1. The one who bails
Your date looked great on OkCupid and was pretty funny on Facebook. But when you meet IRL, it's shrug at first sight. In the name of being polite, you decide to stay for a few drinks, only for your date to dash off as soon as they've downed their first craft cider. 'I forgot I have an Ocado delivery booked!' they say, which is acceptable, or 'My psoriasis is playing up!' which is piss-poor, frankly.
2. The one who tries too hard
It's admirable to put in some effort - everyone knows you only meet a love interest at Starbucks if you want to break up with them as swiftly as possible. But some London daters go way overboard from the get-go. Lunch at the Oxo Tower followed by a riverboat cruise down the Thames? Erm, that's what you did when your mum turned 55 last year...
3. The one who never actually goes on dates
You match on Tinder and get chatting straight away. This is promising - 'Ashley, 28' seems sweet and self-deprecating and also woke up next to a half-eaten carton of Chicken McNuggets last Saturday. After a few days of bantery back-and-forth, you finally pluck up the courage to ask: 'Wanna maybe grab a drink next week?' The conversation stops dead like a pigeon hitting a window pane. You realise you've misjudged the situation hopelessly - this was only ever romance in appland.
4. The one who disappears the next day
You take them to an intimate restaurant, then to a suggestive movie. But for some reason, things never get physical. Still, you were feeling proper sparks before the booze hit and at an acceptable time the next day, you send an optimistic WhatsApp message. Your date reads it immediately but doesn't reply until three Sundays later, when you receive a needy plea of 'I'm sooooo hungover, help me!' Whatever you do, don't indulge them. Olivia Newton-John wouldn't put up with this shit.
5. The one who can't do small talk
First-date conversation should be as fluffy and inoffensive as Lorraine Kelly. Topics to avoid include politics, human rights violations, fox hunting, euthanasia and 'Top Gear'. There's nothing worse than finding yourself stuck with someone who wants to discuss the over-sexualisation of modern society before you've even asked which tube line they live on. If this happens, just say: 'OMG you're SO like Joey from 'TOWIE'! He loves Chomsky too.'
By Nick Levine, who thinks riverboat cruises are very romantic.
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