My winter of love: I was not expecting a hot first date. Then I found love in a terrible pub – The Guardian

For most of the winter of 2011-12, I was a slightly reluctant member of the Guardian’sspin-off dating site, Guardian Soulmates. I was still in my 20s, just about, and pouring the energy and naivety of youth into a busy social life, a career as a writer of newsprint ephemera and a room in a shared flat. I think I was also a bit lonely and rudderless – a manchild still making sense of life 10 years after the sudden death of my dad. Whatever it was, something was missing.

By late February, I had been on half a dozen first dates – and no second dates. I was getting tired of the whole thing. It was all so procedural. But I’d agreed to meet a girl called Jess, whose profile handle – “good_grammar_is_hot” – had somehow not entirely put me off.

Temperatures in London that night were due to hit freezing, so I wore two unattractive jumpers under an unattractive coat. I was not anticipating a hot date. Jess and I both had house parties to go on to. We planned to meet for a quick drink at a sub-Wetherspoons pub by Victoria station. It would be handy for a prompt underground getaway.

It turned out Jess had low expectations too. She’d been on Soulmates for a bit longer. In the early days of the site, an algorithm ranked matches for compatibility. Jess’s top match, with a rating of 99.7%, turned out to be her own brother. It was downhill from there.

I cannot picture now the moment our eyes first met, but I do remember feeling a warming spark and an immediate sense of ease. We drank bad lager and sweet white wine. As shoppers and theatregoers swirled about the tables around us, waiting briefly for trains home, we held fast like rocks in an eddy.

Later, when Jess popped to the loo, we furtively texted our respective flatmates. “Like her a lot,” my message said. It helped that we had basically zero degrees of separation – Jess was a journalist too and we had mutual friends – but it was more than that.

Death is not always good chat fodder for a first date – even for oversharers like Jess and me. But at some point we learned that we had both lost fathers way too soon. We had both been on the brink of adulthood when that earthquake hit, and the crockery was somehow still rattling.

It was the first time I’d met someone who had gone through something similar, and it strengthened our bond. I don’t know what else we talked about – the usual cringey first-date stuff – but and it quickly became clear that neither of us would make our next engagement. We braved the cold to go on instead to a sub-Wagamama noodle place round the corner, and kept chatting.</…….


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Peter Andre admits he’s worried about his kids dating online and says it’s ‘scary’ – The Mirror

Mysterious Girl crooner Peter Andre, 48, appeared on Loose Women today as he spoke about the idea of children Junior and Princess trying out online dating

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Peter Andre discusses his children online dating in the future

Peter Andre has admitted that he’s worried about his children Princess and Junior trying out online dating.

The Mysterious Girl crooner, 48, appeared on Loose Women today to speak about his new healthy eating regime.

However, host Ruth Langsford first wanted to get his opinion on online dating after Coleen’s …….


Coleen Nolan shares online dating horror of catfishing, x-rated DMs and cringe fish photos – The Mirror

Coleen Nolan, 56, previously revealed she set up online profiles on several dating apps including Tinder, but said that many matches thought she was ‘catfishing’ them

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Coleen Nolan shares her horror online dating experiences

Loose Women’s Coleen Nolan has opened up about her warts and all experiences of online dating.

Coleen, 56, previously revealed she had set up online profiles on several dating apps in 2020.

She has since managed to find love through Tinder and is dating a divorced father of one, whose identity she has…….