archivedating advice

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...
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 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 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...
Guest posts

Guest post: Blindsided by Harry

Sometimes when you are cast adrift on the vast ocean of online dating, it feels like you are the only person in the world going through it. Nobody else, surely, is experiencing this lame conversation, those awkward drinks, that long trek home with a bellyful of boredom, regret and wine. It is, then, both heartening and depressing to know that dating disasters are happening the world over. And to prove it, here is a guest post, from a regular reader named Adam, who was pulled on that most romantic of...
Dating 101

A further 25 men you should never date

Before princes, come frogs, and it seems Mr Right stands at the end of a long line of Mr Wrongs. You’ve done well in swerving the first 25 men you should never date, and deserve a gold star for saying a polite “no thank you” to another 25 I brought to your attention, but you’re not out of the woods yet. If you want to take a short cut to that idyllic relationship you truly deserve, here are 25 more suitors you should consider giving the slip. You should never...
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...
Good dates

The Anti Type

Stats: 35, 5’9”, brown/er, none, Gloucestershire Where: Kennington, London Pre-date rating: 6/10 While few are so clichéd as to fancy only tall, dark and handsome guys, most of us have a type, whether we choose to admit it or not. Certain things attract us; if you put our dates or former lovers side-by-side, there’d be a common thread. Straying away from these comforting features, whether a bent nose, blue eyes, or a job in finance, can be a risky strategy. But sometimes we must journey into the unknown. My online...
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,...
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