Richard McNeill entered the First Dates Ireland restaurant looking for love but left tearful after a heartbreaking first date.
The Letterkenny-based engineer was paired up with Timmie in the first gay date of the new series of First Dates Ireland last night. Skincare store manager Timmie, 34, from Clare was full of confidence, but had been unlucky in love before. Richard, 43, who is originally from Northern Ireland, was looking for a long-term love.
“Being single in Letterkenny has been quite interesting. It’s been a bit of an eye-opener, put it like that, this year,” Richard admitted in the Diary Room.
“Living in the far northwest of Ireland – there’s not that many gay guys up there,” he said.
One of the pair’s first points of discussion was about health and fitness, which led to Richard revealing one of the first amazing things about himself.
Richard admitted that he had lost a significant amount of weight after taking up running years ago. “When I started to challenge myself I was wearing large-sized everything. I think at the worst I was a 36-inch waist,” he told Timmie.
The pair seemed to be getting along by the first course and there was plenty of flirting. Then, Richard shared the most personal story from his past – he was once married.
He told Timmie that he came out as gay when he was 39 years old and split up with his ex-wife of 10 years.
His date is gobsmacked by the news as Richard told him he had always thought he was gay but had never been sure. “I’d always wondered. I had always thought but I’d never properly known and I didn’t know anyone growing up. I had no role models, I had none of that. I was shy!” he said.
“I’d always wondered. I had always thought but I’d never properly known and I didn’t know anyone growing up. I had no role models, I had none of that. I was shy!” he said.
Richard shared details about his first ever date with a man in behind the scenes footage. “My first date with a guy was unbelievable. Because I held a guy, I kissed a guy it was just like, this is what I’ve been missing all those years,” he said.
“My first date with a guy was unbelievable. Because I held a guy, I kissed a guy it was just like, this is what I’ve been missing all those years,” he said.
Timmie’s tattoos and muscles were all-too-distracting for Richard, who insisted on paying the bill and hoped there would be another time to meet.
“I really like him. I quite like him? I definitely like him,” Richard confessed in the Dairy Room.
But it was when the two were brought together that the heartbreaking moment happened for Richard.
“I just don’t think there was a spark there,” Timmie told him. “I think that you would make a fantastic partner for someone else, but not necessarily for me.”
There was no fairytale ending for Richard, who was visibly upset but accepted the rejection well. He had to return to the northwest with no promise of a second date, but perhaps Letterkenny will surprise him for the better one day.