Newcastle Photographer and Content Creator, Mandy Charlton, Always on a quest for adventure, often seen on buses, trains and planes. On a quest to be happier and healthier. Lives in Newcastle with her 3 cats, Iris, Maggie and Arthur. Loves good vibes, musicals and cakes. Full time professional wedding photographer in the north east of england alongside content creator on Tiktok, Instagram and Facebook

Thursday, October 06, 2016

First Dates, My Story So Far

First Dates, always start with a good dog walk

Just a little while ago I went on my first date for ages with a man we'll call "Mr Adorable with Puppies", it was the best first date I think I've ever had or at least that I can remember, we walked our dogs together, we talked over coffee and then more coffee and when I had to end the date due to needing to get home it was with reluctance, just before I was about to leave he kissed me, the kind of kiss where your toes curl, your legs go wobbly and your lips go tingly, this I would probably say as a first date was an absolute winner. 

Date two was more of an unplanned ad-hoc thing and went pretty well although I had just worked 2 weddings in a row so my brain was fried and there was a generous amount of vodka involved but still, at the end of date 2 as he drove off my lips were once again tingling and my legs wobbling, for the first time in years I felt like a teenager again.

I have this three date rule, and I'm sticking to it because to me it feels right, it's about mutual respect and it's also about setting an example, not rushing into anything and being a grown up, something I feel I am pretty near to in my early 40's, your 20's are for making the stupid careless mistakes, your 40's are about making sure when you do find someone that they're absolutely the right person for you.

So "Mr Adorable with Puppies" never made it to date 3 and that's ok, what he did give me was a lot of confidence that I'd previously had stripped away, to be fair we were complete opposites and I mean polar opposites, I tried as hard as I could with the small words and short sentences but I don't think he appreciated or understood the nature of my random personality or half of the words I use on a day to day basis so I either confused him or terrified him, or maybe I did both.  (If you reading this now, I'm sorry but I can only be the person I am, I stopped trying to be anyone else a couple of years ago).  It's proof of why the three date rule works.

So then I went on a date with someone who made me laugh, he was witty, cheeky and we didn't really run out of conversation, his dog didn't much like Holly and I don't think Holly was over-enamored with him, she didn't growl but she certainly wasn't best friends (she loved "Mr Adorable with Puppies" by the way).  The end of date kiss was without sparkle, feeling or even the tiniest tingle, pretty much like kissing cardboard really.  I won't tell you what he wrote to me in a message when I politely said he really wasn't my type (at all, not even a bit) he was complimentary for sure but it's not something I would want my children to read, suffice to say, not a master of words.  "Mr Cardboard" doesn't even get to advance to date two.

And then there was this date,  a little while before "Mr Adorable With Puppies", he was a doctor but not of medicine, he was a scientist and his party trick was regional accents, he was the most boring date I think I've ever had, he did tell me he had minions, and he was definitely financially eligible, I'm pretty sure for the right girl he would have been a dream but "Mr Regional Accents" never made it to the second date or even past the first hour!

My usual style of dating tends to be a dog walk because if you want to date me my dog has to like you, if you pass the Holly Bobbins test you get to move onto the friends test, if they like you there's just a chance I might introduce you to my children but you're really going to have to be phenomenal for that to happen as I refuse to mess my kids up by introducing them to just anyone, nope, I am resolute that for someone to be introduced to my awesome teenagers they're going to have to be pretty bloody special.

If you want to ever advance past even the first date you are going to have to make me laugh, be able to hold a conversation and give me butterflies in my tummy, my dog is going to have to like you and in a perfect world, you'll also have a dog/s.  I've been on my own for 2 years and I'm not about to give up my solitude for just anyone, I've made many mistakes in my past by rushing into the wrong relationships or settling for someone who didn't tick all of the boxes and the best thing to come out of that is that I've learned valuable lessons.

A great relationship is like the perfect cake, it's filled with ingredients which excite and delight and it's covered with just the right amount of  sparkly icing, it makes you excited when you see it and when you take a bite your taste buds tingle and you feel warm and happy in your tummy.

All names in this article have been changed to protect the innocent...

Hannah Spannah

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