Now, nothing in the end really beats a bit of dating honesty from the off. If you’re not interested, tell them. It’s not rocket science. Be kind, but don’t beat around the bush.
However, there are just those occasions when you simply can’t bring yourself to let the person down there and then. It may be their puppy dog eyes or the tears that swing it. So, a well thought out excuse a few days later might just stave them off gently until you have (let’s face it) the bottle to say no properly.
But how to do it? The excuse needs to be convincing and emotive to a degree – something that leaves you looking like either a) the good guy, leaving them feeling happy to cancel in such a worthy cause, or b) the bad guy, leaving them reaching for someone else’s number. Here are some suggestions…
My pet is sick…
Hello. Jackpot. Who’s going to put themselves before a sick kitten frankly? Is your date really going to demand you leave that tiny, sickly bundle of fluff alone in the dark to take them out for Bacardi breezers? I’m banking not. The beauty of this excuse is that it shows your mushy, caring side which - at the risk of making you even more endearing to them - is at least a positive attribute, making the ‘perhaps another time?’ a little easier to swallow. A tip here though: if this pet is going to be fictitious, don’t make it too cute and cuddly, or they may demand they come over to join you in your vigil. Some kind of fun-loving dog (that bites) might work.
My best mate needs me…
How better to come across than as a loyal friend? You have to cancel your date, yes, but you know they’ll understand when it’s your best friend you’re talking about. Your mate has ‘just split up with their spouse’ or ‘got a water leak in their flat’, it doesn’t matter. What’s important is that they’ve cried for help and it’s you they’ve turned to. This strategy says ‘I’m putting my mates first’, which might be a useful way of putting the ‘I’m not that into you’ message across subtly. The best part is that your mate will always back you up with whatever divorce/flat flooding scenario you come up with. They may even help you embellish it.
If you really want to turn a date off and you’ve been driven to distraction by their constant date-request pestering, why not bring out the big guns and go for a medically-related excuse. And let’s not be wishy washy here, with ‘I’ve got the worst migraine’. No, let’s get creative. If you can get away with some kind of tropical disease, or swine/bird/whatever ‘flu’, brilliant. Just be on the side of believability to gain the full effect. Use the words ‘contagious’, ’sweating’, ’skin rashes’ a lot in conversation. Assuming your date isn’t a nurse or doctor, they should be royally put off from sharing popcorn with you on the back row. And if you really milk it ‘…5 week recovery I’m told’, you should hopefully keep them from your door and any back row with you, for a long while.
I’m needed last minute for babysitting…
Along similar lines to the poorly kitten, this tugs at the emotional heart strings. The fact that you’re putting other people (and little people) before yourself and your date night out, says so much for your considerate nature and thoughtfulness. The fact that you also don’t want to upset the little ones by bringing a ’stranger’ into their house, is also understandable, isn’t it? How mature. If your potential date has secretly dreamt of 4 kids with you, you’re stuffed. This one could backfire, so use with caution.
I forgot, it’s my nan’s birthday…
This is crafty. How could you forget your nan’s birthday, you swine? That’s at least what you want your date to be thinking. Further, the fact that you have to let your date down in order to make it up to said nan, and it’s her 80th, means it’s a triple whammy of crapness on your part. Bingo. If they’re a family-centred person, this isn’t going to go down well and if you’re trying to give them the elbow this could really work in your favour. Please don’t forget your real nan’s birthday though - I’d never forgive myself.
Yes, yes I know white lies are still lies, but they’re not going to hurt if used carefully and with good intention. Sometimes it’s really not easy to tell someone ‘no thanks’ when you know they’ve been keen on you for ages. Use the above only once would be my advice - just in that emergency ‘get me out of this’ excuse-required situation. After that, you need to come clean.]]>
But then it happens. They throw you a line which bursts your bubble in an instant and leaves you at best deflated, at worst running for a taxi.
There are just some things not to say to someone if you’re trying to chat them up, frankly. Put some thought into your words and have some dignity, my friends. Let’s banish these flirt lines to the hills…
“Do you come here often..?”
