The great dinner date quest: the results

Last week, Will Cureton was desperately seeking a date for Valentine's Day. Today, he reveals whether he found the girl of his dreams - or ended up eating alone

I had booked a romantic table for two at a restaurant on Valentine's night. I had sworn I would either eat with Ms Right On The Night or all alone, and I had been on five internet dates so far to try to avoid the social lowlight of my life.

As you may guess, I was pretty worried about the idea of eating alone. All sorts of paranoid scenarios went through my head: the restaurant would make me pay for two covers; people would stare, or jeer, or throw food at me; I would have to hide in the gents, eating spag bol for one on the bog.

"Excuse me, but will you be long in there, sir?"

"Oh, about twenty five minutes ... and could you bring me some freshly ground pepper and parmesan, please?"

But to my immense relief, I got lucky. A girl from the dating site, who I really liked the look of, agreed (after some persuasion) to come out with me.

Things started well when we recognised each other immediately - a small but important point on a blind date.

"You look like you do in your photos", I said.

"So do you", she replied. I nearly shook her by the hand.

What wasn't evident from her photographs, though, was that she had eyes that could have hypnotised Houdini. I've got to be honest: I really fancied her. And I had the strangest urge to give her all my money …

She had light brown hair cut in a style that reminded me of Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction, and she wore a rather mesmerising black and white striped top.
I wanted to play it cool, but I never seem to be able to when I really like someone. Instead, I found myself talking at her unrelentingly.

As we walked up from the tube station to the pub for a warm-up drink, I subjected her to a stultifyingly dull running commentary of passing local 'attractions', such as the end of the road I used to live on, and a restaurant that we weren't going to. Alas, this string of drivel pretty much continued throughout the date.

When we did sat down for the meal, we nodded approvingly at each other's choices. I was tempted to show off by ordering in French (it was a French restaurant), but I bottled out. I was struck with an irrational fear that I might inadvertently order her a cab home, or inform the waitress that most other nights I was lonely.

Thankfully, I did manage to get the better of my nerves, and we ended up having a great night that went a long way to justifying the last month's dating efforts.

I was relieved not to be hanging out with the candlelit lover brigade on my own. I could imagine them all pondering what particular type of misery had befallen me, as they glugged back the pouilly-fuissé and fondled each other knees under the tables.

Will Cureton
Will in 'arty' pose to see off Gallic rivals Photograph: Will Cureton

Anyway, she's off to Paris this weekend. I'm hoping she'll want to see me when she gets back, and won't have fallen in amour with some tall, dark, handsome stranger spouting Baudrillard.

I'm still a bit confused by the whole internet dating process, but I would say that the best piece of advice was given by readers commenting on last week's article. Chiefly: slow down. This doesn't mean speaking to your date like your brain hasn't quite been the same since Glastonbury. It means taking a leaf out of the Americans' book. They approach dating - online or otherwise - expecting it to be a slow process.

So all I need to do is make sure I don't blow it with my date by letting on too quickly that I think she is great …

The GuardianTramp

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