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The Dating Game Part #2 🫠


    “So, what is it you’re looking for, then?” My date asked.

Overcome with first date nerves, my brain’s ability to form any iota of sense failed catastrophically. Visions of hamsters dancing to Jamiroquai’s Space Cowboy filled my head.

Act normal, act normal, act normal .

I took a deep breath.

In theory, the question was simple… And the answer should have been, too.

In an ideal world, I’d have replied, “I’m just enjoying dating at the moment.”

In the actual world, I panicked and practically screeched, “WELL, you know when people our age get broody over having kids? Well I look at Togepi from Pokémon and feel the same. It’s the cutest little egg! I JUST WANT TO MOTHER IT!”


… Let me start by saying that I never used to be this socially inept.

Since Covid, my introverted tendencies have stepped it up a notch, and as a result, every time I have a conversation with literally anybody new, I give the impression that I have never actually met another human being before.

(This is what happens when you spend your days throwing birthday parties for hamsters and writing books about pixies. 🤣)


I HATE going on dates.

If you read my last instalment (The Dating Game:, you’ll be aware of the series of unfortunate events that is my dating life.

To provide a brief recap, there was the unforgettable occasion where one guy randomly decided to gift me with an actual watermelon, and the lad who chanted Manchester United songs at me all night. And lest we forget the madman who proceeded to play the drums with his fork and the restaurant table, while performing what I can only describe as a very ropey rendition of OMI’s Cheerleader.

If other people aren’t providing blog-worthy disasters, I’m creating them myself by going off on tangents about the pros and cons of electric blankets.


Anyway, back to the matter in hand - the latest instalment, if you please.

It’s hard to pick just one ‘mare from today's date.

Here are just three examples of painfully weird and nonsensical things I said this morning:

  • “I think people who eat jacket potatoes have something wrong with them.” 🙃

  • “I have REALLY bad skin.” 🤦🏻‍♀️

  • “I DETEST Sainsbury’s. I’m very passionate when it comes to my hatred of it.” 🫣


Now, you might read the above and assume that each of those sentences was said alongside some form of context. They weren’t.

Why oh why is my brain so intent on filling silence with pure drivel?!

If this was like, 1754, I’d voluntarily offer my brain to medical science to help contribute towards the study of clinical insanity.

I simply cannot be trusted in public. I am a socially awkward menace to society.


Sadly, there seems to be certain pockets of pointless information that my brain enjoys returning to in moments of awkwardness. This usually entails me telling anyone who’ll listen that Marmite is my religion, and that I wash my hair in olive oil and raw eggs.

Sometimes I’ll launch into my top 15 reasons why Jay-Z should run for presidency.

Occasionally, without warning, I'll quote a meme from 10+ years ago, such as, 'What the HELL is even THAT?!' Again, no context, and certainly no sense, either.

Worst of all is when I completely lose my mind and encourage people to guess how long it’s been since I last shaved my legs. The winner is usually rewarded with a cheeky flash of hairy ankle.

I remember the first time I ever tried to chat up a guy. I was 15 years old, more brace than teeth, spattered with acne, and sporting butterfly hairclips.

My friends and I were hanging out at the arcade listening to N-Dubz, as you did back in 2009. Don’t let the rap music fool you - I think it goes without saying that we definitely weren’t the cool crew. Tbh, I think we actually spent half the night gleefully discussing what we’d do if we each had £100 to spend at Waterstones. (‘OMG, we could buy a collector’s edition version of Black Beauty AND still have enough money leftover for a Jacqueline Wilson audiobook!!’)

A group of lads walked in, and the one in the McKenzie jacket with the drawstring JD Sports bag took my fancy.

After a lot of giggling, I decided to shoot my shot.

I sauntered over in my Tammy Girl kilt and Pineapple hoodie (very St. Trinian’s).

               “So,” I said, tossing my sweeping fringe aside to reveal the worst of my acne. “Are you into Jacqueline Wilson books?”

… It didn’t end well.


How I managed to hold down an 8 year relationship is actually beyond me. 🤷🏻‍♀️🤣


Another thing that doesn’t bode well on dates is my… Shall we call it ‘independence'*?

*Read: my desire to be on my own, almost constantly.

Here’s an actual real-life recent text conversation that I had with a lad:


Him: ‘I’m just on a hike in the Peak District on my own.’

Me: ‘That sounds amazing!’

Him: ‘You’re welcome to come with me next time if you like?’

Me: ‘…The part that sounds amazing is the fact that you're on your own. I love a solo hike.’


Look, I don’t know why I enjoy spending as much time as possible on my own, but I just do. You could dangle a hybrid of Richard Madden and Alex Turner in-front of me and I’d still willingly choose to go on holiday and for days out and hikes by myself.

People don’t ‘get’ introverts, and they especially don’t get talkative introverts, like myself. If I’m comfortable around someone, I’ll happily chat to them about anything and everything for hours on end, but I do need to follow this strenuous activity up with at least 24 hours of uninterrupted peace while I recharge my social batteries. And, let’s be honest, the person who has been unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end of my rambles probably also needs a few hours of silence to recuperate, if not a three week spa holiday in the Bahamas. 🤣

I’m blessed with the most incredible family, friends and work colleagues, who I thank my lucky stars for every single day. While I enjoy creating precious memories with all of them, I do also really value my time alone.

I’m actually going hiking in Bavaria on my own over the summer, and I can’t bloody wait to just spend my days wandering both my imagination and endless German forests, while indulging in copious amounts of wild swimming, writing, and picnics. Heaven!

To me, dating is a necessary evil that I begrudgingly force myself into to avoid a life of spinsterhood. I fear I am one hamster-party away from the local villagers accusing me of being a witch. Funnily enough, I do sometimes wave to crows from my home-office window.

Anyway… My ‘charm’ apparently appeals to someone, because against all odds, this morning’s date actually asked to see me again! 🙅🏻‍♀️

Cookies and Fawlty Towers: Consoling myself this afternoon after 4 whole hours of social sickness.🤣

Cara Jasmine Bradley

💋 Read The Dating Game Part One HERE:


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