Dating 101

Dating 101: One night only

Not sure whether they like you or not? Or whether you like them? Really? Do yourself a favour. Ten signs the first date will be the last: 1. They are otherwise perfect but there is one fatal flaw that you can't stop looking at, thinking about and trying not to mention, even though it is taking over your mind and threatening to launch itself from your tongue and across the table like a bile-covered missile. It could be anything: a crooked tooth, a liney forehead, a third eye. If you...
Good dates

The Keen Bean

The fag-end of summer approaches over the horizon and I have fair torn through the dates in the last 4 or 5 weeks. To say I'm weary by this point is an understatement, and when this guy gets in touch and starts whispering virtual sweet nothings, I'm fairly indifferent. He doesn't have a lot to say for himself, and when he does his grasp of grammar isn't a huge selling point, but he seems a  decent guy and in the absence of any other stimulating suitors, I think I might...
Dating 101

Dating 101: The big bad brush-off

As regular readers will know, not all of my dates have gone very well. In fact my hit rate for me actually enjoying my dates is hovering at or below around 40 per cent. When you consider the amount of dates I have out myself through, that can make for some depressing times. So given that most of these first dates have ended in disaster, how do you make it clear that the first date shall be the last, and that the only thing unique about your fateful meeting is...
Dating 101

Dating 101: Playing favourites

There are a variety of ways to show someone that you're interested in them on an online dating site. Some sites allow you to 'wink' at the object of your affection, while others allow you to 'star' them or 'add them as a favourite', which has given rise to a new, dreadful verb: to favourite. Winking, for me, is a cop-out. It doesn't say that you're flirtatious, it says — nay, SCREAMS — 'I'm not a paid subscriber and this is the only way I can register my interest in...
Dating 101

Location location location: How to pick a place for the perfect first date

Where you meet on a date can be quite a tricky decision. You don't know this person very well — you may not even have spoken on the phone — so you won't be quite sure of their taste. There's no duller a question than 'where do you like to go out?' on email or on the actual date, but sometimes it's good to get an idea of where these people socialise, as you can usually get a pretty good handle on what kind of person they are. Unless they're...
Good dates

The Lawyer

Stats: 31, 5"11", blond/ blue, Wales When: June 2010 Where: Bermondsey, SE1 Pre-date rating: 7/10 This Guy is my first blond date. It's not that I consciously choose dark-haired men, but they seem be the ones I've been attracted to so far. There is great excitement among a couple of my friends who have seen his picture. The messages we exchange differ from previous dates: his replies are formal and structured and without seeing his profession my lawyer friend guesses he's also a legal eagle. 'That's just how a lawyer...
Dating 101

Dating 101: Introductory offer

One of the most harrowing parts of having an online dating profile seems to be the necessity to write about yourself. Countless singletons struggle with this, and, boy, does it show! There's only one simple rule to remember when writing the introductory paragraph of your profile: try not to sound like a dickhead. Judging by some of the woeful intros I've read over the last few months, it's much more difficult than it sounds. Here's a handy top 5 for ultimate 'God this guy/ girl sounds like a bellend' aversion:...
Bad dates

The Drunk Mexican

Stats: 5'10″, 32, black/brown, Mexico When: Saturday 31 July, 1pm and 10.30pm Where: South-east London Pre-date rating: 7/10 The dates are becoming more and more disillusioning as time goes on, to be honest. This one is a little different from the others, though. I meet him on a different site, one where you know less information about your potential date, but you talk through instant messenger, rather than emails. (Edit: Grindr – why am I so afraid to say Grindr?!) We seem to get on well, at first missing each other and...
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