Inject a little romance into your life with some old-fashioned dates.
Coffee and a gallery
Meeting in the day for a first date can ease the pressure a little, you can chat in a quiet café and then potter around a gallery, museum or the park. You could even go for a picnic, weather permitting. Daytime dates also allow you the chance to cut them short with minimum disruption if it is going terribly.
Do: Talk, try to stay sober.
Don't: Dress for clubbing, bore them on the relative merits of existentialism.
Meal at a restaurant
Traditional and fairly failsafe, the candlelit meal for two can be very romantic. Dress up for the occasion, eat, drink, talk and be merry.
Do: Check what type of restaurant they like and book a table. Be sure to avoid food that is messy to eat (spaghetti etc), 'bolognese chin' is not a good look.
Don't: Order garlic-drenched food unless they do too; talk with your mouth full.
Movie and milkshake
"Saturday night at the movies, who cares what picture we see?" Well they probably will, so either work out what you want to see together beforehand, or on the night. Sitting in the cinema for a couple of hours will allow those nerves to subside before you really get chatting, as well as giving you something to talk about. It's important to go for a drink afterwards, be it a coffee or a cocktail, otherwise you've just gone out to sit in silence, and that's not good for romance, even if you did spend the whole time pashing.
Do: Choose somewhere that's not too packed and rowdy, as you want to be able to sit down together and hear each other without having to shout.
Don't: Cry over spilt milk.
Imagine it, on a crisp winter night you both wrap up warm and walk hand in hand in the moonlight, admiring the burnt out cars, sewage, and general detritus you stroll by. Is something wrong with this picture? YES! Location, location, location is all important to keeping the romance, as is your general safety fear may add to the 'my hero' gasps, but not if you both get mugged.
Do: Pick a pretty setting, such as a beach, the riverside or parkland.
Don't: Think a walk to the 24-hour garage will do the trick.
Dancing cheek to cheek
Be it ballroom or salsa, being that close to a new partner will either ignite the passion or put it out, but either way the date should be fun, and it will help to break the ice.
Do: Learn to dance! If you don't know how to dance, take lessons beforehand, get inspired by the film Born Romantic, and whisk your date off their feet.
Don't: Stink, and don't stamp on their feet, stilettos leave holes and big boots break bones.
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