Tag Archives: date

Beware the flying mistletoe drone strikes

TGI drone attackTom Morris drops me a message on Facebook.

Ian Forrester’s mission if he chooses to accept it.

1. Find a lady friend.

2. Go to this: http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/whats-on/love-air-manchester-restaurant-launches-8130613

3. Blog about it.

Although its tempting, the idea of going to TGI Friday for a date fills me with rage. As somebody said… Their food is death and sadness.

Flying mistletoe from a mini indoor drone strike seems more likely than any kind of love interest on a date. Then again you could have fun with it I guess, but its certainly not the kind of thing I would do on a first date.

Tell you what, if anyone wants to do it for a laugh and are female, I maybe interested for the sake of blogging. This always feels like the start of an adventure… Who’s up for it?

Who pays…? Remember It’s 2014 after all…

Dinner date - Day 122, Year 2

Rob pointed me at a piece by David Mitchell in the Guardian about who pays on the first date. He called it my favorite subject, although to be clear its not, I just find it fascinating the social, society and gender pressures at force. I’m not the only one to notice this…

Why do we cling to prehistoric dating rituals in a technological age?

The majority of us still believe that men should pay when men and women go on a first date. Is this a sexist throwback, or a necessary means of communication between the sexes?

. A survey published this month found that 77% of us think that, between a male and a female, the male should foot the bill. Of the 1,000 respondents, 73% of the women and 82% of the men said that it was for the bloke to get his card out.

What do you think about that then? Terrible? OK? Presumably about 77% of you agree that the man should pay, but then you may still think it’s terrible that you think that. Is it a harmless remnant of a more sexist age, an adorable antiquated tradition that benefits women and has survived the passing of many of those that disadvantaged them? Or is it a horrible sign of the patriarchy’s continued power? Money, the great capitalist symbol of strength, remains the territory of the penis-bearers (by which I mean possessors, not endurers).

Ok so I looked at the survey in question, what I found was slightly disappointing.

77.4% of 1,004 people surveyed across the country who are in a relationship – believe men should pay the bill on a first date. About 19% felt the bill should be split in some way. Only 3.7% said men should not pay the bill.

…study asked more than 1,000 people across the United States

Survey of 1004 people? Thats it? And its American…. In the random survey I did myself, it showed Americans tend to go with the man paying plus 1004 isn’t a lot. Moneysavingexpert did a poll a little while back and they had 13,000+ people vote.

Ok ok…! Enough… David later makes some good modern points.

Another aspect of society’s sexism is that we generally assume the man will always want to have sex with the woman. By convention, he will have asked her on the first date, and the purpose of the event is for her to see if she likes him – his approval is assumed. That’s not altogether PC. What if she turned out to be racist or talk with an interrogative inflection or constantly say “in any way, shape or form”? Is the man supposed to pay and then make himself sexually available to this harridan, purely out of gallantry?

Absolutely… Just because we’re on a date and I’m a man doesn’t instantly mean its a foregone conclusion. Trust me I’ve been on dates where the woman has wound me up so bad, I’ve just wanted to get up and leave. Certainly sleeping with them is the very last thing I’m thinking.

…we try and communicate using money. We fall back on our knowledge of ancient patriarchal conventions of what it means to pay, or be paid for, as a way of trying to send and receive signals through the fog of mutual ignorance. It’s not a good system, but it’s all we’ve got. Until we get back to our computers and can just click “like”.

I’ve heard this quite a few times in the past. The only way to tell if somebody likes you is if he (or she) pulls out his/her credit card and pays the bill. Its a clear sign of interest. In 2014, it shouldn’t be this way and I’m hoping with projects like the flirty weekend, the ability to express yourself and understand other peoples body language won’t be the complex puzzle it currently seems.

Paying with coupons on the first date

coupons 3

When I first read the post, the pros cons dating man pays coupons from Single Black Male, I honestly thought… you got to be s*itty me!

But Streetz makes some good points through out

Women, if you have a good guy treating you right, or a potential good dude who wants to spend time with you and treat you to dates, don’t judge him on how he gets it done. Focus on the experience itself. Some of the same people creating these standards of dating are the same ones who spend Friday night curled up with their laptops and copies of 50 Shades of Grey, listening to the latest Adele CD with no type of male companionship on the horizon. Given the choices, I would say the dude with the coupon would be a healthier alternative.

Agreed don’t judge on the payment… This is another reason why I think going dutch makes so much more sense that you can imagine.

In the end, I don’t think it’s wrong for a man to pay for a date with a coupon, especially if he is paying for the entire date! I would just caution against the tact used in applying that coupon on a date. No matter how much a woman would say that it was cool, I would have a feeling that some type of clowning would ensue either there, down the line, or to her homegirls. You don’t want to damage your brand, but you don’t want to front either

Paying for the whole date? Why put that pressure on yourself? Keep money out of the decision process, just split the bill…

Moneysavingexpert asks: Should men still pay on a first date?

Josh tweeted me today… Seems the moneysavingexpert Martin Lewis wants to understand if men should still pay on the first date.

Of course you know my views and to be honest its interesting to see the answers and the results.

Currently (19:27 on 18/3/2014) 1,556 votes have been received

I’m a man (506 votes)
Yes. The man should always pay – chivalry’s not dead yet! 125 votes (25%)
Yes. The correct etiquette is the man offers, the woman says “let’s go Dutch”, the man says no and pays. 131 votes (26%)
Yes. But only if he earns more than his date. 14 votes (3%)
No. It should be split equally. 136 votes (27%)
No. The person who invited the other should pay. 57 votes (11%)
No. In the modern world, the woman should pay. 6 votes (1%)
Don’t care either way. 37 votes (7%)
I’m a woman (1050 votes)
Yes. The man should always pay – chivalry’s not dead yet! 222 votes (21%)
Yes. The correct etiquette is the man offers, the woman says “let’s go Dutch”, the man says no and pays. 371 votes (35%)
Yes. But only if he earns more than his date. 22 votes (2%)
No. It should be split equally. 251 votes (24%)
No. The person who invited the other should pay. 132 votes (13%)
No. In the modern world, the woman should pay. 3 votes (0%)
Don’t care either way. 49 votes (5%)
This is of course kind of good news but I think the balance of males to females might be causing the sway. I expected a lot more people to be thinking the man always pays. However, it also shows we are driven by tradition and social etiquette more than the fear of rejection etc. Its also interesting that money plays less of a role in the voting that I would have thought on a site all about saving you money.
The last couple of dates I have been on, we have split the bill and theres been no issues or concerns. I’ll stick to that for myself…

When should you start paying??? Really?

Thanks to Hollie for sending me this… When I watched it I almost screamed at the laptop screen.

Seriously! I wonder which decade do we live in…?

How to get the guy worries me deeply… Anyone who says

…All Without The Risk Of Rejection…

Is frankly chatting out there ass. Rejection is a normal part of the process. The important part is learning to get over it and understanding how it effects you.

I’m sure this won’t be the last time I speak about Matthew Hussey

One of the many worst profiles on OKCupid

The OKCupid profile you won't believe

I think this came from Tdobson or Technicalfault. (Really need to start using Diigo’s annotation feature)

First thing… Good on Cracked for doing this.

I figured any profile with photos of a beautiful woman would get a few messages from men whose boners were willing to overlook her personality. The captions on her photos were just as draped in red flags as her profile was, so there’s no way they were totally clueless as to how awful she is, but sure, I figured, maybe she’d get a couple of messages a day from people with especially low reading comprehension.

She got 150 messages in 24 hours.

With my social scientist hat on (not really, but I wish I did have one) this shows what a large portion of the online dating market is like. Think i’m joking? Look at the popularity of Tinder and the recently redesign of the local feature in Okcupid’s own app.

All of the messages she gets is seriously screwed up. They are well worth reading for entertainment value alone. But every time I read them I can’t help but hold my head in my hands!

Seriously men of Okcupid.com grow some balls, what the hell are you doing messaging this woman!!!!! She sounds like a bunny boiler…  And even worst how can you contact someone so awful after she makes it so clear shes not interested. Worst still wants to do damage to you!

My faith in man kind is on the ropes (of course I’m only joking)

Who pays? Let’s see what the Japanese do

After my blog when I mentioned the programme where the Japanese were not having babies. Pete Aka @binaryape wrote a tweet to me a while back related to who pays on the first date…. Which you can see is related to the Japanese crisis in the lack of babies.

@cubicgarden You might be interested in this (Japanese perspectives on first date meal costs) http://www.tofugu.com/2013/10/25/should-men-or-women-be-paying-for-a-date/

Thanks Pete the reading was very educational.

In Japan, many people still believe that men paying for women is point of good manners and Koichi talked about this in What It’s Like A Dating a Japanese Guy as well. In fact, some guys even feel insulted, or that their pride was just given a ‘low-blow’, if a woman insists that she should pay for herself. This is standard dating-conduct for men in Japan. So, if you are a non-Japanese girl out on your first date with a Japanese guy, insisting to pay your half may be more hurtful than helpful to his pride.

But wait a minute! This has been changing quite a lot actually, especially amongst the newer generation of couples. Nowadays, many men wish more women would help pay for the date tab. It’s also more common for men to ask women to contribute somewhere between 20-30%. If at no point does the woman offer to pay for something, then the man may actually be lead to believe that she is not a generous or thoughtful person!

The whole thing is well worth reading as it goes back and forth with many examples from different cultures including the UK and China. I especially like the writers way of settling the bill with a game…

I had an ex-boyfriend who suggested that we decide who pays the bill by playing rock-paper-scissors. I accepted and from there on out we always decided that way. I found it pretty fair and kind of fun, too

First dates hacked

The Town is All Their's Tonight

The man who usually trolls me Josh sent me a link to the lifehacker article about first dates.

First dates are tough. You’re trying to make a good impression on someone, but you’re also trying to read the person you’re with and see if they’re worth your time. Dating may not be an exact science, but that doesn’t mean we can’t use a little science to our advantage during that first interaction.

Once again, anyone who says its no big deal obviously has no idea what there on about, or hasn’t been dating in the last decade. Lifehacker has your back…

Here’s what you need to know.

A perfect first date is different for everyone, but you can guess that anyone will want solid conversation skills and a good first impression. Beyond that, though, things start to get complicated. Statistics help, but to really craft that perfect first date you need to know exactly how to handle yourself. This is where that science comes in. A lot of the relationship research out there is pretty useless (with riveting studies about how an unpopular name affects your dating success or women find men more attractive when another woman smiles at them), but we went out to find some of the more useful studies to help us craft that perfect first date. Here are the more useful tips we found.

Without ruining the article it boils down to…

  1. Keep the Conversation Interesting (and Risky)
    Absolutely…! This is the part of the date I kinda of enjoy somewhat. Maybe another reason why I quite like speed dating? You start with the basic stuff and before long your in risky territory pouring over past experiences. Its slightly cathartic in nature.
  2. Use the “Right” Amount of Eye Contact
    The right amount? Well I tend to look at people mouths because I’m 25% lip reading and 75% listening. But I do tend to look around the face. I agree the right amount of eye contact is important, no one wants to be eyeballed for long periods of time, specially on a date.
  3. Watch for Mimicry (But Don’t Go Overboard)
    Ok this is something talked to death about in certain books. Its also called mirroring and its go to hear the downsides to mirroring as well as the good. I know certain people who mirror too much and it comes across as weird. No generally I don’t mirror much but I’m conscious of mirroring.
  4. Mind Your Body Language
    Another key one. I don’t generally make a lot of fast or close moves because I don’t want them to feel uncomfortable around me. I’m also not the kind of guy who gets super close at the very start. I know some people will sit side by side instead of ahead from the other. It seems cute but I think its too much.
  5. Be direct with plans
    Although I like the idea of this one, I’m not so certain its a good idea. That extra pressure at the end of a date seems like a bad idea, I mean who wants to go home thinking about how they were pressured into a 2nd date?

Generally the advice is good and the links are excellent…. Good work Lifehacker

When to take a break from online dating

Online Dating. Oh Yeah.

Northen Lass 32 spilled the beans and part of her heart out in her latest article.

A few months down the line, it hasn’t worked out with Mr Facestalk and I. Sadly it seems our paths are not aligned and our future selves wanted different stuff. Rather than crying onto my laptop, which I’ve done in the past – straight onto the trackpad, sending the mouse on an independent clicking frenzy powered by nothing but my salty misery. No, I can’t afford to replace that again. So I’ll simply turn to the wise words uttered by the oracles that are Orbital in their 1990s dance classic Satan: “It’s better to regret something you have done, than something you haven’t” How deep is that for a 90s rave tune?!

Deep enough I would say. The problem Northen Lass has besides the wicked tunes (don’t ever knock rave) is this…

Dating becomes less about getting to know one person properly, and more about dating the shit out of a 40-mile radius of your postcode, resulting in serial daters, on sites for years in a continuous state of “BUT WHAT ABOUT THE NEXT ONE?!”. It may not have been why they initially signed up, but the overwhelming urge to act like a kid in a sweetshop prevails and the paradox of choice sets in.

