My first date as a single mother

I set myself a challenge of going on a date before Christmas.  My first ever date as a single mother.  I don’t know why.  It is an arbitrary deadline, but I wanted to get over the hurdle of going on my first date in seven years (yes, you read that correctly, seven years) before the year was out.  It was also my first date as a mother, a single mother, and yes, that felt a bit weird too.

We met at Baker Street tube at 9pm.  I texted him to say that I was five minutes early and waiting outside Marks and Spencer (isn’t my life glamorous!)  I am too old for trying to be cool and not too eager by being a little bit late.  He was a little bit late…and I didn’t think it was cool.

I wasn’t sure it was him when I first saw him.  He looked absolutely nothing like his Tinder photo.  Yes, Tinder   the shame!  And I know that I should not really be surprised that a date doesn’t look like his Tinder photo.  I was tempted to turn round and walk away when I first saw him, or say ‘no sorry’ when he asked whether my name was Pen.  I didn’t though; standing someone up when you are supposed to be meeting is really bad form and I would have felt really guilty.  

We went for a drink.

He was Greek and a banker, but said that he didn’t actually need to work because he was building his property empire and it was raking in profit.  He had bought a flat in Kilburn that day and planned to renovate it before renting it out.  He said he had quite a few flats, but didn’t seem to want to tell me how many. 

I tried to make conversation by telling him about my flat, my decorating endeavours and the fact that I had bought it from a lovely old lady in her 80s so there was a lot of work to do.  He made the point that he likes to buy from old people because they don’t argue much when he tries to negotiate the price down. It was after this comment that I decided that, not only did we not have much in common, but I really didn’t like him at all.   

He didn’t much like art, theatre or reading.  He liked going to the gym and was very annoyed that his work had just turned the basement of their building into a bar for employees rather than a gym.  He said he didn’t much like alcohol, but he just about managed to drink his glass of red wine.  He clearly didn’t enjoy it. Just for the record, he was the one who suggested a wine bar. 

I gulped down my glass of white.

I don’t know what he was expecting, but it clearly wasn’t me.  He was very obviously disappointed at first sight, just as I was.  He probably thought about turning round to, or pretending that he was someone else and not waiting for a date. 

He knew I was a single mother, I have made that quite clear on my online dating profiles.  He also knew that I had come straight from work, but wasn’t keen to talk about either.   

In the end I did most of the talking.  This is rare for me.  I am a better listener than I am a talker.  But I had to ask him questions and try to get a conversation going.  We could not both sit and drink our glasses of wine in silence in a busy bar just before Christmas.  I asked him about his family, his work, when he came over to the UK, his plans for Christmas. 

A woman knitting on the train at midnight

A woman knitting on the train at midnight

Fortunately, once I had finished my glass of wine, he collared a waiter and asked for the bill.  He was just as desperate to leave as I was.  He was just less polite about it.  We paid and left.  He ordered a taxi the moment we left the wine bar.  I walked the 10 minute walk back to Baker Street tube to head home.

The evening wasn’t totally wasted.  I met my objective of going on a date before Xmas.  I made up my mind that I should not let my life be ruled by arbitrary and largely pointless objectives.  The highlight of my evening was the chicken and mushroom cornish pasty that I bought at Waterloo to eat on the train home. 

Oh, and I sat opposite a woman doing her knitting on the train.  She was great! 

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    • thesingleswan
      December 17, 2015 / 10:19 pm

      Thanks Jade. Have a lovely Christmas

  1. December 17, 2015 / 9:42 pm

    Sounds like a bit of a crap date but it certainly made for a funny blog piece. I was hoping to read this to feel inspired about taking the plunge again but it’s reminded me that there really is no pressure, and sometimes your own company is just as nice!

    I hope it hasn’t put you off!

