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Valentine’s Dating Tips

By Joana Ramiro

Dating was never easy, but today it often feels like something out of The Hunger Games. From the treacherous waters of online dating, to the perils of bread crumbing and ghosting, falling in love in 2018 is hard work. As Valentine’s Day approaches, Lambeth Life’s very own dating expert Joana Ramiro is sharing her top tips to make our so-called love life easier and your dates a success.

1. Agree whens & wheres ahead

To avoid mixed messages, minimise the risk of last minute cancellations and guarantee that your date even takes place make sure you and your date have time and pace solidly agreed beforehand. Instead of asking “Drink this week?”, which allows for ambiguity and procrastination, write something like “Shall we meet at The Prince Albert in Brixton this Saturday at 7pm?”. Seems like a small step but makes all the difference.

2. Comfortably chic

If this is your first date, or one of the first, you might spend some hours (or maybe days) planning the right outfit. You want to do some impressing without overdressing, so the best rule is always to go for something you feel comfortably chic in. That might mean swapping you 10’ heels for something jazzy but that you could dance all night in (you never know where the night will take you – you might be raving your heart out at Hootananny’s). If you’re more of a casual clothes Joe or Jane, worry not: Jeans and a nice top work very well in a gastro pub date or a cinema outing. Another reason to know exactly where you’re going well ahead.

3. Dinner or drinks?

If this is a first date you might be wondering on what to do – it’s often easier to come up with a day and time than activity. Find out what your date is like. Do they love animals? Are they a bit of a sports aficionado? Do they drink alcohol? Are they vegetarian? Plan accordingly and make suggestions that are tightly connected with their hobbies. A bar with its selection of craft beers will please the beverage connoisseur. A trip to Vauxhall City Farm will melt the heart of the cat video lover.

4. Date like Graham Norton

Sometimes it takes a little time to get a conversation rolling during a date. If it happens to you sweat not: pretend you’re a TV show host. Ask your date simple questions that show you are interested in them. Maybe add a little joke to put them at ease. Try: “So, did you always want to be an architect or was it the second choice after your dreams of becoming Britney’s backing singer disintegrated?”

5. Be bold and follow up

The date is coming to an end and conversation flowed, you’ve laughed, they’ve touched your arm more than once, things are looking good. Be bold, if the circumstances allow, go for the kiss, you’ve got nothing to lose. And if somehow you missed the chance, follow my own cheeky little trick and message them on your way home, “Great night, shame I didn’t get a kiss!” If things went well but maybe a kiss feels premature make sure you still follow up on your date. Nice gestures like a message to ask if they got home ok, or simply thanking them for the day will allow you to add the much dreaded “Would you like to do it again?” question. Remember: the odds of a Yes are exactly the same as the ones of a No. Thankfully, unlike Hunger Games, if you ever fail you can always try again later!

 

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