”

 “Why is your hair so blonde?”

“Does your lipstick have to be so bright?”

 “People with tattoos have zero personality” {While looking at my tattoos}

“I bet you’re intimidating. Guys won’t like that.”

“You seem nice but bet you like being flung about like an empty pair of trackies.”

There we have it, the few that come to mind but I know there is so much more that is in a filing box in the back of my mind and no doubt I will do a part 2 of this… or pop on and edit after shower thoughts.

Is this flirting? The ‘treat em mean keep em keen’ thing? I have been both fat shamed and skinny shamed and on first impressions I am really boring or intimidating. My response when I was told “I bet you’re intimidating. Guys won’t like that” was “Good!” and strutted away.

I’ve asked girls before if they have ever had unkind comments on a facebook community group I am in and the response was insane with girls being body shamed and messages about their forehead or the dress they had on. Single guy mates of mine have told me awful things that girls have said to them on dating apps so this isn’t a guy shaming post- it is a people shaming post.

Let me know in the comments insane, mean, stupid, unkind things that have been said to you on dating apps or dates.

Be Kind, Jaded xx

Dating in Lockdown; Virtual. Social. Distant.

Chapter 2: Social

3 weeks or so after the Virtual Speed Dating Night, I decided to open Hinge- the dating app that was collecting dust (metaphorically of course)

Swiping through and I liked a profile; Dark haired, 6ft rugged scientist and only 3 miles away. I swiped left and it immediately came up that I matched with Callan. I received a message:

I have lost count of how many times I have had to unmatch, block and report due to the heinous things some guys can say on dating apps (oh there is a blog on that alone to come!) but I didn’t remember so I decided to continue on this blank page.

We chatted for a few days, nothing extraordinary. Simple, friendly.  Lockdown restrictions had just been lifted into Phase 1 and we could now met a person from another household outside so I was surprised when after a short time of talking that Callan asked if I would like to go on a socially distant walk with a coffee. I didn’t feel excited or have butterflies at the thought of this date like I had with my last first date with Jay but I couldn’t think of reason to not go. I was on furlough and he was a key worker so we decided a day during the week, where to meet and get a takeaway coffee and a park in between our flats that we could walk round.

We swapped numbers to take the chat to Whatsapp and I gave him my Instagram which resulted in a message from him:

Ben is a very good friend of mine. Bit of background;  one of those day drinking Saturdays with my Gay Best Friend, I gave him my phone to play on my Tinder while I watched the end of the Six Nations game. Thinking he was funny, he was swiping on … let’s just say guys I wouldn’t swipe on until he came across Ben’s profile. A profile I had seen across all the dating apps before. Ben is extremely buff, handsome and had an array of outdoorsy/ adventure photos which is why I had always thought “not for me“ but Shaun loved it. Since this time, we have found out that straight Ben has quite the gay fan base. This match by Shaun did result in chat and then a date. We got on great and over a year later are still friends. We had been in touch a lot over lockdown with both being single and him being kind enough to check on me after being so unwell, we have a great friendship.

I message Ben immediately and he says “I like Callan.” Very neutral, Ben would never deliberately sway an opinion and he will sit back and let me make my own mind up… and I’m sure he brought the popcorn out for it!

The day of the date arrived. The weather didn’t look promising but not sure if that is why I felt hesitant. I went for my favourite leggings, my new trainers, a nice top and popped my pac-a-mac in my bag. It was a first date first. I walked 2.6 miles to meet Callan.

I spotted him easily as I walked up. His ebony hair and beard against his pale skin, bright red rain coat and long legs in black skinny jeans the rolled up where they met his scruffed cons. Indie Rock and Roll type fulfilling my 16 year old self fantasies.

“Sorry I’m a little late…and I’ve been caught in the rain” I said.

“Time keeping is my thing” he said a little smug as he titled his head to the café door.

We ordered coffees and he picked out the sweetest muffin going. I noticed the height difference being in my trainers rather than the usual first date staple of heels. We walked along the canal and had the usual first date chit chat about where we grew up as the grey clouds grew thicker.  

We finally get to the park and the arrival makes me feel a sense of relief. Not sure if it is the swans or the fact my coffee has now kicked in. As soon as we arrive at the park he brings up Ben.

