Being a single girl dating in London for 3 years I learned a few things, ended up in some interesting situations, and met lots of people. My observations on dating are from a London perspective. I believe in London things are a bit different that the rest of England due to the anonomity of a big city, but for the most part I think things are similar across the UK.
I have been open to trying most anything…. and it has been interesting to say the least!
Here is what I learned in my years as a single girl:
They don’t get dating in England. They tend to get drunk, sleep together, then ask the girl out for dinner…. or not. Things are a bit backwards.
For guys last call at the pub means last chance to talk to a girl before you get chucked out and have to go home alone.
Unless it is last call (and/or 8 pints later) British guys are not likely to approach you.
However they will surround a group of girls on the dance floor and before you know it some guy you don’t know, who hasn’t even said hi, is rubbing up against you. Awful!
Speed dating is exhausting but it's an interesting experience and good for a laugh. Group support recommended (bring friends). I met a presenter from work at an event. He was so mortified to meet someone from work and so worried that I might tell people I saw him there that he didn't stop to think how it was completely insulting his attitude was.
On-line dating is not for me. You can’t tell if there's chemistry via email (or a 5 year old profile photo) and I’m not looking for a pen pal.
Singles parties, are as awful as they sound.
Work – tread with caution and if they work in TV or sport don’t bother. I suspect banking and finance is the same.
Approching randoms in bars, this can work, just think of it as a way of meeting new people and making a night more interesting, no pressure.
After seeing someone for 2.5 months if they stop calling, texting and emailing you, as a way let you know they don’t want to see you any more don’t be surprised. (For the record this one of the most cowardly ways to behave I can think of).
My tips for the single girl:
If he likes you enough he will talk about future plans, in fact he will want to know before you leave when he will see you next.
Also if he really likes you he will not make you wonder what is going on, he will make sure you know where you stand, mostly this can be seen in how he behaves. Talk is cheap. He won’t want to risk some other guy nabbing you.
If he really likes you he won’t text you at inappropriate times saying inappropriate things. This boy is looking for a booty call, stop hoping more will come of it.
If he has just broken up with someone in the past 30 days wait, you don’t want to be the rebound girl.
Some of you may find this offensive as modern independent girls but I think it's true. If he likes you he will want to spoil you and look after you. This means he will go out of his way to meet you (not the other way around) and he will pick up the bill when he asks you out for dinner. He won’t be keeping track of how much things cost, he's more concerned with making sure you are enjoying yourself. However this doesn’t apply to drinks at a bar, if he keeps those flowing like water from a tap he is most likely trying to get you drunk and in bed.
Go on dates even if you aren’t sure. You may get to know them better and like what you learn about them. Even if they don’t work out as boyfriend material they could become a new friend.
Keep first dates causal and short. Meeting for a coffee is so popular in North America because we know how to date. If it's going really well there is no reason not to continue on to get something to eat or go for a walk etc. If it’s not going well then off you go after your coffee is done. Also it's easier to judge someone after some drinks in a well lit Costa Coffee than a few Martinis in a dark bar.
Make sure to have a friend or 2 who are also single for support. It's amazing how fast those who are coupled up forget the reality of being single. It is fun and exciting but it can be lonely and frustrating too.
Enjoy yourself, and be safe!