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  • Writer's pictureBilly Brayshaw

Dating Diaries Part III: The Do's & The Do Not's.

Updated: Sep 23, 2020

// Sidenote //

After my last blog post about being single for six years, I was really overwhelmed with people getting in touch and telling me their own personal stories. I love hearing about all things relationships and dating, just as much as I enjoy writing about them. Not to get too philosophical but it’s defiantly down to the fact that emotions and attraction are in no way logical, or easy to understand. So here’s me, doing my thing and helping myself try to make sense of the inexplicable.

I haven’t added to the Dating Diaries for a wee while now, but now we are at the end of the year it seems like a natural excuse to recap and broadcast some of my latest dating adventures. I decided to come at this one with some of my “Do’s” and “Don’ts” (not going to lie, they are mostly don’ts). Hopefully this will be light hearted because every date I’m going to write about, I did enjoy even if most of them ended in some form of disaster. So here it is, my own personal DO’s and DO NOT’s for dating, courtesy of the lessons I’ve learned this year.

ONE: Do Not Go To The Cinema On A First Date

Actually the title for this one should be: Don’t go to the cinema to watch a horror movie on a first date, scream at every scene, cause an absolute commotion by kicking people in the seats in front and/or punch your-self in the face.

I look back on this and wonder why I ever thought this was a good idea. I am such a dramatic movie goer at the best of times, literally panting and shouting during those intense fighting scenes, or wildly blubbering during any moment of sadness (it all started from the Lion King – RIP Muffassa).

I get myself so engrossed!

Before this date, the scariest thing I watched at the cinema was probably The Hunger Games, Mocking Jay Part Two, the sewer scene killed me. It’s not that I don’t like a good horror, I have just never been sooooooo into them enough to buy a cinema ticket. So when it came to a spontaneous first date with someone who, thankfully I had been speaking to for a while, suddenly became free and mentioned he enjoyed horror films, I thought YES I can get on board with that – no problem.

It was a quiet Tuesday night when he text and we spontaneously decided to meet, turns out it was the Tuesday after the big opening weekend of (drum-roll please) THE NUN. I have watched most of the franchise for these films, but all in my home, most likely on my little laptop screen and even more likely whilst being on my phone scrolling through Instagram at the same time. It’s safe to say I was not prepared for the cinematic horror experience I will never ever repeat again.

We arranged to meet at his place and I picked him up in my dog kennel. That’s right I occasionally drive a dog kennel. Okay, so it’s a car, but it’s used so much for the dogs and its big, smells disgusting and looks like a badly modified bus. Yes – this isn’t the best car to pick a date up in, but I had no choice, I don’t usually drive being in the city a lot, but when I do need to use a car I borrow one from the parents and this is the only one they trust me to drive (that’s a story for another time). In my defence I did explain to him in advance that I would be arriving in the dog kennel and he seemed fineeeeee. Oh wait, flashback... I’ve literally just remembered I nearly killed him on the way to the cinema!

Driving wise, I’m not the best at taking directions, that combined with the nervous energy of first meeting someone, for me equals near death experiences apparently. I’m probably exaggerating but I do distinctly remember a lot of swaying in and out of lanes and the slamming of breaks at traffic lights. Maybe this explains the whole parents not trusting me with the nicer car thing. Alas, we arrived in one piece and after I parked up we walked over to the cinema. It wasn’t my smoothest start to a date, but eventually we found our rhythm of conversation and banter. It was at this point I mentioned about my dramatic movie watching ways, I think he took it as a joke. One of those awkward moments where he laughed, even though I was being serious, but I laughed along anyway to spare the embarrassment. The tickets, the soda and the popcorn had all been paid for and it was finally time to take our seats. It was quite a late showing so it wasn’t hugely busy (thankfully) but there was still a half room full of people. The trailers went by and eventually the lights dimmed and the popcorn had already been eaten – yes I’m that guy. The movie began.

