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Look, you don't need us to tell you that choosing a Christmas present for a new partner is a bloody minefield.

The first festive season with the boyfriend du jour is a real milestone, and it's made all the more difficult if your relationship is still in its first flush when you're only bloody mad about him, but still struggle to remember his surname after a few too many.

While you undoubtedly want to impress, you don't want to scare the bejaysus out of him, and you have a sneaking suspicion that with one overly romantic or intimate gift you might find yourself celebrating New Year's Eve alone.

Ladies, you walk a very fine line in this situation, and we're here to hold your hand.

Band T-shirts

Lads love T-shirts. It's a simple fact of life, and it makes Christmas very easy for most of us.

Whether it's Kanye, Metallica or Radiohead he's into, you can't go wrong springing for a T-shirt that gives more than a passing nod to his favourite band.

The classic wallet

Choosing clothes for a lad can be a minefield (unless it's a band T-shirt), but accessories are a lot easier, especially if you keep it simple.

There are some seriously slick wallets out there right now which definitely won't break the bank.

Craft beer

If you know even one lad that wouldn't thank you for a crate of his favourite craft beers, we'd like to meet him.

While it might seem a little impersonal, it's actually far from it… especially if you've taken note of his favourite tipples over the last six months.

Board games

Kick it old-school on Christmas Day and gift your new bloke with a game the pair of yee can puzzle over together.

Yes, it's not the most sentimental, but hey that's what next year's Christmas is for!

 

 

 

 

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For many of us the festive season acts as the perfect excuse to cosy up in front of the fire and politely reject any invitation that involves leaving the house – after all, they don't call it the most wonderful time of the year for nothing.

And while some of us might be content spending the winter months catching up with friends and family over copious amounts of chocolate and wine – some singletons have a very different agenda altogether.

If dark evenings and cold temperatures leave for longing for a winter cuddle buddy, you might be suffering from something called Seasonal Dating Disorder (SDD). 

Think about it.

How many times have you, or someone you know, settled in with a romantic partner over the yuletide period, only to completely lose interest by the time spring rolls around?

Often referred to as 'cuffing season' – SDD sufferers are more inclined to search for partner in the later half of the year, because hey, no one likes to be lonely at Christmas.

Speaking to The Independent, the Passion Smiths director said: “Singles who display this type of dating pattern are unable to commit.”

“They use summer fun and friends as an excuse for this pattern, but in reality it is because they are unable to form lasting romantic bonds.”

“They may have the illusion they can settle down whenever they want to, but they can’t and until they do decide they want a lasting relationship will they realise they are unable to; that’s when I’ll see them in my office.”

And while all this has definitively given us something to think about, we refuse to let the fear of cuffing keep us from finding the ultimate festive romance. 

 

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Sure look, dating is an absolute minefield.

Let's be honest here, there are few among us who don't have at least one 'First Date' horror story; a tale of such woe our friends have forced us time and time again to regale them with it.

Nevermind that the mere memory of the encounter leaves us clammy-handed and vaguely distressed, other people's dating stories are fair game.

They're awkward, they're agonising, and they're also hugely entertaining… as long as you didn't have to endure them.

And that, ladies,  is why we'll be featuring weekly instalments from Swipe Right – a blog about the ups and downs of dating in Dublin and London. 

Last week our gal comes face to face with a guy who might be too good to be true, and now it's time for them to arrange the infamous third date.

The morning after our second date, I awoke to my phone buzzing with messages. 8.39am and he has sent me six texts.

Good morning, gorgeous.”

“How you feeling?”

“I had so much fun last night”

“Really keen to see you again soon.”

“when can I see you next ?”

“Hope I didn’t wake you.”

Too late buddy. You did.

Jeez man, ever heard of playing it cool? I mean it was nice to have a guy so interested in me, but my whole 'wanting to take things slow' meant I was adverse to this blatant show of affection.

He had a whiff of wife-shopper off him.

I had said in a previous post how I would explain what the key components of a wife shopper are.

So, here goes: a Wife Shopper is a man who can be found on most active dating sites. He is usually aged 32-40.

All his friends have recently settled down and have gotten married/had babies. His Friday night down the pub group has dwindled from eight to just two, him and the one other being the lad, who everyone thinks might have a bit of a problem with the drink.

