The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Dating


What is dating? It might seem like an obvious question but in the modern world you’d be surprised by how many people just don’t date. They have their reasons. For some, they’re young and unfamiliar with the concept. They see happy couples everywhere and in every form of media but it’s not something that they have ever really experienced for themselves. They just want a solid start, for someone to tell them the whys the hows and the don’t of dating.

But increasingly we’re seeing people in their mid to late twenties wonder how dating works, with many avoiding it until they’re older than you’d think. In some cases, people even get up to 30 without ever seeing someone of the opposite sex. You might think that this sounds like a joke but it’s not funny for those that always wanted to date but never really got the chance. Well, we’re here for you guys, with our full guide to dating. In this comprehensive guide to the ins and outs of dating, we’ll be looking at just what you can do to ensure that your dating life is a fulfilling success. So strap in and prepare for a masterclass like no other, one that is going to leave you feeling on top of the world and ready to dive into the dating world in general in a way that you never thought was possible. We’re talking a truly incredible experience here.

So, what is dating? Well to so many different people, dating means different things. It’s so often the process of getting to know someone else intimately, in a way that most of us would never have thought possible. We’re talking about those stunning experiences, the kind that you can barely believe are happening, the ones that make your hair stand on end. In many ways, dating is all about those magical moments and about bringing your wildest fantasies into reality in a way that most people simply don’t understand. If you know the type of sensational stunners that many men have been dreaming of their entire lives, you’ll know what we mean here.

Not all daydreams and fairytales

The thing that most people completely fail to realise though, is that there isn’t one real definition of dating that fits everyone and not everyone is going to fall into the same mould when it comes to this sort of thing. For so many, it’s less about the experience of going on these magical journeys and much more about just enjoying what’s there in front of them. This is something that we feel is often forgotten by most people, the sense of wonder and amazement that an experience with the girl of your dreams can be incredible, but it’s far from the only thing that really defines things. In fact, for so many of you, the real truth is that you’re longing for something else entirely, something that will set your heart on fire but not in a way that makes you feel loved and normal. Sounds a bit boring right? Well, that’s’ the crux of it. Hollywood has taught us to think that the only normal, the only thing that we can really enjoy or that is worth our time is the idea of this perfect romance.

But in reality, life is not like that at all. It’s so often a very different experience that you just would not expect. The sort of thing that you will experience during it will make you amazed. You’ll find yourself telling a woman all the things about you thought would never come up. You’ll find it’s just as important to end up with someone that likes to sleep with the window open as it is to find that ideal stunner. Those little things that most people tend to disregard, the ones that are often just not there in our minds when we think of romance. Well, they’re the ones that actually end up taking all of our time.

After all, the fact that you’re going to be spending so much time with another person might not have really crossed your mind. That might sound like an odd thing to say, but it really is true. You’d be amazed at just how many of the little realities will slip from your mind when you imagine romance, or when you first get together. Successful dating is, in so many ways though, about overcoming those little differences and managing to triumph. It’s not uncommon at all to see couples break up because of tensions arose over little issues that have slowly managed to snowball into bigger ones. I once witnessed a man break off a very promising relationship with a woman because she didn’t like cheese. Now that you won’t see in a movie!

Now it might seem like a ridiculous decision, and honestly I did somewhat question his sanity when he told me. The truth of the matter is though, that it mattered to him and it should do. He was right to make that decision. Food was a very important part of his life: he loved it, it was part of who he was. For her though, it was just something that happened. It was something that you used to keep yourself alive and little more. The result of that was that they had fundamentally different outlooks on life and on spending their spare time. She would want to buy clothes, go on holiday and do all those sorts of things. But for him, the opportunity to eat at a nice restaurant or buy good food was just too much to ignore. So she would give him a hard time about it.

Little by little, those small moments began to become bigger ones, growing in pace and seriousness until it was the moment of truth. He has to make a decision about his future and in the end he chose his own passion, he chose the life that he wanted to live, over being with her. It was harsh, let’s be clear. It was probably quite devastating for the poor girl too, and it was the kind of thing that you would never expect. Yet, it made sense and probably saved them both years of unhappiness.