Clichés don’t get bigger, so you fail your homework and go to the bottom of your class if you have to drag out this chestnut! Okay, so it’s not offensive, I’ll grant you, but you’ll certainly not win a prize for originality, or a date for that matter. And besides, where does it actually lead? A ‘yes, I come here a lot’ or ‘no, I’ve never been here in my life before’ answer is all very nice, but hardly helpful is it?
“I know I’m a bit tipsy but…”
There are few things worse than somebody slurring these words into your ear. You may have already spotted their drunken stagger as they approached, but to then get this line - well, it just takes the proverbial biscuit. Help them sober up fast; accidentally tread on their toe and then give them the cold shoulder.
“You have a nice smile”
Cheese. End of. Go and practice your fromage tactics elsewhere.
“We’d look good together”
If someone said this to me in an attempt to impress me, I’d be a bit freaked out. It just seems a bit of a personal statement to make when they’ve just clapped eyes on you, however well meaning or cheeky its intention. I’d think they were being a bit cart-before-horse-y and it would actually be a turn off.
“You remind me of….”
At the risk of sounding conceited, I’m me thanks very much. If the first flirtatious words out of someone’s mouth are likening me to someone else, I’d feel a bit short-changed! They’d be taking a gamble too, that you’d actually approve of their looky-likey observation. It could quite easily backfire and leave a deadening silence.
“My folks would love you”
My response (in my head at least) would be ‘oh my god, you’re a freakoid, leave me alone, or I’ll call security’.
“My mates dared me to come up to you”
This is never a good one is it? If someone utters this, you’re immediately on your guard for a band of sniggering pals watching your every move, whilst the person who said it to you fixes on your gaze, desperate in the hope that you won’t knock them back. In essence, flirting shouldn’t involve half your school friends.
“Don’t I know you from somewhere…?”
Why do people use this line, ever? It’s a bit disconcerting and annoying all in one, as 99% of the time they know they’ve never seen you before and are just trying to knock you off guard for that moment, when you go fumbling into the back of your mind to place them. In that moment, they make a further move on you and before you know it they’re a step closer with their drink next to yours. I say this one shouldn’t be allowed on the grounds of sneakines.
“You know you like me…”
No one likes a show off, however attractive they are.
“Fancy a snog..?”
The direct approach can sometimes be exciting, but ‘fancy a snog’ (or worst still) is just a bit tacky and an instant turn-off for most people, I would say. It suggests that the person is drunk, desperate, sad, a nymph - or indeed, all of the above - so give them a wide birth and let them go and slobber over someone else.
The next time you’re standing at that bar, watching that stranger approach you, keep these flirt lines at the forefront of your mind, and take my advice - only get it on with the person who avoids them!]]>
So when it comes to being a memorable date (in a good way), here are some tips on what small things can make a big difference. And in the spirit of equality, let’s have 5 for the chaps and 5 for the ladies…
Chaps - how to impress those ladies…
1. Be courteous
Nothing impresses me (and lots of ladies) more than a chap who is naturally well mannered. When I say ‘naturally’, I mean someone who means it! The guys who opens a door for you, takes your coat, is thoughtful to others…. It’s just nice to date a guy who has been well brought up and isn’t afraid to be a gentleman.
2. Be interesting in conversation
A good way to impress a lady is to have many strings to your bow when it comes to topics of conversation. At the risk of sounding borderline sexist here, I’m thinking most women wouldn’t be impressed by a date who rattles on all night about sports, IT, computer games and the like. So make sure you liven up the chat by being a good all-rounder.
3. Be an ‘arranger’
Whilst it sounds a no-brainer, men who plan and organise a date are well on their way to impressing a girl already. A guy who has ideas for where to go and what to do on a date, and then plans it all - purchases tickets, books the restaurant - is a winner.
4. Be the guy who remembered
I’m always impressed by someone who makes that special effort to a) listen, b) remember what you’ve said and then c) follow it up, sometimes weeks later, by a thoughtful gesture. So my advice to the fellas out there - aside from ‘listen, lots’ - is to try to say, do, or arrange something small which shows you’ve really understood your date, even if it’s something silly, like buying her a tube of Jelly Tots because she mentioned she liked them.
