Welcome to 29 Dates, where we explore the weird, wild and sometimes wonderful world of dating - one date at a time.
When we matched online, I was experiencing the death rattle of a seven-year relationship.
The last time I was single, dating involved falling into people in clubs. Apps felt fun, like window shopping.
Would I ever feel anything again? Maybe not, but as we WhatsApped back and forth, it all felt a bit soulmatey. Uncanny. Too good to be true? Probably.
My expectations ahead of our first date were low. I arranged a walk, thinking I could leave easily if I wasn’t into it. But I was.
Eight hours later we snogged. It was nice. Really nice. I had forgotten how this felt. I almost took him home but decided against it, letting him think it was because I was unsure when really I just wanted a decent night’s sleep.
A week later, we met again. By now – six weeks of texting – there was pressure. Energy crackled between us. Would the sex be bad because everything else was good?
We walked back to mine and I mentioned the cat my ex had abandoned with me. He was, it transpired, very allergic. Cut to buying Piriteze under the halogen lights of a late-night corner shop and laughing.
We had sex. It was good. But then it happened.
"Can you feel that?" he asked.
His heart was beating so hard... Then, still inside me, he had a full-blown asthma attack.
His heart was beating so hard it almost broke through his chest. I was worried. And then, still inside me, he had a full-blown asthma attack.
He didn’t have an inhaler, he needed to go home. I wanted to go with him. He wanted to be alone. I didn’t want him to leave but, equally, I didn’t want him to die.
Standing in my bedroom, completely naked with a massive erection and wheezing, he somehow managed to laugh.
It was 2am. He got an Uber. I passed out.
I woke up, panicked. I texted. No reply. Was he actually dead? I called. Phone was off. Definitely fucking dead.
Finally, at 1pm, he messaged. He had been up all night, wheezing and listening to podcasts.
He still thought it was funny. Was I okay, he asked?
No, but I feigned humour. As my phone blew up with asthma jokes, I felt alone in the home I once shared with a man I had planned out the rest of my life with. I faced everything I had lost: stability, certainty.
I had suddenly met someone who made me feel alive again but, almost as fast, I was forced to confront losing them too.