Bringing it home: how a leap of faith opened doors


Ummi Tambawala In our Dating Diaries, real people talk about real dates … what went right, what went wrong, what they learnt from the experience. And the biggest question of all: was there a second date?

Ummi Tambiwala, 29, event marketing specialist, has been single for the last 18 months and is approaching the dating world with newfound confidence…

Who did you go on a date with? Simon, 35, who works in construction.

How did you meet? Online.

What first attracted you to him? His profile said he was Irish and into meditation. It didn’t tell me if he was looking for something long-term, but I thought it was worth a shot.

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Did you message much before the date? Not really.

Who arranged the date? He asked if I wanted to catch up for coffee and I was going to pick the place, most likely a cafe in the inner city. But on the day, it was so cold, I asked him if he wanted to come over and have a glass of wine at my place.

What did you wear? A denim dress. It was what I already had on: if we had gone out for coffee, I might have picked something else.

When you met face-to-face, what were your first impressions? It wasn’t butterflies in the stomach, he didn’t make a super strong impression, but I thought, “I’m glad to meet you and that you’re here.”

What did you chat about? We started by talking generally about what was happening in our lives and then I mentioned some family stuff and we got onto my relationship with my mum. That brought the whole conversation to what he was looking for dating-wise and I wanted to find out if we were on the same page. After that, we started getting comfortable with each other and it smoothed out to casual chatting.

How were things going midway through the date? It was nice and he decided to stay for a second drink. I was really happy to meet someone with similar values to me, someone who is on the same page, but I didn’t have any expectations about where things might go.

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Was there chemistry? Oh yes!

Any embarrassing moments? No, though I did spill a glass of wine but it wasn’t awkward.

How did the date end? It wasn’t a really long date because it was the middle of the week and he had to work the next day. When he left we didn’t immediately decide to meet again and I didn’t really have any expectations of hearing back. But to my pleasant surprise, he kept in touch and we have met up again. It was my birthday and he actually bought me a present. We are catching up again soon, too.

What did you take away from the experience? I’ve gone on heaps of dates during the past year-and-a-half of being single and it’s been a learning experience. I feel like at this point in my life I’m more of a “take it or leave it” person and I’m not really ready to put myself out there until I’m sure about how the other person is feeling. I’m now much more confident about being myself and letting things run their own course – it’s just about getting to know each other and not worrying about where things might lead. I have learnt if I walk into something without an agenda, then things will flow more naturally.

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