How to Date


So now you know a little bit more about dating and it’s realities, how is the best way to date. Well it really does boil down to being in one of 3 camps. On one side, you have the people who will absolutely insist that the key thing to note is that no matter who you are, you will always have to go through the same old dating channels that one first time to see which one you like best, We have always been skeptical of that approach but honestly, it’s true. Even if it’s just to go on one online date, hate it and know for sure. The number of times that we’ve been approached by women that simply refused to date online because it was supposedly too uncool for them, only to have them try it and absolutely love the results is genuinely quite absurd. Seriously, some of the girls we know that have found the deepest relationships have done so in unexpected places.

Online dating is probably the king now, if we’re being quite honest. It’s just so prevalent, so all encompassing, so insidiously everywhere that you’re losing out by not being online. The ability for busy professionals to just log in, see short summaries of people and weed out potential problematic ones is amazing. The amount of awkward time you would have otherwise spent in a wine bar, wondering why on earth you’re doing this and why you’re choosing to see a girl like this, if only you’d have known she was so goddamn boring… Well, now you can. No more dates that you need to drink on just to survive, don’t worry.

So, the thing is, which service do you use? In our opinion, there are 2 sites that are heads and shoulders above all the rest, to such an extent that not using them seems almost foolish really. We’re talking about Ok Cupid and Tinder.


The classic hookup app is now for all types of relationships. If people can find friends on there, we’re sure you can find a relationship too! There’s no way to stop yourself getting into those awkward conversations where the other party is looking for a hookup, that’s for sure, but being clear in your profile will actually weed out a surprising number of them. We’ve always been impressed with the results, as it’s been consistently easy for us to find more meaningful relationships, just by asking in the correct way. So don’t worry too much. Just block anyone that is coming on too strong and see where it goes. So, what are the advantages of using this app?


  • It’s full of people. Really, if you want to cover the length and breadth of the city there is no better place to start. Who isn’t on Tinder if they’re single? The answer is actually a tiny percentage of people. For most, it’s a friendly, accessible and generally successful way to date people. They might range from complete beginners to those casanovas that have been in the dating game so long that if they stepped in to write this article now, no one would probably notice. The thing is, you can have whatever you want it’s like eating from a buffet.
  • Another great reason to use the app is how easy it is, in so many ways. Simply upload a little bit of text, swipe and that’s it. Just like that, so much of the awkwardness of going out and approaching people is over. No wondering if they find you attractive, no little doubts or fears. You just go out there, find the right one for you and enjoy. It really is that easy. Seems great right? Well it’s better than that, because it’s easy in other ways too. There’s no pressing need to put in too much info, or to have to be judged too harshly. Think of it more as an introduction for yourself and another person. You can fill in all the gaps later, so any details that might seem a bit awkward to put down on paper, you can instead choose to put into words on your actual date.
  • The choice might seem overwhelming at first but eventually you’ll come to appreciate that it is there for every type of dating. Let’s be honest, even when we set out with the intention of finding the perfect long term relationship, sometimes we end up just wanting something less permanent. Well here, there’s no need to hop across to another app, you can just enjoy what’s on offer.


Of course, it’s not all rainbows and sunshine. There are some downsides to enjoying the company of others using Tinder too.


  • It can be very very shallow. Because of a lack of real information, most people won’t even look at your profile. If you carefully selected photo doesn’t immediately intrigue them then you are done. That means people will often reject hundreds of people every day, fixating so much on finding one who looks just right and you end up in a situation where people are so very much pickier than they might be in real life.
  • There’s no real 2nd chance. If you see someone you don’t quite fancy in other apps, you can always go back to their profile in the week or at a later date. Sometimes, we all have bad days or ones where we’re not really feeling it. Or another app, that’s fine. On Tinder, you will never see that person again. That chance is gone and it’s never coming back.
  • The fact that you’re always going to sifting through the arseholes. We know this might seem a bit cynical but we’ve seen it from both genders, every sexuality. In the dating world some people just aren’t nice. On other platforms, they need to go through so much more effort to contact you and match that most just don’t bother you. But here, a single swipe and they could be bombarding your inbox with negs. Ugh…




The other real option for us, is OkCupid. A much slower paced, more detailed app, it’s designed for a much more intimate type of dating. We wouldn’t say serious as such, but it’s definitely about matching people based on likes and interests as well as their looks and the results for that can sometimes be a bit patchier than you might think. It can definitely work, don’t get us wrong, but you have to have the right mindset. Seeing that you disagree with someone on 20% of things seems massive at the time, that’s ⅕. Why on earth would you date someone like that? Well because that’s how it always works.

It’s too easy to get bogged down in the details and end up passing on someone really, which is why we find it a valuable tool but one that absolutely must be approached by someone mature. If Tinder is the early 20s playground, OKC is the late 20’s refuge. Why is that?


  • For starters because it encourages you to connect on deeper issues. Sure she might be pretty, but if you’re a massive fan of the great outdoors and love camping, you don’t want to be with someone that hates the idea of being out in the rain and could not live a day without her hair straighteners. Likewise, if you’re politically and socially conservative, having someone who espouses their liberal views willy nilly and basically end up making you feel as if you’ve joined a hippy commune.
  • You can really find someone that likes something specific. With a little careful tailoring, you can set your profile up to match a certain type of person so easily. A bit cynical sure, but if you’re looking to meet an artsy, bookish girl with a heart of gold, then inputting the right answers to the right questions is going to allow you to see her before you know it. Whilst other apps make you sift through thousands of profiles in search of gold, OKC is actively there panning with you, making it that much easier to find something that’s genuinely worthwhile.

What about the negatives? Well, there’s actually quite a lot of them: you would be surprised!

  • For starters, anyone who dates on OKC will know that it normally takes a lot of time. And when we say a lot, we really do mean it. You would be amazed at how much work it takes to make a profile and get into things. We’re talking a bare minimum of an hour to get started and set up, and way more if you actually want to see results. All those incredible metrics that they use to match you with other people, well they take time to fill out. Quite a lot of time as it turns out, and you might well feel like you’re taking some sort of quiz.
  • The weighting system can leave a lot to be desired. It might be very important to you that your potential date not be religious, or that they might into certain hobbies or something similar. That’s great and in theory you can weight choices based on that. The issue doesn’t come from that, but from the little things. You don’t especially want to date someone who likes outdoor activities, you don’t like coffee. These tiny things matter a fraction as much as those you mark as being very important, but there are often several orders more of them. Whilst you might be passionately for or against a handful of things, in the end the hundreds that you barely care about will add up to have the same weight.


Those are the two main ways we like to date online, but of course there is another option entirely. Believe it or not, there was once a time before the internet. A wild time, when people roamed free and had to talk to each other if they wanted to learn and get things done. A time where if you didn’t have the people skills to approach someone in a bar, you probably weren’t going to do well on a date.


Those days are long gone and with them many of the expectations. Physical contact at the start of dating has become way harder, and you’ll need to bear that in mind. Most people out at bars these days are there with their friends or colleagues, getting smashed. They’re not looking for love, hell they’re quite possibly not even looking for a one night sort of thing. It’s not impossible to approach these people still, but what you can do to maximise your chances is pay close attention. Are they showing signs that they might like to be approached? Being flirty or in any way showing that they are interested? Then you go over. But if they don’t look like they’re particularly excited or approachable, best to judge the situation more carefully.


Dating Advice for men


Men, this is our time. The world has never offered us more ways to find incredible women and enjoy their company. The dating world is wide open for us and all we need to do is dive right in and enjoy the benefits. Are you ready to embark on that journey and really satisfy all of your needs? If you are, then this is the time and the place for you.

There’s so much choice it can be hard to know where to start. The apps are ideal for casual dating for when you just want to find a woman and enjoy a bit of mutual fun. That might be a much rarer case for women than it is for men but the good news is that now you have something linking you together, making it easy for you to find the women of your dreams with little effort. These girls can be in touch with you before you know it.

Or maybe you want something a little more serious. Normally it can be quite hard to get to bring certain things up in casual conversation. Your dorky love of Taylor Swift for example, is not going to go down well in a bar scenario but online it’s going to seem positively adorable. Lots of the things that we wouldn’t outwardly be able to show due to social convention, like kindness and sweetness, can be put in display with no fear of judgement. That honestly has been a huge limiting factor when it comes to dating for men in the past, the fact that they must be “men” and cannot be allowed to show feeling! Well dating is all about feeling, so what could you hope to achieve there?

We have to say though, do be careful. Don’t rush off and immerse yourself fully online. The issue with dating online is that everyone always makes themselves seem better than they are, and by doing so they’re able to flood the field. Whereas in real life your charm might stick out and help you to win her heart, online there are no shortage of photoshopped sleazers working from a playbook. Sure they’re going to be a trainwreck when they get to the date, but they’re actively keeping you off that said date.

That’s why we feel it’s important to maintain a good mixture of on and offline dating for men. If nothing else than just to keep your options open and your game sharp and well rounded. You never know when you might spot a beauty in a bar and want to buy her a drink Stuttering nervously because you haven’t seen a real woman in months is unlikely to win her heart.

Dating Advice for Women


Dating for women has both never been easier and never been more risky. Risky because with the risk of online anonymity, who knows who you might be meeting. Which is why we will always say, meet guys in a public place first and make sure that people know you’re there. It might sound cliched, it might sound silly, but there’s nothing to actually guarantee that the cute guy you met online is not a huge mountain of muscle that is just waiting to take advantage of you. We know that’s a grim note to start on but ladies, please, look after yourselves here.

Now that’s out of the way, the positives. Dating has never been more simple for a woman. She has ample choice, plenty of guys messaging her and she even has the initiative to message them if she feels the desire to. In many ways, it’s the best of all worlds. So you might be wondering, what can you do if you’re a woman to make the dating scene all the better? Well it’s pretty simple actually. First things first, start with a good photo. Now when we say good photo, what we do not mean is one covered in snapchat filters and all sorts of nonsense like that. Honestly, guys don’t want to see that. Nor do they want to see ultra flattening angles and makeup tricks. If you look like Angelina Jolie in the photos and Brad Pitt in the flesh, they’re not going to be pleased. Just be honest about who you are and how you look.

You’ll notice that if you do that, the quality of the guys also goes up. It’s really that simple in many cases. Once you stop pandering to that crowd that are looking for people like them, people that are insecure and a bit liberal with the truth, you tend to start finding the guys that are worth sticking with the guys that you could happily spend plenty of time enjoying.

Try Bumble


The other thing we would try is an app called Bumble. The idea is simple, it’s tje standard tinder like system where you swipe on people you like, match and talk, but instead of the guy making the first move, the power is in your hands. If you don’t want to talk, you don’t need to. It genuinely cuts out a lot of the creeps and lets you go about things at your own pace. Get a match? Well with Bumble you won’t have that same dude asking for nudes in the next 15 minutes.

It’s empowering in a way, if a little depressing that it even needs to exist. Still, it does need to and it fills that niche well. Never again will you awaken to an invite full of unwanted photos and requests, instead you can make your own choices. The one thing we urge you to do though, is to use this new power. Don’t ignore it. Bumble times out matches after a while and one of the chief complaints of its male users is that women are so unused to having that level of control that they frequently just forget to use it.