    • thesingleswan
      December 17, 2015 / 10:19 pm

      It certainly was a crap date, but the law of averages suggests I am due a better one next time. I will let you know. Fortunately, I do quite enjoy my own company… THanks for your comment. x

  2. December 19, 2015 / 12:10 am

    Oh nooooo! What a disaster. He sounded horrible! Well you have to kiss a lot of frogs! Or have one glass of wine with a lot of toads. At least you bit the bullet and broke the dating seal, good on you. And better luck in the future, just watching First Dates here, so you never know. Always someone for everyone I believe – just have to hunt them down 🙂 #effitfriday
    LadyNicci recently posted…Top ten gift guide for the writer in your lifeMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      December 19, 2015 / 8:04 pm

      Hi, Now the idea of kissing him makes me vomit! Good blogging material though. Thanks for your comment. Pen x

  3. December 19, 2015 / 7:47 am

    Eek! Sounds like this is one to chalk up to experience… but as you say you broke your dating ‘cherry’ and it can only get better from here on in! I’m totally with you on arbitrary objectives too – ditch ’em and move on to big hairy goals 🙂 Thanks for linking up at #sharethejoy this week and a very Happy Christmas to you and yours x
    Michelle Reeves (The Joy Chaser) recently posted…Share the Joy link up #33My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      December 19, 2015 / 8:03 pm

      this is true. It can only get better from here on in! Merry Christmas to you too. x

  4. December 20, 2015 / 11:47 am

    You are brave. I have only been out in the evening twice since Piglet was born: once this week for the work Christmas party and once for dinner for a relative’s birthday. I can’t even think about the possibility of dating, and online is definitely not happening (I have a whole catalogue of experience there from before Piglet was born). Like you I enjoy my own company, so I don’t really think about it anymore.
    Min recently posted…Now I Am OldMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      December 21, 2015 / 8:29 pm


      I have no excuse not to go out on occasion really. Cygnet is with his Dad 2 nights a week so I have two free evenings. I have to make the most of them otherwise I will end up a sofa drunkard. I can’t say that the disaster date with the obnoxious banker was a really making the most of my free evening but never mind. Thanks for your comment and have a lovely Xmas. x

  5. December 21, 2015 / 11:20 pm

    Urgh what a date, sad to hear my fellow Greeks are letting the good guys down (I married someone English though to be fair) 😉 . Seriously you gotta kiss a lot of frogs and all that, and meeting the wrong un’s just shows you what exactly it is you want and won’t compromise on. He sounds insecure and a total bore. Onwards darling, you deserve the best and he’s out there. Love the knitting lady! Fab, fab post, honest and wonderful x
    Honest Mum recently posted…The Perfect Christmas Breakfast: Sweet Chilli Grilled Kippers, Scrambled Eggs and AvocadoMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      December 22, 2015 / 10:35 pm

      Ok, so let me just reassure you, it was not the fact that he was Greek that was the problem, it was the fact that he was a k*** 😉. You are right that you have to meet a load of wrong ‘uns to recognise the right one. Thanks for your comment. I am glad you liked the post. Have a lovely Christmas. x

  6. December 29, 2015 / 2:02 pm

    Well you did it lovely. Got out there and bit the bullet. Shame he sounded like a bit of a loser but I’m sure when that chap comes along who is right, it will hit you like a lightening bolt. Here’s to 2016 and you. Thanks for sharing with #bestandworst and see you soon x
    Sarah Howe (@RunJumpScrap) recently posted…My Christmas….My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      December 29, 2015 / 10:42 pm

      Hi Sarah,

      thanks so much for your comment. Yes, I got out there and bit the bullet. On this particular occasion I should have stayed home, but there are fun times and fun people ahead. Thanks for your comment. Happy New Year. xx

    • thesingleswan
      January 4, 2016 / 10:06 pm

      Thanks my love. Happy new year. x

  7. elena
    January 21, 2018 / 12:28 am

    My apologies in advance for prying, but could his name happened to be Jimmy? Dark hair, medium height, dressed like middle aged man with monogramed shirts over a white cotton t-shirt? Because if he was you saved your self some serious drama! Love you posts, so field with courage!
    Really wishing a great 2018 xx

    • thesingleswan
      January 21, 2018 / 9:51 pm

      Hi Elena, No, his name wasn’t Jimmy, but having read your comment, I will avoid all men named Jimmy in future. Pen x x

  8. January 23, 2018 / 2:50 am

    Holy Moly. My partner and i met 20 years ago. There was no such thing as s dating app then. Hell even texting was rare. I can’t even imagine what this must be like! You fux well to last as long as you did.

    • thesingleswan
      January 25, 2018 / 10:14 pm

      THank you Daddy Poppins

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