archivedating advice

Good dates

The Better Offer

Stats: 29, 5’8”, brown/hazel, Cheltenham Where: East London, E1 Pre-date rating: 7/10 My date has just got back from New York. I know this because he mentions it every five sentences. The shimmering neon is still visible in his starstruck eyes, and has blinded him to the fact that my own glazed over some time ago. I tune back in to hear him telling me, in a rainy Tuesday monotone, about a go-go bar he went to in the East Village and quickly zone out again, my eye wandering over...
Dating 101

Awkward! Three situations guaranteed to give you that ‘morning after’ cringe

We’ve all been there. You wake up, slightly disoriented, amid bed linen which feels unfamiliar. Strange sounds emanate from a mass not too far from you. As you open each eye slowly, cursing them for the amount of time they’re taking to adjust to the light, you realise you’ve done it again – you’re back at theirs, for the first time. It’s the morning after the night before. You may have no regrets at all at the dawn after a night of passion, and the person lying next to you...
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...
Dating 101

A beginner’s guide to breaking it off: The phone call

My recent post on dumping someone by text proved to be pretty divisive. It seems that many people prefer a face-to-face break-up or, at the very least, a phone call. It’s a common fallacy that bad news like this is better in person, or coming from a disembodied voice at the end of a telephone. Perhaps it seems more personal, or means more, because it’s perceived that tapping in a few digits, then delivering a knockout blow over the phone and waiting distractedly for the stunned reply, in some way...
Dating 101

The name game brain drain – how to pick your online dating handle

What's in a name? You don't know the half of it. The one thing they forget to tell you when you try online dating is that you have to pick a name for yourself. Yes, not only do you have to fret about whether your pictures make you look pretty or the quality of your babbling blurb, you also have the added trauma of coming up with a profile name. It has to encapsulate everything about you in one easy line. It will appear alongside your picture and could mean...
Dating 101

10 things not to say on a first date

1. “So having weighed up all the evidence and considering the fact that I was quite drunk at the time and I didn’t technically put it all the way in, do you think my ex was right to say that it was cheating?” 2. “I really like that you feel comfortable with your natural smell. I mean, you know, deodorants are really bad for the ozone layer anyway, aren’t they? And there’s something so primitive about a man’s natural odour. So sexy. Oh, you do wear one? Oh. Oh.” 3....
Bad dates

The Ex at Stage Left

Stats: 31, 5’11”, mousey brown/blue, Worcestershire Where: Columbia Road, East London  Pre-date rating: 8/10  Breaking up is hard to do. I know; I’ve done it. Relationships can be a long, languorous drive around winding country roads. The break-up is the huge tractor or speeding idiot who appears from nowhere, slicing through your cosy hatchback of coupledom. If you're lucky, the end of your romance can result in a friendship that no amount of crashing and burning could ever break. Your ex will find somebody else and they will be happy,...
Dating 101

Five men you think you want to date (but actually really, really don’t)

Mr Neat And Tidy Who is he? He’s never got a hair out of place and his flat is a monument to order and hygiene. Why you think you want him: A man who cleans up after himself is the rarest of beasts; to find one is surely the holy grail of dating. Imagine all those gleaming surfaces you can have sex on! Why you really don’t want him: If he’s that fastidious about himself and his environs, think how much control he’ll exert over you and yours. He’ll sneer...
Dating 101

Why every first date should be a no-food zone

“Let’s meet for dinner. 7pm.” As statements go, it’s fairly innocuous. No hidden agenda, no gameplaying. As far as you’re concerned, you’ll be eating, chatting and maybe worrying internally about how much wine you can allow yourself on a school night. But transport that remark to the run-up to a first date, and I run for the hills, stomach churning with a dread normally reserved for statements like “The PIN you have entered is incorrect” or “And next on ITV2, a four-hour Katie Price reality show retrospective”. Going for dinner...
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