Single people in their twenties arrive in London all the time. University relationships come to a natural end and people drift apart in long-distance relationships, so this leaves thousands of singles arriving in London each year, which is great news for the existing dating population.
Nevertheless, some Londoners will have you believe that they have a hard time meeting potential love interests in the capital. This could be for a variety of reasons, too MUCH choice, demanding careers, their friends are already paired off etc etc.
We believe that there is someone in London for everyone, it’s just a matter of finding them!
So this guide has been written to give all single people the confidence and advice to go out there and find that person!
Where to start looking? Some people meet on the tube, others in the frozen food aisle of the local supermarket, but most of us meet the apple of our eye in one of 5 tried-and-tested ways. Here they are:
- Through a friend-of-a-friend – some of the strongest relationships start through mutual friendships. Hassle your friends to see if they can think of anyone they know that would be a good match for you, or maybe your friend’s partner knows of some single people that would be good. You don’t necessarily need to go on a blind date, maybe you could meet in a group or at a house party.
- At work – there are serious pros and cons to this.
The pros are that depending on how hectic your work schedule is, it can be difficult to find the time to meet people outside of work. Dating someone at work allows the opportunity to get to know someone a little before dating. If you’re going out with someone who works in the same field as you, you’re likely to have common interests and be able to understand more about your partner’s troubles at the end of a hard day.
The cons though are also quite considerable – you could end up spending way too much time together and being capable of talking about nothing but work when you’re at home. On a professional level, you and your partner could be the subject of idle gossip in the workplace and jealous colleagues may try and blame irrelevant matters on your relationship. Finally though, you need to consider what may happen if you break up and still have to work alongside your ex. This could lead to an upsetting and sometimes nasty work environment.
- During a social activity – what can get a potential couple off to a more solid start, than if you both have a shared interest in the same activity. So if you’re having trouble meeting someone, think carefully about what makes you tick, then do some research and join a few classes and clubs where you’ll meet likeminded people who will be hopefully be hot! The activity could be anything, but ideas include sports teams (mixed or single-sex at a club with social nights for members of both sexes), language lessons, cookery, film classes, amateur dramatics, wine-tasting events, cocktail-making, secret supper clubs. The list goes on and on – be inventive!
- In a bar – if you’re going to attempt to meet someone in a drinking environment, then you have to be proactive. There’s no point going for a catch-up with your best mate and becoming so engrossed in the conversation that you’re not paying attention to who’s eyeing you up. Make eye contact with people, smile if you catch someone’s eye and look welcoming so you don’t scare off any potential interest. Choose your venue carefully. You need it to be reasonably busy so there’s quite a bit of choice and so that everyone else’s conversations drown out your introductory chats. Happy hour and drinks after work on a Thursday or a Friday are a great time to meet people, particularly in Central London. Take some outgoing friends along with you if you’re the shy type.
- Online dating – it’s 2012 and this is a very acceptable and efficient way to have a scout around before you go dating. Some great dating agencies in London include Grapevine Social
For full reviews on each of these agencies, read this article on Finding Love in London .
Of course looking in the right places is only half the battle. In order to be attractive to the opposite sex, you definitely don’t need to be a model, but you do need to be giving out the right signals. People can smell baggage, insecurities and desperation a mile off, so make sure you’re in the right frame of mind to be hooking up with someone new. Two books that can help you with this are ‘Make Every Man Want You’ and ‘Understanding Women: The Definitive Guide to Meeting, Dating and Dumping, If Necessary’ .
Once you’ve met someone and agreed to meet up on a date, you’ll need to decide whereabouts in London to go on your date. You might find that your date takes charge and wants to surprise you with their knowledge of London, or you might want/be asked to have some input into the location of your date.
Here are some ideas that go beyond the dinner and movie style of dating – some of them depend on the time of year/weather.
- Visit the London Aquarium
- Go speed-boating on the Thames
- Go horse-riding in Richmond Park
- Take a rowing boat out on the Serpentine in Hyde Park
- Have dinner in the Oxo Tower
- Play a round of Urban Golf
- Have a drink in the dark at Dans Le Noir
- Go bowling
- Go open-air iceskating
- Go to the roller-disco
Dating in London shouldn’t be more dangerous than any other place, but there are some common sense tips that everyone (particularly females) should follow. These are mostly applicable to blind dates or dates arranged through online dating sites.
- Don’t let your date pick you up from your home address. It’s not advisable to give out your home address to a stranger. A mobile number should suffice.
- Always meet somewhere central in a public location. Don’t even think about meeting in a secluded area such as a park or woods.
- Make sure that you’ve agreed the location of the date in advance, so that you’re able to plan how you will be getting home. Take a London A-Z with you (a mini one should fit in most handbags) just in case and make sure you have enough cash on you to take a black cab home if necessary.
- Always tell a friend exactly where you’re going and who you’re with.
- Make sure your mobile phone is fully charged before you go out
- Trust your instincts – if you feel that that there is something ‘weird’ about your date, then make your excuses and get out of there.
- Whilst a bit of dutch courage is fine, don’t get completely hammered. First of all, it’s not very attractive and secondly you’re more likely to get yourself in a dangerous situation.