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This dating game!

By Sade Rotimi

Face it, dating in London if you are in your mid 30s could be a pretty dismal feat.

The guys around your age are married, gay, in prison or frankly dead, so the options are pretty limited. The most common way to meet someone these days is by introduction.

However, with the modern times, more and more people are going online these days to meet a partner. Church is another venue that cannot be ruled out.

Rio Adams hits the dating scene and tries out three scenarios in a quest to meet Mr Right or Mr Right Now.


Jimmy was introduced to me by Lola, a family friend. She called me up one day out of the blue and asked me if I was dating.

“Not exactly,” was my answer, trying not to sound like a desperado.

“Well there is someone who I’d like you to meet,” she went on. “Is it ok if I give him your number?”

I didn’t think it would hurt plus I was curious so I said yes.

30 minutes later, Jimmy rang and after a pleasant chat on the phone we agreed to meet up the following Wednesday.

Jimmy picked me up at Clapham Station, he was tall and seemed pretty amiable apart from the fact that he had a massive gap in his teeth.

After pleasantries, we decided to go to a sweet little restaurant in Greenwich. Once ensconced in the car he looked over at me and said, “So, tell me about ya self?”

Not used to being placed on the spot like that my mind went blank. “Well what would you like to know?” I asked finally finding my voice.

“Everything,” he replied. “I wanna know everything about ya.”

Hmm now as a person with many interests who had travelled a great deal that was a pretty tall order. I mean where did I start? So I gave him a brief summary of my life.

At the restaurant we chatted, despite the odd moments of awkwardness conversation flowed nicely.

However, despite the atmosphere I could not stop myself from staring at the huge gap in Jimmy’s teeth.

Shallow I know but hey, you can’t help how you feel. It didn’t take a genius to work out that Jimmy was not the one so we went our separate ways.

The next day I had a call from Lola. “So how did it go?” she asked breezily.

“Well the evening was nice,” I told her. “But we don’t have that much in common. I’m sorry if your match-making skills didn’t go to plan.” “Oh don’t be,” she replied. “I couldn’t stand the guy anyway.”

I was speechless. Some friend!


Akin was a Clerical worker who lived for the church, when I say live I mean live.

He lived for the church and he actually lived in the church. So devoted was he to his faith that he rented a studio flat above the place of worship!

Well, at least he saved some dosh on travel costs as well as never being late for service.

We met at a friend’s christening at his local church, we got chatting and arranged to meet up.

For our date we went to the cinema to see a popular chick flick. Akin was an earnest chap with a lot to say for himself but unfortunately it all revolved around the church.

I will tell you upfront that I am not very religious, in fact apart from that christening, the last time I had entered a Church was during my Cousin’s wedding five years ago.

When I shared this information with Akin he seemed very perturbed.

“You never go to Church,” he repeated in amazement. “Ah, but that is not good O. You should go.”

I told him flatly that I was not interested. That did not go down well with the chosen one as he continued to berate me on my lack of holiness.

Fed up with being lectured I ignored him and we walked home in silence. When we reached my door he bid me good night and told me that he would pray for me. He called a few times and asked if we could meet up but alas I didn’t have the courage to, the thought was simply too scary.


We met up at a café in Islington.

Tunde was an embittered divorcee who worked in IT. He swore that he was over his ex-wife but he so wasn’t and spent most of the evening ranting on about his failed marriage and all the horrible things his ex did to him.

30 minutes into the date he was still filling me in on all the gory details. Talk about too much information!

Any minute now, I thought, he is going to ask me all about myself. Unfortunately that moment never arrived.

Unable to get a word in edgeways I tucked into my Chicken risotto and smiled encouragingly as it became quite clear that this would be the only form of communication I would be allowed on this date.

After we left the restaurant he hugged me goodbye and promised to call. Well he did and during our little tete to tete on the phone he once again did all the chatting; he asked me what my first impressions of him were.

Now people, I am not one to suffer fools gladly and have been described by friends as having an acid tongue.

One of my closest friends gave me some advice when I embarked on the internet dating thing, to hold it down.

I decided to try things her way so I bit my tongue and told him that I thought he seemed really nice and looked a lot younger than I thought he would.

He told me that he was pleased with what he saw but thought that I was really quiet and didn’t say much. What can I say? Words fail me, again.

So my dears those are my dating experiences, whatever you do, don’t go out and buy a new hat.

London dating and the 30-something

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