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Matt E is 28 and from Shropshire. He's an accountant.

The popcorn spilled onto her lap

I remember going to the cinema with a girlwhen we were in year seven.

The closest cinema was a train away and neither of us were allowed to get the train to Telford on our own, so our respective mothers took us there.

She decided we should sit in the front row (maybe to be as far away from the back row with me as possible).

I bought us a big tub of popcorn to share, and before the film had even started I had accidentally knocked the thing off the arm rest and emptied the contents onto her lap.

I don't think we went out for much longer after that.

Tom is 30, he's a writer living in London.

We decided to just be friends

My first date was with a girl at school - I think her name was Gina. She asked me out one day, and I said yes - mostly on the grounds that to say anything else would, obviously, have marked me out as A Total Gay.

Our first date mostly involved sitting next to each other in the school canteen during a fifteen minute break between lessons, with absolutely no idea what to say to each other, mostly staring at the Pepsi machine, wondering if our friends were doing anything more fun.

Having then had the afternoon lessons to ponder this impressive start, we decided that evening that maybe we should just be friends.

Now I think about it, this is also pretty much what all my other dates since have also been like.

Fernando works in PR in London. He's 31.

Teenage dream

My first date was with a lovely girl named Brianne. We were 13 and in the school production of "Meet Me In St Louis".
At 13 was that I was singularly unattractive.

I was skinny and had unflattering specs and had a very uncool interest in ancient history and science fiction. But uncool kids go one of two ways really - they either become complete introverts or they become hilarious. I became hilarious, I think.

It was through this that I managed to convince Brianne to go to the out with me. Our respective parents dropped us off. We saw Aladdin, though once the house lights went down it was mostly kissing for us. I was floored by kissing and was determined to acquire more of it.

We would start hanging out late after rehearsals to snog in the hallways. Then I would go out to the parking lot where my mom was waiting to pick me up - invariably she'd ask why I was late and I'd inform her that my part in the play was damned important, you know.

When the play finally opened and my mother saw that Grandpa had all of 5 lines in the thing I think she assumed I had been spending my afternoons smoking pot. In my Empire Strikes Back t-shirt and Woodsy-the-Owl spectacles I'm sure that seemed a lot more likely than me kissing a girl.


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