The early stages of dating can be a little like an elaborate courtship dance. The saying goes that it takes two to tango, and two is all that it should be. Include any more people in the dating dance and it becomes a little less like an exotic tango and a bit more like a lethargic line dance.
To illustrate this point a male friend went on a date, having been selected from many other hopefuls on the mature dating site he was a member of, and found himself sitting in a bar having a drink and an interesting chat with a very lovely lady. It seems that the right boxes had been ticked; photo ok; similar interests; sense of humour; and maybe also a few other of the shopping-list of attributes that most of us hope for. The exchange of witty e-mails had been safely negotiated; the literacy test passed; replies waited patiently for and they got on well when they took the next step. They made telephone contact and arranged to meet in a public place, all very exciting.
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Many people list having a drink by the fire in a cosy pub as a favourite date, and this is exactly what they did. He was with someone he liked very much, feeling relaxed and confident after that initial awkwardness that can be felt on meeting for the first time. And then his date’s mobile rang. It could be that she had wisely asked someone to check that she was safe and well at that point, or maybe had read advice that you should pre-arrange with a friend to phone you in case you might need the excuse to escape if the 6 feet 4 inch Brad-look-alike you were promised turns out to be more like Yoda’s little brother.
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The caller was unknown to him of course, but as the conversation dragged on and on and turned to the likely whereabouts of the tomato ketchup and where the guilt should lie for misplacing it, the realisation dawned that real life had broken out of its temporary cage and crawled out all over our magic moment. It might have been the many longing looks towards the exit door during her phone call, or maybe that his eyebrows were so raised that you couldn’t tell them from his hair-line, but whatever it was his date eventually asked the caller to hold and informed him it was her teenage daughter calling, and she wouldn’t be a minute. It was raining cats and dogs outside and now the atmosphere felt the same inside and outside the pub.
Children and routine family life are naturally a happy part of most relationships. In fact the further along life’s path you reach when you start to look for a new partner, the chances are that most people you meet will have had a previous relationship and children may be a part of that. Some on-line daters may be looking for exactly that situation to complete their lives. If you are hoping that romance will blossom and flourish from those first dates however, it may be advisable perhaps to keep your phone available but strictly for emergency contact only and maybe to have someone on standby as a deputy to help hunt down the ketchup and other similarly urgent needs. Treat your date with the full attention and respect that you would like and a second date is going to be more likely.