I almost didn’t meet Will the Designer because on the evening of our proposed date, I had hedged my bets and organised two dates. Will had been messaging me on and off for a few weeks, but I found the alternative proposition more intriguing because he was an Italian Investment Banker and I was hoping for a more salubrious date venue (from the school of American Chris). However, the Italian Investment Banker is clearly only intent on messing me around, as he cancelled on me in the middle of the afternoon, citing that he would rather see his friends instead. Fair enough but please don’t tell me that.
So I arrange to meet Will the Designer at the Angelic in Angel, and at seven o’clock, pack up my things at work, apply another layer of makeup and make my way from work to the pub. I never go home before going on a date. If I went home, the motivation to go on a date would dissipate entirely.
Will the Designer
Employment – Freelance designer, worked for some cool fashion house recently
Age – 31
Nationality – British
Source – Tinder
Anatomy – Not my usual type. He’s not very tall, he doesn’t have big arms, and he doesn’t have a particularly handsome face. However, he’s very charismatic.
The Story – It’s basically impossible to discern anything from Will the Designer’s WhatsApp profile picture, which is the only image I have to go on because I deleted Tinder after American Chris. The only reason I’m here is that he has reasonable banter and he’s reasonably persistent. I am relying on him to recognise me.
Venue – The Angelic
Location – Angel, N1 0RJ
Activities – Drinking – food looks good but the pub is busy so you’d need to time it well or wait for somewhere to sit.
Atmosphere – Good, pub. Low-key first date.
Will the Designer suggests the date when I offer a preference to meet near Angel as it’s well located for both of us. When I arrive, he texts me to tell me that he’s running about 15 minutes late. Already considering the evening to be a write-off, I locate the bathrooms, apply a third layer of lipstick, and then return to the bar and order a large glass of wine. If he hasn’t arrived by the time I’ve drunk the wine, I plan to leave.
Fortunately, even on a Tuesday evening in November, the bar is busy enough for no one to really notice that I’m alone. I check my phone and read messages I’ve received on all the dating apps that day. It’s a cold day, and I walked to the pub from my office. My feet are still completely frozen and I’m pissed off that Will the Designer is keeping me waiting. I message him to tell him that I’m standing at the bar.
He arrives a whole 20 minutes late, which is a new record. He orders himself a wine, chatting easily with me and the barmaids. His company is immediately easy to me. We sit together as though we’re friends, or as though we’re already lovers. My knees tuck inside his, our body language is open and honest. I find myself resting on the metaphorical fence about whether or not I fancy him though. He’s a nice guy, we have great chemistry, but I don’t really feel as though I’m as desperate to kiss him as I ought to be.
I yawn, and I tell him that it’s because the date was boring me. He pretends to be offended and so I ask him,
“What are you going to do to keep my interest?”
After a split second of hesitation, Will the Designer leans over and kisses me full on the lips. I let him, for a few seconds it feels nice. But then I pause, stop him, quickly assess the situation and lean back to say,
My denying him further kisses only adds to the already heavy atmosphere. I could tell that he enjoyed the challenge.
Will the Designer and I had studied similar subjects at University, but whereas I had taken a very corporate route, Will the Designer had become much more creative. I’ve never been out with anyone creative before, and I thrived on his company. It felt so comfortable and normal, our backgrounds and family situations were so similar, we easily talked about everything from life drawing to previous partners, art, movies, exhibitions and sex. It almost seemed like we were too similar. If I were to date someone so similar to me, would I be a narcissist?
After a couple of hours, and two or three more drinks, Will took my hand and led me from the pub. He walked me to the tube station, and on-route, we play fought, kissed, and cuddled. The tactility between us seemed natural and uncontrived. I hadn’t felt such an immediate physical connection with someone since I was playfighting on the beach in Ibiza with the Tree surgeon.
Will the Designer commented,
This is what you’d be like in bed, isn’t it? I’d have to fight to overpower you?
I was surprised at how accurately Will the Designer had got my measure. He told me that he rarely got turned on these days, and when I asked why that was, he said
“It’s rare that I meet anyone awesome.”
What an odd response, I thought. But instead of saying so, I replied “I think we could have a lot of fun.”
Will looked confidently across at me and said,
“I think I could make you come.” I had to laugh at that.
“I think you might find it harder than you think.”
Will the Designer snogged me like a teenager in the tube station, and then text me to make sure I got home safely.
I was left feeling confused about whether I fancy him or not.