"So we're late for yoga because you're checking for fucking Pokemon?" was how it all started. I was in the car with my cousin last Thursday, who not only coerced me into downloading Pokemon Go but also suggested perhaps it would make some sort of decent date feature. I rolled with it, was immediately addicted and after going on the hunt for a few Pidgeys and such likes, I extended my hunt to find a willing man to date me whilst also playing Pokemon Go. I give you...The PokeDate.
The PokeDate aim was to find a guy I've never dated before (or met) and try to get to know each other whilst also playing the game that has swept the entire globe into a frenzy. I also want to try some new dating scenarios because, quite frankly, dinner or drinks now bores me to tears. I want to actually get to know the person properly, not get drunk on shots and make bad choices.
I assumed it would be pretty tough to find a half-decent man that I want to hang out with who also wants to 1) hang out with me 2) be seen in public playing Pokemon Go 3) accept his images might be used for national press. I was wrong. Enter Ben.
Ben has been on my Facebook for a while...we swapped numbers ages ago and I think we've had one phone call and the occasional Whatsapp chat but other than that, nothing. Most people may assume due to the images and how we were around each other that we're already close mates - I promise you, this was a genuine first date! We haven't met at all before. This is a real Pokemon Go First Date in central London. Chosen location to meet - Soho Square. Let the game commence.
Okay first of all...making a girl wait nearly half an hour outside in a heatwave is not the way to win her heart, let me tell you. I had to even call this little shit and be like "WHERE ARE YOU MY CLEAVAGE IS SWEATING" and he says "I'm here I'm here" so I look around and he definitely is not there. Just so you know guys, telling a girl you're there when you're not there doesn't appease the situation. That's just an outright lie.
He finally strolls up, takes the piss out of my feathers, moans about sweating too and I thought...yeah, this is my kinda man. I had to immediately forgive him for being late because he's got that infuriating cheeky charm about him where you can't stay mad for longer than 90 seconds. Also, if I can tell a guy my cleavage is sweating "and I ain't even got a bra on" on a first date, it sets the scene for a lot of future hilarity. We headed to grab some ciders, then went to chill in Soho Square and 'get to know each other' whilst catching these bloody Pokemon.
So there we are, a couple of twenty something grown adults discussing how to catch the Pokemon, or wtf a Pokestop is. I was mortified to admit I didn't even know how to get all the balls from a Pokestop, and he had to show me!! He even had to catch some Pokemon on my phone for me because I got so angry when I couldn't fricking do it and he could. I just handed him my phone like "here...you fucking catch it then". He did as well! Either he's secretly a massive fan of the game or I am a twat. Maybe both?
Given the nature of the date I thought there might be slightly awkward points but, I was so shocked at how chill it was from the get go. I also assumed he'd 'pretend' to bother with Pokemon Go but really just drink and chat and try get me to forget the game altogether. Nope, not Ben. He was more active than I was. He even went up to a random group of girls who were also playing it and asked them who they've caught...I was crying with laughter. The man gives no fucks, not a single one. About anything.
We wandered around alleys and backstreets because it's much easier to catch Pokemon when you're not being mobbed by the London crowds. As we strolled through one alley it STANK of piss and I was so busy looking at my phone trying to catch this little shitty purple bat that I stood in a PISS PUDDLE.
Let's just all take a moment.
I'm wearing flip-flop sandals, a long floaty skirt and I swear my skirt and both feet were now covered in some drunk / homeless person / who knows piss. This was so not ideal. I was like OMG BEN I've just stood in piss and what did he do? Laugh and take the above picture. Then, carried on walking as if nothing had happened. He didn't even rip it out of me - I was expecting an onslaught of insults.
I think I will marry him.
In all seriousness, it's the kind of situation that makes you want to die inside but I was in fits of laughter and after about a 60 second strop, I just continued on my Pokemon hunt. You know he's a good guy when he's happy to go look for more Pokemon with a girl who is drinking cider from a bottle and has stood in a piss puddle.
It's probably wise to stop and say here, that the opening screen of the game says you need to stay alert of your surroundings. I wholeheartedly support such a statement as I was not alert and had to go wash my skirt and feet in my office toilet. God, I am so sexy sometimes. I don't get why I am single at 29. It beats the shit out of me.
Also, when searching for Pokemon in public, be prepared to accept lots of people will think you're weird. They will look at you like you need to get a life. I had such glances, which Ben was oh so happy to capture in all it's glory. Check this guy's face, it pretty much sums it up. I cry with laughter looking at this picture:
But what about the actual date with Ben I hear you scream? Alright chill, I'll tell you. It was ridiculously fun, I haven't laughed that much on a date in years and I am 110% happy to see him again. He was just so down to earth and got my dry sense of humour, which is often pretty offensive. Soz about that. I also felt pretty at ease to tell him loads of stuff that I probably wouldn't usually say on a first date. I'm all "this is top secret" then just tell him all the details. Oops.
Would I recommend a Pokedate to others? Definitely. If you can't have a laugh with each other at the beginning, then really what is the point? I don't mesh well with people that take themselves too seriously. A Pokedate also gives you the chance to do something different. You end up walking to places you wouldn't have discovered before, outside in the sunshine and fresh air. Plus, I could see his personality so much better than I would have sitting over a candlelit dinner. Sure, these romantic meals are nice but watching him wander up to strangers or saying stuff like 'right get in my Pokebollox' or trying to catch real-life pigeons...well it gives you a much more rounded picture doesn't it! Plus, he's alright looking (I say no more, his ego is already too big). Shame about his northern accent though. Bloody Yorkshire.
Will there be a second date? Absolutely. Ben...you ready to be owned at karaoke?
If a picture speaks a thousand words, I'll just leave you with this: