Viewers of First Dates Ireland were in for a tear-jerking episode as dater Andrew tearfully recalled splitting from his partner of 20 years – but a successful date with Patrick from Wicklow put hope on the horizon.
Andrew from Antrim appeared on Thursday evenings episode of First Dates Ireland alongside Patrick from Wicklow and the two immediately hit it off. They spoke earnestly about their experiences growing up gay in Ireland, and commiserated over their poor experience using dating apps as older gentlemen. In response to being contacted by men half his age on the apps, Patrick said, “I was thinking, I’ve got shirts older than you, I’m not your daddy.”
When the daters breached the topic of past relationships, however, Andrew was brought to tears as he recalled the heartbreak of splitting from his long term partner. “Heartache is just the worst feeling I’ve ever had,” Andrew told Patrick. “We got on really well, it wasn’t his fault. Most of it was my fault, but I ended it anyway after twenty years.”
In his confessional Andrew fought back tears as he explained: “My mum took ill just after [the split] and had pneumonia. I stayed at home and looked after her for a couple of years. Probably if that hadn’t have happened, just at that time, I probably would have been back with him again saying, ‘Look, I’m sorry,’ and stuff because we did that a few times.
“It was too late. He had moved on.”
Patrick was sympathetic to Andrew’s emotions. He explained that he, too, had been in two long term relationships with women before fully accepting his own sexuality later in life. In response to Andrew’s tear-jerking story, Patrick expressed the urge to “reach out and hold [Andrew’s] hand.”
Despite the emotional story, Andrew and Patrick had a successful first date on the show. “He has come across as a really nice, sincere and genuine guy, who like myself is just looking for someone to be with,” Patrick said in his post-date confessional interview.
Andrew too expressed his satisfaction with their date: “[Patrick’s] bubbly, he’s happy, he knows where he is and I like that. He’s not worried about things that have happened in the past and stuff. He just lets it go and he’s loving life and that’s lovely.”
When asked if they’d like to see each other again romantically, both men said “Yes.” Since their date the two have continued seeing other virtually and have made plans to go dancing in Belfast when it is safe to do so.
First Dates Ireland airs Thursdays at 9:30 on RTE Two.
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