Dating 101

Dating 101Impeccable Table Manners

Ciara and Andrew

What happened on the date "Bad words." These are grown-ups. They don’t look the types to throw out loads of C-words over the starters, so I’m guessing "pilly, woo, bum" was as bad as it got. If you can’t curse or drop a few F-bombs on a first date, how are you going to lead up to farting in bed when you’re married?! As for dessert-sharing – that’s not a first date thing, Andrew. You messed up. But at least he didn’t say “impeccable”. Photographs: Murdo Macleod for the Guardian...
Dating 101

Decoding dumb clichés on dating bios

Your dating profile – or the bio on whichever app your fingers are getting busy with – is your storefront, your prime advertising space. Sure, a picture tells a thousand words, but as anyone who’s spent more than a minute in the company of a  boyband can tell you, hot looks are no guarantee of a great brain or a good time. Given that most people are only a swipe away from dating oblivion, you’d think that guys (and girls, of course, if that’s your thing) out there might try...
Dating 101Single survival

Where not to meet your next boyfriend: The supermarket

The supermarket can be a boring and depressing place at the best of times, let alone if you’re single. Couples snogging in front of the very shelf you’re trying to reach – lasagne for ONE – or, much more likely, arguing about being organic in front of the tenderstem broccoli. It’s a nonstop misery-fest, from the very moment you pick up your basket – complete with someone else’s scrunched up receipts in the bottom of it, the bastard – to the awkward hunt for your loyalty card as your cans...
Dating 101

Know your dating enemies: The bicycle

When you have been on as many dates as I have, there are lots of things you dread. Spending three hours downwind of someone’s halitosis, hearing about their ex and wondering whether that a boil, a mole or worse on the end of their nose can all be terrifying events, but one thing that used to really make my heart sink on a date has two wheels and a seat just for one. You are Diana to its Camilla, and it’s got its eyes on your throne. What has the...
Dating 101

5 reasons you should never go on a running date

Dating used to be very simple: you meet a series of near-strangers for an awkward drink in a pub that’s always too noisy/busy/rough/far away from a Tube station, decide whether you like them or not and if so do it all over again in a nicer venue and perhaps with food. And then you get married. Now that everybody has the attention span of a gnat and is swiping left and right on their iPhones without so much as a thought for the kingdoms of emotions they’re quashing, dating has...
Dating 101

The horror of bad kissing and how to fix it

Kissing is vital in any relationship. While a gentle squeeze on the arm or the arse can remind your partner you care, a kiss on the lips – even if it's a quick peck in the supermarket – is the internationally understood shorthand for intimacy. And you have to really mean it, or your lacklustre kiss gives you away. You may think that relationships live and die on sex, but for me, the real test comes much sooner. If a guy is a bad kisser, it doesn’t matter how he...
Dating 101

How Grindr ruined dating for everyone

You can’t get more upfront and visual than Grindr. It’s the frank, confrontational reality TV show contestant of the social media app world, assuring you if it has anything to say it will “say it your face” or telling you “what you see is what you get”. Of course the truth is something quite different. Grindr is merely a cloudy mirror, vaguely reflecting society but usually doing its own hair or photoshopping out its eye-bags. What it has done with its instant gratification storefront, however, is slowly strangle some of...
Dating 101Postbag

Postbag: Is it OK to wear shorts on a date?

I get asked a lot of questions, both on Twitter and over email. Usually it’s things like “Is that your real eye?” or “Who’s that famous person you mention in this blog?” and other times it’s women in America trying to get me to link to their blogs about nannies, or contraception, or gay marriage. And then, very occasionally, it’s even more random than that. Sometimes, it’s just a question, like: “Is it OK to wear shorts on a date?” Well, it’s a valid question. Thank you to the shy...
Dating 101

How to say no

No can be a tough word to say at the best of times. Another cake? Don’t mind if I do. One for the road? Make it two. No always seems to want to play hide and seek when you need it the most. When you’re online dating, a lot of dates happen when they really shouldn’t. Like a misunderstanding over a spilled pint which quickly turns into a bar brawl, these things should be nipped in the bud when you have the chance. Because you are so adorable, desirable and...
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