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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‘Did I tell you I spoke to Germany?’CC Image courtesy of las - initially on Flickr

Gus looks round. ‘No – no you didn’t.’

‘No.’ I laugh. ‘I know I didn’t. Well, I did, and I wanted to say thank you, cos your advice really helped. Do you remember the advice you gave me?’


‘You said I’d need to be assertive – or maybe it was something else, a word ending in ‘ient’… not subservient…’

Gus is probably mentally filing for a move of desk.

‘… anyway, I can’t remember what the word was, but I thought of what you said when I was talking to him and it really helped. Because he – he did push quite hard for keeping doing the non-committal thing, but I said no. No. And that was all because of you!’

Gus bites his lip. ‘That’s – that’s quite a weight to bear….’

I laugh. ‘Can you take it?’

‘… but I think you did the right thing.’

‘Oh but I haven’t told you the punchline.’

He looks pretty engaged for 7pm on a Thursday. ‘What’s the punchline?’

‘So, we’d got to the end of the conversation and I thought we were figuring out a way to say goodbye without it being, y’know, sad, and there’s a pause, and then he says – what do you think he says?’

‘What does he say?’

‘There’s a pause, and then he says, ‘I’m moving back to London’.’


Gus is such a good audience.

‘Exactly – ‘what?’ And he said ‘early next year’ – he’s got a new job – here. And I was thinking like, but, well, we’ve just – but that doesn’t actually change any of what we’ve just talked about, I mean, the fact is, he’s still not in love with me. That’s what he said – that’s why he doesn’t want to take the plunge, so to speak, and his moving back here wouldn’t change that.’


‘But arguably,’ I say, frowning, ‘it’s easier to be in love with someone when you’re in the same city – is it?’

‘Yes, probably. It’s not very romantic to say it, but it probably is easier.’

‘Yes, because you’re seeing them more, and things remind you of them all the time…’

And you’re probably getting laid on a regular basis, which can’t hurt.

‘… but anyway, that was that, and there’s been no contact since. And I haven’t looked at his Facebook page once, or re-read any of his texts or messages or anything!’

‘Wow, that’s really good!’

‘I know! I don’t know myself! It’s entirely uncharacteristic. Of course, one hopes that by staying silent he’s gonna realise he’s made a mistake and get back in touch, but, well, that strategy hasn’t worked so far!’

‘N-o, but, what you need to do…’

We’re interrupted. Something called work beckons, even at 7.15pm on a Thursday, and I don’t get a chance to revisit the subject before it’s time for Gus to leave. But I’m sure as hell gonna find out what it is that I need to do.

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CC Image courtesy of danielweiresq on Flickr‘We haven’t bumped into each other in a while!’

He’s got this big beaming smile, big arms – I’m not usually one for muscles, but if they’re going – and twinkly blue eyes.  For a moment I wonder why, a few Facebook messages in, my interest in the guy had cooled, I’d stopped asking questions, he’d stopped asking questions etc etc.

Then I remember.  It was the mention of ‘Christian karaoke’.  Which is ironic, because there’s something a bit god-like about his looks.  If I were to describe him in greater detail, which I’d quite like to do, and send a draft to my mother, she would reply ‘M&B’, meaning Mills & Boon, meaning cliché-ridden and basically shit.

I smile back.  ‘No we haven’t!’

And isn’t that a shame, I think, remembering our last pavement encounter.

Actually it is kind of a shame.


It’s the end of the evening, and people are lining up for the last dance.   I’ve been charged with rallying the troops.

I pass by where he’s standing, chatting to a girl I know.

‘Are you guys dancing?’ I say.

He dons his jacket.  ‘Actually I’m going.’

‘Oh no!  Well, nice to see you…’

We kiss on the cheeks.

‘You still haven’t given me that tour!’ he says, grinning.

I grin back – of course I do‘No, well…’

Does he actually want me to, or is he just being charming?  Which I hate.

‘It looks like you’ve got contemporary stuff on at the moment, from what I could see in the windows?’

‘Yes, it’s just coming to an end.’  I laugh.  ‘And I wouldn’t have wanted to inflict that on you!’

He grins.  ‘You’re not a fan?’

‘I’d have thought you’re not.’

He concurs.

‘I’ll let you know when there’s something good on,’ I say.

Will I?

A flash of that smile.

I will…

And a cheery goodbye.

… tomorrow probably.

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I’ve a couple of hours before meeting Joe. My phone flashes up with a message.

Are you around?

I smile and send back:

Yes, for a bit. Where are you?

In his office, just around the corner.


He waves, and crosses the street. His periwinkle scarf matches his eyes. His smile catches my mood.


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‘What’s happening on the man front?’ Lucy asks.

‘Nowt,’ I say.

‘Nothing?  What about that guy?’

‘Oh nothing.  Got pretty much conclusive evidence of zero interest the other day.’

‘Oh.’  She thinks for a moment.  ‘What’s the lowdown on him again?’

‘There’s not much point.  It’s dead in the water…’CC Image courtesy of yercombe on Flickr


‘Oh OK.  He-read-History-at-Durham-and-works-in-political-PR.  Would you like to see a picture?!’


Laptop enters the fray.

‘That’s him.’

She flicks through the photos.  ‘He’s a good-looking guy.’

‘Hmmm.’  I sigh.  ‘So, anyway, it’s not on the cards.  How’s it going with George?’

Lucy has a real relationship; it’s very inspiring.

She tells me about life as one half of a happy couple.  Listening to her is like watching a romantic film.  It comes to an end; she gets up from the sofa.

‘I’d best be going.  Thanks for a lovely evening!’

We hug, and she heads home to George.

I’m loading the dishwasher when a text arrives from Beatrice.  She’s reviewed the ‘conclusive evidence’.

‘I don’t think that’s conclusive, it could mean anything.’

Yeah, well, he does work in PR.

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