He has decided that he absolutely must meet a girl who he can marry ASAP just so he can have something in common with all his married mates who seem to now do lots of things with his other couple friends.

He is so intent on marrying he has thrown all his normal dating criteria out the window. He doesn’t really care what she does, where she lives, what she’s interested in. He just wants to bag her so he can get her down the aisle.

He often succeeds cause let’s face it the majority of women on dating sites are husband shopping too. These types of unions rarely end well, he cheats and she gets fat and miserable. But hey they’re married! Yay!

Anyway, I looked at his messages and decided to turn off my phone, roll over and go back to sleep.

When I awoke a couple of hours later, I turned on my phone and had two missed calls and four more messages from him.

“You ok?”

“Sorry if I woke you.”

Half an hour later…

“I’m off to my Mums, she does a mean Sunday roast”

“Let me know when you are free next week I’ve a few ideas for our next date."

Ugh gosh, I realised I actually had a crazy week ahead. Work events almost every night and my friend was visiting from Dublin at the weekend. The only day I was free was the very next day which was a Monday and I was loathe to go out on a date on a Monday night. He’d have to wait till next week.

“Um… Hi!! Sorry I was actually sleeping late this morning so hope you didn’t think I was being rude by not replyinG. I had a lovely night last night too. Thanks for organising it all!” I texted

He replied within seconds.

“Ah you’re awake ! No worries I saw from WhatsApp you hadn’t read my messages yet! Dreaming of me, I hope ha ha ha”

Yikes. Awkward.

“Oh ha ha ha gosh don’t even know what I was dreaming of,” I replied lamely

“So, did you see my messages about our next date?” he typed eagerly

“Oh yep I did, so ….I actually have a mental week this week. I don’t think I’ll be free till next week.”

“Whaaaattt? Really? Oh no that’s a shame, I was really keen to see you.”

Yeah no shit, Sherlock.

“Oh I know, sorry it’s just I literally only have Monday night free this week there’s just loads on,”

“Ok great, well let’s do something tomorrow then. Maybe the cinema?” he asked hopefully.

“Oh oooh I dunno I kinda just want to keep tomorrow free seeing as I’m going to be out all week.”

“I thought we had a good night last night. Is this a brush off?” he said

“Gosh no man, not at all. I had a great night too, I actually am just geniuinely busy, I am looking forward to seeing you again too I swear.”

“Ok great, great. If you’re sure. I’ll just have to be patient and wait to see you again next week.” he relented

“We’ll defo meet up I’ll let you know when  I’m free ASAP”, I assured him. “Enjoy lunch in your mums, I’ll talk to you later”

“Ok great thanks, have a great day too.”

Later that evening my phone buzzed again.

“Hey gorgeous, how’s you?”

Ugh for Gods sake, I thought, pressing pause on my stream of Breaking Bad.

“Hiiii” I attempted,

“What you up to?”

“Oh just chillin, watching Breaking Bad” I said hoping  he’d get the hint.

“Great! Sooo I’ve just finished lunch in my mums and wondered if you fancied a drink now?”

I looked down at my house hoodie and pyjama bottoms which I had been wearing all day. There wasn’t a hope in hell of me going anywhere.

“Oh haha thanks, but not a chance of me moving tonight,” I warned.

“Ah fair enough, I just thought I’d chance my arm. Some mates of mine are out in Covent Garden they are trying to get me to come in.”

“Oh cool, you defo should”, I said hoping to wrap this up so I could get back to Walt and Jessie.

“Yeah I rarely get to see them all much lately but I’m a bit tired so not sure really.”

“Ah well if you don’t get to see them you should defo go in.”

“Really? You really think I should?”

“Eh.. Yeah sure… YOLO and all that, Go have a few drinks and enjoy yourself.”

“Wow” he said “that’s really good advice coming from a PG.”

Hmmm PG? What’s a PG? Parent Guardian was the only PG I knew!

“PG?” I typed “What’s a PG?”

“Potential Girlfriend."

Oh good God. I think I just did a little bit of sick in my mouth. He did not just say that. He did not just call me his potential girlfriend after two dates.

“Ummmmm, huh?” Sorry, but I wasn’t even going to pretend this was OK..

“Maybe I shouldn’t have said potential,” he said

Oh God, this is getting worse.

