When you move to London, there are 12 things you should know about dating.


When you move to London, there are 12 things you should know about dating.


Dating can be intimidating enough on its own, but when you're in a new location, it's even more so. That's a completely different ballgame. Consider this your insider's guide to dating in London's dos and don'ts.

Traditional methods are a distant memory

People used to meet at pubs, bars, and even (would you believe it?) on the tube before the advent of internet dating. Isn't it a little retro? If you're an old romantic hoping to run and meet your modern-day prince charming who will gladly give up his uber, share an umbrella, or even buy you a drink, you've come to the wrong city. In other words, nights out should be viewed only as time spent with friends if you haven't digitally pre-arranged a meeting. What's our recommendation? If you stay away from all 90s rom-coms, your expectations may be less shattered.

Don’t expect a conversation pre-date

Londoners are usually one of two things: fumbling and awkward, or overconfident. Expect no pre-date discussion, partly because what on earth would you talk about when you first meet and partly because the English have a general attitude of just getting on with it. Tick to secure the date. There are a few exceptions to the rule, and you might be one of the unlucky ones who match with someone who appears to be looking for a pen pal rather than a date. Unfortunate circumstances. Too much chit-chat and no invitation to meet? It's time to progress to the next step.

The 'city' is a hotspot for males with a lot of money and much more attitude.

Even if they're at the bottom of the corporate ladder and are assigned to whichever insurance company, bank, or wealth management firm they work for, the 'city guys,' as they're known, are likely to be on the aforementioned 'over the top arrogant' end of the attitude spectrum. Yes, there is a lot of money to be earned in such areas, but thank you for not telling us about it.

Beards are most definitely a thing

There's the city boy, and then there's the hipster — two very different types of people who are equally well-known in the dating world. Expect beards that are well-kept, tattoo sleeves, and iPod headphones that are permanently affixed to the inner ear. These cool kids used to hang out in Shoreditch until it became too mainstream, so they now live in Hackney and Dalston, wearing vintage lumberjack shirting and ordering craft beer and veggie burgers in plenty.

When you Google "the most romantic restaurants in London," a specific restaurant comes up.

In Covent Garden, it's known as Clos Maggiore. Clever marketing, but not so clever are the males who reserve a table here. Yes, it's lovely, and the food is unquestionably delicious, but it's neither personal nor inventive, so we advise you to do a bit more study. With so many options and fresh things to do in the city every week, setting a table here seems a little careless. Any day of the week, we'll take street cuisine and a martini in a plastic cup over a tourist trap, and you'll almost certainly save a bundle in the process.

...but if you're invited to an All Bar One, go off like a bullet.

This applies to all areas of the UK, not just London, and is true of most chains while dating in the city, with the exception of Nandos. This is never an acceptable alternative, regardless of what explanation they've come up with.

Bumble is the app all the cool kids are using

Tinder, your time has come to an end. In London, it's all about Bumble right now; the app where the woman has to make the first move, and quickly — you only have 24 hours after matching with someone to start a discussion. For those who are quaking in their boots at the prospect, take heart: you will be ignored at times, but this is a numbers game, and you must cast a wide net. If you don't get a response, don't be discouraged; he probably wouldn't have had anything to say anyhow.

However, you will almost certainly be confronted with at least one ex/friend ex/notch on the bedpost.

With a city the size of London, you'd think the chances of running into someone you know on applications like Bumble would be slim, right? Wrong. Your ex-boyfriend, your best friend's ex-boyfriend, your friend's current boyfriend, and a face that somewhat resembles someone you might have woken up next to after a tequila-fueled night is the worst-case situations. Carry out some background research. Remember, the internet is your oyster, so take advantage of it. Learn everything you can about the people you do end up chatting to in order to avoid accidentally dating your employer or something similarly as bad.

Pictures can speak 1,000 words

Despite the fact that they don't always. There's nothing worse than going on a date with someone who looks nothing like his web representation. What is the best way to avoid this sorry situation? Take a look at our list of no-when no's it comes to profile pictures. They include but are not limited to, zero images without sunglasses (what are you hiding behind their mysterious man), gym mirror selfies (because vanity isn't an attractive trait), photos only surrounded by other people (his friends aren't coming on your first date), and no bios that include the phrase "Nextflix and chill" (because we shouldn't have to explain this one).

When it comes to paying the bill, be prepared to feel uneasy.

It's fair to say that discussing feminism isn't the simplest of issues to bring up, especially when you've just met someone. Paying the bill, on the other hand, can be the most embarrassing part of the whole ordeal. In today's world, a 50/50 split would be ideal, but custom says that a gentleman should pay — what a conundrum! What is the story's moral? Unfortunately, there is no right or incorrect answer. One thing to keep in mind: if you're the one who's suggested an expensive restaurant, don't even consider taking a well-timed bathroom trip when the bill arrives.

Become familiar with the word 'ghosting.'

According to the holy grail that is the urban dictionary, ghosting is a term commonly known as; ‘Suddenly ceasing all communication with someone the subject is dating, but no longer wishes to date. This is done in the hopes that the ghost will "get the hint" and leave the subject alone, rather than the subject notifying them that he or she is no longer interested.' Everyone, at some point in their dating experience, has ghosted. Don't deny it; you did it, and you can't blame others when it's your turn. Yes, it's brutal, but it gets the job done.

It's a long-term strategy.

If your ultimate objective is to have a meaningful relationship rather than just a fling to pass the time, be prepared to put in some serious effort. Don't be surprised if he doesn't get down on one knee and tell you he wants you to have his babies after two months because a) this isn't the 1950s and b) Londoners are busy. Quite occupied. In April of this year, the BBC stated that Londoners work an average of 3 weeks more per year than the rest of the UK, and with statistics like that, plus social life to maintain and workouts to organize, the window for dating is left quite a little. In short, patience is a virtue, and if you don't know how to use it, now is the time to learn.


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