Ever wonder what a romance writer would plan for a romantic date? Alexander McCabe, author of Greater Expectations, shared his top ten date locales.
This all depends on individual circumstances – is it strangers on a first date? Or is it for a third or fourth date of friends who have taken it to the next stage? So many others that could be considered so I shall err on the side of caution.
Hot Air Ballooning – Something completely different but great fun (unless either of you suffer from vertigo!)
Bowling – Always a fun time, unless one of you is uber competitive (like me!)
Hiking – As a Scotsman, I grew up surrounded by beautiful rolling hills and glens. The weather in Scotland is consistent too, it’s always “changeable”. As we say, there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes. The temperamental weather only adds to the hiking experience.
The Zoo – I understand and respect the arguments against having a zoo at all but I always enjoy going there and seeing the animals.
The Theatre – I lived in London for awhile and went to see the musical “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” in the West End. I have never laughed so hard, it was simply magical and a great way to spend an evening. It also gave us plenty to talk about afterwards.
A Concert – Everyone loves music in some guise or another, so going to see your date’s favourite band is always a winner.
Playing tourist – You may think you know everything about your own town or city, this is a chance to either prove or disprove your theory.
Ice Skating – I cannot ice skate (I now live in Canada and this admission is met with shock and derision!) but I have tried and it was great fun.
Learn to Dance – A great way to get fit, to have fun, and to get up close and personal with your date. What more could you want??
Dinner and a movie – The trusty old faithful, it is a tried and tested date that I have always enjoyed. Except when the dinner was Italian and I ordered spaghetti. My clean shirt ended up looking like a polka dot. Thankfully, my date found it funny.
AUTHOR – Alexander McCabe
GENRE – Romantic Comedy
PUBLICATION DATE – August 5th 2014
LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – 257 pages / approx. 90,000 words
PUBLISHER – Self published ebook
COVER ARTIST – Kirsty C. Maclauchlan
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When first I met my now estranged wife during our Master’s year at university, I was seeing someone else too. In the main, this defines me as a “bastard”, although I preferred to think of myself as a “player”. Indeed I would argue that it falls under the guise of “sowing wild oats”. That’s the phrase that makes the practice somehow acceptable, and mothers the world over tell their sons that this is what they need to do before they settle down. The rite of passage into manhood as it were. At least, it’s what my mother told me. Women may argue this point – sorry, women will argue this point – but then they become mothers.
Naturally, they just don’t want those “wild oats” sown with their own daughters.
However, it is a fallacy to think that we men are completely heartless. I realised that I actually liked the girl that I eventually married so quickly ended all contact with the third party. In actual fact, she was a girl that I had been seeing first but only by a matter of a few weeks. I got the usual tirade of “bastard” texts, emails, and drunken voicemails. “I thought you were different” being the obligatory phrase that she just had to use during every one of these “opportunities”. In one particular instance, during which she also branded me a “coward”, I foolishly responded. I explained to her that I was merely being cruel to be kind as it was blatantly obvious to me that there we had no future together. Furthermore, after everything that had been said and done – more on her part now than mine – she would surely realise and accept that there was no going back as any trust and respect that had been built was now completely shattered.
I got the following reply:
“See, I knew you were different. That was lovely, you thinking of me and my feelings and us and our future. Why can’t we make this work? We can, you just have to trust yourself to trust me. Call me.”
It took another six weeks of ignoring and blocking her before she finally gave up. We had only been dating, if it could ever have been called that, for three weeks.
It takes true courage and bravery to finish any relationship. As my marital separation was only a week old, I understood that there may be some element of hope that we could fix it and move on. Yet I knew there was no way I could, or would, allow myself to stoop to such a level of indignity. My sense of pride has taken a pounding and is undoubtedly battered and bruised, but it is still there, standing tall and intact, however weakly. It is also getting stronger with every passing day.
All thanks to “Hope”.
“Hope” is a very strange feeling that displaces others such as “confidence”, “faith”, and “trust” and one that I have naturally gravitated towards my entire life. We are old friends, hope and I. Never have I dared to have “confidence” in my academic or sporting abilities, rather I always “hoped” that I would perform at my best as necessitated in any particular circumstance. When things had gone better than I had even dared “hope”, then I defaulted to the notion that is was merely my “good luck”, and vice versa. “Luck” has always provided me an excuse for all of life’s highs and lows and everything in between. Now I wanted to change all that. Now I wanted to control my existence.
Now I wanted to stir the stagnant pool that is my life proactively to feel like I am living again.
So that may well explain why I am now sat in only my boxer shorts in front of my computer, as the rain batters the window behind my curtains, and trying to focus on completing an online dating profile that includes a “personal statement” section. Apparently, its purpose is to allow me to describe myself in as broadly generic terms as possible in order to seem “normal” and “average” – and so maximising my appeal – whilst also trying to ensure that I am unique enough as to stand out. The logic of the concept is irrefutable and yet fantastically ridiculous.
It is also proving so challenging to the point of being quite impossible.
As a truck driver, I work most weekends and so this job commitment removes the more conventional ways of meeting women. Using a dating site makes far more sense in this new age of technology as it allows for an immediate connection without the need to wait for the weekend, or the demand of a decent chat up line. It cuts to the chase, so to speak. The site has posted a statistic that states over 28% of couples now “meet” online, so I am still happily in the minority. However, it is utterly galling to me that I should ever try to be “normal” or “average” to anyone as I have never considered myself as such.
It seems to me to be morally fraudulent.
Online dating. It really is quite an absurd concept yet totally in concert with the modern era where people are too busy with work and life to take the time and make the effort for actually dating. Yet where is the romance of it? You will never hear a love song that refers to such sites. Can you imagine Rod Stewart singing “The Algorithm of my Heart”, or some such like?
No? Me neither.
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