“Eh no no, the potential is fine, it’s the G word I have a problem with,” I said

“Oh sorry, it was just an expression, I just really like you and think it’s great you are encouraging me to meet my mates. My ex would never have done that.” he pleaded.

“Right, yeah ok, but maybe just leave the G  word out of it for a wee while. I’m just out of a relationship as I mentioned last night so I just don’t want to be rushing into anything serious, hope that’s ok?” I explained

”Yeah of course of course, sorry I didn’t mean to freak you there, it was just an expression.”

“Cool no worries, anyway look enjoy yourself with your mates. I’ll talk to you tomorrow,” I said, hastily cutting him off.

He may have pulled a top 10 date outta the bag last night, but the way he’s acting now I’m half expecting to find a bunny boiling on my cooker top.

The next morning he sent me another message.

“Hey, took your advice last night and went out with the lads. Worse for wear now."

“Ha oh God, poor you.”

“Hey listen sorry if I came on too strong last night, I think I might have had one two many glasses of wine with my Sunday roast. I know you are wanting to take things slow and I totally respect that”

'Awww ok well that’s fair enough.' I thought. If his biggest crime was that he liked me a tad too much then I needed to give him a break.

Turns out when I told all my workmates about his PG comment his biggest crime was most definitely calling me a Potential Girlfriend. Some of them actually gasped and took steps backward when I told them.

Not even the champagne and oysters of the date could override this obvious faux pas.

But I had already promised a third date.

Feck.

To be continued….

If you want to learn more about Ariana's dating exploits, be sure to keep up to date on Swipe Right's Facebook page.

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As if the world of modern dating wasn't complicated enough, it seems our potential suitors have come up with a new express their disinterest – and no, it's not being open and honest (shocker).

Ghosting, gatsbying, stashing – the list goes on. 

And now, let us introduce the newest trend on the dating scene, 'submarining'.

According to Metro.co.uk, the new phenomenon is a close relative of zombieing – the act of going AWOL on a potential love interest only to return months later with a rather pathetic 'Hey, sorry it's been a while. How've you been?' message.

Of course, their lackluster excuse is not worth an response, but hey, at least you got an apology.

A submarine victim would never be so lucky.

After months of zero contact, said submarining will once again slide into your DMs without ever acknowledging their extended absence.

No 'I've been really bust with work', no 'I've had a lot on plate these past few months,' in fact, they'll have no shame whatsoever.

Not only is it pretty presumptuous of them to expect you're still interested after all this time, but above all else, it's just plain rude.

And while it might be tempting to let the past go, we'd recommend you do quite the opposite. If you don't, you risk setting yourself up for another let down, and let's face it, calling someone out on their BS can be pretty cathartic. 

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Scott Disick is reported to be dating 19-year-old model Sofia Richie

The pair were spotted reclining and strolling on a beach in Florida this week.

The new couple stole a kiss, which was captured by paps at the scene.

The pair were also spotted together during New York Fashion Week last week. 

Sofia, daughter of Lionel Richie, is fifteen years younger than her new beau. 

Kourtney Kardashian, Scott's ex and mother to his three children, is reportedly embarrassed by his behaviour. 

 

A post shared by Sofia Richie (@sofiarichie) on

A source told The Sun: 'Kourtney is done with Scott – she finds his behaviour embarrassing.'

'She’s totally over it and can’t help but be furious with him. Why is he hanging around with teenage girls?'

Scott was previously linked to Bella Thorne, also 19, during the summer. 

Kourtney has also moved on with a younger man. Her current boyfriend, Younes Bendjima is 23-years-old. 

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This one was ridiculously good looking, and I mean that in a Zoolander kinda way, as almost all of his pics were 'blue steels' but sadly non-ironically.

But to be fair to him he was hot. He was tanned with a David Beckham’esque hair cut and piercing blue eyes.

One of his pics was him at a wedding in a gorgeous expensive looking crisp white shirt, collar undone, dickie bow hanging loosely either side, mouth open…

OK done… swipe right! Thank the Lord it’s a match.

The Chat

It was about 11pm on a Sunday night. I often go on a Tinder spree at this time if I’ve had a particularly boring weekend so my quest to find my OTL gets ramped up.

I messaged him.

“I bet I can guess what you do for a living in three guesses."

Now, I know this may sound like a pretty great Tinder opening line to get a guy to engage in a conversation, and that maybe this was a line I’d used before but in fact it wasn’t!