5. Be great on the dance floor!
Watch Strictly Come Dancing, pay for lessons, whatever it takes, just know how to move when the music starts. Being able to keep in time to the music (lots can’t) and move those hips will bring a big smile to your date’s face. And you know the score - dance like your dad and it’s goodnight Charlie.
Ladies - how to make a great impression on the lads…
1. Be funny
I reckon a lot of girls worry about what they’re wearing on a date, and the whole appearance thing is uppermost in their minds. But fret not! Whilst looking nice is of course, nice - you shouldn’t overlook the effect a great sense of humour can have on a guy. He’s far more likely to be bowled over by your wittiness than the brand of your shoes. Jokes and anecdotes will win him over, just you see.
2. Be adventurous
Guys like girls who aren’t afraid of letting their hair down and getting dirty. And before you start thinking ‘bedroom games’, I was meaning more ‘paintball’. Try not to put your life in danger, but be up for doing more than sitting all night sipping coyly on a margarita. Get out there and work up a bit of a sweat (…or should that be ‘glow’?). You may not be the GI Jane type, but rest assured they’ll be impressed that you’re willing to give quad-biking a go!
3. Be complimentary about his appearance
Now this one’s based on the premise that your date has actually made a decent effort and turned himself out nicely for you; tell him he looks (or smells) nice. Nothing like a bit of an ego boost to please a chap, and why not? Impress him by noticing that he’s made such an effort for you. Then he should keep up the good work in future.
4. Be sexy-clever
A good way to impress a guy is to have a finely balanced mix of intellect and mystique all rolled into one. Impress him with your knowledge of, say, music or art on one hand, but temper than with a minxy bit of flirty too. Men like women with brains and charm, so make sure you give him both on your date.
5. Be good at pool!
Would most men be impressed by a chick who knew how to handle a pool cue?! I think so! Girls - don’t win every game though, give your date a chance.
You can make an impact on your date in so many ways, but try some of the above as a starter for ten (well, five) and see how far you get. I’d wager one, or a combo of them, will work a treat in the ‘impress you date’ stakes (…just take care with the quad-biking).]]>
Call me old fashioned, but I think there’s a lot to be said for considering the whole experience of your chosen date destination. A bit of heartfelt research beforehand is even better.
Here are just a few notes for your tick list. Consider these in advance to ensure your date is suitably impressed with your choice (and you)…
Bright or shadowy: there’s the dilemma. Bright lights and white walls are okay in the Tate Modern, but nothing beats a bit of romantic candlelight over evening drinks or supper. And what’s the lighting going to do for you? Soft lights can hide a multitude of sins, so use them to your advantage! Having a bad hair or skin day? Candles all the way!
You don’t have to be Kim or Aggie to know a grimy venue when you see one. There’s nothing like sticky floors, ripped seats and chewing gum to send your date packing, pronto. An ‘authentic’ old pub may indeed have a certain charm, but if it would fail a level-one hygiene inspection, I’m suggesting it may not be the right choice.
Mirrors can be a controversial one. On one hand they help to enlarge and brighten a venue, which can be ideal on a summer’s day for lunch when you want a light airy atmosphere. On the downside, they can be distracting - you (or your date) might not be able to help checking out the next tables, or checking your hair, with a strategically placed mirror - and that can be annoying.
Knowing a (good) venue well is a big plus. If you’re taking your date to your favourite restaurant, for example, it’s nice to be able to show them where to go and introduce the waiter - it gets the date off on the right course and adds a few brownie points to your tally before you’ve even sat down.
Décor / Objets d’art
Never forget the impact an interesting venue can have on your date. Unusual bars and restaurants (often off the beaten track) can be hidden little gems. You know the ones - with amazing wallpaper or interesting sculptures about the place. An intriguing interior is a fantastic talking point and makes you instantly more relaxed, as you can have a good look around without resembling a stalker. Sumptuous curtains, nice quality door handles - it all counts!
If you’re going out to sit down (meal, theatre, pub, cinema) how comfy are the seats? Whatever age you are, a comfy seat makes all the difference on a date - it helps you and your date relax and feel more at ease. Sitty-up-straight schoolroom furniture has the opposite effect! Moreover, does your chosen seating allow smooching? If you have the opportunity to include some kind of soft, snugly sofa in your venue, I’d say it’s a good thing.