It was the opening scene and I was desperate to prove to myself that I could handle this and control my naturally dramatic responses, but I’m not embellishing this when I say, within the first One Minute of running time, I was actually considering leaving. Quite frankly it was the first scene and I was shitting myself thinking it’s not possible for me to get through this. Perhaps this was my dates first sign of things to come when I basically curled into a ball and shrieked in horror. Phew, the titles rolled and it was suddenly daylight on the screen, I could breathe again...for a moment. By now you probably get the idea. Throughout the whole movie, there were screams, involuntary kicking of chairs where people in front ended up moving as far away as possible from me, but I think the worst part was the involuntary punch to the face. It’s a natural reaction to raise your hands to your mouth when you gasp, but unfortunately on this occasion I missed my mouth and in my flappy state, landed on my eye. It wasn’t helpful that I was wearing glasses at this point, so I basically bashed my glasses into my eye, leaving me with a lovely little bruise the next day to remind me of my idiocy.

As the movie reached its conclusion, I do think I got a bit better towards the end, or more so that it ended up turning more ACTION than HORROR and I can handle that a lot better, however by the time the credits rolled and lights switched on again it was very apparent there were a lot less people around me than there was at the beginning of the movie.

He was really nice, and thankfully he had seen the funny side to this story, but it was defiantly still a lesson for me. Never again will I watch a horror film at the cinema, let alone on a date!

TWO: Do Not Go To A Bottomless Brunch On A Date

(especially if you can’t hold your alcohol).

I love a cute day-date. In fact, I think I might prefer daytime dates to night. I’m always that little bit more perky and fresh in the daylight, so when a Saturday brunch date was proposed, I was more than happy to oblige. If by now you haven’t heard of a “bottom-less brunch” I will explain the concept: Basically its little dishes of food served with unlimited alcohol usually between the hours of 11am-4pm. I don’t consider myself a massive drinker, yes I enjoy the occasional party and nights out every so often, but I must admit I’m no party animal and if I’m not going OUT OUT I don’t drink. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet matured from those teenage years where you would just go out and binge drink. Due to my lack of alcoholism, I probably haven’t had much opportunity to build up a tolerance for it, which is great in one light because I’m a cheap night out, but bad in another light because I get drunk very easy. These are all things I should have thought about before agreeing to a second-date with a nice guy at a bottom-less brunch.

It all started so well, the drinks were flowing as was the conversation. My date was very quirky, handsome and had some great stories, which I loved hearing about.

One glass of Prossecco later – The fizz goes to my head instantly, but I am still very coherent and enjoying my dates funny life stories.

Two glasses of Prosseco later – Still enjoying the stories, but now I’m aware that my attention span is drifting a little and I’m working extra hard to keep on track with the conversation.

Two glasses of Prosseco and a cocktail later – That awkward moment when your date catches you out on not actually listening.

Date: “What do you think about that”?

Me, with no clue what was said previous to his question: “Yeah...”

Date: “You weren’t listening were you?”

Me, honesty being my best policy: “Yes, I was at first...then I drifted”

Thankfully, this was laughed off and I managed to pull back a little more attention on what I was doing. I genuinely was interested in the conversation, but sometimes even without drink I do tend to float off in my own little world.

Three Glasses of Prosseo and Four Cocktails Later – At this point I was indeed inebriated. On a positive note, I have found when I drink, although I get drunk quite quickly I reach a certain level of drunkness and maintain that for a long time, even with more drink. So I reach a level and then just stick to it. It’s just unfortunate that the level I reach often comes with shorter attention span, hyperactivity and an involuntary urge to dance / perform a spice girls routine (me being Victoria Beckham, obviously).

