This afternoon I was asked by BBC London to talk to their host Robert Elms about first dates in London. His show was all about First Encounters, and there were some lovely calls from Londoners talking about the first time they met their partners.
So what were my suggestions about a first date in London?
1) Think Outside the Box
No one wants to spend their free time at a job interview, so don’t make a first date feel like one! Instead of opting for a coffee or a drink in a pub, go do something different. Siting opposite someone can be intimidating, but by doing something active, you can communicate more easily and openly, and be yourself.
2) Find Something You Both Like
Enthusiasm is attractive, so don’t just pick a date which you think will appeal to the other person. Make sure it’s something you’ll enjoy too – it’s your spare time as well!
3) It Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive
London is a beautiful city, with some incredible things to offer. Some of the best dates I’ve been on have been the simplest – a stroll down the South Bank, a picnic in Hyde Park, a treasure hunt around the capital. A well thought-out date can be a lot more impressive than a lavish one.
4) Make the most of London life
London is the biggest city for tourism in Europe. Millions of people come here every year – and you live here! So make the most of it – and think like a tourist. Often some of the most fun suggestions are pitched at tourists, and it can be a lot of fun to play tourist in your own town!
5) Keep an Eye Out for New Ideas
6) Treat Dating Like a Fun Hobby
I’m not saying treat other people like a hobby – but see dating as a fun way to get to know the city, and to make the most of your spare time. We’re all busy, and we all have limited free time, so focus on things you want to go do and see, and don’t worry so much about meeting ‘The One’. That way, if you do end up fancying your date, it will be the icing on the cake!
7) Don’t Take Things Too Seriously
If something goes wrong, laugh about it! It’s not your fault if the show you picked turns out to be a dud, or if something goes wrong along the way. Being able to roll with the punches, and see the funny side of things are attractive qualities.
8) Have Some Fun
Be a bit light-hearted and playful. Everyone loves surprises, so maybe incorporate this into your date ideas. One of the most fun things a date sent me before a date was a photo of the corner of the show ticket. I didn’t know where I was going, but it got me intrigued, and it was exciting!
9) Meet Up in Person Quickly
Don’t spend too long getting to know your date online or over text messages. Once you’re happy you have enough in common, arrange to meet up. You’ll only know if there’s a real spark once you’ve met up face to face.
10) Be Safe
Remember that you are meeting a stranger, so do take some safety precautions. Meet in a public place, tell someone where you’re going, and don’t give strangers private information about yourself.
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx