A taste of what its like dating in 2017

Aziz on a first date

Sucked into a popular dating app, Dev winds up on a string of awkward, fun and disorienting dates with very different women.

Married friends tend to imagine dating now must be so exciting. Ok it is but theres lots of roller coaster moments of up and down (not that kind!); but I was laughing and remembering some of my dates while watching Aziz on a series of first dates.

Its Season 2 episode 4 of Master of None

Without spoilers; The woman checking out other potential matches for dates while on a date had me pointing at the screen shouting…

“That happened me!”

I’m sure most of the dating singletons would find at least one thing to point at and say the same thing.

Dating couple awkwardly argues over who should pay bill

First dates argument

Remember First dates? and remember when I thought about going on Channel4 first dates?

Well I’ve always wondered when there was going to be bust up about who pays since I learned the whole dates are not paid for by Channel4.

Yes Crisitano this once again… after the ignite talk, radio debates, presentations, polls, etc, etc

Blame Tony who sent me the link to Mashable, where they cover the difficult exchange about payment for the meal and drinks.

Things seemed to be going okay until right at the very end of the date when the subject of paying for the meal came up — and everything suddenly got very awkward, very fast.

“Oh, we need to pay the bill,” said Elle, before moving the paper over to Mark’s side of the table.

Mark then asked if she was giving the bill to him, and Elle replied by saying: “Of course I’m giving it to you. I never pay on dates, why would I?

Finally I watched the whole episode myself and frankly I’m firmly shocked at her behaviour.  In my mind he did little wrong and frankly he went in with the right idea of splitting the bill or going dutch.

Now I’m fully aware TV has a massive habit of slicing and dicing  footage to make/add drama  or make somebody look a certain way. But in this case, it could be the drink talking but I would have cut the date short. Aka no shots of tequila and certainly no after party.

But I still reject the notion that money shows interest. Aka the idea that I would pay the bill if I wanted to see the person again.

But I will say there is no doubt this was a painful date and highlights the different way people think about how this should work. This is why I prefer to just take it off the table by both paying half.

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.

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…

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

Think who pays is meaningless?

So many people say, who cares who pays on the first date. Is it really a issue at all?

Well I’d direct them to the story of IT worker – Kishore Nimmala. Found via Tim Dobson

Mr Nimmala, from Leyton east London met Ms Sultana on dating website Zoosk. They arranged to meet-up for drinks in the West End on February 15. The IT worker said the evening was proceeding well and they had enjoyed two rounds of drinks by 11.30pm. Mr Nimmala paid for all the drinks spending £54 in total.

He said that when he asked Ms Sultana to pay for the next set of drinks she said she had not come out with any money as she had assumed he would be paying for the evening.

As a result, she cut the evening short and left.

Now if the date ended there, it would have been a crappy date agreed, and at least he could learn something from that experience. But of course it didn’t end there…

But he followed her to Charing Cross Tube station before snatching her phone in a bid to get her to stump up cash towards the drinks. He told the Standard: “I’m just very happy to be cleared.

“But it’s not just the money (£1,200), I have been struggling mentally for the last seven months. I could have lost everything had I been convicted. I feel like I never want to go on a date again.

“I don’t think you can get the right person online. You don’t know who you are talking to, I mean, I ended up in court.”

He added: “She said we would drink and dance all night, but she wanted me to pay for everything and I didn’t have enough cash to buy more drinks so she got upset.

“We had a heated argument. She took my money, I took her phone, but I never wanted to steal her phone and keep it.

“I just did it to get her attention and to get some money back. Then she started screaming very loudly, so I panicked and I ran (with the phone) for a few metres. When I turned back, the police were there and they arrested me.”

Yes he should never have followed her and took her phone! He should have cut his loses and walked away. Who pays is bigger than most people imagine and the politics wrapped up in the emotional issue is like a land mine. One day you will stand on it, and you will remember it forever more.

Mr Nimmala, who works on IT systems for major firms including banks, said the legal proceedings have cost him £1,200 in lawyers’ fees. He also said has not been on a date since February after being left emotionally scarred by his experience.

My general thoughts is if shes not going to buy some drinks on a date, then seriously its not going anywhere. You may be taken for a ride, get out quickly. A good relationship should be equal and both sides should contribute. This reminds very much of Nguna’s comments that she expects the man to pay for everything and she wouldn’t take her purse with her.

Who pays on the first date, thoughts of a bisexual lady

Ok you know I’ve covered this subject to death but found it interesting to hear the view from a bi-sexual woman on Channel4’s Bi-Curious show.

The suggestion is that woman dating woman is so much easier because they just go dutch/split the bill… Don’t know if this is true overall but I can believe it…

Top dating tips from myself

cup face

During Future Everything I took part on Chattr. My instant thought was to share some gems I’d learned from dating.

But after reading Trueview’s blog I started thinking heck I could easily share some pearls without upsetting anyone.

Now I have to point out that I am still single and therefore this means all my tips obviously have not worked. There also more for fun that anything and shouldn’t be taken seriously… I’m also sorry to say a lot of the recommendations Katerina made on the trueview blog.

  1. Email and Chat first
    There is a stereotype that most people chat too much online and actually getting to meet face to face is a novelty. I know where it come from a little but there is no harm in finding out what kind of person your interested in. Email is good and chat is even more interesting as you can get a sense of quick wit and canned answers.
  2. For the first date go for a coffee shop or quiet bar
    Tea, coffee, wine or even cocktails. But don’t get drunk! The first date is about getting to know the other person and to find out if your interested enough to go on another date. Try to go somewhere quiet and not busy. Ideally if you can find somewhere which also does food then that’s useful for natural progression (more on this soon)
  3. Don’t go on a dinner date!
    Dinner dates can be super painful… Everything from who pays on the first date, to being bored senseless or hangout with a homophobic nutter is up for grabs. For goodness sake if its the first date keep it real, however if the date progresses that way, then fine go for it. Some of my best dates have been following a coffee/tea date which has transformed into a dinner date.
  4. Don’t over do it but don’t under play it
    “be yourself” yes but do at least try… Be honest and functional, first impressions do make a difference I can’t lie (anyone who says it doesn’t is telling fibs and can not be trusted 🙂
  5. Bring money or credit
    Don’t you dare turn up with no money expecting the other person to pay even if you will pay them back next time. Who says there will be another date. If you did that to me, there wouldn’t be another chance.
  6. Use public transport and meet somewhere near public transport
    Nothing worst that going somewhere well off track and then missing the last train home to find yourself stuck in Leeds train station at 02:30. Public transport gets around the whole, “shall I drop you off?” Drinking while driving and puts a natural end to date.
  7. Always have a backup plan
    Yes thought the place was open, you didn’t know shes allergic to caffiene or is vegan. Go somewhere with a couple of credible choices. The biggest screw-ups have been when I’ve gone somewhere I don’t know and didn’t have a backup.
  8. Don’t lie and try not to be rude
    If something you don’t like comes up, let it slide and remember you don’t have to see this person again, ever. Likewise don’t lie, you want the person to make a good estimate about you and your personality. Hard to do that if your covering up your true personality.

Next time I’ll have to do my good places for dates…