Please do your research about the loos. Unless you’re taking your date to Glastonbury all weekend, there’s no excuse for choosing a venue with toilets from the dark ages. Lavs should be clean, clean, clean. Girls, in particular, see toilets as a safe haven on a date - somewhere where they can retreat to check for spinach in their teeth, apply more lippy and text their best mate. They want to do all this in a sweet-smelling, luxurious setting - not a dingy back room cubicle with no lights and enough germs to kill a small child. Guys, never underestimate the impact Molton Brown handwash and John Lewis hand towels has on a gal. The best toilets I’ve ever used were in Singapore’s Raffles Hotel (get me!). Head-to-toe marble, classical music to pee to, the works. That was almost 10 years ago and the memory lives on.
As checklists go, this isn’t the most glamorous; but if it makes the difference on just one date out there, I’ll feel my work is done.]]>
On the plus side, a double date can potentially offer a more relaxed date scenario - ‘mates on a date’ type stuff. On the negative side, it means you don’t get your date all to yourself.
So before embarking on one, consider the pros and cons of a double date.
The ’silent moments’ factor
I’ve been on quite a few double dates and in my mind, they can really help take the pressure off the four of you, especially when conversation might have dried up otherwise. There’s nothing worse than being on a date with someone and just running out of things to say; at least on a double date, there’s safety in numbers as far as chit chat’s concerned and you’re far more likely to keep the evening flowing with four people telling jokes and anecdotes.
The ‘boost your ego’ factor
Double dating with your best mate can have its advantages. Who better to enlighten your date with flattering remarks about you? You could even prep each other before the date with all the things you want to talk about on the night (what loyal mates you are, your hilarious college days…) and all the things that are banned from discussion (…that drunken night in Turkey).
The ‘rescue’ factor
If you’re going on a double date with at least one person you know, you can rest in the comfort of having someone to save you should things go wrong. Be it if you’re dying in conversation over dinner, or literally in the toilet trying to escape from your date, having a friendly ally on board is never a bad thing. They can rescue you out of that poor taste joke, make excuses why you’ve had to leave (’sorry, it’s his radish allergy again’) and generally cover your back through the evening. Of course it works both ways though - so be prepared to be the wingman for your friend.
The ‘information’ factor
A great way to eek out information about your date, is to go on a double date with them and their friends. What were they like at school? What are their bad habits? Are they embarrassing when they’re drunk? Get digging!
The ‘laugh’ factor
If you get it right and everybody’s happy, double dates can be great! This is especially the case with four people who know each other well, of course - adding two more friends to an occasion just makes it more of a laugh and less of a ‘date’ all round. And that’s the gem of a double date - it can help make the ‘date’ feel undatelike, which is actually quite an advantage when you just want to have some fun.
The ’snog’ factor
Possibly the biggest drawback of a double date is that you don’t get your own date to yourself - and when you fancy the pants off them, this is a real disadvantage! You might have to sit there all evening, making polite conversation to the other daters and keeping your hands to yourself, when all you want to do is snog your date’s face off in some dark and seedy corner somewhere. Of course, the sexual tension this causes may actually be a thrill.
The ‘they’re getting on and we’re not’ factor
This could be tricky. The people you’re with are all laughs and touchy feely with each other and you two are daggers! Not ideal. Moreover, you may have to endure the other couple’s choice of film or restaurant which may not be your cup of tea and sends the whole evening into freefall in general. That’s the risk you take on a double date; the event can be taken out of your hands and it may not always work out the way you would have planned it.
The ‘cross-fancying’ factor
Have you ever slightly fancied your friend’s date? I reckon double dates can really bring this out in people! Everyone’s trying to put on a good show and be a bit jokey and flirty - and before you know it, you’ve got designs on the person sitting opposite you, rather than the one who’s got their arm around you! Alternatively, you might find your friend’s date being overly friendly towards you. Love triangles, love squares - whatever you’re brewing, it’ll end in tears!
