channelling carrie bradshaw
When I first went freelance I applied for a wide range of TV and journalism jobs. I was keen to try new things, work out where my career should go next… and ideally bring in enough money to keep me off the streets!
Around this time I was offered some interesting sounding roles which never actually came to fruition. One of those was writing relationship related articles for an online magazine associated with a dating app. As someone with plenty of dating disaster stories and a bit of a Carrie Bradshaw complex (well who hasn’t?!) I thought it sounded like a laugh. I submitted a sample article, was offered the job… then was subsequently told the whole project had gone bust.
But I recently stumbled upon said article in the dark recesses of my laptop - and decided my blog would be the perfect place to finally share it. So here is my first and only dating advice article:
THE PROBLEM WITH OVER-PREPARING
We all know the buzz of landing a date. Somewhere between the tingling anticipation of Christmas Eve and the heebie-jeebies before an exam. But while your studies always benefitted from hours of preparation the same can’t necessarily be said for romance. In fact, when it comes to the delicate art of dating, it’s definitely possible to OVER-prepare.
The nemesis of every good date is that evil spectre, the "awkward silence". And while it’s handy to have a few go-to topics in case the LOLs run dry, pre-prepared chat is rarely subtle. A date of mine once opened with: “Tell me the top five most interesting things about yourself”. “Oooh an ice-breaker” thought I as my brain flipped from school swimming badges to double-jointed fingers. But then the top fives just kept on coming. Holidays, restaurants, farm animals. Needless to say there was no second date and that guy will forever be known amongst my friends as “The Top 5 Guy". Don't be that guy!
Now we're not suggesting you rock up in sweat pants with a scattering of this morning's cornflakes in your hair. It's important to present yourself well and look like you've made an effort. But there's a fine line between "effort" and "what the F was he/ she thinking?". While we fully support jumping into your lucky pants and wearing something fabulous, just make sure it's something you a) feel comfortable in and b) would usually wear. Three hours of make-up application and a spangly catsuit is a bold look. Just saying.
GETTING IN THE ZONE
The stresses of life can get to the best of us and we all need a foot rub and a Horlicks from time to time. But when getting into the chill zone before a date, choose your relaxant moderately and wisely. Or to put it bluntly, don’t hit the vodka shots and rock up legless.
Everyone likes to be taken somewhere new and exciting on a date. But when deciding on location don’t over-prepare so that the experience turns into an endurance test. I once dated an actor who turned every date into a five part extravaganza. Such was the pressure to reach each location on time there was no space to actually get to know each other. Date three of this “performance” was the final curtain call.
Most people’s life histories are available at the touch of a button, but try to resist hours of internet stalking ahead of your date. An element of intrigue is essential to romance and gives you lots to talk about. Plus you need to look genuinely surprised when he tells you his bedroom’s a shrine to Star Wars and his middle name’s Susan.
In essence the key to good dating is to be your sparkly, shiny self and leave room for a twist of spontaneity. And never, sweet never over-prepare.