The Best Dating Advice: Part I

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CC Image courtesy of fabiogis50 on FlickrI did an interview the other day for a dating website and one of the questions they asked was, ‘what is the best bit of dating advice you’ve ever been given?’. I started putting the question to friends; here’s what they had to say…

1. Fuck yes.

2. ‘When you’re stroking a girl’s pussy–.’
Karl, I said dating advice!’
‘OK, go on.’

3. Have your flatmate call you halfway through the date, so you’ve got a get-out clause.

Cue long debate about whether or not it would be a deal breaker if a guy answered his phone on a date.

4. Drinks not dinner for a first date.

5. Do be with someone who makes you laugh (because you’ll get saggy as you get older).

6. ‘If you can get a girl to dance with you, you can probably get her to go for drinks with you… you can probably get her to kiss you…’
‘I think I see where this is going.’

Read the full interview at

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4858397745_fed336e4beBored of hiya, hey! and every other variation in the book, I decide to take matters into my own hands. I did it once before and depending on how you look at it, the outcome was pretty damn good. I went on the best dates of my life, laughed a lot and discovered what is now my favourite band. All of which would never have happened if I hadn’t… listened to Beatrice.

So I do a repeat: I send short messages to attractive prospects on Tinder and OkCupid written in the spirit of the kinds of messages I would like to receive. No heys, hiyas or how are yous (don’t care). And if they don’t reply in kind, I leave it.

Which is how, one Wednesday night, I come to be swapping messages with an attractive, witty lawyer who bears more than a passing resemblance to Karl and Neighboursomeone’s got a type. He also has a similar response time to my arch-nemesis, but like I said he’s attractive, witty and has a job, so what can you expect?

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Back To The Future

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CC Image courtesy of 96dpi on FlickrI’m sitting on the train, bound for a New Year’s Eve party, and for some reason I’m reading old texts from VP. I say ‘for some reason’; it’s probably because I know that tonight VP is just 11 miles away. On finding this out I did something I’ve never done before: alone, at home, I cracked open a bottle of Martini and had a drink.

So I’m reading old texts from VP, from the top. I’ve got as far as the one where I’m telling him about an evening I spent with Perky who incidentally I’m en route to meet before going together to the aforementioned party. Perky’s been a saint recently, fielding endless messages from yours truly containing scintillating bulletins such as:

Tinder tells me VP is in London.

It’s a wonder she hasn’t blocked my number.

So I’m sitting there, reading, when something happens. Something I’ve been hoping for ever since a certain conversation took place in early October but which I didn’t really believe would ever happen.

VP’s messages, six months old, are before my eyes, when up pops… a new message. And suddenly we’re back there: back to holding my phone like it’s a piece of fine bone china, so that I don’t accidentally hit the message bubble, open the window, allow the message to show as ‘read’ before the ink is dry on the page. Back to staring at my phone with the most ridiculous grin on my face, wondering what it means, what to do next.

‘It makes me angry,’ Perky says, when I tell her. ‘He still hasn’t done anything.’

Tell me about it.

And when Karl comes on to me around 2am at the party, I cut my losses and tell him too. He knows about VP, whereas my neighbour – the main reason I don’t feel entirely comfortable making out with Karl in the hallway, or anywhere for that matter – is as yet undisclosed information.

‘You’re the ball of wool,’ Karl says.


Even without the four glasses of prosecco coursing through my veins, I don’t think I’d catch his drift.

‘What do you mean?’

‘You’re the ball of wool, and he’s the kitten in this scenario.’

I know he’s right.

‘How do I not be the ball of wool?’

‘You have to not care.’


Like that’s gonna happen.

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The Birth Of Love

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CC Image courtesy of DBradshaw on FlickrFriday night, which once upon a time meant PARTY!! And which nowadays means alcohol with Tristan and Co followed by an almost-desperate-verging-on-furious Tinder marathon in a bid to get a date for Saturday night.


I’m not even looking at the pictures.


Why aren’t I getting any matches??!! Let’s try a different approach.

No no no no no no y-no, no, no…

***Break for food***


Except for last Friday. That was different. For one, I was working from home, which meant a day off from Unrequited Love. Secondly, Tinder got kind of interesting. That can only mean one thing of course: people come up who I KNOW and FANCY.

First is Nick, which is an exciting moment. I consider my response for all of like three seconds. The only reason for not ‘liking’ him is ego (read: stupidity) i.e. I strongly suspect (read: know) he won’t ‘like’ me. But as he’ll never know my verdict for sure if he doesn’t ‘like’ me, I swipe right. I wait for a few seconds – nothing – before telling myself he probably just hasn’t got to me yet. It’s not that he doesn’t fancy me.

I resume no-ing. I’m on a roll! So much so that his picture is already spinning off the screen when I realise – that was Karl. Oops. Or is it oops? My mother would say it was fate, so I go with that, like I do everytime I accidentally swipe left.


Later that evening I find myself on Nick’s Facebook profile, which takes me to lots of interesting articles. I wind up reading Stendhal’s theory on the birth of love, which funnily enough doesn’t involve Tinder. Stendhal’s analogy is fascinating and beautiful. You should read it in full but in essence he’s saying we fall in love with the perfect idea we have of someone rather than the reality. Which sounds about right.

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CC Image courtesy of le vent le cri on FlickrYou might have noticed a slight drop in output recently. There are a few reasons for this:

1. I’m working every hour God sends in my new role so I have less time to write.

2. It’s tricky to meet people when you’re chained to your desk.

3. (and this is perhaps the most surprising) My threshold for what is blog-worthy appears to have changed. I have a draft folder full of silly stories about the time Tristan made a heart shape between his fingers at me across the office; or the time Karl suggested accompanying me to an art show only for his enthusiasm to cool when I told him the ticket price; or the time I unexpectedly found myself on a date – my brother‘s.


Tuesday night, I’m sitting in a pub somewhere in the West End with Ryan, Gus and Tristan. We’ve escaped ‘official’ work drinks. That is, I thought we all just happened to be leaving at the same time, but once out on the pavement, Tristan claps his hands together.

‘Now the fun can begin!’

Which means a pub, pints and Ryan asking the group at the neighbouring table if they know any single men he can go out with.

‘And,’ he points at me, ‘do you know any single men Anna can go out with?’

I break off laughing just long enough to request that they be straight.


‘We should make a bet,’ Ryan says en route to the station, ‘to see who can get a date first.’

‘What are we going to bet?’

Ryan is famously tight and I’m not exactly Mother Theresa.

‘A cappuccino?’

‘You’re on.’

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