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My unofficial guide to dating

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Well they’re not my favourite pair…

Disclaimer: Before you read any further please be advised that I am actually the real life incarnation of Bridget Jones (I’ve even gone to a party dressed up as a bunny when everyone else shunned fancy dress) therefore I am in no way a relationships expert. Any advice I give is purely my own opinion and you heed it at your own risk 🙂

1.) Delete Tinder
Do it now! Tinder may seem like fun but no matter how many stories you’ve heard of people who found their other half on it you’re most likely just to end up with a load of pervy messages and a swiping addiction.  I’ve never actually been on a Tinder date since the one time I did try to arrange a meeting the boy stood me up *cry*.  In the end I just had loads of matches and was meaninglessy making small talk and engaging in pun wars with people I was never likely to meet in real life. An app can and never will replace the feeling of meeting someone in a bar or a club. It takes away all of the romance, the rush you feel when your eyes meet across the dancefloor, that nervous beating in your chest. It’s time to take instruction from the ever wise Dora the explorer. Swiper no swiping! Adios Tinder.

2.) Get out there!
Now that you’ve deleted Tinder you’ll have lots more time to actually go out and meet new people. You can’t complain about never meeting someone special when all you do is stay at home and watch Titanic in your underwear. Don’t be afraid to make new friends by going to different places and perhaps joining a new club. It can be all too easy to always stick with your same circle of friends but branching out will give you more confidence and ultimately increase your chances of finding Mr. Right.

3.) Don’t rule out the “boring” ones
Ok so he doesn’t have tattoos or ride a motorcycle but the boy with glasses who’s reading the Independent will most likely be kind, friendly, loyal and less likely to have a criminal record. “Interesting” boys like troubled artists who smoke weed, write poetry and wear bandanas may make you think you’re in love at the beginning but in time you’ll realise that you fundamentally have little in common. I’m not saying you shouldn’t go for a certain type of guy. Just don’t make that your only reason for falling for him.

4.) Don’t be too crazy
We’ve all done crazy things in the name of love like stalking someone on Facebook or perhaps solliciting a tarot reading to ask questions about them (not me of course) but it can help to take a step back and ask yourself if it’s really love or just infatuation. It can be easy to come on a bit too strong and make it obvious that you like someone. Play it cool in the beginning. I don’t necessarily mean wait three days to text back or some other silly rule. Just try to figure out if he likes you too. Are you always the one to initiate chats and dates or is it a two-way street?

5.) Spanx to the max
So you’ve been asked out on a date. Congratulations! Now the only problem is deciding what to wear. Unless you’ve been born with perfect genetics or are extremely athletic you’re likely to have some body hang ups. Whatever else I’m wearing I always feel most confident when I have my Bridget Jones knickers on and confidence is extremely attractive. So go on, buy yourself a pair! You won’t have to suck in your stomach anymore!

6.) Be yourself
Who else would you be? When you’re on a date it can be tempting to come across as a better version of yourself by stifling your snort when you laugh or denying you have an unhealthy obsession with cats. It’s these little things however that make you who you are and if they’re enough to turn off your date then he isn’t worth your time in the first place. It might not seem like it but one day you’ll find someone who loves you for all of your little quirks and won’t run a mile when you tell him you have four cats.

7.) Never sext!
Dirty texts are fine (if you have a way with words) but it’s best not to send naked pictures of yourself, ever. There’s always the chance that you’ll accidentally add it to a group message, your boss sees it or it ends up going to the wrong recipient. It’s also best not to give anyone material with which they could potentially blackmail you in the future. Even snapchats can be screen shotted and remember that once something’s on the internet it will haunt you forever.

8.) Sexpectations
You’ve probably heard your granny say at some point that “men only want one thing” and sadly that can be true. Don’t feel pressured into jumping between the sheets if you don’t feel ready and never do it on the first date – no matter how hot he is. Physical intimacy is an important part of relationships but  someone who respects your boundaries and makes you feel comfortable is worth waiting for.

9.) Don’t argue over the bill
Being the modern woman that I am, I personally prefer to always pay my own way and split the bill. If however the guy fervently insists on picking up the tab I’m not going to kick up a fuss – it would be unseemly and ultimately quite awkward. Sometimes I think boys just like to pay to assert their masculinity. Either way, it’s up to you how you react but there are worse things than having someone buy you dinner.

10.) Don’t stop believing
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try and try again. You may have to wade through a sea of frogs and go on some downright ghastly dates till you find your Prince, but he’s out there, trust me. He may not ride a white horse but you’ll find him eventually. Don’t let bad experiences with the other sex knock your confidence or get you down.  There’s someone, somewhere waiting for you, and he’s wondering why you’re taking so bloody long to get there!