Can you find love in a supermarket? That seems to be the common question in the First Dates restaurant tonight.

Daisy and Ben

First Dates Daisy Ben

23-year-old Daisy from Newbury is fed up of the local offering in her area, so is hoping to find someone new in her life from further afield. At the moment it’s just her and her cat, so after two years she’s hoping to end the single life. Daisy is looking for someone that reminds her of an iced gem, the biscuit treat, with a particular quiff. 27-year-old hairdresser Ben is Daisy’s date for the evening, he seems to have interaction with girls through the job, but never been in a date situation. He argues he’s far from a player though…

Part of his problem could be put down to the fact he has two kids aged seven and four from two different mothers. Daisy told Ben that it didn’t bother her, although she certainly paused at first before answering. Things didn’t feel like it was progressing much further when Ben was checking out the waitresses more than his actual date. Poor Laura was left lost for words as she tried to take an order, while Ben was flirting outrageously with her.

Daisy saw her ex within Ben, but followed it up by admitting he was “better”. As her ex had told her to change so much about herself, this had to be a good thing. Apparently the likeness had been so strong she was “knocked for six”. The only problem is that the feeling throughout the date wasn’t particularly mutual.

Ben didn’t sound particularly serious about dating, he seemed very laid back, and couldn’t look his date in the eye. He’d spent much of the summer partying hard. While Daisy was making plans for a second date, Ben still had eyes on Laura the waitress. Once he started to tell his date how attractive the waitresses were Daisy immediately reconsidered her view. In fact things had become so tense towards the end Daisy stormed out during the interview. She’s now going back to dating lads from Newbury.

Paul and Richie

first-dates-richie-paul

33-year-old Liverpool lad Paul had come out of a fourteen year relationship just 16 months ago. It meant also cancelling a wedding, which had already been paid for, something that had left him feeling rather shell shocked. He’s hoping First Dates help him find a Jason Statham lookalike to keep him happy, and from a quick comparison it seemed they found him.

Fellow Scouser and part-time ‘butler in the buff’ Richie was Paul’s date. As it turned out the 36-year-old knew his date, due to the gay scene ‘where everybody knows everybody’. Richie had even given Paul a lift home when he was drunk.

During the date Paul opened up about the strained relationship he had with dad over his sexuality. Paul’s dad didn’t take it particularly well, to the point where even watching Graham Norton was a struggle. However, Paul’s dad has become more accepting of it more recently, and started to accept it. By contrast Richie’s sexuality was found out by his family after he’d been searching for gay porn.

Despite initially feeling awkward to meet again, the two seemed pleased to have met again, and there was mutual attraction. Their date had changed their perceptions of each other. However by the end of the date, Richie had friendzoned Paul, even though it seemed he had seen a spark. We’ll never quite know what happened on the evening they gave each other a lift, but it seems there was attraction even back there.

Sarah and Nick

First Dates Sarah Nick

29-year-old fantasy fiction writer Sarah is back this week. She was disappointed about her last date – she’d bought a new dress, even slapped on make-up for the first time in ages. Last time there was a disagreement over a certification of a film, and Sarah’s drinks kept making her burp. So this time she’s avoiding the coke, although she was still sounding gassy…

Comic book writer Nick from Glasgow was Sarah’s date tonight – the perfect geeky fit from first impressions. Having both produced and written books the two soon found a common interest to get the ball rolling. It was a good start. To me Nick was certainly showing his camp side letting off a lot of “ooohs” throughout the date, discussing musicals, and his favourite past-time dressing up as My Little Pony. Despite raising some eyebrows, it seemed like he was the perfect match for our Sarah.

Nick and Sarah were treated to dessert al-frescho where Sarah got to feed her date. The only problem was she wasn’t very good at aiming, and most of the dessert was heading towards the crotch. Not that Nick was complaining. The pair’s enthusiasm for the date particularly got everyone talking on social media, especially the excited look Nick was giving off.

 

Towards the end of the date it seemed Fred and the crew were trying their best to get some romance out of this date, offering ‘First Kiss’ cocktails to speed things up.

Their date continued long into the evening, and for a second date Sarah was whisked off to a Scottish castle for an equally nerdy meet.

Shirley and David

First Dates Shirley Dave

Shirley, 41, from Catford has been looking everywhere for a potential partner. She’s been shopping in Sainsburys five-nights-a-week to meet new local men, but it’s seemingly not paid off. Shirley’s a mother of two, and has been recovering from alcoholism for the past two years. For that reason she wasn’t going near the stronger drinks at Merlin’s bar.

Our single mum’s date was single dad David, 43, from London. His problem was women weren’t excepting for who he is – an undertaker with kids. Dave didn’t mind taking the lemonade at the bar either, to keep a clear head. Shirley didn’t seem to mind Dave’s day job, and was fascinated to meet her first undertaker.

Shirley seemed to be fairly good with relationships up until a certain point, when the father of her two kids just walked out on her one day. She was not expecting to be a single mum, which is when she ended up sick and an alcoholic. Since not drinking Shirley likes to keep herself busy buying candles, new dresses, and baking. Dave on the other hand was a Monopoly whiz, having fifteen sets at home.

Sadly Shirley didn’t see a spark between the two, but the pair seemed to absolutely loved their evening together, even if it wasn’t going any further. For Shirley, she’s hoping this will be the first of many dates, and it seems to have become true.

Ruby and Dino

First Dates Ruby and Dino

21-year-old Welsh supermarket worker Ruby has met all of her partners the same way – through work. She doesn’t seem to have a problem of meeting men, but some of them have had some complications. Ruby’s criteria is someone who is happy with life, and isn’t a dickhead. So can Bosnian-born Dino fulfil this? Once she’d worked out Bosnia and Botswana wasn’t the same place, it seemed possible.

Ruby is a gluten-free eater, so most of the food was off the menu for her in the First Dates restaurant. She was picking food from the sides, but her date Dino didn’t seem to mind.

Dino didn’t sound like much like a Bosnian, he had moved over to Leeds in the early 90s when war broke out in his country. His family had been helped to evacuate the country by an international charity, and he remains very close to his family, still living with them at the age of 25.

Ruby also considers herself close to her family back in Wales. Will she be inviting Dino back home? It was clear there was attraction between the two, but Ruby admits struggling to spot the signs when someone likes her. The two, however, were up for meeting again, in a more chilled atmosphere.

We didn’t get an update at the end of the programme, but the two seemed adorable, so I hope they work something out!

Next time on First Dates

Next time in the First Dates restaurant, fresh from dating Justin and resisting his polyamorous desires, chatterbox Maisie is back in the restaurant. Watch Monday 14 November at 10.00pm. Meanwhile watch more First Dates on catch-up on All4, and read more reviews of this series of First Dates on my blog.

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Written by Jono Read
Jono Read is a 29 year old from North Norfolk. He is a social media manager and a digital campaigner. He blogs about politics, popular culture, and marketing.