The ‘fromage’ factor
Are double dates just a bit cheesy? I’m not sure. Are they a way of opting out of being all grown up and going on a proper, serious date with just one person? Perhaps. Some might see double dates as a bit of a cop out and a bit of a cheesy cop out at that; the jury’s out.
On balance, I’d say double dates are a good thing. In the main they provide a good way of having a fun time out with your date, with less of the pressures of a one-on-one date scenario. Steer clear of double-dating on your very first date though, just in case you want to get snogging.]]>
But where’s the fun in that kind of list? ‘Think outside the box’ people always say, so I thought I’d dig a bit deeper into that vast abyss of celebs, to highlight some of the hidden treasures who lie beneath. They may be a strange and wonderful mix (imagine this bunch around your tea table…), but there’s beauty in that methinks.
(Sir) David Attenborough
Knowledgeable, interesting, solidly British, good with wild things!
An octogenarian he may be, but don’t let that put you off. There’s just something about his dulcet tones (perhaps all those 7pm Sunday night nature programs) which sends me nicely adrift. Imagine the animal adventure stories he’d have! He gets a big thumbs up from me. A top London restaurant and fine wine for our date would be perfect.
Quirky, awkward, engaging, funny, friendly, good with people
Not that it matters, but is he good looking? I’ve wrangled with that question for many years. I’m thinking ‘not really’ but that makes him even more attractive somehow! I love his documentaries on all things weird and wonderful, so I’m imagining an extraordinary date, filled with strange human stories from across the globe. An art gallery would do nicely with Mr T. - something a bit modern and colourful.
Moon faced, clever, naughty, sharp, what’s with his laugh though?!
Not an obvious first choice, is Jimmy. He’s got something of the cartoon about him. He’s slightly effeminate too, with that girlie laugh. But over and above that he seems like a jolly good chap, up for some fun! Clichéd though it seems, I’d jump at a date with him to the Edinburgh festival. A few double shots into the evening and we’d be having a whale of a time (and his face would look less like the moon).
Creative, modest, shy, patient with plasticine!
What an unassuming genius of a man. Possibly not top of most girls’ wish lists date-wise, he comes across as quiet and mousey. But the talent! From Peter Gabriel’s ‘Sledgehammer’ video, to Wallace and Gromit, Chicken Run and Creature Comforts - this man has the golden touch and I adore him for it. I could pick his brains about plasticine for hours, quite frankly. A brisk lake walk seems fitting for someone who probably doesn’t get outside much (but looks the type who’d own walking boots). Pub lunch for afters.
Mysterious, cultured, wonderful voice, scrubs up nicely
For sure I’m not his cup of tea, but the man could take me out for lunch any day of the week. I’d have to insist he enlightened me about Henry VIII’s life and works, just so I could listen to his fantastically pronounced vocabulary and marvel over his impressive tailoring. I get the impression he’s a minx behind closed doors too, which I love! Yes, Mr Starkey, lunch and a history lesson would do me nicely (…and I say don’t knock it until you’ve tried it).
Elfin, mischievous, messy, musically gifted, amazing blue eyes (are those contacts?)
Most friends think I’m a bit bonkers with this one, but the man’s not only a musical master, he’s a bit of a hotty if you like freaky-looking ginger fellas! He’s cleverer than he looks too - quite the intellectual behind all that back-combing. I’d give some kind of music festival a go with the Minch. He’d probably burst into a spontaneous song at some point. Quite like that.
Cheeky, sparky, strong-willed, animated, better with age
I disliked him as a tennis player, but as a commentator - now with age, wisdom and a better hairstyle behind him - he shines in my view. Again, not an obvious choice, but he’s got a natural charm which would be captivating on a date. Maybe he could give me a tennis lesson. Bring it on John - then we’ll go for drinks.
Quick-witted, likeable, lanky, bespectacled
Usually hidden in the shadow of Ricky Gervais, Stephen is a real hidden gem. Unfeasibly tall and ‘different’ looking, he’s a chap who you wouldn’t miss in a crowd, that’s for sure. He’s incredibly funny in my view and what’s more, we went to the same university (at the same time, I now realise), so he’s got to be a good egg. So talented too - acting, writing, directing - what a dish! A good movie, loads of popcorn, followed by a long chinwag over a latte would do me nicely with Mr. Merchant.