And just how do you choose who to date? How do you filter out those not suitable, ending up with your dream human? You know the one, the one that farts butterflies and rides a unicorn to work? With help from the website’s compatibility robot, it could be easy to discount someone you could really get on with based on some fairly superficial filtering options – and start to develop expectations of the perfect match a little outside the bounds of reality and good old chemistry.

We all go through it, start dating someone who really care for and invest heavily in. Maybe even introduce them to friends and family, you meet there friends and family. Its all looking good. Then… it all goes to pot, something happens and before you know whats hit you, its that awkward conversation about breaking up, and as I once said breaking up is hard to do.

Some think you got to jump back on the horse… I think not, grief comes in 5 stages. Each can blind you from what your trying to do. Aka find a partner who you will love and they will love you.

The moment you see the whole thing as a sweetshop, your not thinking correctly about this. Heck even if you do pick someone, you may end up picking that person for the wrong reasons. There’s been a lot said about rebounding and a lot of it is true.

Like I said the first time I saw her post

Chill and take your time, stop rushing and just let things wash over you as interesting experiences

Another reason for non-subscription online dating, but more to the point. When your ready, go for it.

I do wonder if online dating does contribute to that paradox of choice and illusion of the greener field beyond the gate. Wait didn’t I write a blog post about this? Oh yes…

On the side, I’ll be on BBC Merseyside again with Northern Lass talking about the issue of how much you share with someone your dating at what stage. This may become part of a single black male piece soon.

Should have gone dutch when I bounced

November 28th

I’m cursing myself for falling for the stupid mistake of paying for the bill in one of my previous dates in the last few months.

My mistake was paying for the bill in total, something which I don’t usually do.

So what happened?

Well we were having a good time, chatting away and I suggested how about having some food? (because we were in a place where we could switch from drinks to food without moving) she agreed, time had flown by and she was also hungry.

After eating and deciding yes its about time we actually went home, we asked for the bill. Bill comes and I can’t remember exactly what happened but I’m pretty sure I said “Hey no worries I got this one…”

Of course I never really heard from her again. Except shes actually a friend of friends (trying not to give away who it was)

Anyhow months later we bump into each other and I ask her what happened?

The crux seemed to be she wasn’t comfortable with being paid for… Something I can relate to, and something which I usually go out of my way to avoid. What had happened is I thought I’d try paying and seeing what happens, maybe things will turn out different if I listened to thoughts of Ngunan Adamu and others over time.

Well I was right! Her original thoughts of a modern gentleman, was dashed when I picked up the whole bill. And the only person to blame is myself… Yes it was a bit of an experiment on my part but it felt weird for me and I assume felt even weirder for her. Its a shame because although not my usual type of woman, I was certainly interested and would have liked to have gone on a second date…

Moral of this little tale… Should have gone Dutch…!

Is free online dating catfish central?

26/365: A tribute to nosy aunties and aunty-like uncles...

I listened to Radio 4’s women and mens hour special about online dating. It wasn’t too bad, but it wasn’t great either. Anyhow I kind of got into a discussion/debate with C_T_S to do with her (I would suggest) somewhat unique experience of talking maybe dating a person who was a catfish.

Now to be fair we have a small twitter history of disagreement. But when I put the idea of never paying for online dating sites out there, she responded with…

As a victim of an emotional fraudster on a free website, I’m totally the opposite.

The best dates I had were from paid sites, without question.

Fair enough thats her experience, but I still feel from my experience and others paid for online dating is a bigger con, as the panoroma documentary revealed recently. I do have friends who have met up via match.com and others paid for dating sites but I have many more who met via free dating sites and the likes of Facebook. I also have never had someone catfished me as such. I’ve had some timewasters but generally I’ve spotted the signs of any kind of scamming.

So the question comes into focus…

Is free online dating inherently more prone to catfishers than the paid for dating sites?

On the face of it, it would seem more likely, however it also seems likely that people willing to pay will be more serious about there dating? In my experience this isn’t necessarily true. I’ve been thinking about this and one such reason is because of the focus on time the sites add to the equation. A lot of people pay month by month (wish I could find the survey which talked about this). Knowing in the back of there minds that the month is coming to an end, the mentality could be to speed things along a little more. While on the free dating sites, you can sit back and relax. Take it all in and decide to go full on or not when it suits you.

So theres a slight paradox… Could there be a slight paradox around catfishing on free sites too?

