archivedating

Dating 101

How to be “the boy”

You can't move on social media or in an airport novel for mentions of "the boy", that mythical perfect boyfriend who gets their partner's eyes and tweets all a-flutter. "Meeting the boy for drinks later," they coo, as they skip down to whichever chichi future-dive their beau is sitting in, batting his sweet little eyes at the rest of the clientele. But who is The Boy? How do you get to be one? What does he do? Much like the "Cool Girl", "The Boy" is a fantasy of perfection. In...
Brief encounters

The Steal

In 2001 I was 25, living in Scotland and still ‘finding my way’. I was painfully inexperienced, restricted to directionless fumbling, falling in lust with the man who washed hair in my barber’s salon or avoiding hopeless one night stands. Saturday nights (and Sunday mornings) were usually spent at parties, having the same dazzling conversations with less than dazzling company. I had met bubbly Scouser Cally at one of these parties and we had struck up an incredibly superficial friendship that relied on darkness and close proximity to vodka. Despite...
Dating 101

An additional 25 men you should never date

The dating arena is an unforgiving place. There’s no time to waste on that search for lasting love. As ever, I only want to help, so if you want to separate the men from the boys and the woulds from the would-nots, here I have 25 more men you should, if at all possible, avoid when dating. Everything I do, I do it for you. You should never date a man who… 1. Has a 'hilarious' answer-phone message. Wacky outgoing voicemail messages are up there with novelty underpants, Homer Simpson...
Good dates

The House Whisperer

It is always important to answer questions honestly. Well, as honestly as you possibly can. So when Mark, a civil servant from Kent, asks me “Do you like looking round old houses?” I should’ve at least replied “Not sure, depends” instead of an over-enthusiastic “Yes! I love that kind of thing”. But he’s so hot and charming (over email, at least) I reckon I can skip the usual first meeting in a pub for something cultural. In a rare show of confidence in this guy, I am sacrificing the holiest...
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...
Follow-upsGood dates

The Anti Type, part 2

If you haven't read the first part of this date, give it a read.  So here we are again. An unprecedented second date with the guy who, aesthetically at least, really isn’t my type (see the first date). I’m curious to see whether he’ll be able to maintain the level of charm he laid on with a trowel during our first date. On first glance, he’s ticking all the right boxes. He arrived at the chosen pub before me, and has a drink waiting – he’s remembered my ‘usual’ from...
Dating 101

7 ways to get him to call after the first date

Getting a first date is fairly easy. Or so they tell me. But getting a first date and going on a first date are nowhere near as big a deal as the ultimate prize, the holy grail of dating, the BIG ONE: securing date number 2. So many of us miss out on the follow-up date. They say sequels can never live up to their predecessor (mine certainly don't), but lots of debuts fail to get a second chance to try. Is there something you can do to smooth the...
Bad dates

The Pedal Pusher

There are some dates you feel you should go on, even if you really ought not to. Maybe it’s because somebody incredibly handsome has deigned to ask you out, or perhaps you are lonely, and your diary tells you this coming Friday is a blank space, its page a polar landscape. Whatever the reason, sometimes we say yes when we should be raising the drawbridge in an emphatic no. Johnny, 28, is such a no. But his square jaw and icy blue eyes draw me in, and he pets my...
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