Compassionate First Date Leave

I am planning to have a date. With a very cute, very tall guy, very much my type, quite clever from what I can tell and nice enough to be talking to me for longer than an hour. Am I excited about it? No, not really. Not anymore at least. He’s in charge of where and when we meet – I can be generous with that for first dates (sometimes) but right now I hope he does what I do and sticks to the current radio silence and mutual ignoring. So I can get on with all the stuff I need to sort out or just get to chill for a change and don’t have to bother with all the getting ready, getting out of the house and making the effort for a date lark when it’s too hot anyway to do anything.

Oh TC why are you such a mean cow I hear you say. I promise you, I am really, really not. Hand on the block of ice in my chest. I’m kidding of course. It’s just one of those things. I’m busy. He’s busy. You start chatting, you genuinely do want to go on that first date but the first free time you can agree on is a 90 minute slot on the last Thursday of next month if so and so is doing xyz by then. So far ahead you can’t even see it and need to dot post-its round the house just so you won’t forget. Although you still might. the whole thing just looses its momentum and before you know it a month has gone past and everything fizzles out before it even begins.

I’m sure you agree that it is quite difficult to keep an enticing conversation alive by text over a prolonged period of time. You don’t really know each other and whereas a face to face meeting gives you all sorts of cues and inspiration, by text you run out of things to say quite quickly. I mean how often can you get excited about good morning? So that’s the point where I am with this guy right now. Two weeks ago, the idea of having a date with him excited me. Now it’s become a little bit of an inconvenience.

It’s not his fault, nor is it mine. I guess the older you get, the more set you are in your life. You have your work, your friends, your time to yourself, oh and you need more sleep. To carve time out for someone new is not that easy. I hardly have enough time to see all my friends as often as I’d like to. There is work and the kids and the more inconvenient things like housework, dentists or opticians, the MOT and this thing called beauty sleep to take care of and 24 hours doesn’t go a long way.

Maybe I should start a petition to introduce compassionate first date leave in our work contracts. A bit like holidays, time you can book off work and still get paid. The longer you’ve been single, the more days you are entitled to. And you get an allowance for the – shall we say one a month? I think that’s a decent, achievable average. The more I think about it, the more I like this idea. We all pay into workplace pensions, surely this is some kind of investment into our future too? So we don’t end up old and lonely and only partially dependent on our children for some company. Alternatively you could open a crazy cat lady/smelly dog man trust fund. As a back up.

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