Childless woman finds love on reality TV show and her new man also happens to be a non-parent

By Nina Steele

Vanessa and Julian First Dates Hotel‘First Dates Hotel’ is the spin-off series from Channel 4 reality show ‘First Dates’. The show brings single people together with the hope that some of them will find true love. While the original series was filmed in a restaurant in London, the spin-off takes contestants abroad. The location for Series 2 is Campania, in Southern Italy. In episode 1, 52 year old Vanessa, a marketing manager, is just like the other contestants, hoping she will strike lucky and find her soulmate. By the end of the show, all the signs are that she may indeed have found him.

Whether by design or pure luck, Julian, the 55 year old man Vanessa is paired with, is also childless. In terms of their characters however, they seem to be complete opposites. While Vanessa is more on the shy side, Julian is anything but. He has the kind of flamboyant personality that people either find attractive or a complete turn-off. Luckily, he turned out to be everything Vanessa had been looking for.

They hit it off from the word go, and even Vanessa crying on their first date because her beloved cat was dying (she got a call from the vet), didn’t put Julian off. It was rather sweet to watch him come over to her side of the table to comfort her. He came across as someone who was genuinely on the show to find a partner, not just after a bit of fun.

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Posted by Channel 4 on Tuesday, 9 January 2018


That they were both older with failed marriages behind them, may have had something to do with it. When you get to a certain age, and are looking for love, the realisation that time is no longer on your side, makes most people take dating seriously.

It was a relief to learn in the update that viewers get long after the show has ended that their pairing continues to be a success. Indeed, 4 months after they were introduced to one another, they are now a fully-fledged couple. They were both beaming from ear to ear during the update. They seemed genuinely in love.

I couldn’t help reading some of the comments that were left on channel 4’s facebook page about the show. And inevitably, because of their opposite personalities, many people didn’t think their pairing would work. And as expected, Julian’s flamboyant style put a fair number of people off. They thought he was just a player after a bit of fun. With love in the air however, some among his critics were relieved that they had him completely wrong. I hope theirs continues to be a success story for the long term.

Vanessa and Julian First Dates Hotel

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