You might remember that over the summer I interviewed Lucy Watson about her new dating book ‘The Dating Game’. I never wrote up the interview into a full article, as to be honest it wasn’t the easiest of interviews. True to her bitch-like persona on Made In Chelsea, Lucy looked 90 degrees over her shoulder as she greeted me, and the rest of the interview followed on a similarly distant tack. Considering she had just written a book about Dating, getting her to chat frankly on the subject proved impossible.
I appreciate it’s an odd situation to be in. Where your life is reenacted or acted for cameras, and the whole world feels like they know all about you. Especially when it’s clear she’s naturally a rather closed and private person. So it’s interesting that she chose to be a part of the show in the first place, and then decided to write a very personal book about Dating. Obviously the book comes at the crest of the publicity wave which surrounds Made in Chelsea. In the hiatus between series, Lucy’s face remained on our screens and in our magazines, persuading us to buy Lipsy dresses, Wilkinson Sword razors, and various cosmetics.
However the step into Dating is a particularly interesting one, as it’s something of which the 23 year-old arguably has very little expertise. I’ve written a dating blog for the best part of 18 months now, and still get (rightly) questioned regularly as to how I can be a dating expert. It’s something I’m extremely careful with – yes I can tell you where to go on a good date, how dating websites and events compare, and some basics for creating an online dating profile, but I would never give relationship advice.
I share my opinions and experiences, and have enough knowledge of the industry as a whole to consult companies about the mechanics of the online dating world … but I would never call myself a relationship expert. And so it’s particularly interesting to see someone 8 years my junior, renowned for some rather bad public relationships, offering dating advice. (Especially when she was quoted this week as admitting she hasn’t ever been on many dates!)
At yet when you look at Lucy’s book in detail, despite the name it’s not actually a dating book. It’s a relationship book, with chapters for each stage of a relationship. Again – surprising given how badly her relationships with Spencer Matthews and Jamie Laing have gone, and the fact the world witnessed every reconstructed slip-up.
Don’t get me wrong, her book is beautiful. Wrapped in purple satin, embossed in gold, and filled with funky patterns and new age ‘snap tags’, it’s very much marketed at teenage girls. And I guess in that respect, all of us became qualified to give teenagers advice as soon as we hit our twenties! After all, a relationship is something very different to a fifteen year old, than it is to a thirty-five year old.
Some sections are extremely intuitive (possibly thanks to the ghost writer) – the first chapter Single Status could apply to any age group. And there is sensible advice which may sound obvious, but which we often need to be reminded of ‘Don’t ever date them … if they have a girlfriend.’ ‘Don’t ever date them … if it’s a rebound thing.”
However some sections of the book are also extremely juvenile – arguably targeted at a teenage audience, but interesting considering many singletons my age still watch Made in Chelsea.
Online dating isn’t even mentioned in the book. Instead Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter are positioned as places to meet guys – either a sign of a generation gap, or simply a reality that as a celebrity, Lucy Watson could never understand the real dating world.
The book is littered with colourful Instagram photos – very few of which are relevant to the content. There are snaps of Lucy’s yawning dog, frankfurter sausage sunbathing leg snaps, and toilet selfless.
I could pick apart the different advice given in the chapters – some of which makes sense, other parts which are delivered with Watson’s trademark lack of tact … however, what I thought might be more fun, over the coming weeks, was to watch the new series of Made in Chelsea, filmed after the launch of Lucy’s book … and as the series progresses, to see how much of Lucy’s own advice she’s taking!
And so ….
Made in Chelsea Season Eight – Episode One
Having shared a few kisses with Proudlock in New York, but not sleeping with him, Lucy returns to England. She tells Andy and Stevie, her two close male friends, that she like Proudlock, but doesn’t want anything to happen. She admits that she started to like getting attention from him, and is now getting frustrated seeing him with other people. She describes herself as freaking out, and suggests she needs to pull away and just be friends.
On a night out with her sister, she meets up with the boys including Proudlock. Things are extremely awkward and she clearly doesn’t know how to act around him. Her younger sister tells her it’s obvious she likes him and to talk to him, but Lucy is too nervous to approach him.
At Spencer’s Saints and Sinners party, after an extremely awkward introduction, Proudlock tells Lucy he felt like she’s been ignoring him. She admits she was avoiding him, but won’t tell him why. She gets extremely awkward, crumbles and admits she doesn’t even know what she’s saying to him.
Finally Proudlock asks if she wants to hang out, just the two of them. It’s an awkward scene, which involves her asking him outright if he means a date. Lucy looks genuinely shocked when she realises what he’s asking.
So how does this match up with Lucy’s Dating Game advice?
1) The First Move – Let the Dating Game Begin
Obviously Lucy had already kissed Proudlock in New York, however back in London her behaviour went back to scratch.
In the second chapter of Lucy’s book she suggests “luring guys over” with “brief eye contact” and “don’t force it” … “biologically men need to chase women”. In her first encounter with Proudlock, she completely blanks him, much to the amusement of her friends. Then at Spencer’s party, her body language and demeanour are anything but cool. I’m not sure the whole head in hands thing is the cool approach Lucy suggests in the book, or that underlining “do you mean a date?” when a guy asks you to hang out is completely leaving the chase to him!
In the Dating Game Lucy also suggests avoiding “The not-that bothered guy” … It will be interesting to see how bothered Proudlock ends up being in future episodes. Interestingly she doesn’t suggest avoiding your ex-boyfriend’s best friend. Or the former housemate of two of your ex boyfriends!
So far Lucy doesn’t seem to be taking any of her own beautifully packaged advice! Is it a case that it’s always easier to give advice than take it?
I guess we’ll find out on Tuesday night, when her First Date (Chapter 3!) with Proudlock is broadcast for the nation to watch! 😉
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx