Single survival

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...
Single survival

X offender – the minefield of kisses on text messages

There are so many social minefields these days, and endless faux pas just waiting to happen, it's surprising we ever bother going out at all, or communicating with anyone. If it weren’t for thick skins and an ability to recover from public mortification, we’d be better off living all alone, rocking back and forth in our world where nothing ever really happens, but we are all safe. Few things are as mind-numbingly political, stupid and awkward than the simple ‘x’. Not the one that marks the spot on a treasure...
Single survival

Beware the flirtatious straight man – six types to look out for

When you are growing up a future gay, you learn very quickly that your relationships with straight men are never going to be anything other than complex. Whether you’re trying to explain to your dad for the eightieth time that you’re not going to kick that football back at him no matter how many times it flies over your head, or enduring the weekly terror of “Backs against the wall, lads” in the showers after PE, it can be difficult to make yourself understood. So alike, but oceans apart. Many...
Single survival

Things I have pretended to like in order to get sex

Football I remember a very miserable afternoon – a rainy Saturday – spent in a pub that smelled of cauliflower and dog, staring with great concentration at a TV up on the wall. I didn’t really dare look away in case I looked like I was bored and I couldn’t have given two bronze fucks about what was happening on the screen so I fixed my gaze on a spider at the corner of the TV. The spider span a web and then fell onto a table and crawled into...
Single survival

Say no to searching for a soulmate

When you’re dating you hear a lot of talk about ‘soulmates’, ‘the one’ or the perfect match. Even the singles website where I met most of perfectly willing – but not always able – victims was called Soulmates, as if everybody on it were hopeless romantics staring at the sky with mooncalf eyes, waiting for Mr Right to swing off a star and drop into their arms. Quizzes, algorithms and your own ridiculous preconceptions help you decide who this person is likely to be, this ‘other half’ of you, and...
Single survival

33 things your date will worry about while waiting for you to turn up

1. “All his photos were taken from quite far away. I hope he’s not a horse-frightener.” 2. “I hope he was joking when he described himself as a flâneur. Because seriously.” 3. “Does my stomach look fat while I sit like this?” 4. “Should I stand up when he gets here so he can see I’m actually quite ripped?” 5. “Should I get a drink while I’m waiting, or hang on until he gets here?” 6. “What should I drink? What will make me look more desirable?” 7. “Maybe I...
Single survival

Five condescending compliments nobody should really want to hear

Think you’re being nice with your throwaway accolades? Think again, baby cakes. Call me over-sensitive (if you dare), but I could really do without some of these more patronising praises. Hot ginge When I was first born, my mother looked at me in the overbearing light of the hospital ward and thought she detected a hint of ginger in my hair. It wouldn’t be totally unsurprising – two of her siblings are redheads. “Shit,” she thought. Not because red hair is unattractive, but because ginger people are the focus of...
Single survival

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever heard on a date?

We've all been there, 'enjoying' ourselves as best we can on a date, when suddenly, out of NOWHERE comes the game-changer. It's the one thing we haven't been waiting for, the comment which makes a date go from an 8 to a 4. That cup of cold sick nobody wants to drink: the clanger. I put together a Storify of some of the amazing tweets I got in response to my first ones, which were: Worst things I've heard on a date: "I'm like an olive." — The Guyliner (@theguyliner)...
Single survival

Everything I know about love

I am wary of those who scoff at or reject love. They deadpan throwaway lines that they probably nicked from books or movies written by people more intelligent — and hopeful — than them, ridiculing the concept, or claiming it doesn’t exist and that we’re simply giving lust another name. I also feel a bit sorry for them. When my first love ended, and I cast myself out into a new world of singledom three years ago, I wondered whether the best thing to do was fall in love again...
Single survival

What Gaydar did next

You know what they say: “evolve or die”. And in a world where your next French kiss might be no farther than the end of your backyard, gay dating and hook-up sites have had to change faster than most. Way back when Grindr was nothing more than just a vague wet dream in Joel Simkhai’s mind, the king of the road when it came to meeting guys was Gaydar – its array of oiled-up nipples and extreme close-ups as synonymous with the late Nineties and early Noughties as Steps, Harry...
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