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...
Good dates

The Dish from Damascus

Stats: 34, 5’8”, brown/brown, Syria Where: East London When: September 2010 Pre-date rating: 8/10 Dating can be a very solitary experience, despite the fact that you’re meeting up with another person. Travelling to the date you are alone in your thoughts, every possible scenario whirring around in your head, and nine times out of ten, you end up going home by yourself – OK, maybe eight. So it’s good to have someone else aboard at least part of the way. The best place for a wingman is the selection process...
Dating 101

Five ways to make sure you’re a fantastic first date

So you’ve done the hard bit, right? Whether you’ve picked someone up in a bar or your eyes have met over an internet cable on an online dating site, you have managed to successfully woo someone into going on a date with you. Now, all you have to do is lay on the charm, keep the drinks flowing and your eyes bright and the rest will fall into place, yes? Well, maybe. You could be that lucky person for whom everything goes right with the minimum of effort. The rest...
Bad dates

The Straight-talker

Stats: 28, 5’10”, brown/brown, Cornwall When: March 2012 Where: South-east London Pre-date rating: 7.5/10 One can spend what seems like a lifetime wading through the deep and meaningful in search of love, or whatever your approximation of that is. As I have learned with the majority of my pre-date wooing, sometimes the build-up isn’t worth the final result. You’ve spent all that time laying foundations, only to run out of budget for your skyscraper before it’s topped out. With this in mind, and reluctant to hand over more subscription money...
Dating 101

10 toxic things you really shouldn’t say on your dating profile

The dating arena is second only to its Roman gladiatorial cousin when it comes to viciousness. But rather than fleeing knife-wielding savages, daters find themselves fighting off the advances of unwelcome, pot-bellied irritants or, more commonly, trying their best to seem attractive to those who probably wouldn’t urinate on them if they were ablaze. Your dating profile, be it on a reputable dating site or a seedy phone app, is your storefront. It’s your singleton SOS to the slew of eligible bachelor rescue ships bobbing up and down in an...
Single survival

Say no to Valentine’s Day exhibitionism

It's that time of the year when everything turns pink. Shop windows are festooned with flowers and love hearts become ubiquitous. Railing against Valentine's Day has become as much of a cliché as queuing up to buy a bunch of half-dead flowers and booking a table in a crowded restaurant, but I'm no ordinary "bah humbug" Valentine refusenik. I don't care about the commercialisation of love, the tackiness of the helium-filled balloons or dog-eared cards that tunelessly play the theme music from Love Story when opened. I don't care that just about...
Good dates

The Guyliner, as told by The Male Nanny

I went out on a 'date' with another anonymous blogger, the very charming Male Nanny. We each wrote a post about it, and both appear here. You can also read my account of the night; it matters not which one you read first. "Most blogs are shit. But, when I discovered theguyliner’s, I couldn’t stop reading. It is a brilliant blog because it depicts an interesting sub-culture and is written with skill and cynicism. But it struck me that he is operating in a comfort zone; aloof and perplexed, the...
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