But how do/can you judge sites for their catfishing potential? Of course none of the sites are going to shout about there catfishing…

I guess you could look at the way they monitor their users, usage policies, etc… But this is data which we just don’t have. Its interesting that OKCupid resorts to crowdsourcing. While others seem to resort to alerting the likes of eharmony via the spam/abuse buttons. Looking a little further theres quite a lot of stuff about this catfishing from online dating sites. Reddit has a dedicated OkCupid subreddit, with some very interesting related threads. On the Match.com front theres some stories in the subreddit relationships but not a dedicated subreddit, however theres relevant court cases and views.

I would suggest its still undecided due to the lack of data available…

The big problem with most online dating conclusions and results. I would also include the fact most men are willing to put up with some crazy issues. Maybe someone should do some research how men and women react to being catfished?

So much to research, so little data…

If I was to list these things, what would I be talking about?

Dunedin Internship Speed Dating 2012
Really interesting the link between self confidence, your career and your dating life.

For example if I was to say here’s some tips, would you know what I was talking about?

  1. Come prepared
  2. Eliminate pressure
  3. Don’t expect too much
  4. Get comfortable
  5. Remember: desperation isn’t cool
  6. Focus on developing a relationship
  7. Respect their time
  8. Keep in touch

Now knowing me and what I talk about most of the time, you would be forgiven for thinking this is good tips for speed dating or your first date. But actually your wrong! Nope this is taken from 8 Tips For A Successful Networking Coffee Date. But to be fair most of the advice is transferable between your career, self confidence and dating.

Even more to the point is, The Dating Game: The Similarities Between Recruiting and Online Dating.

Recruiting these days seems a lot like online dating. After all, recruiting is performed mainly through online resources like LinkedIn. You check out a profile, maybe a person’s picture, and assess or judge how the candidate writes about him or herself. Does it make sense? Are there spelling errors? Could they be a good match? How would they fit in? I wonder what they’re like in-person? Are they the same as they portray themselves?

Hmmm, this sounds awfully familiar to me. Ever heard of Match.com, okcupid (personal fave), or eHarmony? Online dating is becoming increasingly popular, and so is sourcing and hiring candidates online from Linkedin.

Absolutely… I rest my case for now.

Men get ignored all the time, what can you do?

No more date nights..

Oh you got to love Northern Lass 32, always chipping away at the sore parts of online dating but slightly missing the core

“The Silence” – that cruel tumbleweed blowing around your inbox; when a reply to your message seems to have got lost in the ether. Because no-one is rude enough to just ignore you, right? Even more so after a few messages or even a date?

Ummmmm yes! I won’t count how many times I’ve met a woman, gone on a date and text afterwards to make sure she got home ok. And nothing…! Another text the next day and still nothing… At this point I do wonder if some serial killer is knocking my dates off around the corner from my first date venues.

And thats if you get that far…!

You got the catfish factor or as we use to call them timewasters, as all they want to do is chat online and never go dating. Those who tell ball faced lies about themselves, horrible stereotypes, bad choices with photos and out and out trolls who just want to tell you how your profile sucks… To be honest your maybe off with a empty inbox?

But I guiltily hold my hands up to also not replying from time to time. When I first started online dating I replied to every single person. Before you know it, you are juggling a fair few conversations; some that you know full well are not going to lead to a date. On asking one person I dated how they handled this situation, he simply replied: “I just ignore them.”

After experiencing being ignored a couple of times, it kind of felt that this was just the way it was done. An unwritten code of accepted rudeness that you probably wouldn’t apply in other aspects of your life – unless you were a bit of a turd.

Yes thats pretty much where I have been for a while too. Its painful and rude but its the unwritten rule. You need to remove yourself from the timewasters, lairs and trolls some how. If someone thinks your one of those, then please for the sake of your and there sanity, don’t text, email or tweet over and over again.

Leave it! Its over, get over it, get back on your horse and ride into the sunset with your head up high. You have avoided being exactly what the other person thinks you were. Even more, you avoided being a stalker! Give your self a high five…! Lastly you can relax and watch Dawn Porter‘s piece with a look at the odds of a decent match

Women on average get way more interest than than men, its the way of the world what can you do about it? Nothing so don’t get down about it, keep a positive outlook…head up high!

Is she a player or serial dater?

Phil and Tamsin‘s date on Channel4’s First dates got me going recently, specially following my blog post and discussion with Chris and others…

In Phil’s own words….

“She’s a lovely girl, she ticks a lot of boxes. But I think there’s a little bit of a player side”

Of course I have clipped the part for your own viewing pleasureWatch it before its blocked! Too Late, so I uploaded it to Soundcloud