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Dating 101Single survival

Know your dating enemies: Science fiction

There are three things you should really avoid talking about on a first date. Food, politics and science fiction.  Star Wars, Star Trek, comic books, Doctor Who, Alien, the lot. Just avoid it if you can until you’re “going steady”, because if the sci-fi chat comes out too early on, the chances are you’ll have an intergalactic battle on your hands before you even get to the bedroom. So why is sci-fi a no-no? Put simply, it is extremely political, and sci-fi fans get very touchy when you don’t get their hobby....
Brief encounters

The Charm Offensive

I am 24 and at a friend’s flat. She is having a party. Well, I say party – the lounge is full of people, there are bottles of vodka and dubious mixers on the kitchen table and there is a queue for the toilet. It’s as close to a party as we’re going to get this evening. I am a different animal as a 24-year-old. I’ve yet to endure all the various, turbulent life experiences that will teach me to be kinder, more humble, accommodating, friendly – all that shit....
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...
Brief encounters

The Boy in the Apple Store

The Apple Store is a strange place. It does its very best to pretend it isn’t a shop. There are no tills ringing or sour-faced shopgirls stacking shelves with garish product or hurrying along pretending they’re too busy to help you, no groaning rails or higgledy-piggledy stacks of boxes. The Apple Store, especially the one in London's Covent Garden, is more of an ‘experience’. Smiling pretty boys in skinny jeans loiter at the doorway with eager smiles and eyes so wide they can only be the result of a recently...
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...
Bad dates

The Aspidistra

Stats: 34, 5’9”, mousey brown/blue, hometown unknown When: Summer 2011 Where: South London Pre-date rating: 6/10 I’m not really a fan of slogans. They belong to cheesy adverts and the kind of T-shirts I used to wear in the early 2000s. If I’ve something to say, I prefer to say it directly; mottos, maxims and proverbs are not my thing. One slogan I do have a fondness for, however, is ‘shop local’. It’s nice to keep things in the neighbourhood, to contribute to the good of the community, and so...
Bad dates

The Culture Vulture

Stats: 5'10", 27, brown/brown, Southwest England When: June 2011 Where: Shoreditch, London Pre-date rating: 7/10 What would the world be like if everything was as good in real life as it was 'on paper'? All those outrageous claims made by advertisers would be true: detergent really would blitz limescale from your shower in seconds; putting magical cream on your penis could make it gargantuan, and a closing down sale really would be just that. Going on a dating site is a bit like being an advertiser – you're flogging a...