The brunch came to a close and really, if the date ended there, it would of been a success, but instead of ending on the high, it was a mutual decision to carry on drinking in another bar, and then another bar and then another bar until it got to around 10pm (bearing in mind the date started at 11am). So my day date, turned into an evening date, by which point we were both very drunk. As mentioned I do tend to just stick to a level of drunkenness and not get any drunker, however, unfortunately the same can’t be said for my date. As the day/night went on, he got drunker and drunker, louder and louder, and dare I say, sassier and sassier. When the sass got aimed at me, and he snapped at me because I wanted to go home, I figured it was best to just pick up my coat and leave. Our two different levels of intoxication seemed to clash.

I would like to say, we were both quite drunk at this point, and I honestly don’t judge him or blame him because that would only make me a hypocrite. He was a really nice person. I think it was all just too much for a second date and still getting to know someone. So yes – probably not the best idea to bottomless brunch on a second date.

THREE – Do Get Locked In A Room For An Hour With Your First Date.

Just as I was about to give up on dating life, I decided to do another *Five-Swipes on Tinder.

(the *Five-Swipes is a method I use where I go on Tinder and countdown from Five. Weird, but I’ve actually found it helps keep me engaged and allows me to take in peoples profiles, instead of absent-mindedly swiping and swiping. Keeps me from feeling like I’m just online shopping).

I got a match, and within the first ten minutes of conversation already arranged and booked a date the next night for The Breakout Rooms. I’m all about the spontaneity.

If you haven’t heard of them, the Breakout Rooms are a sort of interactive game. Basically, you get locked into a room and have to work together to find clues in order to “breakout”. Before this date, I had done one of these before, but unfortunately, I failed miserably and didn’t make it out in time. You get an hour to decipher all the clues and if you don’t do it in that time you get locked in forever, never being released to the outside world again. Of course, that’s not true, they let you out anyway – but the point of the game is that you get out before the time runs out.

In all honesty, I didn’t really enjoy my first experience of this. I’m not a very competitive person, so the fact I knew I was going to be let out anyway didn’t really motivate me. I was happy to try this experience on first date though, who wouldn’t want to be locked in a room for an hour with a complete stranger to see what happened....?????????

It really was all fun though and a genuinely good idea for a first date with a difference.

Before diving head first into the rooms, we decided to arrange a drink beforehand. He was a nice guy, easy to talk to and again a little quirky (perhaps this is a thing for me...). We talked for a while and then made our way to the Breakout experience. Our room was called “The Heist”. The idea was that we were bank robbers and we had to crack the safe, steal the gold and get out of the room within the hour time-frame. There were lots of clues to figure out and we had to work together to crack the codes. I have to say I was really good...for the first twenty minutes, and then I did get a little bored (my attention span lapsing again). You really have to concentrate to do these things, which isn’t my strongest attribute in life. He did so well though, and seemed to figure things out really quickly. If this really was a bank robbery, he defiantly would have been the brains of the operation whilst I would have been the one distracting the security guards doing something stupid. I was his dumb assistant – which was great for me because it meant I could just chill. The time was running out and we only had a few minutes left, but by this point I had given up – which isn’t the best attitude, I know, but I truly accepted my fate that we weren’t going to succeed. Fortunately, my date did not give in to my pessimistic thoughts and carried on, BREAKING us out with just a few minutes to spare. Yeyyyyyyyyy, we broke out and I finally can say I won a BREAKOUT room, even if it was all him who made it happen haha!

Although I wasn’t the best at this, I actually think it’s a great idea for a date. It’s a great way for two people to get to know each other and bond. Sadly, in the end, me and the guy didn’t meet again, the spark wasn’t quite there and I had lots going on at the time. Still, I really appreciated this date and would defiantly recommend others doing this.

To summarise, even though some of the dates mentioned landed on my DO NOT list, I actually enjoyed them all. I’m very lucky to have met such nice people and share these fun experiences with them. Here’s to the many more to come, or maybe just the forever one? Who knows?!

Thanks for reading – Always appreciate hearing your thoughts so please do message me :)

Billy B x


#dating #datingDiaries

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