Blind date: ‘He was taken aback when I said my favourite influencer was a hot chef who plays with grapefruits’’

John, 39, a doctor, meets Sam, 34, a school teacher

John on Sam

John on his blind date

What were you hoping for?
Someone funny, kind, curious. Maybe someone handsome and boyfriendly.

First impressions?
Friendly, calm. I could tell he was nice, and he had a nice shirt on. (I blabbered on about wearing a non-ideal summer shirt, as my Asos order hadn’t arrived).

What did you talk about?
Places we’d lived. The vastness of London. Books. RuPaul. The film Bros. Broey gay culture. The Chicks and their heartbreaking song Travelling’ Soldier. Christianity. Nigella.

Most awkward moment?
We were talking about food influencers and I said my favourite was a hot shirtless chef who plays with grapefruits in his videos. Sam was a bit taken aback, but then I showed him a video and he got it.

Good table manners?
Excellent, and friendly to the really nice staff.

Best thing about Sam?
He was super-easy to get on with, and laughed at my awkward, nervous jokes.

Would you introduce Sam to your friends?
Definitely. He’d fit in really well.

Describe Sam in three words.
Smart. Friendly. Warm.

What do you think Sam made of you?
That I talked too much. Hopefully he felt I was friendly and interested in him.

Did you go on somewhere?
Nope. We’d been out for four hours so it was late. We swapped numbers.

And … did you kiss?
No. Just a wee hug hello and goodbye.

If you could change one thing about the evening what would it be?
We ordered our food in a disorganised way, so a series of meze dips arrived, but with nothing to dip into them.

Marks out of 10?

Would you meet again?
Yes, probably as friends, but I would be open-minded to all as he was cool.

Blind date is Saturday’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 Saturday 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

John and Sam on their date
John and Sam on their date Photograph: -

Sam on John

Sam on his blind date

What were you hoping for?
I was just interested to meet someone new and hoped for a good vibe.

First impressions?
John was very warm and friendly from the start. He also had a great shirt on.
What did you talk about?
Nigella recipes. Growing up Anglican. Shakespeare. The highs and lows of dating in 2022. His upcoming trip to Palm Springs.

Most awkward moment?
When the waiter found out I was vegetarian, he seemed disappointed, but John agreed to stick with the many aubergine options.

Good table manners?

Best thing about John?
John seemed genuinely curious about me without ever being too nosy.

Would you introduce John to your friends?
Yes, he seems like the kind of person who’d get along well with anybody.

Describe John in three words.
Warm. Open. Kind.

What do you think John made of you?
I hope he didn’t find me too chatty.
Did you go on somewhere?
No, just headed home via the Christmas lights. We swapped numbers, though.

And … did you kiss?
We didn’t – just a friendly hug goodbye.

If you could change one thing about the evening what would it be?
More vegetarian optionss. The bread, wine and baklava were delicious though.

Marks out of 10?
8 – John is great.

Would you meet again?
As friends. John seems to know lots of fun things to do in London.

John and Sam ate at Zahter, London W1. Fancy a blind date? Email

The GuardianTramp

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