I actually genuinely just thought from looking at his pics that I could guess what he did.

“Well that sounds like a fun challenge,” he replied straightaway. “I tell you what, if you guess correctly I buy you drinks all night. If you guess incorrectly, then the evenings on you.”

“Challenge accepted,” I replied with a winky face. “OK, so guess number one, you dress well, you’re nicely tanned, you have a certain suaveness about you, I reckon you work in Recruitment / Sales?”

“Incorrect,” he replied

“Damn. Hmmm ok Creative Director?”

“Nope, wrong again, these free drinks are looking good to me,” he replied cheekily.

Damn! Ok come on Ari,you’ve got this. I looked at his pics again, studied every nuance and suddenly it hit me!

“I know, I know! You work in banking” I exclaimed.

“Yes! I didn’t think you’d guess correctly!” he replied, clearly impressed

“OK ,then you smart alec, when you free for me to fulfil my end of the bargain?”

And just like that I had a date! That was pretty frickin easy!

The Date

He picked the bar, the date and the time!

Finally; a man who can take control and make a friggin decision!

This particular date was one of my many Tinder dates I had when living in London, so the destination was a quaint little wine bar in Kings Cross or so the website informed me when I looked it up.

I rarely went out in Kings Cross despite it being just two stops on the Tube from where I lived, but I was grateful for the change of scenery and the chance to experience another side of London nightlife.

We had been chatting briefly over WhatsApp in the three days between my opening guessing game and our date night, but in all honesty I knew very little about this guy.

Sometimes this is the best way to play the Tinder game; just lock in a date straight away without spending weeks chatting back and forth which can often heighten your expectations before being spectacularly let down when you meet the real life person.

This was just simple. I’d get to know him on the date like dating should be before apps took over and ruined everything!

Unfortunately, the quaint little wine bar was so quaint it was impossible to find!

I obediently followed the blue flashing dot on my iPhone to a dead end, turned around and asked several passersby if they knew where this said bar was (quite possibly one of the most frustrating experiences on earth, having to ask people in London for directions) needless to say my pleas for help left me none the wiser and I was forced to call him.

“Hello?” he said in an incredibly sexy north London accent

“Oh hi um, it’s me Ariana, sorry but I’m a bit lost and can’t find the bar.”

“No worries, I’m here now actually so I’ll just drop you a pin and you should find it easily then.”

“Super, thanks a mil, see you soon.”

“Red wine ok?” He asked before I hung up.

“Red wine would be perfect."

So far, this guy was my kinda guy.

Two seconds later and my phone pinged with a location pin and five minutes later I was arriving into a dim candlelit wine bar with leather couches and several cool Londoners dappled around the room sipping out of over sized wine glasses.

A quick glance around the room and there was my date.

I gulped.

Shit, this guy was hot. Like, intimidatingly so.

He was sitting down, one arm up on the back of the couch, legs spread in comfortable and confident manner.

He was wearing a round necked navy cashmere jumper, dark blue jeans and fabulous brown leather brogues.

He looked at me and smiled and my heart skipped a beat. His teeth were white and perfectly straight, he looked like something you’d see from a catalogue advertising yachts for sale.

I selfconciously swept my hair over to one shoulder and headed over to him with a smile.

“Hey, God, sorry I was totally lost there,” I said as he stood to greet me.

“No worries, at all, nice to meet you, ” he said placing his hand on my arm and double kissing  me on each cheek.

I sat down next to him. Now it was my turn to be nervous.

He picked up the bottle of wine and went to pour it into my ready and waiting empty glass, but before he did he cocked his head and asked.

“It’s a Marlborough Pinot Noir, that ok for you?”

Absof*ckinlutely I thought, while I just nodded at him.

“So Ariana” he said handing me the glass “How long you been on Tinder?”

Boom. That was it.

One of the worst opening question you can be asked on a Tinder date as I’ve come to the conclusion that when I guy asks you that straight off the bat he is looking for one thing and one thing only and that’s no strings attached sex.

Look, don’t get me wrong. I’m no prude and there is nothing wrong with a bit of fun here and there but when you are on a quest to find your OTL and you're putting yourself out there to go on these endless dates, knowing that a guy is only out for one thing straight off the bat is a bit disconcerting.

