Fashion

Break the dating rules

Presented by
Figleaves

Modern dating – what a minefield. If you’re not being ghosted (ignored) or benched (kept hanging) then you’re meeting yet another date who looks nothing like their profile picture. Figleaves.com wants to help you find the perfect fit in every aspect of your life, so we talked to two dating experts for advice on how to make the most of every date.

Rethink your rules

“The type of person people say they want to meet and those they fall for often don’t match up,” says Matt Verity. “We often filter out people – both online and in person – for things that aren’t actually deal-breakers. You might say you would never date a smoker then dismiss someone great who quits later. You’re shutting out a whole bunch of potential good dates.”

Only message six times

“Our data suggests that you should exchange no more than six back-and-forth messages online before meeting up,” says Verity. “People can spend so much time messaging that the original spark is dissolved – it leads people to question if there is any genuine interest. Leave the real questions and conversations until you actually meet. Having nothing to talk about because you already know it all doesn’t kick things off well.”

Do something fun

“Fitness followed by brunch is a popular New York date format that’s picking up here,” says Nana Wereko-Brobby. “People work-out together then talk about the class afterwards. Professionals are becoming more intolerant of binge-drinking on dates, so this introduces another element.” Verity agrees: “Sitting in a coffee shop resembles a job interview. Doing something fun, interesting or playful is an easy conversation-starter. So play table tennis or retro video games, go paddleboarding or do a cookery class. There’s a higher possibility of creating attraction than with mundane CV-type exchanges such as, ‘What do you do? How was your day?’”

If you’re on the fence, accept a second date 

“Second dates are key,” Verity explains. “When we don’t know people, we pick up on little things about them – messy hair, lateness, dirty shoes – and make them bigger deals than they are. Once you get to know a person, those things recede in importance. Most of us don’t form a romantic connection from a first impression. It’s as you grow more familiar that attraction grows.”

Be honest if you bail

“It’s polite to spend at least 45 minutes on a date,” Wereko-Brobby says. “It gives you enough time to learn something about them. If it doesn’t work out, be honest when you leave and blame a lack of chemistry. It’s a good way of protecting fragile egos. Say it was great to meet but you didn’t feel a spark.”

Lock in a second date

“Lock in the second date during your first,” advises Wereko-Brobby. “When you’re talking about a bar, activity or restaurant, say you’ll take them there and find out when they’re free.”

Finally… trust your gut

“If you start to rationalise somene’s bad behaviour, it’s likely that you’re more keen than they are,” says Wereko-Brobby. “Trust your gut.”

Meet the experts

  • Nana Wereko-Brobby: Founder of private dating events club Social Concierge


  • Matt Verity: Co-founder of award-winning dating app TrueView


Win a £100 voucher from Figleaves

You could also win a trip to London, complete with an overnight stay and dinner at a top restaurant.

As well as being your first port of call for a perfectly fitted bra, Figleaves is offering one lucky reader the chance to win a £100 voucher and a luxurious trip to London. The winner of our exclusive competition will be treated to an overnight stay in the capital along with dinner for two at the Paternoster Chop House in St. Paul’s. Two runners up will win a £100 e-gift card to spend at figleaves.com.

Oh no, you’re a little late!

Sorry, the promotion closed about 1 year ago. Don’t worry, you’re still a winner to us. We have loads of other competitions running every week.

Open to UK 18+ only. Normal exclusions apply. Opens 31/10/17 and closes 11:59pm on 31/12/17. Only one entry per household. No purchase necessary. Internet connection and email address required. Answer the multiple-choice question provided and submit your details. 1 grand prize of an overnight stay in London for 2 adults (18+). Includes dinner up to £200 at Paternoster Chop House and a £100 Figleaves gift card. Stay must be taken by 31/07/18, subject to availability. 2 runners-up of a £100 Figleaves gift card. Full Ts&Cs can be found below. Promoter: Shortlist Media Limited, 26-34 Emerald Street, London WC1N 3QA.