Opinion

“Gaybrows”, girl talk and the Sunday Times’ brand of smart-casual homophobia

Being gay is very political these days. What with the world and his wife sticking their noses in about whether we should be getting married and Twitter confusing homosexuality with paedophilia in the wake of the BBC sex scandals from the 1970s. Like the unavoidable pink square in a slice of Battenberg or the writing running through a stick of rock, there’s always a constant air of homophobia which lingers around the reporting of such stories, but it’s not just the heavyweight news events we have to watch out for,...
Dating 101

Overthinking 101: The perils of late-date paranoia

Traffic. Broken alarm clocks. Dead grandmothers. All things which can be wheeled out as an excuse when you’re running late. I try to avoid lateness if at all possible, especially on dates. While I accept it can be unavoidable, lateness which comes as a result of disorganisation appears rude or selfish. If your beau isn’t doing his best to turn up at a date on time, imagine how self-centred and lacklustre he’ll be when taking up space on your king-size mattress. The most important thing to remember when you’re running...
Bad dates

The Aspidistra

Stats: 34, 5’9”, mousey brown/blue, hometown unknown When: Summer 2011 Where: South London Pre-date rating: 6/10 I’m not really a fan of slogans. They belong to cheesy adverts and the kind of T-shirts I used to wear in the early 2000s. If I’ve something to say, I prefer to say it directly; mottos, maxims and proverbs are not my thing. One slogan I do have a fondness for, however, is ‘shop local’. It’s nice to keep things in the neighbourhood, to contribute to the good of the community, and so...
Dating 101

Where to meet your next boyfriend: The daily commute

Public transport is a necessary evil for most of us: a means of getting from A to B with (we hope) the minimum fuss and the maximum efficiency. But for a pastime which can take up to a good two hours a day for many of us, hauling your cookies into work is criminally overlooked in the romance stakes. Whether your eyes meet in sympathy over the sound of a fellow passenger hacking up a loogie on the bus or a jolt in the train’s braking system sends you careering...
Single survival

Why you should never date an anonymous blogger

You’re on a date. The guy opposite of you seems attentive, interested, and personable. But there’s something not quite right. Maybe he’s commenting a little too much on the décor of your date venue. Perhaps he’s got a lot to say about the menu or is critiquing the clothes of passers-by. And when he asks you again where you’re from, your age and appears to make a mental note of your eye colour, you need to beware. There’s every chance you could be sitting across from the scourge of the...
Good dates

The Thriller

Stats: 33, 6’1”, black/blue, Gloucestershire When: Late 2011 Where: Shoreditch, east London Pre-date rating: 9/10 Dating is lonely; don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. You may be out night after night, making doe eyes at handsome strangers and maybe even rolling your tongue around their mouth, but it’s just a few short hours of conversation. The high is short-lived. Sooner or later you have to come back to your flat, the fridge filled with moulding vegetables (they never get used up fast enough when you’re cooking for one) and the...
Single survival

10 reasons you should never date a soapstar

What’s that coming toward you in the sweaty haze of the bar? It’s drunk, it’s loud and it looks vaguely familiar. No, it’s not your mother at a wedding, it’s a soap actor on the prowl, looking for love or at least the closest they can get to it without ending up in the papers. But you must resist. No good can ever come from becoming romantically involved with someone who treads the cobbles of Coronation Street or rolls in the hay of Emmerdale. Seriously, back away from the Albert...
Good dates

The Sculptor

Stats: 31, 5'11", blond/blue, Kent When: Spring 2012 Where: London, W1 Pre-date rating: 7/10 Sometimes, when you haven’t spoken to another person for days, you long for human contact. It can be anything: a smile from a shopkeeper as you hand over the money for your pint of milk, a phone call from someone in India claiming to be called Valerie and asking if you have had an industrial accident lately or, more usually, someone sitting opposite sipping from a pint while you imagine what kind of kisser they’ll be....
Dating 101

Where to meet your next boyfriend: The workplace

Lonely? Not really lying when you tell friends you’re washing your hair tonight? Got nothing on your bedside table but a well-thumbed copy of the TV guide with all your favourite programmes circled? I hear you. Isn’t it time you met somebody? As we all know, single people are doomed to a life of ready meals for one, exorbitant surcharges on hotel rooms in Benidorm and the inability to argue in supermarkets, so, in the first of an occasional series, here’s how and where to meet men. As simple as...
Bad dates

The Boy on the Beach

Stats: 23, 5’11”, brown (on his photo, at least)/blue, London When: February 2012 Where: A pebbly beach on the south coast Pre-date rating: 7/10 When your lake becomes devoid of fish – or you’re sick of catching the same old ones – you must cast your net farther. To the sea, even. And so I find myself in a seaside town, firing up a dating app (allow me the indulgence of fooling myself that the men on this app are only looking for dates and nothing more intimate) and seeing...
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