You’re suddenly playing a very different game. If, indeed, you even want to play the game at all, but if you do, you are moving from the Charm Offensive, to the Art of Seduction and sometimes that switch doesn’t come easy.

But looking at this guy I wasn’t putting away the key to my chastity belt just yet, I’d see where the night would take us, so I sipped my wine and said, “Oh, only a couple of months, how about you?”

“Bout two months now.”

“Oh right ok, so you’re only recently single I take it.”

“That’s right, yeah, just came out of a five year relationship.”

“Wow so you must be like a kid in a candy store now with Tinder eh?”

He laughed at this while nodding his head “Oh yeah Tinder is AWESOME” he said eyeing me appreciatively.

I was wearing a v necked black and white dress, black tights and high boots, with red lipstick and a thickly black lined eyes. I wasn’t looking too shabby, but I still felt like Attilla the hun next to him.

He reached for his wine glass and I noticed his hands were manicured. Perfectly buffed cuticles glowed within the setting of his beautifully tanned hands.

“Yeah, yeah, I gotta say discovering Tinder after being in a relationship for five years has been quite the revelation,” he smiled and took a sexy sip of his vino.

“I’d say you’re having fun alright” I agreed knowingly.

“Have you had any horror dates so far?” I asked.

“One or two, one or two” he said nodding

“Actually my very first one was a bit of a nightmare” he added in his posh London droll.

“Oh yeah, pray tell” I said getting comfortable.

“Well, so I matched with this girl, who was f*cking hot, like a model, like she was a ten for sure” he said getting excited.

Cue another selfconscious sweep of my hair to one side and straightening of my posture. I am probably a 4 and a half at best, so knowing I was being compared to a 10 was unnerving.

“Oh yeah, good for you” I said with a nod and a wink

“Well yeah, but, well wait till you hear,” he said raising his hand and smiling at me

“So we arrange to meet down on Southbank, at about 4pm. It was a gorgeous sunny day and I rock up in my shades and I see this chick sitting there and she is super hot, like absolutely gorgeous, a model for sure”

OK dude, I get it she was hot.

“So I sit down and we order a bottle of wine and we get chatting and I mean she was a nice enough girl, but just not a lot of substance to her, but like she was smokin, so anyway we’re chatting and drinking and just shooting the breeze and we order another bottle of wine and everything’s going great, and I’m thinking, I’m quids in here. This girl is amazing, Tinder is unbelievable, I’m feeling good about being single and then she goes…”Hey so guess what I tried last week for the first time” and I said “Oooh I dunno, tell me” thinking all kinds of dirty thoughts and then she goes “Crack”.

"Pah!" I guffawed at that point and sat up in my seat.

“Whaaatt?” I said with dramatic affect. “I assume she didn’t mean Irish craic.”

“No no, not at all, this girl was from Kent, and she meant crack as in the drug”

Ha!

“So I said, what do you mean like crack the drug? and she said “Yeah, yeah, I smoked it, it was great, have you ever tried it?” and I said 'Erm no no, can’t say that I have no.”

I interrupted him here and said: “So like have you ever tried any drugs?”

“Oh yeah like I mean I’ve dabbled here and there when I was younger but nothing major, I work out six days a week” he said rubbing his belly.

Actually, belly is probably the wrong word, he was toned and fit as f*ck this chap.

“So, I don’t really like to mess with my body too much, but this hot chick just being so blase and open about the fact she had done crack was baffling to me," he said.

“So what happened?” I asked

“Well it gets worse. So I said ‘oh um,  but that’s cool, good for you, so you like to party then do you” and she said “hell yeah I love to party, hey what do you say we get a bag of coke and go back to yours?”

"So I look at this girl and I take in the situation and I hesitate for like a second before saying “Hell yeah, lets do it”. So I call for the bill and this chick takes out her phone and calls her dealer and I settle the bill and next thing I know we are standing outside Waterloo station waiting for her dealer to come," he continues.

"She turns to me and says “I ordered two grams, that cool with you?” and I’m just getting swept up in the situation so I’m like, “yeah sure great”, to be honest if this chick said she had ordered  two elephants dressed in tutu’s I would have just gone along with it."

"But then she says 'So I just need to go to the ATM'. So I go with her and I’m waiting for her and the ATM starts to beep and she turns to me all sheepishly and says, “oooh insufficient funds, that’s um embarrassing, don’t suppose you can spot us, for now?”

