Blind date: ‘Her life story would be a fascinating read’

<span>Composite: Luca Sage, Suki Dhanda/The Guardian</span>
Composite: Luca Sage, Suki Dhanda/The Guardian

Andy on Donna

What were you hoping for?
I tried to manage any expectations and just let it be what it would be. I’d hoped for a charming lunch companion, good food, great conversation and some laughter. I certainly got all of that.

First impressions?
Elegant, poised, confident and happy with who and where she is in life.

What did you talk about?
Family, our children, of whom we are immensely proud, and our grandchildren, whom we both adore. Travel, particularly her experiences in Africa. Our relationship histories, politics, racial profiling. Me nagging her to stop talking about writing and actually get writing about her life, which would be a fascinating read.

Most awkward moment?
Realising I’d got on the wrong train, but I managed to switch down the line. Then waiting for her to arrive.

Good table manners?
I never really noticed as we were so busy chatting.

Best thing about Donna?
She’s confident, knows what she wants from life, is funny, warm, intelligent, and attractive inside and out.

Would you introduce Donna to your friends?

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

Describe Donna in three words.
Confident, bright, content.

What do you think Donna made of you?
I’ve absolutely no idea. I hope I was good company and listened attentively, and I don’t remember licking my knife or blowing my nose on my napkin.

Did you go on somewhere?
No. I guess there was a feeling that there wasn’t going to be a romantic connection, so we left the restaurant and I offered to walk her to her bus stop, but she felt there was no need.

And … did you kiss?
When we met we did both cheeks, and we had a brief hug when we parted.

If you could change one thing about the date, what would it be?
Nothing. She was a lovely lunch companion.

Marks out of 10?
8.5. If there had been a romantic spark, it would have been higher. But the paths we’re on are pretty divergent, so that wasn’t going to be.

Would you meet again?
We exchanged numbers and I’d certainly have a drink or meal with her again, as she’s great company. And it would give me another chance to chivvy her on to get writing.

Donna on Andy

What were you hoping for?
To meet someone family-friendly, no BS, transparent, honest, open, adventurous, kind, sincere, creative, supportive, financially stable.

First impressions?
Andy exudes confidence and carries himself with elegance.

What did you talk about?
Life experiences, family, relationships, work, friendships, travel. Andy and I are both highly creative, keen film buffs, and enjoy family and friends as part of our social life. I’m looking to write my first novel, and Andy has published. He was very helpful and encouraging, and inspired me to put pen to paper.

Most awkward moment?
As much as Andy appeared comfortable in my presence, I really didn’t feel any chemistry or connection.

Good table manners?
Great. We both said that if the food is well presented and bursting with flavour – be it Spanish or Caribbean – we would be open to trying new dishes. Andy does not drink alcohol, but I ordered a gin and tonic.

Best thing about Andy?
He was open, honest and respectful. We had a laugh!

Would you introduce Andy to your friends?

Describe Andy in three words.
Grounded, humorous, conversational.

What do you think Andy made of you?
I think he enjoyed my company. He thanked me for meeting him and proposed we met again. We exchanged numbers with a follow‑up thank you when we got home.

Did you go on somewhere?
No. We spent quite some time talking in the restaurant.

Did you kiss?
A farewell peck on the cheek.

If you could change one thing about the evening, what would it be?
As much as we talked, laughed and joked, sharing our life stories, I did not feel an attraction towards Andy. I usually date Black men, but I am open to dating men from other cultures. Love can transcend all barriers.

Marks out of 10?

Would you meet again?
Yes, as friends.

Andy and Donna ate at Park Corner Brasserie, London W1. Fancy a blind date? Email