First Dates - Series 7 Episode 11 Ibiba and Aaron

It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for, it’s the reveal of the First Dates ‘twist’ in tonight’s episode of First Dates.

Arj and Rebecca

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Arj is our first singleton through the First Dates restaurant. He’s an “eternal student” having failed one of the years at university. He’s now 25-years-old and from Bristol. Arj stood out to me for ordering a mocha when he arrived at Merlin’s bar, rather than something alcohol, but I got the feeling it might have been a decision he regrets given his nerves.

Child Psychologist Rebecca is Arj’s date. She’s 26 and from London, and says she can be laughed into bed. This was about to be put to the test with a very peculiar date, where everything that could go wrong, seemed to go wrong.

Things didn’t seem to start well when the two were trying to make small talk at the bar, and then got weirder where Arj ordered peanuts for a starter. It turns out he has a bit of a child-like diet, where he likes to add ketchup to everything. The two were struggling to work out what to discuss, but at least the peanuts provided a kind of ice-breaker, even if it left Rebecca baffled.

As the date progressed, it clearly wasn’t going anywhere. The two hurried their food, and asked for the bill, hoping for a swift exit. That didn’t seem to happen though, when Arj revealed he’d forgotten his credit card. Poor Rebecca was left insisting she would pay the bill, even if she sounded very reluctant. Arj, however, did offer to transfer some money if she provided her bank details, but it was difficult too smooth over a very awkward situation.

Even at the end of the date where the two decided not to meet again, Rebecca told him he was a “fun guy” only for Arj to respond “you too… well not a fun guy”. The two did come across as endearing, even if it couldn’t have seemed any more awkward.

Lynn and John

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82-year-old Lynn Ruth Miller is originally from San Francisco, but now lives in Brighton. She’s looking for a man she can “wear out”, and considers herself a ‘menace’ to the male population. Her last date was in 1956, which makes me feel a bit better about my dry spell. She had married when she was 20 living in America, something Lynn puts down to the culture of the 40s. Unfortunately for Lynn, this husband was particularly psychologically unsound, threatening everyone with a gun when he got angry. This was followed by a marriage to someone was gay, who never had sex with her.

Hoping to turn that situation around tonight was 77-year-old John from Milton Keynes. He’s a gardener, and he’s come with a little blue pill tonight, just in case he gets lucky.

John lost his wife Pat just two years ago, she had significant circulation problems for five years prior, and had lost her legs due to this. John hasn’t really adapted to losing his wife, and the empty house he faces.

Lynn and John seemed to both get on very well – talking about children, about their passions for life, and sharing stories about their hometowns. Lynn was a very witty American lady retorting quickly to Sam the waiter “the nice thing about dating at this age is you don’t have to meet their parents” and ruling out children, claiming “I wouldn’t want to do that to my vagina”. It transpires she’s actually a comedian, and tweets at @lynnruth.

The two were dead certs to meeting each other again – Lynn loved John’s eyes and his personality, John found her particularly special. The two met again, this time in Brighton by the sea front, sharing fish and chips. I really hope he leads to something further.

Sarah and Thomas

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29-year-old Newcastle science fiction and fantasy novelist Sarah is the next single girl through the restaurant doors. Sarah says she meets a lot of geeky men at conventions, but most of the time she’s seen as an older brother, rather than a romantic interest. Of course, the production team found someone working in IT to be Sarah’s date. Step forward, self-confessed geek Thomas, who is 26 and from Bury. The two very quickly bonded about very geeky stuff which went over my head.

Thomas later revealed he suffers from autism, and so sometimes struggles with conversation and with dates. As he explained half way through the date, this is why sometimes he’s quiet. But he didn’t seem to be struggling, whenever Sarah started a topic they seemed to have something to discuss at great length, like movie ratings of their favourite sci-fi films.

Sarah thought she had been in love, but has recently started to question herself a bit more. Whatever she’s feeling, she’s missing the emotions which revolve around love. Unfortunately there were a lot of quiet moments towards the end of the date after conversation topics had been exhausted. I assumed the quietness was due to Thomas’ autism, but in a blunt post-date interview, he admitted not seeing a spark half way through and even wanting to leave during the meal.

Clearly Sarah was heartbroken romance on First Dates hadn’t come true, but I got the feeling Thomas was more than happy continuing as he was.

Bradley and Sarah

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Onwards and upwards. Cocky recruitment consultant Bradley, 24, from Ilford turned up next with cigarette in mouth and the belief he had the “second best beard” in the restaurant. Just when you thought this guy was going to be a complete knob, it transpired he has a passion for words, and a philosophical way of thinking. Bradley’s date is Sarah, 22, from London shares a passion for words – she talks at a ridiculously fast paced.

Despite coming across as cultured and intellectual, Bradley surprised me by admitting his holiday destinations don’t stretch any further than Ayia Napa. The two didn’t seem like they had much in common, but the date seemed to go smoother than I thought.

Sarah was adopted at a young age, but she said she had the best upbringing in childhood. This led to the two philosophising about life in a way that we’re all familiar with whenever two bond on a date in this restaurant.

I didn’t expect the two to agree to meet again, there was something that made me think Sarah was not the one for Bradley. I almost felt by the end of the evening though that Bradley sympathised with Sarah, and would feel bad about not agreeing to meet her again. Instead they explored London later that evening and. despite a promise of another date, have yet to meet up again.

Ibiba and Aaron

First Dates - Series 7 Episode 11 Ibiba and Aaron

Now for the big moment of the evening. Rastafarian Ibiba Mudada from Bristol was looking for someone who would appreciate her roots, quite literally. Her hair is very important to the 28-year-old. She’s looking for someone Caribbean, or with Jamaican roots too, particularly a “chocolate man” (her words, not mine). Fellow Bristolian and car enthusiast Aarron Stewart, 33, was Ibiba’s date tonight and immediately seemed her cup of tea. Aaron doesn’t tend to date, so tonight was a rare circumstance for him. He was hoping for someone to connect with – whether it’s through their eyes, good conversation, or a good bum. Ibiba seemed to be perfect.

Ibiba explained she had been pregnant at seventeen, and now has a daughter who is her height. She finds the prospect of dating with a child pretty scary. As a dad himself, Aaron isn’t sure about whether or not he wants more children, especially as the kids he has now are from a ‘broken family’ and doesn’t want to put another through that. However, he didn’t seem against the idea, if he could make a stable family.

However, the family aspect wasn’t the biggest bombshell of the date. Aaron revealed he was in a fight at the age of 20, which was significant enough to end up in prison. Aaron says he’s turned over a new leaf, and become a changed person, predominantly because of his daughter. Aaron admits he was an aggressive ‘problem child’, especially with his parents passing him between the two of them. Aaron faced going into care at a young age, but his nan took him on, until she passed away.

Ibiba couldn’t believe how open her date was, and how in-depth the two got in their first meeting. There was no doubt the two were going to see each other again, and Ibiba couldn’t believe her luck.

As the date ended and the show drawed to a close we found out the two had a second date, a third date, and several more. Months later their children had come together to become one big happy family, and further to that, there was more news…

First Dates - Series 7 Episode 11 Ibiba and Aaron
In a First Dates ‘first’ the the big reveal of the night was that they were welcoming another child into the family, all because of the show! And when it’s born they’re hoping if it’s a boy that it will have the middle name of ‘Fred’ – named after the star of the show. A bloody lovely moment!

First Dates - Series 7 Episode 11 Ibiba and Aaron

First Dates

Next time on First Dates it’s the waitresses turn to get some attention from one the singletons in the restaurant. Tune in on Monday 7 November at 10pm on Channel 4.

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.