Dating male research assistants: Part II

HAVE I learnt anything more about myself or blokes since I last posted about the research project that is my love life?

Of course I have! It’s still sinking in though… so don’t ask me to make too much sense of it all. Yet.

I’ll begin by recapping – the South African rugby player I met for coffee had suffered one too many knocks to the personality zone of his brain while the Gallic gent had ingested far too much garlic in the preceding 12 hours, perhaps thinking I would suck him dry like a vampire.

Sure that I would soon stumble upon a ‘normal’ handsome yet interesting man, I embarked on my third date, with a couple of weeks in between to recoup.

The upmarket location was nice – hopefully that meant my date wouldn’t complain about the coffee. Pommy Dave was already sitting at our table when I arrived. And he turned out to be an easygoing guy with a GSOH, but coffee was not on his menu.

Despite having been out late to a concert with friends and waking with a hangover about an hour before our meeting, he decided a glass of white would go down a treat. I love a glass of bubbly or two but had made a deal with myself not to be that glass of bubbly while conducting this all important research. So I stuck with my green tea.

Dave had no problems in the conversation department. His first topic was how he had treated himself by recently buying a VW convertible. I was clearly supposed to be impressed, so I enthused over what I actually feel is an ugly little midget of a car with barely enough room to fit one let alone two kerbside junk collection chairs in the boot. Good on him though!

He had great teeth, like a good racehorse, nice skin, like a L’Oreal ad, and big blue eyes, a bit like Snugglepot, but I could detect an air of judgement about him. Not necessarily of me, but of people in general. Nothing overt, just a sense from a man who essentially worked as a freelance toe-cutter.   

We discussed daughters – we both have them – and jobs – we both had those, too – and I was really enjoying our banter when it was time for me to leave in time to pick up one of my offspring from her part time job. My, how time flies when you’re having fun…90-minutes had already elapsed.

As we stood up to go to the counter I realised my new friend was at least 10cm shorter than me (and I was wearing flat sandals) with a rotund beer belly poking out from beneath his deceiving black t-shirt.

It made the car seem a very sensible choice. I know I sound like a spoilt middleclass snob but I don’t want to have to encourage a man to look after his own health – he should already be aware of that at our age, right? This info was something I definitely provided to the agency when outlining my list of desirables. I don’t need another pet to train or cater to. I want a friend I am insanely attracted to and who is crazily enamoured with me, who wants to do some of the things I want to do for several long and happy years. Yes, I know. I’m possibly asking too much. Is that unrealistic? After all, if you don’t ask, you don’t get!

But, part of another afternoon spent with a nice fellow human being of the opposite gender; at least my confidence talking to men in something other than a work-like mode was slowly developing.

And that is what I was beginning to learn. To have confidence in myself and my ability to hold a conversation that wasn’t a) about my children, b) about my work, or c) just a succession of ungodly jokes normally shared with my cackling coven.

The only men I really meet are in a formal, professional capacity which means I just want to make the necessary connection and then move on – white, middle-class, married, conservative-voting men are not usually of sustained interest to me. Maybe that’s where I’m going wrong…naaahhhhh.


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