My next internet date continued the trend of very quickly moving off the dating site once we'd initially made contact through it. We used other online chat and email and she was keen to meet up quickly, which worked fine for me. Our first date was on a Tuesday evening just five days after our first messages. I had another first date lined up for the Wednesday which had been arranged further in advance, so it almost felt like this new one was jumping the queue, but then this is how dating works, right?
We met at a pub and spent the evening talking and laughing. She was fun and cute and I enjoyed being with her. I got the feeling that she enjoyed being with me too. The time flew by and all too soon we were saying our goodbyes at the end of the evening. I gave her a quick kiss on the lips, which seemed to go down fine, and on my way home I congratulated myself for having made that move rather than proceeding with caution as I had on too many previous first dates.
The next day, while chatting online again, she asked me whether I had any other dates lined up. I was honest with her: Yes, I have a date tonight - I'd already arranged it before I met you. This didn't seem to go down too well. I guess everyone has different ideas about what's acceptable in the early days of dating and what isn't. To be honest, I would have felt more comfortable only arranging one first date at a time, but I'd got the impression that this would have severely reduced my frequency of dating and hence my chances of finding someone, plus most other people seemed to be multidating anyway.
So I went on my Wednesday evening date. We didn't click - nothing particularly dramatic happened (not even enough to make a blog post!) but we both agreed that we weren't a match. The next morning I informed my date from Tuesday of this and arranged a second date with her for that Friday evening. She asked again if I had any other dates arranged. I told her that I didn't, but that I had been talking with a friend about trying speed dating. She asked whether I was actually looking for something serious and I explained that I was, but that I thought most people did early dating this way. I said that if our Friday date went well then I wouldn't go speed dating.
All of this was taking place against the backdrop of a very busy and stressful week of work for me. I was running low on sleep and feeling rundown, plus I had a weekend trip away with friends coming up. I let her know that I wouldn't be out too late on Friday because of this. We met after work and went to a restaurant. We enjoyed each other's company again and it was unfortunate that the evening could not be longer, but I really needed sleep. We parted ways with a longer kiss and a feeling that things were going really well.
During my weekend away I kept in text contact with her and we arranged a third date for the following Tuesday. On Monday I started sending messages to other women with whom I'd been in contact, letting them know that I was now seeing someone exclusively and wouldn't be going on any new dates. I called off the speed dating plan too.
Tuesday rolled around and I was still stressed at work and low on sleep. Our third date began at a restaurant after work again chatting and having fun, or so I thought, but then she explained to me that she was getting the feeling that I was moving too slowly for her - that I just seemed to be happy to continue going to pubs and restaurants for ages. So I asked her back to my place and she accepted enthusiastically. Off we went. Upon arrival we got drinks and went to my bedroom. We sat chatting and kissing on my bed. The question loomed large and unspoken: would she be staying the night? I didn't want to be moving too slowly again but I really was feeling very tired and desperately needed a good night's sleep. Reluctantly I let her know this and walked her to her car. I asked to see her again on Thursday and she said "what's wrong with tomorrow?" I repeated my need for sleep and she seemed to accept it.
Thankfully I did manage to catch up on some sleep in advance of Thursday. We had arranged that this time I would be going to her place and that this time we would be spending the night together...