Who’ll find love on our blind date? This week it’s Penny and David

Who’ll find love on our blind date? This week it’s Penny, 70, and David, 67,… but will romance be on the cards?

  • Every week FEMAIL sends a couple on a blind date and asks them to report back 
  • This week Penny, 70, and David, 67, had lunch in Bath at The Ivy
  • Would you like us to find you a date? Are you a singleton, or is there someone you’d like to send on a blind date? Email: [email protected]
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Every week we send a couple out on a blind date. This time David Aldridge, 67, had lunch in Bath at The Ivy with retired teacher Penny Gunter, 70.

Widower David runs a small business and lives at Radstock in Somerset. Penny, who lives in Chippenham, Wiltshire, is divorced and has one adult son.


Penny Gunter, 70, (pictured) is a retired teacher from Wiltshire 

David was already at our table when I arrived. When he got up to welcome me, and offered to take my coat, I knew the date would be OK. I wasn’t instantly attracted to him, however, and I was a bit disappointed by that.

I’ve been single for ever. I was married for 23 years but was heartbroken when my husband had an affair — and I was cast aside so he could marry the woman he had met.

It took me many years to get over it. And it wasn’t until Christmas 2016 that it hit me how lonely I felt. I was staying with my son and his family, including his wife’s parents — and I felt like the odd one out. I’m used to being around couples, but when I got back to my cold, empty house, I did feel lonely.

So I decided to join a dating site. It was quite an eye-opener — people’s descriptions and photos seemed to be all smoke and mirrors. The lack of choice shocked me, too.

Over the past 18 months I have had a few first dates. I did see one guy for six months and fell for him — but he didn’t want to commit and it broke my heart a little more.

So this date felt important to me.

David and I got on well and we had lots to chat about. But he didn’t ask much about me, so I felt perhaps he wasn’t very interested. I’m not sure if he wasn’t attracted to me, or just a bit rusty, as he confessed I was his first date in nearly 40 years!

I did wonder if it was quite soon for him to be dating again, but he said he was ready — and didn’t come over as nervous.

Unfortunately, the killer blow came when he said something unsettling. After the nearby table left, David told me they had been talking about us. He then said they had thought maybe we were mother and son! Hmm, it was a slap in the face. I’m not sure why he passed that on.

The restaurant was lovely. We took our time and had starters and mains and coffee — we were there for nearly three hours — but sadly there were no fireworks.

We did swap numbers, but made no plans to meet again. He offered to walk me to the train, but I wanted to go shopping, so we said our farewells with a brush of the cheeks and a wave goodbye.

I might meet him again, as a friend. As a romantic couple, however, I don’t think so.

My celebrity crush is singer Bryan Ferry — still very attractive! Returning to reality, however, I would love to meet someone to share my life with.

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My resolution for 2019 is not to give up hope. I’m looking for someone genuine who wants a proper relationship. I value trust and loyalty, and I’d like someone tall. I’m quite tall myself.

I’d also like someone younger, as I am still young at heart and really don’t feel 70. I have a list of things to do and places to go!

How do you succeed in dating?

Trying to meet someone can seem a big move, says our Dating Doctor ALANA KIRK, so take it one date at a time.

  • Every date will give you confidence and tell you who is your type.
  • Often it is better to take it slowly and be friends first.
  • People approach dating differently — keep an open mind.

I always enjoy being with my son, daughter-in-law and two fabulous grandsons as well as my many lovely friends, who I entertain with my dating disasters!

I love baking, gardening and astronomy. I always have a book on the go and Nordic noir mysteries are a favourite.

A glass of wine in front of the wood-burner always goes down well — now a nice man is just the missing piece of the jigsaw.

LIKED? He was a gentleman.



VERDICT: 6.5/10

David Aldridge, 67, (pictured) runs a small business in Somerset


I was married for 37 years until my wife died in a road accident in 2017. I was seriously injured too, but after a long spell in hospital, I’m now 99 per cent recovered.

I’ve had no special relationships since, and this was my first date in decades!

I was really nervous and I did worry beforehand if I was doing the right thing — but I know this is what I want.

I spoke to my wife’s siblings, and they are happy for me to start dating. I have two grown-up children, but they need to live their own lives and not be worrying about me.

I keep very busy. I love walking my dogs, gardening and photography, I’m a parish councillor, school governor, and active in the local church — but there is something missing.

I’d love to meet a kind, understanding person, who wants to do new things. I’d like someone to go travelling with, as there are lots of places I still want to visit.

As soon as Penny walked in, I thought she was a lovely person, so friendly and calm. She’s been on a few dates recently so she knew what it was all about and we had a relaxing conversation.

At one point I heard the couple next to us trying to figure out what our relationship was. One of them jokingly said wouldn’t it be funny if they were actually mother and son or something —which was a ridiculous thing to say, but I thought it was funny we were being talked about so mentioned it to Penny, as a joke.

It was interesting that she has been divorced for more than 20 years and only got around to dating recently — although I realise she was bringing up a family.

We talked about each other’s lives, what we liked doing, and what we had done in the past. It felt like we had quite a bit in common — we both like eating out, travelling, theatre and, importantly, she likes animals, which is great as I love my dogs!

Penny is a really good listener and good conversationalist, and I felt my words were appreciated.

I think at this early stage it was friendship more than flirting, but we did exchange numbers and I would like to meet again to see how we get on. It was my first date in so long that I was just taking it easy, and I think she was too.

The restaurant was lovely, and despite my trepidation, it did feel OK to be on a date again.

We haven’t been in touch yet but I will, and hopefully we can meet up. She is a very, very nice person and it was a really positive experience for me.

It made me feel like I can do this now, and has given me some confidence. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

LIKED? She was easy to talk to, kind and understanding.




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