"She sidles up to me like a cat and plants a kiss on my cheek so I’m still thinking ok sure, “how much is it?” and she goes “£300”.

"Now I’m no mug and I know that coke does not cost that much so I said “How much?” and she said, “oh it’s really good stuff, pure cut."

"Just then her phone rang, and she said “oh it’s ‘im”. She answered and walked away from me to talk to him."

"So I’m standing there and I’m looking at her, and looking at the entrance to Waterloo and the escalators down to the concourse and I’m thinking, 'something isn’t right here, I’m gonna get done over here I can just feel it.'"

"So, she’s on the phone and she’s about 15 feet away with her back to me talking frantically to this guy and I’m looking at her and looking at the escalators, and then looking at her and looking at the escalators and then I just think, fuck it, so I legged it and left her.”

Hahahahahahahaha.

“Hahahahahahah” I laugh “Oh my god I can’t believe you just left her”

“Oh I bet the ‘dealer’ was probably her pimp or something. Looking back now the whole situation was just dodgy as fuck.”

“Haha, oh God that’s hilarious though, talk about an intro into app dating.”

“I know, it’s been fun though, I’ve been on quite a few dates since then and they’ve all been fun.”

Yep, this guy was having his cake and eating it.

“So how about you?” he asked while signalling to the waitress. “Any horror stories?”

As readers of this blog, you will know that I can regale people with a dating story or two so I began to tell him about ‘The Visa Hunter’.

As I was telling the story he ordered us another bottle of wine and some olives to nibble on.

I was enjoying myself. This guy was fun, but I could tell that he was just gonna be a one time thing.

He seemed like he was super materialistic and narcissistic, a stereotypical London pretty boy banker, and indeed he was.

It later transpired, as we went through our second bottle of wine, that he lived in a duplex apartment in London Bridge, he drove a Porsche and went skiing every year in Chamoinx.

Our conversation moves on and we get talking about our religious beliefs. I think it was because of my Irish’isms, throwing the words God and Jesus around as sentence fillers.

“So you a good Catholic Irish girl then?” he asked mischievously

“Ha well I wouldn’t go that far” I said. “I’m Catholic by birth defect not really religious at all, but I would be quite spiritual” making an effort to look deeply into his sea blue eyes.

“Oh yeah? That’s cool, that’s cool, yeah me too, me too, I’ve recently become quite spiritual myself,” he said

“Oh really, how so?” This was interesting, most men would baulk at the idea of spirituality!

He suddenly looked all serious and solemn.

“Well honestly I read this book recently that just changed my life! It was by the amazing Brazilian authour Paulo…..”

“Cohelo” I said, finishing his sentence for him

“YEAH! Paulo Cohelo, you’ve heard of him?”

Um yeah course I have. Me and 40 million other people worldwide who’ve read his canon fodder “books”.

“Um yeah, I’ve read a few of his books,” I replied

His eyes grew wide as if I’d just said something super impressive to him.

“Wow that’s incredible, well basically oI read this unbelievable book he wrote about this Shepherd called Santiago”

Oh god is this guy for real, is he about to tell me that The Alchemist changed his life.

“It is called The Alchemist,” he said in a sacred tone

“Um yeah I’ve read it”

“YOU’VE READ IT!” he exclaimed.

Er, yes, me and 20 million other people. The way this guy is talking about this book you’d swear he found it by the side of the road while on a pilgrimage to Mecca.

“Isn’t it just amazing? It made me want to quit my job and just go tending sheep in the foothills of Chile” he said whimsically

“Haha, oh don’t do that mate, your Porsche isn’t gonna drive itself,” I said ironically

Gosh I’m sorry, but anyone who thinks The Alchemist is the peak of literary goodness is just a little bit lost inside.

I decided this would be a good time to go for a smoke and he said he would join me.

While outside I could see him better. And he was just divine. While I smoked, he pretended to inhale on the cigarette I had given him.

“I’m not a big fan of smoking” he said “But actually when I was in Morocco last month I ordered a fab porcelain hashish pipe and a tonne of flavoured tobacco. It just got delivered yesterday actually”

“Oh amazing I love Hashisha” I said tipsyly.

“Oh yeah? Well, hey look, I don’t live too far from here in a cab, do you fancy coming back and helping me build it and we can smoke some apple or vanilla flavoured tobacco out on my roof? I have an amazing view over London.”