Artistic, chuckly, warm, Glastonbury favourite!
Can you believe we have another octogenarian on our hands? He looks good on it! Another all-rounder, he’s been singing, composing, presenting and, of course, painting on our screens for years. A bit of an institution really. Not necessarily a ‘looker’ (even in his day) and he’s not the natty dresser some girls insist on, but to me his arty dishevelled nature is attractive and I think he’d be a real gentleman to date, with a good sense of fun. Tea and cake methinks with Rolf.
Nicely dressed, focused, confident, chubby-cheeked
You’ve got to hand it to him, Krishnan is a great news presenter. With a degree in philosophy, politics and economics from Oxford, he’s one of those guys who has probably always been ‘going places’ in life. Like Mr Starkey, he always looks smart too. Best of all, you can tell he likes his pies (…but then has a guilt trip and hits the gym). His fluctuating waistline makes him human, and for that he gets my vote. Fancy fish and chips and a beach walk, Krish?
The next time you’re compiling the date list of your dreams, spare these chaps a thought. What they may lack in immediate good looks, they by far make up for in intellect, charm, talent and all round intrigue. What’s more, the voice of Sir David, or plasticine skills of Mr. Park could keep many a girl captivated all evening - beat that Mr. Beckham!]]>
Luckily, it seems that over the past 10, even 5 years, the stigma attached to online dating has waned. Now that our beloved Web 2.0 is here we can do almost anything online (apart from avoid photos of cats) and there’s more optimism towards socializing via the Internet. But then we come up against the problem of it becoming all too accessible to the wrong people. On some websites there are girls pretending to be women, and men pretending to be boys, and this is exactly where the problem lies. Online dating is getting confused with chat rooms, where identities are truly anonymous, and anything can be said or done.
If you’re considering joining online dating then please take note - you need to find a reputable dating website. There are plenty around that have a vast majority of decent, honest people, and we’re pretty thankful for that when we think of the number of couples that would never have found each other had it not been for their good old computer. You should do some research into the Internet’s favourite dating sites, get recommendations from friends and read reviews. You don’t necessarily need to go for the ones that charge a monthly membership fee either, as there are some great dating networks that make money through surveys and PPC advertising instead.
Statistically, the numbers of people who meet via dating websites has never stopped increasing since the concept was first born. Chances are you’ll know a couple who met somewhere online, whether it was a forum for their mutually favourite band, or a website dedicated to matching people together.
What we’re trying to get across is that if you’ve thought about online dating, and you feel you’d like to try it then don’t let something like stigma hold you back. We won’t lie, you’ll still come across some losers and probably the odd weirdo online, but isn’t that what the block button is for? With today’s Skype and video calling technologies you can see people in real-time, right in front of you for proof that they’re not liars, so there’s no need to shy away. With that said, you should always shy away from Chatroulette…]]>
There, you’ve met each other – the big hurdle is over – so what next?
The second date may be even harder than the first in some ways. You’ve now got more expectations of the other person, having got to know them a little – and if you’ve decided you like them, well, you’ll be wanting to impress!
So, where to Jeeves?
Here are my top choices for a second date…
A walk in the park
It’s not corny, it’s good for you! Plus, it’s romantic – so there! All you cynics out there may be scoffing, but in my book you can’t beat a traditional walk together in a nice park, especially if there’s a nice lake and some kind of tea room involvement. Okay, so you don’t need to walk hand in hand quite yet. Just a nice gentle stroll allows you to natter casually about all sorts of things (particularly families and childhood – parks have that affect on people). If conversation ever dries up, there should be no end of interesting ducks and dogs to turn your attention to. And quite frankly, the promise of a fat jam scone at the end of your stomp should keep the interest going for a good few hours.
An art gallery
I’ve always found art galleries good places to go on dates. They are the ideal venues to learn what your date likes and dislikes taste-wise. I’d recommend the National Portrait Gallery as it has a good mix of interesting and fun art – not too highbrow to frighten the other person off. Or how about trying a small local gallery. Discussions about art can sometimes get heated, but they’re worth it. And what better way to get to know someone?
