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 that it will never happen again? It rather depends on your suitor’s attitude, but here goes: Continue reading Dating 101: The big bad brush-off

The Invisible Man

Sometimes you have those periods where you don’t have a date for what seems like decades. Then, before you know it, you’re swamped. A mere 24 hours after my bizarre, yet fun, adventure with the drama teacher, I am once more heading to a date. I might as well get my kicks while I’m young enough to get them, right?

This next guy is someone I wouldn’t say I’m particularly interested in, looks-wise. His pictures seem OK, if a little blurred, but his profile is funny and the emails and texts we have been exchanging have been good-natured and definitely on my wavelength. He also seems very interested — I’m still at the stage in my dating ‘career’ where someone being keen is an attractive trait to me — and so, after less than a week of chatting, we agree to meet for a drink and, if we’re not horrified at the sight of each other, go on to dinner. Continue reading The Invisible Man

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 you without shelling out some of my cash’. How epic. How romantic. Continue reading Dating 101: Playing favourites

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 a stupid show-off who relies on dreadful style magazines to choose their outlets of entertainment.

Inner turmoil comes in an instant when the choice of first date venue is left to me. It’s so easy to get wrong. What if it’s too busy? What if the weather turns bad? Perhaps they’re a former alcoholic so suggesting meeting where there’s a 2-4-1 on Absinthe may turn out to be quite a different evening from your expectations. So where should you go? What should you do? Continue reading Location location location: How to pick a place for the perfect first date

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: Continue reading Dating 101: Introductory offer

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 not being online at the same time, but showing mutual appreciation. When we finally do talk ‘live’, he’s away on business in Germany. We arrange to meet in a pub, round the corner from my house, as he also lives locally, the following Saturday at 1pm. He says he likes an afternoon pint. Nice.

I walk into the pub precisely three minutes late and there is no sign. I order a pint — even though the last thing I want to do is drink — and sit outside in the sun. From where I’m sitting, I have all entrances to the pub covered. I half look out for him and half mess about with my phone. It gets to 1.10pm, and alarm bells are ringing. I realise I don’t have his mobile number. How stupid of me. I message him via the website and say I’m here. Time ticks on. No response. I sit and finish my pint, reading in the sun and wondering what on Earth is going on. By now, it’s 1.45pm and he’s clearly not coming. Furious but not wanting to show my anger, I send him a message telling him that I’m leaving now and that it was a shame that he couldn’t make it. Continue reading The Drunk Mexican

The Show-off

Stats: 37, 6′, brown/blue, Wales
When: Tuesday 20 July 2010
Where: Shoreditch, E1
Pre-date rating: 9/10

I’m mixing things up a bit and logging the dates out of date order. This is because I might skip the boring ones and also, I wanted the horror of this one to be fresh in my mind.

On paper, This Guy sounds great. He works in the City, so while he may not have the most interesting job in the world, at least he’ll be solvent. Money’s not important, but it’s good to have some, right? He is new to the dating site and has just two photos. But they are good photos. He is very handsome and looks exceptionally well-preserved for a 37-year-old. Despite his job, he says he has a big interest in all things cultural.

He emails me on Sunday and I respond. He then responds with his phone number. I never make the initial call — just yet another of those stupid rules I set myself — but I dutifully return the email with my number. About ten minutes later, he calls. Keen, then. Continue reading The Show-off

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