Now look, I know this guy wasn’t going to be my OTL, but smoking hashisha fresh from Morocco with an absolute ridebag on a London rooftop are not things I get the chance to do that often so ….

I adjusted my hailo on my head, kissed him on the cheek and went home by myself, got into my pyjamas, made myself a cup of cocoa, said my prayers and went to sleep.

If you want to learn more about Ariana's dating exploits, be sure to keep up to date on Swipe Right's Facebook page

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So, whether you're a hopeless romantic or professional cynic, we can all agree that public displays of heartbreak and devastation are well, at little over the top.

Don't get us wrong, we love cheesy rom-coms and The Script's albums as much as the next person, but we can't help but feel slightly puzzled by this man's attempt to win back his ex-girlfriend.

Luke Howard, a 34-year-old musician who reckons he's some kind of real life Prince Charming, has set up a piano in a public park in Bristol, pledging to play the keys until his beloved 'Rapunzel' takes him back.

According to Metro.co.uk, the heartbroken romantic said it was his “last throw of the dice” after the four-month long relationship came to an end.

Image: Bristol Post 

Speaking to the Bristol Post, Luke explained that the pair's parting “wasn’t anything nasty or bad,” but merely a case of bad timing.

“If it was anything bad why we split up then I wouldn’t be doing this, but it’s the only thing I can think of doing.”

Couldn't just pick up the phone then, no? OK.

He continued: “It’s a kind of off-the-cuff thing, and I just want her to know how much I love her, to give us a chance rather than leave it there. I’m not ready to throw in the towel just yet.”

And though the mysterious 'Rapunzel' has yet to comment on the situation, it seems Luke's plan may have already backfired after Twitter got wind of his stunt, and well, basically did what Twitter does best.

What do you think? Romantic or just plain creepy? 

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When it comes to online dating, first impressions are everything.

You may have chosen your most flattering photos and crafted a suitably witty bio, but all that effort could be in vain if you're not wearing the right clothers, a new study has shown. 

Research conducted by Hater, a dating app that matches users based on their mutual dislikes, has found some of the most common deal breakers for women looking to match with men.

According to Mashable, the team looked at data from its 400,000 users and divided the men into two categories – those who were swiped right on the most, and those who were swiped right on the least.

After the profiles were analysed, the team discovered that women were hugely turned off by men who wore cargo shorts (those Khaki things with the pockets your dad use to wear on holidays) or expressed an interest in Pokemon Go or Windows computers.

On the other end of the scale, it seems men are deemed more attractive if the dress in 'preppy' clothes, eat superfoods and drink PBR (an Instagram-friendly American larger loved by hipsters).

So basically, women are looking for the stereotypical jock from ever American high school movie ever made, but given that the study was conducted on a relatively small scale, we're going to take these findings with a pinch of salt.

After all, one woman's trash is another woman's treasure.

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We've all been there – you both swiped right, flirty banter ensues and the playful gif exchanges continue until one of you finally works up the courage to ask the all important question – "how about a date then?"

Of course you answer (after the appropriate amount of time has passed, of course), "sure, when're you free?"

But wait.

What are you and this mystery date going to do? You barely know this person. Do you even like the same things?

The dialouge continues: 'So, what were thinking?', to which they reply, 'I don't mind, got any suggestions?', and the vicious cycle continues just long enough to ruin the potential romance before it even began.

Wouldn't it be great to find someone absolutely bursting with cute and fun first date ideas?

Enter Ben Velzian.

The single Londoner was arranging a first date recently, and when asked for suggestions, he sent on a pretty extensive PowerPoint presentation filled with some wonderful ideas.

However, for some unknown reason, the guy Ben was trying to win over didn't appreciate his stroke of genius and promptly blocked him on WhatsApp.

But, luckily for us, Ben saw the funny side of the situation and shared it on Twitter for our entertainment. 

You know what, Ben? They are splendid ideas, and we're not the only ones who think so. 

Y'know, we reckon we could all do with someone like Ben in our lives. 

Not only is he hilarious and charming, but let's face it, the boy's got mad PowerPoint skills. 

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So, if like many of us, your expectation of dating was left skewed after a few too many Meg Ryan rom-coms, you'll know just how different romance can be on this side of the pond.

