Date 28: The Guardian, the Finale & the Girlfriend

So, at long last, it's the end of the blog.

I've learned a great deal since I first set foot in the dating wasteland - for example, to stop girls *before* they bite your finger and exactly what the tensile strength of the human cock is. 

For my last ever online date, and my last ever (1) post on this blog, I decided to do one of the dating experiences I've read about loads, and always wanted to do - Guardian Blind Date

For those of you who aren't familiar with how it works, four years ago, the Guardian started sending people on dates. Now, every week, one couple a week share their Blind Date story for the delectation of the Guardian’s readership every Saturday. At least two of their daters have got married:

It's fun, vicariously reading what other people think of each other. The dates don't always go well. Some people obviously have a dreadful time – this one where he starts by complaining she was "25 minutes late and didn't apologise" and ends with "I'd run out of things to say, so we walked to the tube in silence" sounds grim.

As ever with online dating, some people are just pricks – check out Mister "I was hoping for Anne Hathaway, and she’s not Anne Hathaway".  I think the oddest one I’ve ever read is "I got trapped in a courtyard, then he asked if I owned a corset and then I didn't know what to say when he suggested we 'call a spade a spade and leave it at tonight'." 

The way you get to go on it is you send an email to, telling them a little bit about yourself. I’d always thought about going for it, but I suspected they’d have trouble finding a date for a Tory who writes for the Telegraph. Occasionally, being a right winger is useful – for example, if you turn up for jury service in a tweed jacket, with a copy of the Spectator under your arm, no defence barrister in their right mind will select you. On the other hand, it’s not ideal when trying to get picked for a thing in Britain’s best known left-leaning paper. I told them I was a TV producer who wrote a dating blog, and hoped they wouldn’t delve too deep.

The (slight) subterfuge worked, and the Guardian’s in-house cupid got back to me quickly, and started setting up a date for me. Apparently, the reason I went forward so quickly is that the ratio of men to women applying is about 20 women for every man. So get writing, chaps.

Once you’ve had a response, you wait, and then once they’ve picked a person they think you're suited to, they set up the restaurant, and then a photoshoot in the Guardian’s office in King’s Place. I was nervous – I felt sort of like Frodo sneaking into Mordor in the Lord of the Rings. To blend in, I wore sandals, and had some Quinoa in my bag. I figured if anyone stopped and ask me I could bluff a few lines like “Ooh, that David Cameron” etc etc.

I just hoped I wouldn’t get caught out by a Great Escape “Güt Luck” style question and end accidentally blurting out something that marked me as the enemy. I probably should have worried more about the photograph. I’m one of those people who always looks hideous in pictures, no matter what I do. I used to say I’m not photogenic, but a cruel photographer friend once said to me, “Actually, being photogenic or not is a reflection of whether you actually look in real life as you do in your pictures – and I’m afraid you really do look like that when I point a camera at you”.

As it was, I rocked up, appeared in the pictures and managed to get out in one piece. The day of the date rolled around, and wearily, I got on the tube and went to meet the lady in question. You can read about how the date went here. 

Now, *I* actually quite liked her, and believed she was 25 when I met her, but it seems my friends ummm…felt differently.

I still stand by telling the “Spiderman jizzed on me on a nightbus” story, btw. It made sense in context, honestly! For the record, the date was perfectly pleasant and she actually looks far better in real life. It's just a bad photo. But, alas, I fear she was as Zathras from Babylon 5 would say, “Not the one”.

So, there you, 28 dates from 28 different dating sites and still single. I’ve learned a huge amount while writing this blog; I’ve made mistakes but had a great time. In doing it I’ve become a fervent advocate for online dating and met at least a dozen women I know I’ll be friends with for years, had some great experiences – and the not-so great experiences make for good stories, at least.

THE END...or is it...?

If you want to know what happened next, jump to The Happy Ending here.


  1. Unknown said...


  2. vickytnz said...

    Ha, I know the girl from the Guardian Blind Date, definitely an unflattering picture (and as I know her through uni I can in fact confirm that she is that age!)

  3. Bloody marvelous!

  4. mgrwmac said...

    Bravo......a great series of blogs and a great result. Congratulations to you both.

  5. nuttycow said...

    Well done :) What a great ending to this blog!

    What's next?

  6. Anonymous said...

    This is weird: I read your Guardian article YESTERDAY (and thought she was harsh on you honestly because I thought you sounded fantastic) and then just stumbled across your blog today. Very odd! Happy to hear you've met someone lovely, though. :)

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