It’s one thing to like your job and be good at it, but there’s something to be said about a man who confidently dons a navy MJ Bale, crisp white shirt, loses the tie, and can talk about work and life experiences with such self-assurance. And all the while, I sit there at the bar, cross-legged in my not-so-expensive LBD, sipping on ever-so-expensive Pinot Grigio, simply thinking to myself: God, his hair looks good. Ex-Investment Banker. Current Business Director. PhD graduate. Thirty-six. Eastern Suburbs. Ladies, meet LIAM*.
April 2015. I’m easily convinced by my friend, Julie (married Mum of two) to go on a blind date with her husband’s ex-work colleague. Why not? Give him my number and we’ll go from there. Within a few hours, text received: Humorous opening line. Straight to the point. Dinner Tuesday night. He’ll organise. There’s also something to be said about a man who just takes charge when it comes to making first date plans. None of this going back and forth business. What can I say? I’m already impressed.
So, Tuesday rolls around and I may be (just slightly) freaking out. I don’t even know what this guy looks like – Dark hair? Blonde hair? Tall? Short? I don’t even know how old he is. But, I will get up, dress up, and show up, because it’s all in the name of love, right? So here I go. Walking, walking, getting closer. He texts: I’m waiting outside. I make my way around the corner and there he is, waiting, hands in pockets. First thing I notice is his height. Being five foot seven, I’m not going to lie, I do admire a tall man. Liam is clearly six foot even.
We order some pre-dinner drinks. A wine for me. A double vodka soda for him. A double? Who orders doubles? Why is he ordering a double? Where’s the exit? Julie, what were you thinking? Liam’s phone starts ringing. And then it rings again, and again, and again. He doesn’t answer but acknowledges that his phone does and will ring constantly.
By the time it comes to ordering food, I know this date will be like no other. It is different. Good different. Liam is confident – not cocky, just confident. He is clearly very successful, obviously goal-driven, and very knowledgeable (he has a PhD ladies… No, he actually has a PhD). He asks me a lot of questions, but they aren’t mundane or common. He challenges my thinking – the way I assume is the right way to approach my career is suddenly altered. He orders five too many dishes from the menu and seems blase’ about the whole food wastage situation (despite this being a top-tier restaurant, might I add). I wonder if they do take away bags? Better yet, he’s funny. Ridiculously funny. He’s got the whitest, straightest teeth I’ve ever seen. And God, his hair looks really good.
Why is this guy single? There’s something just not adding up here. That’s right. There’s always gotta be something, right? Agreed! Liam’s relationship back story? Long story short: A few months prior, Liam found out his girlfriend of seven years was cheating on him with her work colleague. Liam and she tried to make it work, but it didn’t work. They decide to list their co-owned three-story palisade in Bondi as a rental and they each went their separate ways.
Here’s the thing with Liam: When he isn’t overseas or in a business meeting, he is occupied with business calls and video conferences. Despite having both hands attached to his iPhone and laptop, he is more often than not unreachable. Replies to texts can take days, if not weeks, and the time in between dates can be even longer. I kind of felt like I was a contestant on The Bachelor – Am I going to get a date this week? Is he going to take me for some one-on-one time? Does he want me to approach him or should I let him come to me? It was all just too unpredictable. And it was such a shame because, God, his hair looked really, really good.
Nevertheless, Liam set the bar high, real high. Our first date was hands down one of the best dates I’ve ever been on, but at the end of the day Liam is a self-confessed workaholic. He admits his work-life balance is completely off and he will probably never change. I guess you can say a life of luxury and loneliness isn’t the life for me.
A year and a half on, Liam and I are still in contact, not often but it’s as good as it gets with him. Our last conversation was just a few weeks ago actually. He told me that he is back with his ex-girlfriend. They are living together in the Eastern suburbs of Sydney, they still co-own their rental property in Bondi, and are giving it one last go. I say, good luck to them. God, his hair wasn’t that good anyway.