Do’s and Don’t of Dating


  • Do be passionate about what you do and what you love. Nothing will turn someone off more than having to talk to you endlessly about topics neither of you really seems to care about. We’ve been on dates with actors that make it sounds dull as dishwater, and accountants whose enthusiasm is so infectious that we can’t fault how they spend their days. What matters is that you care about it and enjoy it. Sometimes a little earnest enthusiasm for the things that make you you can be the best thing
  • Don’t try and play it too cool. We get it. Christ we get it. You don’t care about anything. Everything is just a bit lame and you’re above it all. That’s nice. The line for the other angsty early 20’s is over there. For the rest of us, well we’ve sort of got over that part. Life’s for living, not for endless pointless bitching. No one cares, you’re right, so stop talking about it. Or get out there and do something. When you moan about ethical consumerism, then whip out your IPhone, it’s painful.
  • Do dress nicely. We know it might seem old fashioned or a bit forced but seriously, wear nice clothes. You only get one shot to make an impression so be sure to make it count. If you can do that, you’re sure to get off to a good start. A ratty old jumper or a pair of converse from 5 years ago suggest that you don’t care and you don’t want to be here. If that’s the case then there’s the door. If it’s not, would it kill you pick up an iron?
  • Don’t overdress. There’s looking nice and making an effort, then there’s going for a job interview. If you’ve put a tie on specifically for our first date, it’s just not going to work out. No matter how formal your job is, you can afford to at least loosen the tie and undo the top button. Maybe even go wild and undo the next button too if you’re feeling especially risque.  Likewise, polishing shoes or staring at yourself in the mirror, please stop.
  • Do be interesting. We know it’s hard, we’ve all been there. Suddenly there’s this beautiful person in front of you and they seem so nice and ahhhhh your mind is blank. Deep breaths, focus yourself, and come back down to earth. It’s all going to be alright. You can do this. You can make it happen. All you need to do is think clearly, and get going. We’re sure you have some interesting conversation in you, after all you’ve made it this far. So channel that and enjoy yourself.
  • Don’t talk endlessly about yourself. There’s being proud and confident, and there’s being so self obsessed that we wonder why we’re even there. Is it because you want to brag? Is this meant to be impressing us? Double lost marks if you also ignore the dress advice and turn up in serious formal wear. In such a situation you’re either going to be whipping out your CV and telling me how I can become a millionaire or we’re both going home disappointed.
  • Do make efforts to be polite. Offering to hold a door, buy a coffee or even cover a meal can be lovely shows of gentlemanly behaviour that women love, if you do them correctly. People like being treated well and with respect, remember that and put it into practice.
  • Don’t be patronising. If she wants to pay for her half, don’t act like it’s the end of the world. She may very well earn more than you. Likewise from the other side, if a guy offers to pay don’t be outraged. He’s likely just trying to be nice, so return the favour. Be polite and decline or accept. Don’t rant at him about how awful he’s being because in many cases the offence you see is one that lies with you and some poor bemused guy is left wondering what he did wrong.
  • Do go somewhere interesting. The same old chain restaurant/coffee shop is just a bad idea in every respect really. You don’t want to be in a position where you seem unimaginative, boring and unthoughtful but that’s exactly what a chain Italian restaurant says about you. “I care so little about this that I couldn’t put in 5 minutes of research.”
  • Don’t go somewhere too weird. Please we beg you. We know that TimeOut said it was quirky but it’s not, it’s awful. There’s a reason no one has ever heard of this place and why the food tastes suspiciously like it’s microwave meals from the supermarket. Don’t encourage them. And certainly don’t kill you date off by trying too hard before it even begins, that’s a major turn off. We want you to be excited, not insane.
  • Do try something a little bit special if you feel the spark. Are they all over your tales of home cooking, impressed by your recipes, knowledge and general culinary skill? Then don’t be afraid to flex that foodie muscle and put on a dinner for the two of you. Something simple and elegant that showcases your skill, with a nice bottle of red and soft lighting. Sounds like heaven doesn’t it?
  • Don’t go all out for a first date. If that dinner is a 5 course meal with foams and reductions, candle and roses, Barry White and a glint in your eye, don’t blame your date for running for the door as soon as possible, I’ve just met you. There’s romance and then there’s getting way too into it, way too soon. One is cute, one makes me fear for the health of my pets, my car paint job and my general sanity.
  • Do make sure that your photo, if you’re using online services, largely matches what you look like. We cannot stress this enough. No one turns up and thinks “Oh they don’t like their picture but I’m here now” Ever. What they do think is why the hell did they come here, and why the hell would you even lie before you’ve met. It’s dishonest and shows a real lack of maturity and self confidence. Be proud of who you are.
  • Don’t be the one who then makes excuses for it. The lies hurt enough, the disappointment in finding you 3 stone heavier is enough of a sting in the tail for one night. Don’t make it worse by stinking up the whole restaurant with half truths and lies. This is true in general for dates really: just be honest.


So that’s it for our Beginners’ Guide to Date. We hope that you’ve learn a lot here, and we hope to see you around for more dating tips, companionship solutions and generally just to chat. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to let us know.



May 21, 2017


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