Bad dates

The Associate

Stats: 5'9”, 31, brown/brown, London When: Winter 2012 Where: Soho, London Pre-date rating: 8/10 One shouldn’t mix business with pleasure, they say, but it is a redundant cliché. Many of us needn’t be warned: the only pleasure a lot of people take from their work is skipping right out of it at 6pm. If you are the kind of person who derives gratification from their metier, it’s unlikely that you’ll need to find it in the groins of your colleagues or other pursuits in the workplace. As tantalising as Ken...
Single survival

Naked Sunday – where the sleazy selfie is king

It’s an uncontrollable urge, a reflex action. No matter how hard you try, you can’t help yourself. Like a tantalising ‘Do Not Touch’ sign at an exhibition or a ‘Keep Off The Grass’ warning on a beautiful lawn, if you see a link to a picture on Twitter, you’ve just got to click it. What will it be? Another cooked breakfast? Perhaps a cordon bleu luncheon in a fancy restaurant? Maybe a heavily filtered Instagram rendition of a darling chimney pot at a vintage fair? Check the calendar before you...
Bad dates

The Marrying Kind

Stats: 32, 5’ 10”, grey blue/auburn, London Where: South London Pre-date rating: 5.5/10 The old saying goes that the Devil finds work for idle hands, but he also seems to run an interesting sideline in spicing up long, boring afternoons. A day off with nothing to do can be a dangerous void stretching out in front of you, and sometimes the only way to plug that gap is to half-heartedly stumble around social media applications until something happens – a potential inferno in search of a spark. It is one...
Dating 101

How to deal with first date disappointment

If there’s one thing you learn when you’re looking for Mr Right, it’s that there’s a whole slew of Mr Wrongs just itching to get in your way. It’s like being in a computer game: you have to despatch bad guy after bad guy in order get to the goods. Only then can you reap the rewards. And to carry the tired computer game even further, most of the time you never get to that next level. It’s inevitable, then, that you’ll encounter disappointment on a first date. Whether you’re...
Single survival

Get me drunk and enjoy the show

I’ve been on more than a few dates in the two years or so I’ve been single. Some have been disastrous, many have been delightful, but they have all had one common denominator. Each of them, without exception, has involved alcohol. Even the dates with the best of intentions, which start with walks in the park or a visit to a gallery, end in the boozer, with first impressions being made quicker than a pint of beer can go flat. Of course, any situation which makes you nervous can be...
Dating 101

Ssssh! The turgid topics to avoid on your first date

So you’ve done the easy bit. You’ve arranged the date, spruced yourself up, shown up on time and, with a bit of luck, you’re in the right place. Now all you have to do is fill the next three or four hours or so. If you’re in a pub and drinking, the last two hours should fill themselves (don’t expect to remember any of it the next day), but for those all-important semi-sober first 90 minutes or so, you’re going to have to talk yourself charming. It’s easy, honestly. There...
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