There has been a recurring theme in the last two evenings – the first two episodes – of Channel 7’s First Dates.
Great dates. Lots of laughter. Funny, sometimes smart, often awkward, conversation. Things looking as promising as a first-date-on-reality-TV can possibly look…
And it’s all followed by one wet rag of an excuse: “There’s just no spark”.
First, it was Clare and Aaron on Monday night.
They were both looking for someone with a sense of humour. She was after someone to “embrace her quirks”. He was after “someone quirky”.
But, come the end of the date they’re sitting in front of the camera and deciding on whether to go on a second date… Aaron said, “For me, it just felt like there was no spark”.
Then, there was Matt and Eden on last night's episode.
He loves rugby and his number one concern was finding someone who also loves rugby. She's from New Zealand and - you guessed it - loves rugby. They spent the evening discussing life and rugby and New Zealand and rugby and him being "single for life" and now wanting to be "taken for life" and then back to rugby.
The date ended. Eden faced Matt like a boss and said "yes", she thought a second date would be nice. He turned to her and said he "didn't feel a spark". He could see them "hanging out as friends" maybe even watching a "Bledisloe Australia vs. New Zealand game" but, unfortunately, zero spark.
I may have missed the memo, but have we time-travelled back to Year Nine, where we look at our shoes and use lame excuses when we couldn't be bothered giving something a fair go?
Please. A 'spark' is not a thing you can expect with someone after half an hour sitting above a crisp white table cloth, surrounded by cameras, and learning how to pronounce each other's name.
A 'spark' might occur after three dates. When you they make you laugh unexpectedly and you suddenly feel your stomach go 'oof'.
A 'spark' might happen after three months. When you're kayaking together and the kayak capsizes and you're suddenly fearful about your own mortality because it's definitely about to storm and your a long way from shore. You might catch the person's eye and think 'ahh'.
You have to give it a go, for spark to occur.
Anything you feel on the first date is nerves, indigestion and, if you're lucky, the beginnings of a connection.
We talk to Cam, the First Dates bartender. Post continues below.
I'm calling bullshit on the spark excuse. If you don't want a second date, say why.
"I found our conversation was boring."
"I don't want to pay for another meal with you."
"I felt offended when you didn't remember my name."
In Aaron's case: "You're funnier than I am and I can't handle it."
In Matt's case: "Your rugby expertise is intimidating and I feel like there'll be no time for me to hang with my bros if you're tagging along to all the games."
Stop looking at your shoes. This isn't grade nine. The absence of 'spark' is not an excuse for turning down a second date... It's not even a thing yet.