Dating Magazine

Jen and Anna

By The Guyliner @theguyliner

This morning I received an email - at 6:15, no less; don't people actually sleep - from someone who said they'd had a conversation about the Guardian Blind Date and that "somebody" said they thought "gay couples seem to be over-represented". Over-represented. God what a depressing world we're living in. The idea that a magazine column which people apply to appear in must somehow track exactly to general population trends or - more likely - someone's narrow worldview that the odd poofter or lezzer every now and again is fine, but more than one a month means it's the end of days. I am bored by this ceaseless pushing back, the thinking that goes along the lines of "look, guys, I think you lot might have just one too many rights" under the guise of free speech or "legitimate concerns" or "just saying what everyone's thinking". The problem is that while civil rights have come a long way, people's attitudes have not. There're still lots and lots of homophobes, racists, sexists, misogynists - all the bigotry is still there except, for the briefest of periods, its legitimacy was questioned and it almost looked like we were going somewhere. Sadly, we are still travelling and traffic is terrible. There is no such thing as "over-representation" in the Blind Date column. People apply, they get matched, they go on the date. If straights are so terrified of losing the Blind Date column to the rainbow brigade, then apply! You've got to be in it to win it. And I'll be right here, waiting. Go on. I dare you.

Anyway, this week it's two women. HA.

Jen (on the left in the 💯 trainers) is a 26-year-old technologist and Anna is 23 and a graduate trainee. Read how they got on in the Guardian before I try and cut through the swathes of over-representation, LGBTQ agenda, and other dull clichés that "Maroon 5 Greatest Hits CD (scratched) blasting out in your Fiat 500" society is no doubt frothing about at all times.

Someone fun and kind, and no long silences.

The worst thing about being single was people asking me for my dating horror stories. I couldn't exactly say, "it's all in the blog" because I was anonymous and I have generally found that people struggle to look you in the eye once they've read that post you did about having sex in the bath with someone you just met but HEY HO. (Hello Dad, I hope you enjoyed reading that particular line.)

EYES. They come up a lot on Blind Dates. It's a fairly safe compliment, really, so you avoid looking like a pervert. I remember one date - "ooh good a dating horror story!!" - where the man said I had a lovely mouth and I didn't quite know where to go from there. (Well, I did, tbh.) Anyway I had a look at both ladies' eyes and am in no position to say whether Anna's are indeed "boring". Can eyes be boring?

"Out of place in a posh restaurant." You belong there, babycakes. I used to be like this on the very rare occasions I'd get to eat somewhere that had seating with a back and linen napkins. And then I realised, fuck it, my money is as good as anybody else's and I think I can be trusted not to show myself up. So me and my friend started going to really posh places all the time (she had money for a while) and although it was usually great fun, the food was VERY seldom all that good and our fellow diners were almost ALWAYS the kind of people in the background of whatever Prince Andrew's latest incriminating photograph might be. Chinless ghouls with wallets as soul replacements. Anyway, I'm back to Wagamama or a quick soup from Wasabi now. I know my place. But that doesn't mean I won't be back taking up space in your posh "eatery" one day.

There is something quite endearing about being nervous on a date, or indeed at any important event, because it shows that it matters to you. Confidence is great but the fine line into arrogance is so easily crossed and there's a lot to be said for the more hesitant, pensive, and gentle people in the world. There certainly aren't enough of them in politics or working on reception at my local GP, that's for sure.

Her sister's upcoming wedding, shitposting, the queer community, shared houses, worst drinking stories, board games, tattoos, Pride.

Drinking stories ✅ LGBTQ people do tend to drink quite a lot (I am talking generally so please don't write in if you're a teetotaller and live in a lovely minimal apartment with an E London postcode with your equally abstemious husband and two chihuahuas that you call your "gaybies"). The reason? Well, if you were gay/bi/trans etc and lived in 2019, wouldn't *you* spend it drunk?

Being queer and not having role models when we were teenagers - I'd just like to point out that my blog has been running for almost a decade. I was RIGHT HERE all the time. No, just kidding. I can't think of any role models either. Plenty now, though, I hope. I see a change, more LGBTQ celebrities expressing themselves honestly. Best not to get too attached to role models anyway - they always turn out to be bigots of some description in the end.

Hahaha "politely asked to move to the bar" - I love how uptight this restaurant sounds.

Remember to ask the price of stuff if you're in a fancy restaurant. Don't be embarrassed. Who cares? That old adage "if you have to ask how much something is, you can't afford it" was invented by rich people to make you feel bad and also to relieve you of your money knowing you won't complain because you're terrified of looking tight or common. I know this stuff comes with age or confidence and I guess I was much meeker at 23 and indeed still have my moments but don't let people who think they are better than you get away with it. They don't own you.

She handled the bewildering array of cutlery with grace.

The ceaseless sly digs at this cat's bum of a restaurant are giving me LIFE.

"A lot of what she was saying felt super-familiar" - I do hope Anna was in fact just reading Jen's own tweets back to her.

Lights up a fag?
*flinty scratch as lighter sparks, Jen takes long drag of Superkings Menthol*
"So let me tell you about the bad old days, the darkest hour... the time I spent three hours pricing PD James paperbacks in the backroom of the Fulham Sue Ryder."

Jen and Anna Jen and Anna

Pretty, like a top in Zara, from across the store, before you walk over to it and discover that harsh lighting was masking the fact that its made out of chamois cloth, blood diamonds, and a sharps bin from the local health centre.
Engrossing, like a second-hand PD James.
Gay, like ME. Yay!

Sweet, like an orange Twirl. You had one yet? I have. It was OK. Only OK. Don't feel I need to eat one again. Bring back the Wispaccino, you cowards!
Open, like a door.
Animated, like an animation.

STRONG SAME, JEN. I don't believe in myself half as much as I need to in order to survive in my chosen profession. If you struggle with this, remember that you *are* your own harshest judge and that it's likely everyone else thinks you're much cooler than you do. Also, there's nothing an extra skoosh of fragrance and an extra blob of hair product can't fix.

Jen and Anna


Jen and Anna


I've said it before, I've said it again: LGBTQ crew get it done.

Jen and Anna

Anna that is a shy 10 and you KNOW it. Don't come the 8 with me.

We're texting to make plans.
Jen and Anna

As dark as the days are going to get, we will always have today. Thank you, queens.

* Jen and Anna ate at Margot, London WC2. Fancy a blind date? Email [email protected]. If you're looking to meet someone like‑minded, visit

NOTE: The comments I make are based on the answers given by the participants. The Guardian chooses what to publish and usually edits answers to make the column work better on the page. Most of the things I say are merely riffing on the answers and not making judgements about the daters themselves, so please be kind to them in comments or replies. If you're one of the daters, get in touch if you want to give me your side of the story; I'll happily publish whatever you say.

If you enjoy my Blind Date reviews, or anything else I have done, and want to show your appreciation with no obligation, I've opened a Ko-fi account where you can throw me a couple of quid whenever you feel like it. This is not a subscription, the blog remains free; I do not many any money from it. Grateful for any contribution but mostly for your continued readership.

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