Blind date: ‘He assumed I was over 30. I had fun watching him dig his way out of that hole’

Olivia on Shawn

What were you hoping for?

A nice evening with good conversation, or at least a good story.

First impressions?
Tall, warm and easy to talk to. He was late, but in his defence, I had said I was going to be late and then I wasn’t.

What did you talk about?
Sorting recycling at Glastonbury. The moral dilemmas of our respective jobs. Dogs. Reasons to avoid the sea. The value of good storytelling.

Most awkward moment?
Shawn assumed I was over 30, so I had fun watching him try to dig his way out of that hole.

Good table manners?
Impeccable, naturally.

Would you introduce Shawn to your friends?
He seems like the type of person who can get on with anyone, so why not?

Describe Shawn in three words.
Good-humoured, creative, curious.

What do you think Shawn made of you?
Considering the conversation topics I come up with, I’m hoping he just thinks I’m quirky and not an evil lobbyist who doesn’t appreciate podcasts (I use them to fall asleep).


Want to be in Blind date?


Blind date is Saturday’s dating column: every week, two
strangers are paired up for dinner and drinks, and then spill the beans
to us, answering a set of questions. This runs, with a photograph we
take of each dater before the date, in Saturday magazine (in the
UK) and online at every Saturday. It’s been running since 2009 – you can read all about how we put it together here.

What questions will I be asked?
ask about age, location, occupation, hobbies, interests and the type of
person you are looking to meet. If you do not think these questions
cover everything you would like to know, tell us what’s on your mind.

Can I choose who I match with?
it’s a blind date! But we do ask you a bit about your interests,
preferences, etc – the more you tell us, the better the match is likely
to be.

Can I pick the photograph?
No, but don’t worry: we’ll choose the nicest ones.

What personal details will appear?
Your first name, job and age.

How should I answer?
but respectfully. Be mindful of how it will read to your date, and that
Blind date reaches a large audience, in print and online.

Will I see the other person’s answers?
No. We may edit yours and theirs for a range of reasons, including length, and we may ask you for more details.

Will you find me The One?
We’ll try! Marriage! Babies!

Can I do it in my home town?
Only if it’s in the UK. Many of our applicants live in London, but we would love to hear from people living elsewhere.

How to apply
Email [email protected]

Thank you for your feedback.

Did you go on somewhere?
Yes, we found this underground metal club. Just kidding. It was a Monday. He walked me to the bus.

And … did you kiss?
We didn’t.

If you could change one thing about the evening what would it be?
I’m regretting more and more my wine-induced blabber about Jacob Rees-Mogg, Harry Kane and … parasites. (I’m a great date really.)

Marks out of 10?
A strong 7.9, points docked because he was late.

Would you meet again?
Yeah, I’d definitely go for another drink next time he’s in London. But only if his dog Luna can come too.

Olivia and Shawn on their date
Olivia and Shawn on their date

Shawn on Olivia

What were you hoping for?

The chance to meet someone lovely and then casually write about it for 35.6 million people to read.

First impressions?
Friendly, playful and open-minded.

What did you talk about?
What to wear to a Tory party conference. Heat pumps. The life-changing properties of aubergines.

Most awkward moment?
I said it was unfortunate she’d had a dog called Cosby because of Bill, only for Olivia to point it was called Crosby.

Good table manners?
A green bean did escape my fork while we were discussing what Harry Kane and Jacob Rees-Mogg’s love child would look like and whether they’d have a monocle.

Best thing about Olivia?
She embraced the most obscure conversational nonsense.

Would you introduce Olivia to your friends?

Describe Olivia in three words.
Warm, genuine, self-assured.

What do you think Olivia made of you?
I’m battling long Covid, so I mostly tried not to come across as bored or sleepy.

Did you go on somewhere?
We contemplated fabricating a tale involving underground thrash metal.

And … did you kiss?
No, but she nearly took up my offer of being licked to death by my labrador.

If you could change one thing about the evening what would it be?
I could probably have teased her less about good and evil lobbyists.

Marks out of 10?
A solid 8. She’s a sweetheart.

Would you meet again?
It would be fun to hang out next time I’m in the Big Smoke.

Shawn and Olivia ate at Rosa’s Thai, London SE1. Fancy a blind date? Email [email protected]


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