You may have ventured down the food route on date one, but if you didn’t, a nice lunch meeting for date two is perfect. Choose somewhere relaxed, so the atmosphere is good for chatting. Lunches are particularly nice in the summer, if you can sit outside (…even better, outside by water or a nice view). Compared with dinner, you don’t have to fret so much about what to wear. In fact, lunch gives you both the opportunity to check out the other person’s smart/casual wardrobe, which can sometimes be surprising!
Cheesy perhaps, but a good laugh. I love doing the whole tour bus thang! They are a great way to see a town or city and if you know the area, it gives you a chance to impress your date with some fascinating historical facts, which is never a bad thing. And quite honestly, if you can’t get conversation between you flowing on a double-decker bus, surrounded by brightly dressed tourists, then you should have stayed at home.
A trip to the seaside
And why not? The seaside brings out the child in people, which can be sweet and entertaining, or faintly embarrassing. By your second date, it’s time to find out what type of ‘child’ you’re investing your time in, so good luck with this! Best to find out early on whether they are a) the spontaneous type, who loves to run carefree into a freezing sea, followed by fish ‘n’ chips on the beach, b) an arcade games addict or c) a bit grumpy at the whole idea of deckchairs and sweet rock. It may end up being a steep learning curve, but worth doing methinks.
I thought it best to mention what not to do on date one, two (or even three). Swimming. I still have flashbacks about a double date I went on years ago. For some random and frankly shocking reason, we all agreed to go swimming at a local leisure centre, and this was date two for me. The stress levels involved with swimming costumes, podgy bits and goosebumpy skin still haunt me now! Steer clear!]]>
However, I feel I can still have a good stab at some date attire avoidance suggestions. There are just some items that should remain neatly tucked at the back of any girl’s wardrobe, especially when considering what to wear on a first date.
1. Strapless tops/boob tubes
Has the term ‘boob tube’ actually been uttered since 1985? Maybe not, but you take my point. Strapless tops, or ‘tubes for boobs’, are not a good choice for a first date. The amount of constant fiddling required to keep them up just isn’t worth it! Besides, whether flat or ample chested, they never really work in my humble opinion, as you can get a bit ‘low slung’ or ‘ironing board’, can’t you?
2. Shiny 6-inch heels
God bless high heels. I have one friend who was born wearing them I reckon and full respect to her! But I would say it’s best not to go too high-heely on a first date, for two main reasons; 1. you don’t want to tower above your date in some teetering stance, with the risk of treading on his toes with your killer bond girl spikes and 2. you don’t want to end up in A&E with a broken nose.
This is getting a bit retro, but remember these? I must confess I had one and they weren’t pretty were they? Unless you’re actually aiming for the Lithuanian peasant girl look (and heaven knows, it may be ‘on trend’ next season), avoid.
4. Ra-ra or puff-ball skirts
I was thinking, why not go the whole hog and dredge up these for my list, especially as 80’s fashion does seem to be in at the moment. Thankfully these haven’t figured on the high street again to my knowledge (yet…), but there’s nothing like an advance word of warning. No date will want you turning up with some odd-shaped skirt on - which either rustles about too much (ra-ra), or doesn’t move at all and just makes your bum look enormous (puff ball) - fact!
5. (Colourful) bra straps on show
From no straps at all, to too much strap on show - what’s a girl to do Gok, eh? I suggest you keep your bra straps under control on a first date. Don’t have them on show, especially if they are skin-coloured (unsexy), red (minxy), or green (alternative!). Leave your undies to his imagination (….at least until you’ve got time to purchase some decent stuff!).
6. White clothes in general
Yes, white outfits might spell ’summer’, ‘cool’ and ‘fresh’, but to me they say ‘I can see your knickers’ and ‘potential red wine/salsa emergency’. I’m a big advocate of wearing black or dark colours on a first date, just to avoid any ‘food or drink down your front’-related embarrassment. It happens!
