Blind date: ‘Did we kiss? The better question is how we kissed’

Michael on Dom
What were you hoping for?
A face out of Caravaggio’s sketchbooks? A body cut from the Parthenon friezes? Hopes should outpace expectations.

First impressions?
Good. With cocktails on order when I arrived, Dom was clearly on the same page as me.

What did you talk about?
Our talk was extravagantly digressive. Here’s some of it: feeling at home in other countries, Rome in winter, Catholic families, coming out, that it has become un-chic to like Timothée Chalamet, peaches, the professor-student relationship.

Any awkward moments?
When his knowledge of Australiana outstripped mine. Being Australian is my whole shtick. Take that away and what am I?

Good table manners?
Faultless.

Best thing about Dom?
He manages to be unstoppably funny without sacrificing sincerity. He has an inner warmth.

Would you introduce him to your friends?
In a heartbeat. He’d charm them all.

Describe Dom in three words
Dalston’s hottest ticket.

What do you think he made of you?
Earnest. In need of direction.

Did you go on somewhere?
He offered to walk me to the station. (Notice how I didn’t answer the question?)

And … did you kiss?
The better question is how we kissed.

If you could change one thing about the evening, what would it be?
I wouldn’t change a thing. Even the rain added something. He lent me his jacket.

Marks out of 10?
10.

Would you meet again?
We exchanged numbers …

Dom on Michael
What were you hoping for?
Either a free pint or a proposal – nothing in between.

First impressions?
Tall, good-looking, dressed like an extra in Call Me by Your Name.

What did you talk about?
Lots: Catholicism, Desert Island Discs, death row meals, whether “Australiana” music is a thing.

Any awkward moments?
In hindsight, I think my outrage at him (an Australian) not knowing who Holly Valance was might have been a bit much.

Good table manners?
Impeccable.

Best thing about Michael?
He’s an engaging and engaged conversationalist.

Would you introduce him to your friends?
If they promised to be nicer to him than they are to me.

Describe Michael in three words
Intelligent, articulate, charming.

What do you think he made of you?
A laugh, I hope?

Did you go on somewhere?
No comment.

And … did you kiss?
He came all the way from Cambridge – it would have been rude not to.

If you could change one thing about the evening, what would it be?
Nada.

Marks out of 10?
A solid 9.

Would you meet again?
Michael is lovely, but Cambridge is a long way away.