1) I really did also have a date arranged with a speed dater - according to my stats page, my most popular post ever is Confession Time, which started with my pretending to have cut short my first date with LB to go on another date on the same evening. She had actually suggested the idea for starting the post in that way, but her suggestion initially gave me a shock because, unbeknownst to her, some of it was true! I hadn't double-booked the evening, but I really had been in contact with someone from my speed dating night and was due to go on a first date with her as well. That date was to be a few days after my blogger date with LB, but no exact time or place had been agreed and the speed-dater's emails had become more and more vague and infrequent. After having a great first date with LB and setting up a second one, I realised that I didn't feel like meeting the speed-dater any more, so I cancelled our provisional date and decided not to look for any other dates while seeing where things might go with LB.
2) I was nervous - I was feeling pretty bold when I wrote the comment on her blog asking her on a date, but somehow a couple of days later I started feeling really nervous about the idea. I was trying to rationalise myself through it, but I still had a knot in my stomach at times. This intensified when we agreed on the date of our date, partly as at that point it was only two days away. I then relaxed somewhat on the day before the date until something brought the nerves back:
3) My thoughts on seeing her photos - by coincidence, I'd already seen a photo of her before she invited volunteers for a blogger date - she kind of challenged me to find her online dating profile and I'd managed to do so. Her photo wasn't incredibly clear - it was more of an action shot and was in black-and-white - but she looked cute and friendly and approachable. Then in the run-up to our date she mentioned that she'd changed her profile and photo. At first I didn't look because I thought I'd probably internet-stalked her enough already by finding her profile in the first place! But on the day before our date I decided to look, in order to be more certain of recognising her. Her new photo was much clearer and my reaction - possibly out loud - was "Oh holy hell - she's smoking hot!" Not that I was complaining - but this did bring the nerves back!
Thankfully, while getting ready and making my way to our date, my mind managed to talk my stomach into co-operation. My internal monologue went something like this: "OK, so you're about to go on your first proper first-date in nearly seven years... she seems very cool and she happens to be very hot... funny how life works out sometimes, but let's just go with it and see how it turns out!" And so far how it's turned out is: I'm a lucky guy.