Is there anyone alive who hasn’t had a terrible first date at some point?
Some people are brilliant at the dating game, and can breeze through potentially cringeworthy encounters with natural charm and ease. For most of us though, they can be incredibly awkward and embarrassing , even putting people off looking for love altogether.
One of the people who knows the scene better than anyone is dating and sex expert Nixalina Watson. Nixalina set up her popular Sex & London City site after going on a string of awful dates in the capital, and turned her experiences into hilarious and inspired blog posts.
loaded spoke to Nixalina to learn more about some of her most embarrassing dating experiences, and we came out with a comprehensive list of amazing dating tips that could help make your next date a huge success.
Check out seven of Nixalina’s seven best dating tips for blokes below:
Whatever you do, don’t spend the whole date playing with your iPhone
Nixalina: Put the mobile phone away! That’s the number one rule. What is it with guys? Check it every now and again if you have to, fine. But guys that just sit there and laugh at random stuff on Instagram – that is definitely bad on a date. Guys do it all the time, especially in this day and age. It’s so frustrating. It basically shows they’re bored and they don’t want to give you their full attention, or maybe they’re texting someone else. Just put the phone away.”
Always offer to pay – even if you split
Nixalina: If it’s a first date, I still insist that guys offer to pay. As a girl, I will also offer to pay and if you want to go Dutch that’s great. I don’t think guys should have to foot the bill all the time. It’s nice to offer, and if she’s a good girl she will also offer. Because then you can split, and if you like each other maybe the second date he’ll go ‘no, no I’ll pay for this’.
Make sure you put the effort in
Nixalina: [Talking about meeting someone for a date after chatting online] I was really excited about meeting him. Anyway, he bowls in to Selfridges where I was working at the time, and he’s wearing trainers and a cap… he looked scruffy as fuck. And he was like, an ex-racing driver as well so I expected a lot more from this dude. We went round to a place round the corner. I’d put on a new dress and new heels, and put all this effort and energy, and he genuinely had no fucks to give.”
I said to him, ‘nice cap’, and he said: “Oh yeah, I couldn’t be bothered to do my hair.” Things like that piss me off because girls put so much effort in.
Be decisive, step up and organise things
Nixalina: I like men that arrange dates. Do you know how many times I’ve been asked, ‘what you doing… when you free… what do you want to do, I don’t mind’, and that attitude annoys me. It just makes it look like there’s no attention, and they can’t really be bothered. Women love a dominant mam. All women love a man that can take control – not be controlling – but take control. So I like when men say, ‘What’s your favourite – Italian or Sushi?’ or something, or she says “I really love Sushi”, and he goes “Right, I’ll pick you up at seven, I’ve got a table booked somewhere”, and he keeps it a surprise. That is a great start to a first date.
Wear the right clothes
Appearance is a big thing. Yes, we all want to be comfortable and show off who we are on a first date – there’s no point going above and beyond if you don’t look like that normally because you’re setting yourself up for a fall – but if you’ve got a nice pair of shoes, skinny jeans and a shirt, and you rock up in joggers and trainers, that’s just not ok for me.
Pick the right venue and be creative
Nixalina: I’ve done a billion dinner and drinks. It does get quite tedious. A lot of girls have a bit of an issue with eating in front of men as well. Some people just don’t feel very comfortable about it. I think it’s always good to do something more activity based. If it’s summer, I think it’s really lovely and cute when guys plan picnics, and it’s just a bit different. It doesn’t have to be really expensive. You could even go somewhere like a dry ski slope, and if she’s never skied before you could have a really fun, ridiculous dry ski session. You don’t all have to jump out of helicopters or go bungee jumping or anything, but activity dates for me show the personality of the person more than dinner and drinks. In those dates the dinner can be quite confrontational, like an interview, and then the drinks start flowing and that’s when dangerous shit happens. God, I am so such as give me two Proseccos and it’s like truth serum, and on a first date you don’t want to know those things.
For god’s sake, ask questions
I find that when guys are arrogant they just sit there and talk about themselves a lot. This is an example: I went out on a dinner date with a celebrity – I’m not saying who. All he spoke about was himself. I sat and listened to him just reel off all this stuff. He was a trumper – anything that I’d done, he’d trumped it, and done twice as much stuff. He just was not listening to me, he didn’t give a shit about anything to do with me. In the end I brought it up, and said: “You do realise you’ve talked at me for at least two hours”. He just went really quiet. I went, “you haven’t listened to a word I’ve said, you haven’t asked me any questions…” There’s confidence and there’s arrogance and you have to be careful not to cross that line.