Blind date: ‘I got friendly, flirtatious vibes for a first date’

Blind Date Pictured: Ruben
Blind Date Pictured: Ruben

Ruben on Jem

What were you hoping for?
Someone with whom I could share an evening of food and wine without having a bust-up.

First impressions?
Stunning. Well dressed and with an instant warm energy about her.

What did you talk about?
Migration policy. “Vinyl daddies.” The ethics of kids at music festivals. Learning to live and let live with conspiracy theorists.

Most awkward moment?
The hand sanitiser was in a glass bottle and I nearly sprayed it in my mouth.

Good table manners?
Exemplary. We shared the taster menu, with lots of incredible small plates and delicious wines.

Best thing about Jem?
A compassionate soul. She told me she bought a sick relative a copy of the Daily Mail when she was in hospital, despite her reluctance, as Jem is a support worker for migrants.

Would you introduce Jem to your friends?
Without a doubt.

Describe Jem in three words.
Gorgeous, empathic, fun.

What do you think Jem made of you?
She seemed to be having a good time. No glaring signals, but friendly, flirtatious vibes for a first date.

Did you go on somewhere?
Yes, we headed to Soho for a couple of drinks afterwards, where we sheltered from the rain under a pub awning.

And ... did you kiss?
I didn’t kiss. I didn’t tell.

If you could change one thing about the evening, what would it be?
For good bars in Soho to stay open later on a Friday.

Marks out of 10?

Would you meet again?
Definitely. I took her number.

Blind date is Saturday’s dating column: every week, two strangers are paired up for dinner and drinks, and then spill the beans to us, answering a set of questions. This runs, with a photograph we take of each dater before the date, in Saturday magazine (in the UK) and online at every Saturday. It’s been running since 2009 – you can read all about how we put it together here.

What questions will I be asked?
We ask about age, location, occupation, hobbies, interests and the type of person you are looking to meet. If you do not think these questions cover everything you would like to know, tell us what’s on your mind.

Can I choose who I match with?
No, it’s a blind date! But we do ask you a bit about your interests, preferences, etc – the more you tell us, the better the match is likely to be.

Can I pick the photograph?
No, but don't worry: we'll choose the nicest ones.

What personal details will appear?
Your first name, job and age.

How should I answer?
Honestly but respectfully. Be mindful of how it will read to your date, and that Blind date reaches a large audience, in print and online.

Will I see the other person’s answers?
No. We may edit yours and theirs for a range of reasons, including length, and we may ask you for more details.

Will you find me The One?
We’ll try! Marriage! Babies!

Can I do it in my home town?
Only if it’s in the UK. Many of our applicants live in London, but we would love to hear from people living elsewhere.

How to apply


Jem on Ruben

What were you hoping for?
The print version of Channel 4’s First Dates.

First impressions?
Lovely – cute T-shirt – and I love boys that wear chains.

What did you talk about?
Farming. Cycling around Japan. Tories. Pickled ice. My criminal record.

Most awkward moment?
Thinking that the hand sanitiser was olive oil.

Good table manners?
Perfect, and he was very knowledgable about food.

Best thing about Ruben?
He really has got his shit together. I think that everyone should be a bit more Ruben.

Would you introduce Ruben to your friends?
For sure, I feel like we must have all bumped into each other at a festival without knowing.

Describe Ruben in three words.
Passionate, smart, tasteful.

What do you think Ruben made of you?
We had a really engaging conversation, so I reckon he thinks I care.

Did you go on somewhere?
We had a cheeky half-pint at the pub and an Aperol spritz at a different bar afterwards.

And ... did you kiss?

If you could change one thing about the evening what would it be?
There need to be more quiet pubs in Soho.

Marks out of 10?

Would you meet again?
I’d love to, but maybe more as friends.

Ruben and Jem ate at Apricity, London W1. Fancy a blind date? Email