Compassionate First Date Leave

I’m meant 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? Nope, not anymore. He’s in charge of where and when we meet – I’m generous with that for first dates (sometimes) and 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 for a date lark when it’s too hot anyway to do anything.

Mean you say? I don’t think so. It’s just one of those things. I’m busy. He’s busy. You start chatting, you want to go on a date and 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 really and need to add it to your calendar so you won’t forget. Although you still might. It just looses its momentum.

It’s actually 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. It’s not great, but nonetheless true. We all know it.

Maybe they should introduce compassionate first date leave. You know, time you can book off work and still get paid, ideally with an extra allowance to cover expenses. The longer you’ve been single, the more days you are entitled to. 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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