Blind date: ‘I probably should have saved the massage parlour story for a second date’

·5-min read

Pete on Claire

What were you hoping for?
A fun conversation with someone interesting, attractive, intelligent and full of life. Possibly the owner of exotic animals. Not too much to ask.

First impressions?
Claire was very attractive and intelligent, and had a pet cat (not a python as I’d hoped). She was very nicely dressed, too. I realised that, on screen, the stripy T-shirt I was wearing looked like pyjamas.

What did you talk about?
Work, the state of the world, how it is to be English living in Paris, as we both do. Large parts of the conversation were cat-based, which is one of my areas of expertise.

Any awkward moments?
For some reason I decided to tell her a story about how I recently went to an erotic massage parlour by mistake. Probably should have saved that one for a second date. In general, trying to flirt with someone with a little mirror of yourself on the bottom of the screen was quite humbling.

Good table manners?
We both ordered pizzas, which arrived at almost the same time. Claire had immaculate manners, always a sign of a fine upbringing. I unfortunately tried to eat oysters as a starter, which must have been horrific to watch.

How long did you stay on the call?
About five hours, all in all.

Best thing about Claire?
I felt there was much to learn about her and that’s very appealing.

Did you introduce her to your housemates?
I tried to hook up my cat, Fatoosh, with her cat.

Describe Claire in three words
Tip-top gal.

What do you think she made of you?
Utterly insane, I imagine.

Any connection issues?
Constantly. The line went off about seven times. We’d have been better off with two tin cans attached by string.

And… did you swap numbers?
We did.

How did the call end?
For some reason, the last thing I said was, “Vive la France!” Her response was, “Oh dear.”

If you could change one thing about the evening, what would it be?
Probably to wear a nicer outfit and not say loads of weird stuff. But that applies to pretty much every evening.

Marks out of 10?

Would you meet again in person?

Blind date is Guardian Weekend magazine’s dating column: every week, two strangers are paired up for dinner and drinks, and then spill the beans to us, answering a set of questions. This runs, with a photograph we take of each dater before the date, in Guardian Weekend magazine (in the UK) and online at every Saturday. It’s been running since 2009 – you can read all about how we put it together here.

What questions will I be asked?
We ask about age, location, occupation, hobbies, interests and the type of person you are looking to meet. If you do not think these questions cover everything you would like to know, tell us what’s on your mind.

Can I choose who I match with?
No, it’s a blind date! But we do ask you a bit about your interests, preferences, etc – the more you tell us, the better the match is likely to be.

Can I pick the photograph?
No, but don't worry: we'll choose the nicest ones.

What personal details will appear?
Your first name, job and age.

How should I answer?
Honestly but respectfully. Be mindful of how it will read to your date, and that Blind date reaches a large audience, in print and online.

Will I see the other person’s answers?
No. We may edit yours and theirs for a range of reasons, including length, and we may ask you for more details.

Will you find me The One?
We’ll try! Marriage! Babies!

Can I do it in my home town?
Only if it’s in the UK. Many of our applicants live in London, but we would love to hear from people living elsewhere.

How to apply

Claire on Pete

What were you hoping for?
A good chat, some banter, and to like the person enough to want to meet them in person.

First impressions?
Pete seemed laid-back and confident.

What did you talk about?
Being in lockdown, our jobs, dating apps, places we’ve lived, his application for French citizenship, our cats.

Any awkward moments?
Not really. The chat got going easily and flowed… I was a bit embarrassed that both my phone and iPad batteries ran out.

Good table manners?
We decided to order the same food, agreeing on pizza pretty quickly. We picked places with the same expected delivery time, and the timing was almost perfect. I didn’t really notice how Pete was eating. My camera was pretty close, but I wasn’t too bothered about eating (with my hands) in front of him.

How long did you stay on the call?
Five hours.

Best thing about Pete?
Easy to talk to, seems open-minded, easy-going.

Did you introduce him to your housemates?
I introduced him to my cat, Lola.

Describe Pete in three words
Creative, friendly, easy-going.

What do you think he made of you?
Not sure. At first he probably thought I was more prim than I am. Wouldn’t be the first time.

Related: Blind date: 'He said he was in his 50s. I'm pleased to say that was a joke'

Any connection issues?
Yes! His internet. Several cuts. And my batteries… He joked about the final score being something like Pete 5, Claire 4.

And… did you swap numbers?

How did the call end?
I said I was knackered. We swapped numbers and said we’d go for a drink.

If you could change one thing about the evening, what would it be?
No interruptions.

Marks out of 10?
Assuming you mean for the “date” and not Pete, I’d say 6/10.

Would you meet again in person?
We said we would… Maybe as friends.

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