“I can’t believe you know Ben by the way.” There was questioning to the tone.

“Yeah he’s a good friend”

“If I had a body like his I would be a total shagger!”

“Hmm” I respond, glad he is 2ft in front of me and couldn’t see my WTF face I will have involuntarily made at this comment.

“I actually thought he was gay for ages.” Callan laughs.

“He’s just not laddy.” I say sharply. I’m not impressed with what comes out his mouth and his toxic masculinity. I hold back on going off on one.

“I don’t know how you can be friends with him and not shag him.”

I sense his insecurity but I refuse to respond. “Shall we walk up to the maze bit?” shrugging off his clear intent to get more details about my friendship with Ben.

As we walk to the maze, he brings up competing with Ben at the gym and I say something about goals and quickly turn the conversation to a story of mine from years ago. It starts to rain.

“Let’s stand under the trees” he says and we quickly walk up to a quiet part with tall leafy trees.

I hope he doesn’t try kiss me I think to myself when we arrive and I pop my Pac-a-mac on and tie my hair up. The coffee will have worn my lipstick off so hoping I’m looking as tired as I’m starting to feel and he won’t. At least I can use Covid as a reason should I need to back away.

“So what’s your type?” he asks.

“Intelligent, funny and kind”  I say with a smile.

“You can’t sleep with a personality!” he says with his voiced raised.

“Well I have” I shrug and ask him the same question back.

“Red Heads.”


My golden hair is hidden underneath my hood now but he knows I’m blonde. Maybe he is trying to say I am not his type. I’m ok with that.

It’s still pouring so I am going to stand 2 feet away from him and under this tree for a bit longer. I ask him if he has been doing many zoom quizzes during lockdown. I start to tell the story about a Girls Night In quiz I did for a friend’s birthday. We all had to dress up as a Barbie from whatever we had in the house. I did a few rounds. I had everyone taking part send in baby photos and I took hen party ideas so the last 2 rounds while we were tipsy were “Polish or Porn” and “Labour or Love”. This story seemed to open a door that I had not expected. He mentioned he had played a game which they all had to say their numbers (How many folk they had slept with) and how he had been dreading it getting to him. He laughed as he said this, hinting his number was high.

The rain stopped and I suggested we walk back. I said I’d walk his way as I wanted to go to a supermarket that way.

As we walked back, he said how he lived above an old man pub in the area called the Park Bar. I said I knew it but wasn’t a place I went to. He then went on to say that on first dates, he always made sure they go there last so at last orders he can say “Let’s go upstairs and have more at mine”. He said this proudly so I sharply and proudly said “Not a chance you would have got me there on a first date that’s for sure”.

“I think I would.” He smirked.

“Absolutely not.” I said firmly.

For the next 30 minutes as we walked to the main street, every conversation ended up with him talking about sex or a hook up. He mentioned one girl he took upstairs at the Park Bar even though he didn’t even fancy her cause he knew he would “def get it”. I was relieved as we approached the cross roads and it was time to go our separate way. Oh we can’t hug bye cause you know, Covid. Shame.

I couldn’t wait to get home for a shower to wash of the rain and the several inudendos he had made during the 3 hour (felt like 12) hour date.

Later that evening I received a whatsapp.

He messaged back …something about being wet …. And then I can’t even remember. I didn’t respond and crawled into bed with Grimm Fairytales to sleep the whole day off.

The next day, a Friday (like it matters during lockdown and on furlough) he had messaged to say he told his friend Zoey all about me and sent me a picture of the 2 of them. She was a stunning RED HEAD.  I actually recognised her as I see her out running a lot but I didn’t say. He then said she said I was really pretty and he was having a boys night on zoom that night. I replied that she was pretty too. I felt relieved that the boys night would mean I wouldn’t get any messages. Or so I thought.

Later that day, Ben messaged to say Callan had messaged him on Instagram to say I’m really great and I clearly really like Ben. Again, is this him trying to dig for more on our friendship? Ben replied in the best way I could have imagined and said “Yes. She is very into literature and that’s something we have in common.” Ben knew Callan wanted him to tell me he messaged.

