‘The Spark’

I’ve been on a fair few first dates over the past few months. I’m not really desperate for a relationship or anything (although I’d happily have one), but I like meeting new people and it gets me out of the house for a few hours which is always a bonus. And it’s an excuse for a few winos.

But, despite the lovely wine, I can’t help but find dates such a strange concept.

Mainly because of ‘THE SPARK’.

The dreaded Spark. The ambiguous thing that is apparently meant to reveal within minutes of meeting a complete stranger whether or not they have the potential to be the love of your life. When it’s put into perspective like that it seems a bit stupid doesn’t it?

That’s because, yes, it is stupid.

I mean of course, you could meet someone for drinks, or dinner and be pretty sure at the end you don’t want to see them again, but unless they’re a total freak, insensitive or a fucking asshole that you can say no with 100% certainty, then how should you know? I know multiple couples joking about how they met – ‘Oh yeah, I hated him at the start! Thought he was a total nob face!’ – and then there they are years later living together with a dog.

I love dating shows, like First Dates, but it leaves me feeling frustrated (and sad I’m alone).

‘She was a really lovely woman’, a bloke might say at the end. ‘She’s stunning, and we got on really well and has a great sense of humour, but I just wasn’t sure I felt THAT SPARK.’

Fuck sake, THE SPARK.

Because in all honesty how are you really meant to feel fireworks within minutes of meeting someone? Isn’t someone worth meeting again if you have a lot in common and find them good company? And if you do feel THE SPARK, are you meant to ignore any red flags and go for it, just because? An instant physical attraction isn’t always the best basis for a long-term relationship, as my tragic relationship history highlights.

A sexual connection can be confusing though. Feeling THE SPARK doesn’t mean that that person isn’t going to be kind, caring or funny, or even respect you. But sometimes it can make you believe it does.

The more dates I go on, the more I’ve realised one date isn’t enough. I just don’t think that it’s enough to get a real idea of who they are.

And no, I’m not saying date someone you don’t feel any connection with –  if you go on two or three dates and aren’t feeling that urge to kiss them or even more than that, then sure, let it go – but if you’ve had a perfectly nice time on a first date then what have you got to lose from doing it again? Worst case scenario you have a nice lunch and a good chat and nothing happens.

I recently went of three dates with a guy and it was only by the third date that I actually realised I was interested in spending more time with him. I didn’t in the end as he turned into a complete cock, but that’s a different story.

So help me here – how long are you meant to give it? How many dates do you need to go on before you feel THE SPARK? Did you meet your partner and just know, or did it take a while?

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