Mash Blind Date: can two fiftysomethings find new love without disgusting everyone around them?

THEY’VE got adult children and divorces behind them, but can Carolyn Ryan, aged 51, and Nathan Muir, aged 52, make a connection without clearing the restaurant? 

Nathan on Carolyn

First impression?

She seems absolutely lovely. I’m puzzled as to why the maître’d was making signals with his eyes and mouthing ‘run’ and ‘we’ll cover you’.

How was conversation? 

Fantastic. We’d both been to Glastonbury in 1990 and watched the Happy Mondays set – can’t have been more than 30ft apart. Our children are about the same ages and we’re both big fans of Succession. Lots in common.

Memorable moments?

When I touched her hands and a couple near us stood up and left their table, mid-meal. I saw them arguing with the manager and as far as I can tell getting a full refund. It’s puzzling. The food was lovely.

Favourite thing about Carolyn? 

You could still see the girl she was decades ago – there’s still a lightness in her step and a dance in her eyes, and she’s not afraid to try new things. Though when the waitress overheard me say that she had to go away and laugh like the girl from Alan Partridge.

A capsule description? 

I know I’m getting on, but she made me feel almost like I was 30 years younger chatting up a bird at an indie club. One who knew a surprising amount about My Bloody Valentine.

Was there a spark? 

Oh yes. Quite frankly there was a hard-on in my selvedge denim.

What happened afterwards? 

We went to a local bar, where the music was loud but the vibe was convivial. I leant in for a kiss but at that point security asked us to leave. I’m not sure why. We were kind of on our own at that end of the bar by that point.

What would you change about the evening? 

Maybe done it on a livelier night? Everywhere we went seemed to empty out. The smoking area was full until I lit her cigarette for her.

Will you see each other again?  

Yes, certainly. We’ve got each other’s numbers. At a gig possibly, not ‘a fucking golf club or somewhere you’re not going to horrify normal people’ like the security guy said.

Carolyn on Nathan

First impression?

Fairly trim for a man my age. He’s still squeezing into 36 waist jeans, though squeezing is the operative word. Wore a jacket but you could tell he’d prefer a hoodie.

How was conversation? 

Really natural. We’re the same generation, we’ve got a lot in common, he spent the 90s on more the Britpop route than my old skool raving, not too bitter about his divorce. Could be boring at times but who isn’t?

Memorable moments?

When the waiter asked if it was our anniversary and I said it was our first date. I could see him telling all the staff. The bartender did a long, slow shake of his head. Nathan didn’t notice.

Favourite thing about Nathan? 

That he was either oblivious to or polite enough not to notice the place emptying around us. By the end there was just our table in a pool of light. That’s not how it felt. That’s how it actually was.

A capsule description? 

Nathan was fine, but we’re not that old are we? It’s not like when they used to have pensioners on Blind Date? I don’t deserve to be alone just because I’m past 50?

Was there a spark? 

Well sort of, but quite frankly it was snuffed out by being treated as pariahs by the whole of Manchester. Where are we meant to date? A Harvester?

What happened afterwards? 

We went to this bar that was far too young for us, or felt it after the evening we’d had even though it was playing a Kate Bush album. Everyone kept glancing in horror at him holding my hand. It was like being gay in the 1980s.

What would you change about the evening? 

I would preferably not have disgusted everyone around me with my simple need for a human connection. Even the Uber driver asked if it wasn’t a bit late in the day for all that nonsense.

Will you see each other again?  

Nah. I mean they had a point, he is pretty bald and old.

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