Later that evening, I had a Zoom chat with my girls who are all happily coupled up and laughed at my experience. I told them his story:

When me and my flatmate first moved in together, we had a little fridge for beers and we had this game that every time one of us brought a girl back, the other had to buy a fridge magnet!… I got 12 magnets in 2 months! He got annoyed he had to buy so many.

HA I replied asking when this was. Expecting it to be when they had just turned 18 and were in their first year of uni.

“Erm… not last year but year before” he replied.

Oh ….so when you’re in your 30s. Cool…… Bleugh.

We all laughed and said goodnight. I poured a wine and curled up to watch Jurassic Park: Lost World. Bliss.  The movie was coming to an end, you know when the T Rex is stomping around the city? Out the corner of my eye, my phone lights up and I see Callan is trying to call me on Whatsapp. I ignore it. He calls again as a video call. I ignore it. He calls again just as the movie finishes.  Out of absolute curiosity I call him back. I can hear guys laughing in the background and I ask him what’s up. He slurs down the phone. Now, I’m not talking a tipsy or even drunk slur. An absolutely paralytic man is slurring down the phone and I don’t understand a word he is saying. I tell him I can’t make out what he is saying and that I am going to bed. He says ok but 5 minutes later he tries to call again. I happily press the red phone icon and put my phone n silent as I set my alarm from my morning gym glass (via zoom of course).

I wake up before my alarm. I pick up my phone to cancel the alarm and notice Whatsapp notifications. I open it to see there is 2 from my group chat with the girls and 27 from Callan. He tried to call me on Whatsapp 27 times between 01:30 and 02:30. 27 times!!!

All calls didn’t fit in the one screen shot. I send to the girls and Gemma responded immediately saying this was absolutely psycho behaviour. I agreed.

It was 20mins or so before my class on zoom started so I was sipping a coffee and getting my weights out when my phone pinged. I picked it up. It was surprisingly Callan. I wonder if he even slept.

He responded with just Aw Ok. 3 hours past and I see his name ping up on my phone again.

WHY is he speaking to me like this?? I never should have mentioned the hen party games I made the girls play on Zoom for Rachael’s birthday. He also mentioned that all the boys were slagging him off for trying to make a booty call while the quiz was still on last night. Ew, hate to think what he was saying if I could have made it out.

I want this to end. I need to speak to Ben first as I’m not actually sure how close they are and don’t want him in any kind of awkward position.

I know what you’re thinking at this point it can’t get any worse. Well, then he sends me an image on Whatsapp. I hesitate to open it. Surely he hasn’t sent a dick pic….surely. Luckily it isn’t but it’s still vulgar.

The final nail in the coffin. I had to google what a dental dam was…

This guy is a sex pest. I respond with a gif of Britney Spears. Her teeth her clenched and she twitches her eyes. My favourite result after typing awkward into the GiF search bar.

He said to take what I will from that. I never responded. I messaged Ben immediately leaving a voice note of all this saying there is serious red flags and I won’t be seeing him again. Ben responded and was like yeah he always talks about his “conquests” at the gym. Ben only goes to the same gym at the same time as him but they’re not friends outwith apart from sharing Instagram likes now and then.

It’s a warm Saturday and my best friend has come over to sit in the garden, 2 meters away. I make a huge batch of sangria and we laugh about the past 48 hours and this was my reminder of why I went off dating apps!

Callan sends messages throughout the day. I even get a photo of him at the gym. He’s topless and his 6 pack is on show. He tells me Ben took this picture of him.

I realise at this stage that not only is he a sex pest but having a hook up while we are meant to be socially distancing is his absolute goal (wanting what they can’t have thing) and there is a weird obsession and competiveness with my friend Ben and that he wants to sleep with me as he thinks he will have one up on Ben.

The next day I message to say it was nice to meet him but I didn’t think we had much in common so wouldn’t be arranging another date.

He was genuinely shocked and tried to argue his case. I just said it wasn’t for me.

I’m pretty sure the sort yourself alludes to masturbation. I never responded. The next day he posted a photo of himself naked at the top of a hill on Instagram.

Remember he said we had matched but he said something inappropriate? I should have left it at that.

Dating in Lockdown; Virtual. Social. Distant.

