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Blind date: ‘I never once attempted to check the football scores’

·4-min read
<span>Photograph: David Levene/The Guardian</span>
Photograph: David Levene/The Guardian

Ken on Shelley

What were you hoping for?
A great conversation with a view to possibilities.

First impressions?
Shelley seemed confident, friendly and relaxed.

What did you talk about?
Spain, where Shelley has a house; European culture; swimming, which we both enjoy.

Any awkward moments?
I mentioned performing standup comedy as a hobby. “Tell me a joke,” Shelley asked. The best I could come up with was, “One of my favourite films is Groundhog Day – I could watch that over and over again.” My attempt to recover failed when I explained it was the only joke I could think of that wasn’t about my disastrous relationships.

Good table manners?
Very much so.

How long did you stay on the call?
We had a great rapport; our two hours passed quickly. I never once attempted to check the score of the Spurs v Liverpool match.

Best thing about Shelley?
Great energy, positive and engaging. She knows what she wants out of life.

Would you introduce her to your friends?
Yes, and to my grown-up kids. They would all give a big thumbs up.

Describe Shelley in three words?
Attractive, charming, energetic.

What do you think she made of you?
She probably thought I was the most handsome, charming, funny and intelligent man she’d ever met. I’m glad I never got round to mentioning my passion for building Airfix kits.

Any connection issues?
No, I paid my internet provider’s bill this month.

And… did you swap numbers?
We did.

How did the call end?
When my teenage son texted me “what’s for dinner?”, a relatively long conversation for him.

If you could change one thing about the evening, what would it be?
Meeting in person would have been awesome.

Marks out of 10?
9. That’s top marks from me, I never give 10 to anything.

Would you meet again?

Blind date is Guardian Weekend magazine’s dating column: every week, two strangers are paired up for dinner and drinks, and then spill the beans to us, answering a set of questions. This runs, with a photograph we take of each dater before the date, in Guardian Weekend magazine (in the UK) and online at every Saturday. It’s been running since 2009 – you can read all about how we put it together here.

What questions will I be asked?
We ask about age, location, occupation, hobbies, interests and the type of person you are looking to meet. If you do not think these questions cover everything you would like to know, tell us what’s on your mind.

Can I choose who I match with?
No, it’s a blind date! But we do ask you a bit about your interests, preferences, etc – the more you tell us, the better the match is likely to be.

Can I pick the photograph?
No, but don't worry: we'll choose the nicest ones.

What personal details will appear?
Your first name, job and age.

How should I answer?
Honestly but respectfully. Be mindful of how it will read to your date, and that Blind date reaches a large audience, in print and online.

Will I see the other person’s answers?
No. We may edit yours and theirs for a range of reasons, including length, and we may ask you for more details.

Will you find me The One?
We’ll try! Marriage! Babies!

Can I do it in my home town?
Only if it’s in the UK. Many of our applicants live in London, but we would love to hear from people living elsewhere.

How to apply

Shelley on Ken

What were you hoping for?
A stimulating lockdown conversation with someone different.

First impressions?
Well presented, just as I would expect from a European sales director.

What did you talk about?
The lockdown and its impact on us, family, work, our travel experiences, food, hobbies, previous marriages.

Any awkward moments?
Only slightly at the beginning, when we both confessed we were a bit nervous. A glass of wine helped with that!

Good table manners?

How long did you stay on the call?
Two hours.

Best thing about Ken?
Very easy to talk to and outgoing.

Would you introduce him to your friends?
Yes, no problem. I think he would hold his own.

Describe Ken in three words?
Sensitive, adventurous, on the brink of something new?

What do you think he made of you?
That I’d had an interesting life, was inquisitive and (hopefully) fun to be with.

Related: Blind date: ‘I showed him my wedding dress’

Any connection issues?
Occasionally Ken would freeze and then the screen would disappear for a while, but he always came back.

And… did you swap numbers?

How did the call end?
Ken had to make some food for his youngest son who was coming to stay, so I suggested we swap numbers and carry on at a later date.

If you could change one thing about the evening, what would it be?
Nothing, really. Two hours for our first conversation was just about right.

Marks out of 10?
A solid 8.

Would you meet again?
Yes, I would.

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