So last night I had a date with a guy who seemed to tick all the right boxes. After 15 minutes, he was still ticking most of them.

Cute, rugged, tall, a successful trainee solicitor with some adorably geeky tendencies. I could see the receding hairline and the small percentage of puppy fat, and raise you a great sense of humour and intelligent conversation.

We were halfway through our first drink when he had to roll up a cigarette and run outside to smoke it. I sat making love to my drink and wondering what was going on.

Back inside, and the conversion bounced animatedly from favourite TV animations to theatre to growing up.

Then, just as we were ordering the next round, he had to roll and roll on out again.

Once more, I was left at the table feeling like a lemon as I checked my phone as a cover.

I couldn’t quite believe it. There was a guy who I felt had bags of potential, and it was all going up in smoke. Smoke puffing up into the cold London air as he lit up solo outside and I stayed indoors staring at a screen. There was definitely potential simmering somewhere under the surface, but before it could break free there it went: up in smoke. Again.

It wasn’t the smoking thing, I can handle a man who likes an occasional death stick. It was the fact that I was being abandoned on date 1 for it.

Was I being spoilt or pretentious? Did I expect him to sit there as we got to know each other and dote on me? At the end of the day, it was just a cigarette. Two cigarettes. Which were evidently much more important than our connection and what I had to say.

As I took the tube home, I couldn’t get it out of my mind. And I knew right then that it was never going to go anything further than friendship. Despite the shared interests, the waft of sexual energy floating through the air of Cafe Rouge, it all meant nothing when someone was willing to get up and walk away before a relationship has even begun. Twice.

It’s been more than 24 hours and there’s been no messages, no calls, no word from either of us. Perhaps a part of me is a little disappointed, but another part knows that I don’t want to be with a guy who needs a cigarette three times in two hours.

It was between me and Lady Nicotine, and he made his choice. I hope he and the cigarettes are very happy together.


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