Chapter 1: Virtual

At the start of lockdown, I was invited to attend an Online Speed Dating night hosted by a company I have dated through before and worked as a host for. This was about a fortnight or so after my First Date on Skype with Jay and as I hadn’t heard from him I decided this was a good idea.

It would start at 7pm and I had been sent a link and a username and password that asked to log in 15 minutes beforehand. As I would with an in person event and like my virtual date, I gave myself a bouncy blow dry, slipped on the jeans and a nice top and why the hell not, leopard print heels. I spritzed my perfume and headed to the laptop with a large glass of red.

I logged on, and watched a short video of the host Josh explaining how the evening would work but of course it didn’t answer any of the questions I did have; How many dates will I have? Is this being recorded? What if I need a bathroom break? Is my lightening ok? The video finished and my screen changed. In the bottom right corner, was a chat box with Josh saying he will be available throughout. There was a paused timer on the top right and a large box that said “The host is matching your date.” Suddenly my date appeared and the 5 minute timer started counting down.

We introduced ourselves, name and location and then started a conversation. I felt the pressure.

My first date was Greek and as a lover of the cuisine we spoke about food. And before I knew it, the video switched off and there was the message “The host is matching your date.” I sipped my wine and the name Alexander appeared on the screen. I smiled, poised and ready and after 30 seconds, the chat box from Josh popped up saying he was having webcam trouble. All I could think was “can he see me?” as my face started to hurt from smiling. I watched the timer tick down till 00:00 and “The host is matching your date” appeared again. Maybe Alexander was my dream man and due to technology I will never know.

I then had another 5 dates. All fine. Not great but not bad. My eyes kept going to the timer, I felt awkward sipping my wine, the conversations were repetitive and I discreetly focused on their surrounds and backdrops and judged. Then it was time for date 7. I sipped my wine again and sighed wondering when this would be over while staring at the “The host is matching your date” message and then the name Alex popped up. I sat up straight and smiled, poised and ready to greet another and as the timer started to countdown, no video appeared. Another technology problem? Can he see me? Can I go to the toilet? Can I go put my jammie bottoms on now as most of the guys had been in the T shirts or hoodies they had probably being wearing all day… or all week and I felt far too dress up. I was ready for this to be over so I could continue binge watching Dead to Me 2.

The timer went to 00:00 and the screen said “The host is matching your date”. Quickly topped up the wine and sat up straight again as the name Martin appeared on my screen. I braced myself and painted on the smile as the video and timer started. Suddenly a natural smile developed as I saw a tall, ginger guy with a good jaw line in a crisp shirt sitting on a stylish couch in a bright and nicely decorated living room with a glass of crisp white wine beside him. What a difference to the previous 8 dates (well 6 as 2 had been no shows). His reaction suggested he was happy to see me and conversation started on where we are based. Unlike my dates before, he was also in the West End! His work was not far from mine and we started talking about my favourite sandwich place in the area. I was genuinely laughing along with this guy then suddenly the video disappeared and I was back staring at “The host is matching your date”. The chat had been so natural and looking at him meant we had missed the timer so we didn’t get to say bye as the video cut out. I wrote down his name and the allocated number he had been given as I knew I would certainly be ticking date 9. Then date 10 appeared. He was blonde like the milky bar kid and I enjoyed his conversation about the charity he worked for. I watched the timer still though and managed to say bye to Milky Bar Kid.

“You have been on all your dates” message appeared. I was exhausted and optimistically decided that liking 1 out of 10 was good enough.

The next day, the company messaged me with a link to make my choices. I clicked the link and there was a message to say I had 48 hours to make my decision. I ticked Martin and pressed submit. I then had a message saying “3 people have made their choices. 3 people have ticked you. You have 0 matches.” Martin must not have logged on yet.

Later that day, I signed in again. “5 people have made their matches. 4 people have ticked you. You have 0 matches.”

The next day I signed in “7 people have made their matches. 6 people have ticked you. You have 0 matches.”

Later that day “8 people have made their matched. 7 people have ticked you. You have 0 matches”.

Nothing changed by the 48 hour mark.  Martin either never signed on to make matches at all or he didn’t tick me… Might be awkward after lockdown and we end up next to each other in the queue at this sandwich place on a Tuesday lunch break.