Cosmopolitan (UK)

FIRST LOVE Can a good oldfashion­ed face-to-face chat help these two sort things out?

Each month, we send two former lovers on a date to see what happens


“I thought he was The One” Beth, 25, is a creative artworker from Kent

It took almost a year for Stuart and I to have our first date. We matched on Tinder back in 2015, but lived too far apart for it to be worth meeting up. Almost a year later, we rematched on another app, and by then I was working in London. It had to happen.

I enter lots of competitio­ns, and had won tickets to an alcohol exhibition. I was going with my housemates, so I invited him along, too. I was very nervous, but a few shots down I relaxed into it. He was tall, funny and turned up with a big bag of chocolates. We kissed at the end – a tiny little peck, with my friends waiting across the road.

I realised I loved him gradually. I’d had boyfriends when I was younger, but they paled in comparison; he was the first man I’d really loved. He’d bring gifts to every date, cook and make me breakfast in bed. At one point, I thought he was The One. But about nine months in, he became distant, and sometimes mean. Then, one night, he confessed he’d been on dates with someone else. The trust was gone, and we broke up.

Before the date, I was nervous, but we stayed at the restaurant for ages, catching up. When we were together, we agreed never to order the same meal, so we could try each other’s food. But we were so busy chatting that we forgot and ordered the exact same thing. We talked about everything – even his latest ex. At one point, she tried to call him, so I took his phone and put it down my bra. I left with mixed emotions – he’s clearly still growing up, and I never want to be treated the way I was again.

“I absolutely regret how it ended” Stuart, 25, is an account manager from Essex

When Beth and I first matched on Tinder, I was 21 years old, fresh out of university and terrible when it came to asking people out. It was only when we rematched on Bumble that I thought,“I’m a bit more ballsy now, I’m a working man, I can talk to girls like her.” It’s hard to stand out on apps, but her personalit­y was striking – she was really interestin­g without being intense.

I’m used to organising dates, buying flowers, bringing the drink, but Beth took me by surprise when she invited me on our first date. We went to this alcohol exhibition on a freezing winter’s night, and I over-thought everything – what to wear, what to bring, how to stand when waiting for her to arrive. It was strange that her friends were there, too, but it also made sense: they’re a big part of her life. I have a strict threedate rule when it comes to first kisses, but I broke it for Beth.

Things moved quickly. I fell in love within a month. Funnily enough, when I first told her, I don’t think she heard me – it was at the BRITs, and Ed Sheeran’s Bloodstrea­m was playing. She turned round, but didn’t react. That was hard, as it was the first time I’d said it to anyone. Nine months in, I realised I’d leapt into stuff too quickly. I cheated and ran for the hills. I absolutely regret how it ended. I’d mistaken a happy relationsh­ip for mundanity.

It was great to see Beth again. We were together for fourand-a-half hours and went for drinks after. Things even got a bit flirtatiou­s, with some leggrazing from me. Afterwards, I felt a bit sad, because it was just like old times.

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