Think less Carey and Big and a little more Gavin and Stacey.

According to a recent study conducted by dred.com, dating practices between the two cultures actually differ quite a bit – like the fact that an American man is five per cent more likely to pick up the bill than his European counterpart.

Here's a breakdown of some of the most interesting results:

Feeling frisky?

When it came to getting down and dirty on the first date, 76 per cent of both American and European men said they would sleep with someone if the chemistry was right, while only 42 per cent of European and 37 per cent of American women agreed.

Bad first dates

According to the survey, six per cent of European men and two per cent of European and American women have snuck away from a bad first bad without even saying goodbye.

On the other side, 40 per cent of European men said they would stay and give it a chance, while only 31 per cent of American fellows said the same.

Location, location, location

All groups agreed that the best place for a first date was either a restaurant or coffee shop.

However, a high percentage of European men (35 per cent) said that dinner at one another's home was the perfect first date activity (???).

Deal breakers

Both sexes cited bad breath or poor personal hygiene as an instant mood killer.

72 per cent of men also said they would not ask for a second date if the other person treated the waitress or bar staff poorly.

Going dutch?

Interestingly, European women are twice as likely as American women to suggest splitting the bill, while both men and women from the USA believe that the man should pick up the check.

 

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Bad news for anyone born in 1991 – according to this Chinese magazine, you'll struggle to find love.

The state-owned publication, caused a stir online after making the claim that people born in the year of the sheep are destined for a lifetime of bad luck in the romance department.

See, in Beijing, many of the older population still believe in the old Chinese custom of matching two families based on their personalities, social class and even the Chinese zodiac – all of which were reflected in the answers given in a recent interview by Phoenix Weekly.

The magazine asked a number of parents living in Beijing what it was like to try to set their sons and daughters up with a potential love interest, and concluded that for those born in 1991, “life is not good -no children even if other conditions are appropriate.”

One interviewee even said, "No people whose Chinese Zodiac is a sheep."

The article sparked huge backlash on Weibo, with many users taking offence at the comments made about the year of the sheep. 

"My mother is a sheep, my girlfriend is also a sheep… this superstition is nonsense, sheep have the best temperament,” one man said.

So, if your birthday does happen to fall in 1991, all hope is not lost.

In fact, according to Chinese astrologer, Master George Tang, those born in the year of the sheep are “refined, cunning, aesthetic, perceptive, charming, serene and sensitive.”

You got this! 

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Dublin is home to an array of incredible venues and attractions, and yet most of us find ourselves stumped when it comes to choosing a spot for a date.

Whether you want to break the ice on a first date or inject a little excitement into a 41st date, we’ve all found ourselves scratching our heads and racking our brains before eventually plumping for pints… again.

If you’re sick of the same old spots, and only dying to have an Insta-worthy day or night out, then why not wow your other half with one of the following?

1. Go steppin’

Hosted by Dublin’s swish Number 22 on Anne Street South, the Slide Step Dance Company take the audience on a journey through the incredible world of dance.

From the social dances of the past to the cutting edge modern choreography of Ireland today, the guys and gals behind the award-winning troupe will provide you and your SO with some serious entertainment.

2. Go vintage

Travel back in time on your date with a trip to the Café Society of a Saturday night.

Café Society is a 12-piece big band performing songs and compositions made famous by Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Cab Calloway, Fats Waller at Number 22, so if you’re a vintage girl at heart, this is the perfect date spot for you.

3. Go climbin’

If you and your other half are the active sorts, then why not incorporate a little exercise into your date by opting for a rock-climbing session?

Fun, exhilarating and definitely something to share on Insta, this is one date you’ll chat about for weeks to come.

4. Go rummagin’

Our capital city is awash with vintage markets at the weekend, and there’s nothing more relaxing than having a root through the stalls with your other half.

They say one man’s trash is another’s man’s treasure, so why not spend the afternoon snapping up some serious bargains?

5. Go disco’in

If you and your SO are all about drinks and disco, then it’s time to hit up The Glitter Ball at Number 22.

A throwback to disco‘s heyday, this Saturday night attraction will transport you from Dublin’s city centre to the glitz and glamour of 1970s New York.

 

Brought to you by

Behind the blue door at Number Twenty Two is a unique and exclusive venue that combines the Library bar, restaurant and theatre club. For more info click here

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