7. Vintage outfits
I admire people who can pull off the whole vintage thing and I do actually like vintage clothing, but I think it could be quite intimidating or perplexing to sit opposite a date who is dressed head to toe in some 50s creation. I guess the odd jacket or skirt might be passable, but save the full beehive for a later date!
Even if you have great legs, shorts and first dates just don’t seem good bed fellows somehow. You either exude sportiness (which may scare some chaps off) or, if you wear them with tights, say, look a bit of a hippy with a mix ‘n’ match wardrobe problem. Tight fitting shorts or baggy, leave them at home!
9. Knitted dresses or skirts
I had a knitted suit once, in green. A jacket and skirt. I thought I was the bees knees in it until one of my best friends made me see sense. We were clearing out my wardrobe and she picked it up and simply said ‘no’; a moment which sticks in my mind to this day. Avoid having to share in the mistakes I’ve made. Say no to knitwear of the dress/skirt variety.
10. Tartan/dotty/silly tights
Patterned tights in general are a ‘no’ - and on a first date, a definite ‘don’t be silly’. Most guys would not get that you were trying to make a real fashion statement with them, or trying to reflect your ‘cheeky’ or ‘creative’ side. They’d probably just be wondering what on earth you were planning to wear for date two (with some trepidation).
Fashion tips from the unfashionable! Girls, I propose that you steer a wide path away from the above, at least for your first date. Save the delights of your wardrobe for subsequent meetings; and pop that knitted skirt firmly in the ‘charity’ pile.]]>
There are a million different books on the subject of dating, all with their own set of commandments. Granted, some of the rules are mere common sense and can work, but most of them time we spend our time deciding between conflicting sets of rules which not only results in confusion, but completely crazy behaviour that makes you appear more impatient than aloof.
I think its high time to put some of the top dating ‘rules’ on trial in the court of common sense.
1. Be unavailable
This is one rule I have never understood. If I can’t reach someone I really want to speak to I get annoyed, not turned on. I’ll maybe call them a few times and if they are constantly ‘busy’ or they don’t pick up, I don’t go shopping for engagement rings and timeshares in Boca, I just stop calling. The original idea with this one was obviously ‘don’t look desperate’ but does going to the other extreme make you seem less crazy? No! Be sensible, people - if they ask you on a date and you want to go, say yes! Don’t turn it down because you want to seem busy and popular when in reality you’d spend the night watching The Hills with your best friends Ben & Jerry.
2. Always leave them wanting more
This is so bizarre its almost amusing. The rules would have you think that if a date is going well, you should make an excuse and hotfoot it out of there early to leave your companion craving more of your company. The idea being that he or she will be so wild with desire to spend more time with you that they call you immediately to arrange another rendezvous. The reality? They will either just think you are rude or that they did something wrong to make you flee. Again, it’s common sense: if you’re having a good time on a date, show the other person that by staying present throughout its entirety.
3. The man has to pay
This is a tough one, and everyone has a different opinion. I’m not a raging feminist, but I find this one both insulting to the woman and also slightly unfair for the man. Women will happily complain that they sometimes get treated differently, that they earn less than a man for doing the same job, that they are not treated as equals. Then they go out to dinner and expect the other person to pay simply because of their gender. I’m not saying that its wrong for a man to pay, if that works for both of you, thats fine, but I suppose its the double standard of a lot of women that kind of irks me. You can’t have it both ways. Personally, I think its nice that a guy might offer to pay, but I always want to pay half. You have to tread lightly with this one, because some men really do feel offended if a woman doesn’t accept their offer, so this is one to call based on the situation you find yourself in. If you have mutually decided to go for a meal together then in my opinion women should at least offer to pay half. If the other person has asked you to go somewhere with them as their date and you otherwise wouldn’t have gone, then sometimes they might feel more comfortable paying. Use your judgement.
I could sit here all day going through the thousands of ‘rules’ we have invented for ourselves when it comes to dating, but I would not only spend years doing it, I’d also have no time to go on dates myself. The bottom line, as with most things in life, is common sense. The ability to see through the haze of hormones and excitement surrounding you when you meet someone new is the one ‘trick’ that will really serve you well when it comes to successful dating. The only rule you should listen to? Use your own judgement.]]>