archivechemistry

Dating 101Single survival

Where not to meet your next lover: The gym

I have never dressed sexily for the gym – I have never seen the point. Either I have been partnered during my stack of memberships or, more usually, I have had no interest in romance among the kettle bells. In the dank, municipal hellholes where I like to work out, I have somehow known instinctively that Mr Right was not lurking by the lockers. While my latest gym is clean and modern, it is most certainly not a place where I will ever feel lustful and attractive. It is so basic, so...
Brief encountersGuest posts

The Forget-me-not

To celebrate my blog's fourth birthday, I decided to give everyone a rest from my prattling and instead hand over to a guest contributor – and not just any guest poster, oh no. This wonderful, funny tale of a brief encounter, which I knew I had to have for the blog as soon as I heard it, comes from none other than my wonderful, funny boyfriend. Take it away, handsome… It’s Friday night, and “the girls” are on the town. I’m with my friend James and his mate Chris, who I’ve...
Impeccable Table Manners

Laurie and Sophie

What happened on the date OK, so this is more than table manners, but I had to put the “awkward moments” in because the “table manners” responses were practically a double-impeccable. I can’t even imagine why the waiter thought it was appropriate to butt into the date, but it doesn’t seem to have put them off. I do hope they didn’t tip. Sophie signs off with a “Sure, why not?” – sexy! – while Laurie is more cool, insisting it’ll be nothing more than a “friendly drink”....
Good dates

The Wow Moment

Everybody should have their Wow Moment – that one moment in time where you look and feel fantastic and are at your absolute pinnacle of excellence, confidence and desirability. Most people aren’t aware of theirs when it’s happening – which can be a blessing or a curse depending on how you look at it – but if I’m ever going to have mine, it’s now, as I walk into the bar precisely 33 seconds late for my date with a man ten years my junior. The wow is all over...
Good dates

The Reluctant Casanova

Stats: 31, 6’, brown/light brown, London Where: Soho, W1 Pre-date rating: 8/10 I lean forward on my hand and do my best ‘interested’ face as tonight’s contestant, dark-eyed, floppy-haired Matthew, regales me with stories about his ex-boyfriends. Well, I say, boyfriends – he’s dispatched them with a fervour and speed usually reserved for delousing a nit-ridden child. “I just can’t seem to tie myself down to one person,” he drawls, his eyes flicking to all corners of the room – no doubt scoping it out for any other, sexier men,...
Single survival

The five sexiest people you’ll ever see on public transport

I have a love-hate relationship with travelling on the Tube, London's dog-breathed series of arteries which carries us all safely around the place, while we moan about how long it takes to get anywhere and how far away everyone lives. Buses can go fuck themselves, frankly; dull as they are with their stench of fast food and myriad teenagers playing generic hip-hop through tinny speakers. Buses are unsociable and unsexy – everyone facing forward like they're at the world's worst cinema. In the sexiness stakes, there's no getting away from...
Good dates

The Late Great

Stats: 26, 5’9”, brown/brown, Midlands Where: Brixton, SW2 Pre-date rating: 8/10 Punctuality is the politeness of kings, my grandmother always used to say, and while I’m not particularly regal, I do believe the least you can do on a date is get there on time. ‘Fashionably late’ is a flawed, dangerous concept. One man’s height of style is another’s fashion faux-pas. You mustn’t leave anything to chance. I have just arrived at the bar for tonight’s date with the latest inked entry in my increasingly pathetic social diary. All I...
Good dates

The Thriller

Stats: 33, 6’1”, black/blue, Gloucestershire When: Late 2011 Where: Shoreditch, east London Pre-date rating: 9/10 Dating is lonely; don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. You may be out night after night, making doe eyes at handsome strangers and maybe even rolling your tongue around their mouth, but it’s just a few short hours of conversation. The high is short-lived. Sooner or later you have to come back to your flat, the fridge filled with moulding vegetables (they never get used up fast enough when you’re cooking for one) and the...
Follow-upsGood dates

The Great Potential, part 2

Second chances don’t come along every day and you never get another opportunity to make a first impression. It is these clichés which reverberate as I make my way to this date, a last minute reprieve for a potential romance I’d long consigned to death row. After his most recent text message, which tells me he’s available again four months after our first date proved to be a dead end, I surprise myself by not bothering to ask what went wrong with the guy he chose over me. I find...
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...
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