Dating 101: Finding a dark horse

A last minute date. Nerves. It had been awhile. The banter, while good, hadn’t been going for very long. An exchange of jokes rather than the banalities of our jobs, the weather … Still, it was unexpected to find myself at his front door. Even on the drive over I considered texting an excuse. Staying home, opening a new bottle of Southern, eating sea salt and balsamic vinegar chips. It worked for me. There was no chance of being rejected, humiliated, feeling silly. How do you dress for a home date anyway?

The outside lights were on, at least my kidnapping would be caught on the neighbours’ CCTV. What was I doing here? It’s cold. My bed has fresh sheets on it. I should be at home with my dog, watching 30 Rock.

I press the doorbell. If he’s heard my car door slam he was playing it cool. A beat. Two. He opens the door. I’m not even sure I saw his face. I started chattering nervously about the lights on his footpath, asked if I should take my boots off. God I hope he says no, I’m wearing ugly socks. Why did I ask? He says it’s fine.

“Hi, I’m A,” he says and leans in for one of those one-arm hugs. And like that, I’m at ease. I could do this.

Six hours later, after I lost many games of pool, redesigned the layout of his kitchen cupboards, he cooked me dinner, and we had exchanged a lifetime of stories, he offered me a new toothbrush.

We brushed our teeth and fell into his bed. When he cheekily smacked my arse as we spooned, I joked that he’d need to spank me. To my delight and surprise, he says “well I do have a paddle”.

Turns out I was spooning with a dark horse and the effortless connection we’d been building over the night, took an exciting new turn.

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