Oh, I don’t fancy her.
That was my very first thought when I saw the woman I was meeting for my first ever same-sex date.
I went over and introduced myself and we hugged. She was at least a foot shorter than me.
Normally on dates, if they suggest meeting at tube, I say ‘actually, can we meet in the bar/pub/wherever’?
This is because the first few minutes of a date are always awkward. Deciding where to go is also awkward, even my closest friends, with the whole ‘What about here?’ ‘I don’t mind, where do you want to go?’ British over-politeness, trying to gauge how keen they are to go somewhere that you don’t want to go to, to see whether you can veto it or not. Even walking down the street can be awkward, if you’re trying to look like you’re listening to what they’re saying, whilst simultaneously trying to weave in and out of strangers or double-check on google maps that you’re going the right way, and then think of something to say.
So I just prefer to do the awkward, warm-up section of the date while everybody is safely in their seats already.
However, after the whole ‘is it OK that I’m not a proper lesbian?’ thing, I didn’t feel like I could be too assertive about where we meet, so I went along with it when she suggested the station. And we did do the ‘I don’t mind, what about you?’ thing, and we did weave in and out strangers.
We walked past a man who was shouting incoherently about something outside Costa, and she said ‘is that one of yours?’ as she knew I work in mental health, which I thought was quite funny.
There was a bit of shillyshallying about where to go, and we almost went to the same bar where I went with Young Jaguar. I was relieved when there were no tables free and we left.
We found somewhere that looked nice. She said she wanted to order some food. I never normally eat on first dates, but again, I went with it. She took one look at the menu and said ‘do you want to share this Asian platter?’ and I really liked the fact there was almost no fucking about.
After we’d ordered at the bar, we got settled at our table. She was kind of looking in my direction as I faffed around with my bag, and as I took my jacket off, and I saw her smile to herself. I have no idea why but I decided to take it as a compliment.
We chatted a bit about things like our jobs and where we live, and our experiences of buying flats. I felt pretty comfortable.
I thought again about whether I fancied her. The reason she had to work late, and therefore hadn’t been able to get changed, was that she was doing something like heart surgery, which I think is the sexiest reason for anything.
But I’m so used to judging myself in the mirror for not being attractive enough, especially when I haven’t made an effort, I think that interfered with my ability to work out how attractive I found her. I feel like the worst feminist ever because I probably would’ve fancied her more if she had loads of makeup on and maybe a slutty top. In fairness, I would probably fancy a guy slightly more if he had made more of an effort on a first date, but also, a guy who has made no effort at all looks pretty similar to a guy who has made loads of effort, as the spectrum of effort is so much narrower for men.
Shortly after our food arrived, she said “I ask inappropriate questions, so tell me if I am…”
“Oh, well, I get paid to ask people inappropriate questions.” I replied.
“…so what’s the deal with the girl thing?” She asked.
That was exactly the moment I started choking on whatever it was I was eating, so I faffed around having sips of wine and then water, and coughing and apologising for a few moments.
“Sorry. Well, I guess, I er…” and I explained my situation .
“So, is it as scary as you thought, being on a date with a woman?” she asked.
“No, I mean, we’re just two humans, aren’t we, at the end of the day.” I had thought that in my head, earlier in the day, and thought oh that’s cool, I must try and say that out loud.
She was bisexual but preferred women to men. She had had quite a few dealings with women who were in my position. She said often, they seem keen over messages on the dating apps, but once she suggests meeting up, they get scared and go cold. I felt proud of myself for not doing that.
Despite her being more keen to order food, she didn’t eat very much. I think I ate more, which has never happened to me on a date before.
We got through the first bottle of wine, and decided to get another one. We started talking about things like bad dates we’d been on, and a bit about past relationships. We talked about politics and religion and it was great. She was really interesting to talk to, really intelligent. We didn’t agree on everything but we were able to disagree in a nice, respectful way and I found the conversation really gripping. She seemed to laugh at my jokes a lot, which I always appreciate, and she made me laugh too.
As the night progressed, a few times I looked at her across the table and thought actually I could totally imagine fancying her.
On the downside, I have a bit of an irrational dislike for people describing themselves (such as “I’m the kind of person who…” or “I’m a very… person”). It makes me think I’ll be the judge of that, love. And she did do that a bit.
Anyway, we met at about 6.30pm and we stayed at the bar until it closed, and got through two bottles of wine together.
We walked back to the tube together. She asked if I wanted to do it again, and I said yes. She would she would text me to arrange it. We hugged before going to our separate train platforms.
She had asked me to text her to let her know I got home safely, which I did, and she replied.
About a week went by. I was up for seeing her again, although I wasn’t completely sure. Even if nothing romantic happened, I really liked her and wanted to stay in touch one way or another, even just as friends.
She had been quite clear she would text me, so I waited. But then I realised, she could be waiting for me to text, because she had sent the last text on the night of our date.
So I texted her, asking how her week had been. She sent a nice reply.
And then I never replied to her reply! At first I wasn’t sure what to say, and I thought she can’t be that keen, or she would’ve texted me more. But looking back, the ball was slightly more in my court.
And then I went on a date with a man the next week, which went really well, and I sort of got carried away with that.
I am the worst lesbian ever. They were probably right not to let me into the gay club.