First Dates may seem like your typical easy-watching fodder, but it’s anything but. In fact, the show has made a point of opening our eyes to some seriously important life lessons of late.
Raymon – the show’s oldest ever participant at 90 – taught us about the loneliness of old age, and how important it is to reach out to the elderly in our families and communities. Bonnie, through sharing her own experiences on the show, showed us that domestic abuse can happen to absolutely anybody. And alopecia sufferer Eve gave us a crash-course in self-confidence and inner beauty.
Now Alan, similarly, has taken viewers on an emotional rollercoaster.
All 4, Channel 4’s on-demand service, has shared a clip of the widower encouraging everybody to grasp life with both hands and live it to its absolute fullest – and his story has resonated so strongly with viewers that the footage has now gone viral on Facebook.
In the video, Alan finds himself paired with Patricia, who lost her husband to cancer. When his date presses him for details about his own romantic past, Alan smiles sadly before sharing: “[My wife] died seven years ago.
“She contracted dementia when she was very young. You know, we lived together for 40 years.”
Patricia, moved by Alan’s honest response, then asks him if he had any children.
“Well, we did have two,” he says. “I've lost one already, unfortunately. It was my son, [he was in his] early 30s. Brain haemorrhage. He played football in the afternoon, we had a beer afterwards, and I said to him, ‘See you tomorrow, Chris’.
“He said, ‘Yeah’ and unfortunately, that never happened. He died that same night.”
Alan, speaking privately to the camera, goes on to recount the moment he found out about his son’s untimely passing.
“The worst day of my life, when the police came around the following day,” he explains. “He was a young man, full of life and playing football and enjoying time with his friends and then suddenly, he was gone.”
Despite all of the blows that he has been dealt in life, Alan reveals that suffering through these hardships has only strengthened his resolve to appreciate every single moment he has left on this earth.
“I’m so conscious of the fact that this is the one and only time that we will ever have a life,” he is seen telling Patricia.
“Life is so bloody short, and so many people don’t realist that, and they waste theirs.
“So I don’t want to die with any regrets… I love life and I live it to the full.”
The video was shared on Facebook on 19 May, almost a year after its original airing back in 2016. And it seems as if Alan’s words are just as impactful as ever: at time of writing, the clip had gained an impressive 5.9 million views in just a few short days, with 77,000 reactions, 9,100 comments and over 42,000 shares.
“This guy is brilliant,” wrote one viewer. “After everything he’s been through, he still has such a great outlook on life – and what he has to say is absolutely spot on.”
Another added: “So sad, but so true. Savour everything you do as much as you can, be loving, kind, and patient with others, don’t get into massive arguments and wars with each other – that’s just more time wasted. Instead, focus on quality time together.”
Tagging a friend in their comment, one user wrote: “No matter what you are going through, remember life is too short and you have a fantastic life. Love you, pal.”
So what happened with Patricia and Alan?
Well, it’s unknown what the pair are up to nowadays, but we do know that after their date the pair agreed to see each other again for ‘a game of tennis and some wine’. As the pair share the same inspiring outlook on life, we’re sure that, wherever they are, they’re making a conscious effort to live their best lives – and we hope that they found the companionship that they were both searching for.
Images: Channel 4