28 Sep 2016

Guest blog from dating expert Katy Red!

Category: Features
Author: Karen
We'd like to introduce you to the wonderful Katy Red, a dating, sex and relationship expert who recently won awards for her work from the UK Dating Awards and the UK Blog Awards. Katy's blog is called All Sweetness and Life, and is a treasure trove of information and tips for people navigating the unpredictable waters of dating in the 21st century, but she's popped over to the MSF blog to share her thought on what you definitely shouldn't be doing on your first date...

The 9 first date fails people make - and how to avoid them'
Dating is a minefield at the best of times. Not least of all when it comes to first dates. 
The anxiety of whether there’ll be chemistry, if the conversation will flow, that you’ll pick the right venue or that they’ll even turn up at all - there are no end of concerns people have about that all important initial first meeting.  But fear not, first dates don’t need to be as scary as all that  - if you’re about to turn a virtual relationship into a real time one but are worried you’ll mess it up, here are the 9 classic first date fails people make - and how best to avoid them.
1. Turning up late 
The absolute text book no-no when it comes to first dates. Leaving your date waiting for longer than fifteen minutes or so without valid reason or explanation, isn’t playing it cool, it simply suggests you’re not really bothered about the date in the first place.
Not cool. 
2. Expecting your date to come to you 
If you live in Brixton and your date lives in Enfield, expecting them to travel halfway across London for a first date is just plain lazy. Suggesting a neutral venue which suits you both (and ladies, that may mean a little travelling too) is much fairer and shows you’ve considered what’s convenient for them too. 
3. Make an effort 
That’s not to suggest you should turn up in a ballgown or tuxedo but, sprucing yourself up a bit for a date or bringing a change of clothes to work if you’re meeting them straight from there demonstrates that you’ve made an effort and have pride in your appearance. And how wrong can you go with that?
4. If you can’t afford it, don’t suggest it 
Dating these days can be an expensive business, and it’s a bit unreasonable to expect dinner on a first date. However, if you do suggest a venue which is on the pricier side, than you should expect to pay for it - because if a £45 bottle of wine isn’t their choice, it shouldn’t be their bill either. 
5. Consider the conversation 
With any luck, once the date gets underway, conversation should flow easily. Ask your date questions about themselves and be prepared to disclose things about yourself too, focus on details and remember, no-one wants to spend an hour talking about your ex-partner, especially not on a first date. 
6. Give them a chance
Thanks to online dating, the abundance of single people available to date is ever increasing. With this, however, often comes a ‘grass is greener …’ attitude in some, and people can sometimes feel free to jump from one date to the next without really giving people a chance. 
When you’ve arranged a date and that person has made the effort to turn up, it’s only fair to give them a crack at the whip - regardless of what your initial instincts tell you, because not everyone is at their most relaxed within the first half an hour of meeting. 
7. Easy on the booze 
Getting drunk with mates you’ve known you for years is awesome fun. Getting drunk on a first date with someone you’ve known for half an hour will make you look either silly, nervous or a person in need of a stint at The Priory.  
8. Make sure they get home safely 
Which doesn’t need to mean you pay for a cab to their door, but just that, at midnight on a rainy Tuesday, you make sure they’re at least on their way before you scarper.  
9. Send a text 
Because regardless of whether you want to see your date again or not, they’ve given up an evening to get to know you and sending a text to make sure they got home OK or to tell them you’ve had a nice time is common courtesy.  Which might not leaving them remembering you as 'the one' but will definitely leave them remembering you as the one with manners - and what's not to love about that. 

Thanks so much to Katy for her excellent advice. She will be back again very soon with more expert dating tips!

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