The Second Date

Emma Tonny continues her column with more tales about her crazy love life. In her shortest dating experience yet, she tells us about the infamous second date - and the importance of trusting your gut!


When a friend of a friend moves to the area it’s polite to meet them for a coffee right? If you used to live with a group of people (or pretend to live with them when actually you spent all your time at your girlfriend’s house) and one of their friends moved to your city, then you’d agree to meet. Especially if they just so happened to move a ten-minute walk from your house.

The entire reasonableness of all this is why I constructed an elaborate lie to explain the sudden appearance of a new member into my circle. He magically popped up overnight… and disappeared almost as quickly.

Let it be a lesson to you, that if a man scrapes off the herbs from his pasta on a first date, and specifically requests a second side plate to do so, that man is not a fun man and will not become so. He may think he is fun. He may even think he is sophisticated; and you may temporarily be convinced of this. But you are both wrong.

This encounter was my shortest experience to date. We matched on tinder, hence the ‘need’ for an elaborate plot worthy of a middle scene in one of Shakespeare’s early works. He could spell, was reasonably attractive and didn’t tell me he liked my smile. He was gold dust. So, to explain his sudden appearance in my life, I lied that he was the friend of a friend who had moved to the area. Heaven forbid I should be honest with my family and take the risk of seeming less than perfect

The lie was superb because it was grounded in truth; we did in fact go to the same university and probably have acquaintances in common. I can’t be sure because he is extremely self-righteous and has deleted facebook on grounds that make it intensely ironic that he has tinder.

Our first date wasn’t bad but wasn’t good either: we had drinks, we had dinner, we talked. He very kindly drove me home at the slowest pace I’ve ever been driven with classical music discreetly playing in the background. What is normally a five-minute drive took fifteen, and I remember feeling distinctly uncertain whether I was on the verge of laughing or screaming. An experience many women will recognise.

I will leave it to you to decide whether I accepted a second date because I have absolutely no self-respect, am naively romantic, or have an obsessive need to please others. Personally, I blame it on my incurable optimism. Given the herbs incident it will come as no surprise that the second date was not a success. We went for a river walk and didn’t splash one another with water, we played chess with absolutely zero sexual tension and had afternoon tea where he didn’t eat cake.

The poor boy is not for me and I am most definitely not for him. When I told him on the second date that I didn’t feel there was chemistry between us (the understatement of this millennium) he agreed there was no spark, but thought this might be a good thing… Right, because everyone wants to fuck someone, they feel platonic about. In what conceivable world is a lack of attraction healthy in a relationship?

Don’t: date a fussy eater.

Do: be decisive in calling things off early.

What I learnt: Keep in touch! It never hurts to have more men to invite to your parties. He’s not my man but I’m sure there’s a fellow herb scraper out there somewhere.