& what I’d do…
Writing this post whilst almost 8 months pregnant feels a bit bizarre. Truth be told I haven’t dated anyone except my husband in four and a half years. A long time! So long in fact that I was one of the last singletons right before the launch of ‘Tinder’, ‘Happn’ and the many other weird and wonderful dating apps around right now. But take algorithm matches, pre-judged assumptions (of photographs) and pre-date online stalking out of the equation and what your left with is a pretty universal date situation. A man and woman (or two women, or two men) coming together over a glass of wine (or vegan juice) with the mutual desire to want to get to know one another. But it doesn’t come without its complications.
#1 Communication Pre Date
In my years of dating in London, Bristol and of course South Wales, I’ve always been in communication with the person pre date. To be fair most of my dates stemmed from me asking them out (or vice versa) following some kind of meeting so I’ve never had a ‘blind date’. Is it wrong to text dates before hand? Get to know them on the phone or find out a bit more about them by instant messaging? Personally I see nothing wrong with it. But I have friends who refuse to, they want to play ‘hard to get’ or leave the conversation for the actual date itself. For me it’s great to have a better understanding of the person before a first date.
#2 See You There!
Once about 8 years ago when living in Putney, my date was with a guy who lived in the street next to mine. Pick you up at yours? He said when we arranged to meet. Sure I said. So ten minutes early, he turned up true to word. As any girl knows, turning up early is awkward in itself (I still hadn’t found the right matching shoes and eyebrows needed filling in). So I left him chatting to my then housemates. They grilled him. Quite funny and luckily he saw the funny side but in hindsight it wasn’t the safest thing to do bringing him in to the home. More so because this person now knows where you live and what if the date plummets?
#3 The Venue
Are you choosing the venue or are they? For me it shouldn’t have to be a rule that the person asking the other on the date has to choose. I like to have some input. If there’s a cool new restaurant opening that you’d like to try or the local cinema are playing a film you’ve been desperate to see, why not suggest it? Don’t let one person hold the pressure of choosing the date setting. Additionally, I don’t see the point in playing games when setting the time. I would never be late (despite being an hour late due to London traffic on my first date with Dan) to pretend I’m not that interested. It comes across as rude and quite frankly if someone kept me waiting without explanation I’d leave.
#4 Phones On The Table
So you’ve made it to the actual date. Are they constantly on their phone? Giving you little to no attention, checking texts and taking phone calls? I have a date rule that phones shouldn’t be out on the table during a date. In fact, I don’t think the other person should even ‘check’ their phone once. It makes things awkward and comes across as rude.
#5 The Ex Rule
Ever been on a date and had the question ‘so when was your last long term relationship?‘ pop up? Ugh! Personally I like a quick response ‘ooh, a while ago, have you checked out this insane cocktail menu?’. I don’t like talking about exes on a date and I don’t really care to hear about theirs either. Sure there’s nothing wrong with them being interested (did I cheat, did he cheat, were we serious, did I want to get married…?) but in my experience, asking too many questions can come across as insecure. They’ve probably online stalked you already anyway and have seen pictures.
#6 What To Order
I’ve had dinner dates where the other person has ordered the absolute minimum and barely picked at their food. I’ve had others who have ordered five course meals and devoured each and every bite. With dates come nerves and with nerves can sometimes come a loss of appetite. Luckily for me I’ve never been one to lose my desire to chomp away at every delicious mouthful but I’ve heard some girls say they don’t like to order much through fear of being seen as a piggy. Another warped theory. I’ve never known a guy to not want a girl purely because she finished off those three courses at a lovely restaurant.
#7 Bill Please
Ahh, the who should pay rule. That awkward moment when the bill arrives and one offers to pay. It’s romantic sure, it’s also a little outdated in this day and age as more and more people choose to split. Now I’m sorry guys, I’m of the old fashioned view that if a guy offers to pay then it’s a really kind gesture and I’d accept. When dating, I always did offer to split but 9 times out of 10 the guy always insisted on paying for it so I let them. I think it’s quite flattering actually.
I remember catching up with an ex once and him telling me that he’d taken a girl out on a date and at the end she sat back and kept quiet when the bill arrived. He was so annoyed that he actually asked her why she isn’t offering to pay half and ended up leaving cash just to cover his part. In those situations I do think it’s a little rude to have an expectation.
#8 The Aftermath
You’ve had the date, it’s gone well, you want to see them again. Now what? Do you wait? Wait for that text message or call from the other person? Do you point blank refuse to contact them? So passé. Personally I see nothing wrong with dropping them a note. Bright, breezy and cheery – ‘had a lovely evening, hope to see you soon X’. Gone are the days of 24 hours spent agonising over whether he’s going to call, I’m all about making things happen. If you’re a strong and independent woman, why not? In fact I don’t think I’ve ever not been the first to text after a date and they’ve always, always gone somewhere. Be brave!
But what if you don’t like them and they’re bombarding you with messages? Well. Different story. For me, in this instance it’s always been a case of being honest and upfront. Never would I arrange to see someone again if I wasn’t more than 50% sure I like them. I’d have to drop them a note and say great to meet you but I don’t think we had that spark… Easy!
What controversial dating rules apply to you? Xx
What I’m Wearing…
Light Grey Faux Suede Jacket – River Island
Blue Stripe Dress – ASOS (now in the sale)
Blue Shoes – H&M (now in the sale)