Alison Taylor on relationships: A bout of diarrhoea is not the best anecdote to share on a first date

Alison cringed whilst watching a recent episode of First Dates on Channel 4

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The Independent Online

I thought I held the crown for verbal diarrhoea on first dates, until I saw First Dates on Channel 4. I guess that's the appeal of the show – anything you can do, we can do cringier.

My favourite character is 22-year-old Mula from London. She's a liability, but lovable with it and has not the faintest idea when to shut up. Her date was fellow Londoner AJ (23) and, lucky for her, he was basically Mula but with a shaved head and geometric facial hair. They've both got – what to call it? – front.

AJ's charm offensive began when he told Mula about his workout regime that involves drinking protein shakes that "mess with his stomach".

"What, do you get diarrhoea?" was her response.

He didn't quite know what to answer to that, but he needn't have worried because there was more from Mula: "Because I had diarrhoea recently."

I see myself as less a viewer-voyeur at this point and more a friend, so I'm DYING when she says this to him. Dying, but then sort of high-fiving her too, because, you know, who hasn't had the runs? Perhaps it's not the best anecdote to share on a first date, though.

There's a lot of rhetoric that surrounds etiquette on a first date. Don't talk about anything too personal, like exes or the functions of your lower colon. Never mention politics or religion. And, if you're a woman, for god's sake, don't be too funny, sweary or sexually available.

I've always had a problem with these "rules", which explains why I'm near constantly rooting for Mula. I once went on a date and asked a guy, "What's your plan for your hair?" I wasn't being mean, because I'm not, but my inner dialogue spilled out into the world. It's the adrenaline, and the nerves. I wonder, as well, if it's a teeny bit of self-sabotage, too, when you know deep down that the date's not going anywhere.

With Mula and AJ, the tendency to over-share worked in their favour. Their unfiltered conversational style cut through the awkwardness and took them to another level, transcending first-date politeness. Surely that's the holy grail? I know that's what I'm always searching for, whether it's subconscious or not.

I was definitely walking this tightrope between risk and crash-and-burn on the first (blind) date with my new boyfriend. I spied this handsome guy chatting away to the barman and, having not met him before, was trying to suss out if this could possibly be Him. Surely, my date would be the weirdo sitting looking awkward in a corner. But it was him. Yippee! My relief spilled over as I walked over to him, got uncomfortably close to his face and said: "It's you!" with a sort of gleeful tone. "You've got a really nice face… thank god!" was my next line.

I reckon I got away with it. So far, anyway.

@lovefoolforever

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