The Fast Fit industry is a romantic bunch. You'll often catch us reading a cheeky Mills and Boon on our tea breaks whilst dreaming about the milk tray man. OK so that could be just me, but Team HiQ really has caught the romance bug.
However we all know the course of true love doesn't always run smoothly. Over the last couple of weeks our lovely friends on Facebook and Twitter have been telling us all about their 'First date disasters.' Now hands up who hasn't had at least one dating disaster in their love lives ... No one ... Didn't think so, we've all been there. From mistaken identity to wardrobe disasters we've heard it all as our social media pals competed to win a desirable Pandora bracelet worth over £200!
To say judging was hard is an understatement. A panel of loved up romantics judged entries in the traditional fashion, over a cuppa, a biscuit and a lot of debate. We laughed, got teary eyed (that was just the boys) and reminisced over the entries so choosing just one winner was impossible. As its valentine's day, and if you can't say it now when can you eh (to quote one of my favourite films Love Actually) we wanted to show that love really is all around by choosing 5 lucky runners up too. These winners will receive a £50 leisure voucher so their next romantic dinner is on us!
The first runner up's date just couldn't have gone worse. Now we know tyres but it doesn't take a genius to realise a flat tyre on a date night is not good news. Tamalyn Roberts told us her tale of woe.
'Our first date was fun, I managed to knock my glass of wine over in the very posh restaurant my date took me too, all over his mobile phone and cigarettes drenching them. Then I did the dreaded deed of walking out of the toilets with toilet roll stuck to my foot. Then on the way home his tyre was flat, got the spare and that was flat too, so had to spend 3 hours on a pitch black country road talking polite conversation waiting for the AA. Very nerve wrecking but we laugh about it all now 10 years later and we still go back to that very posh restaurant for anniversaries and valentines'
When you think you may have found the one it's likely that your nerves will get to you with rambling conversation being a clear symptom. Michelle Bennett was on the receiving end of this when she went on her first date with her husband. Michelle reminisced on this not quite so eventful date.
'My now husband was so nervous when we first went on a date that he rambled on for ages about how people were hanged in the local courthouse and the history of Nottingham. We went back to his house, figuring he would be more comfortable and we spent the rest of the night in silence apart from the odd " so you ok?" he had to ask every 2 mins. Bless him he was lovely though and I couldn't be without him now.'
And the rest they say is history as Mr and Mrs Bennett's love story becomes another piece of Nottingham folk law Mr Bennett can tell his love all about.
Love me, love my dog. People's pets can play an important role in whether or not you stay with your partner. Ben Holland nearly risked it all when introducing his dog Molly to his date but puppy love won out in the end.
'On our first date at my house, we had ordered pizza....I had an old dog called Molly who was blind in one eye-Fiona got a bit tiddly and tried to cuddle her blind side and Molly bit her on the nose. It didn't hurt her, but we called NHS direct. It can't have put her off too much as we have been engaged for 9 years and now have 2 kiddies.'
You want to look perfect on your all important first date. Great hair, fabulous outfit and dapper shoes, this was the look our next runner up Phil Darling was going for but style got in the way of being smooth on the dance floor.
'I borrowed a pair of shoes from a mate for a first date. They were a little on the large size, but I thought I could manage. However, halfway through the evening, I got fed up with them constantly slipping on my feet, so I took my leave and stuffed them with toilet paper. This seemed to do the trick, and I thought no more about it and hit the dance floor. After a while, I became aware that people were beginning to stare. Now my dancing isn't that good, so it had to be something else. Looking down, I saw that from each of my shoes, there trailed about 18 inches of toilet paper, making all my moves look like a rhythmic gymnast with a ribbon. I'd like to say that my date found it funny and we've been married for years. However, she didn't, we're not, and I didn't see her for dust.'
Hope you found your soul mate in the end Phil!
Many of your entries focused on the now popular world of internet dating and social media. To poke or not to poke, that is the question! Now we've heard of some real horror stories about finding love online but this one really is something else, here's Veronica Therawati to tell us her misleading disaster.
'It was my first date with a guy I met on an online personals site. We had a couple quick conversations online, but he said he wasn't a great writer so we had agreed to meet for coffee. As I sat, I imagined the really cute guy and unbelievable credentials, and was extremely excited to meet him. Finally a guy sat down and introduced himself as my date, but instead of the 25-year-old I was expecting and was pictured on his profile, he was overweight, balding, and at least 50. He ended up talking to me for at least a half hour about how he was a 25-year-old in a 50-year-old's body, and that the picture was from his youth. Needless to say, I didn't call for a second date.'
All these stories were fabulous, but just didn't quite make the top spot during judging, however Lorraine Johnson's story did. Picture the scene, your basking in the sun on your holidays, ice cold drink in hand and spot the man of your dreams. Then guess what he asks you out on a date! The excitement and anticipation of the big night can make even the most confident of daters lose their cool and do something silly, this was definitely the case for our Lorraine who takes up the story.
'I met my hubby on holiday. After chatting to him during the day, he asked to meet me for drinks in the bar that night which I was thrilled with. After a shower, I thought I would put my new after sun on & lathered it on liberally. A couple of hours later, I was orange & streaky, I had not realised that the after sun I bought had fake tan to "enhance your natural tan" in it! I looked like an oompah loompah! I was 2 hours late meeting him as I waited for it to go dark so it was not as noticeable. He never commented on it that night, but he sure saw it the next day at the pool in the daylight! We have been together for 25 years now, married for 20 of those!'
These stories prove that the course of true love really doesn't run smoothly and you never know when you will meet the girl or boy of your dreams. It was nice to see that so many of your disasters turned into happy unions but for those of you still looking for that perfect match just remember not to apply the fake tan on the night of the big date!
Happy Valentine' everyone. XIf you want to read all the entries, you know you want to, visit our 'Just a little Something'blog!