After nearly three months on the dating site I was beginning to become disheartened with the venture. I had been on three first dates but no second dates. Each of my dates had been preceded by weeks of online contact. After things with Busy Student didn't work out, I realised that I hadn't started to click with anyone else online recently, which meant that it seemed unlikely that I would be going on another date any time soon. I was considering leaving the dating site and trying to find some other way to meet women. As chance would have it, my computer chose that time to catch a virus. I became unable to access the internet at home - I could still do so at my new job but I didn't think it was a good idea to be logging onto a dating site at work, so I left the site.
Instead I tried a different but similar medium: I put a personals advert in a magazine. I can't quite remember why I thought this would be a more successful avenue but I thought I would at least give it one try.
One advert, one try... one response.
I was disappointed to receive only one reply, but after a brief telephone chat I did at least have a date. We arranged to meet at a bar in the city. On the way there we texted each other a description of what we were wearing. As I neared the bar I could tell that I would be early and deliberately stalled a short distance away, at which point I saw someone matching her description. I couldn't be sure whether it was her and, in a portent of what was to come, I didn't say anything as she went past. I waited until I would be on time and then went to the bar. It had indeed been her before. I felt rather foolish and hoped that she hadn't spotted me earlier.
We got drinks and sat down together to chat. And we chatted. At first. We talked about our jobs and recent life events and interests. Pretty standard, really. And we started to run out of talk. The awkward pauses grew until there was more silence than speaking. I tried to tell myself that saying anything was probably better than saying nothing but I just wasn't managing to convince myself. The second half-hour of the date was just becoming one long awkward pause.
We left the bar and went for a bit of a walk, perhaps both hoping that a change of scenery would help somehow, but it didn't. More of the same. Neither one of us could break the silence for long. After not very long our walk took us to the station and we went our separate ways.
Reflecting on the date afterwards, I couldn't quite figure out how I'd managed to get so tongue-tied. I wanted to try a second date with her to see if we could click better - perhaps I partly wanted this because I didn't have any other potential dates on the horizon. I texted her the next day to ask if she would like to go out again. She replied in the negative. To be honest I think she probably did the right thing!
If I were to run into Silent Night again I would say... well, who am I kidding, I probably wouldn't think of anything to say, or I'd convince myself that I might not have correctly recognised her anyway!