Top 5 Bad Dates, by a London correspondent

50 Shades of Grey, hilarious pictures of British royalty, and the Olympics aren't the only good things to come out of England these days. This single London lady brings us the best in her bad dates...
5. Mr Toy Story
I met Mr Toy Story in Infernos - this being a notoriously cheesy Clapham nightclub frequented mainly by fresh university graduates, alarm bells should have already been ringing! It was on our first date that I discovered he was 22, whilst I was 27(!) but he seemed mature for his age so I was willing to overlook the age gap and all was going well. Then one night he came round for dinner and afterwards suggested we pick a film from my TV's 'Movies on Demand' - from this extensive list of films he was adamant we watched Toy Story 3!? After an hour and a half of awkwardness (it's not exactly a rom com to snuggle up to on the sofa!) my niggling issues about his age were exacerbated to levels that could no longer be ignored!! LOL! To make the situation worse, despite not having seen either of the first two Toy Story films, I got way too involved in the storyline and cried at the ending, as in proper 'tears running down face' crying!? Needless to say whatever chemistry might have been there at the beginning of the evening had been well and truly quashed by the end of all this. Foolishly I didn't learn my lesson about younger men and just this year I agreed to a Valentine's Day dinner date with a 21 year old - 7 YEARS my junior!! On our second date he told me he was 'really falling for me' and asked at what stage do we change our relationship status on Facebook!?
Lesson to be learnt: Follow a strict non-cougar rule, with the only exceptions being for One Direction or Zac Efron ;)
4. Mr Rack-of-ribs
Now this man I had such high hopes for - he worked at Credit Suisse, was tall, rugby-esque, and an appropriate age! For our first date he said to meet at Balham station and that he had made dinner reservations. What I was not expecting as a choice of first date venue was Cattle Grid - the name says it all, basically you have a choice of beef, beef or beef! I went for the safest option of steak, over ribs or burgers, neither of which would be attractive first-date food - clearly this concern did not enter his mind when he ordered this:
Yes, a full rack-of-ribs - you can only imagine what he looked like whilst devouring this! Not quite knowing where to look, I made my best attempts at polite first date chit-chat, whilst just being greeted with one word answers and grunts from him. The next morning I was giving the usual date lowdown at work, sharing my traumas of the food choices and lack of conversation, when my straight talking colleague responded (quite rightly) with "Well I'm not surprised he was quiet if he had a gob full of ribs for the entire evening".
Lesson to be learnt: Men, please don't take girls to a steakhouse on your first date - it's just not pretty!
3. Mr Easter Eggs
This was one of my first online dates and he suggested we go for lunch around Covent Garden. Considering the photos were of a dashing, well-groomed chap, in a nice suit with short blondish hair, I was not expecting to walk out of Covent Garden station to be greeted by a scruffy man who looked like Maggot from Goldie Lookin Chain:
Refusing to believe that the man heading towards me was in fact the same person, it was only when he thrust three Easter eggs in my face that I realised that yes, this was the man I was going for lunch with. He'd brought a selection of eggs (creme egg, galaxy egg, etc.) as 'he didn't know which one I'd like' but all I could think was 'Who is this strange man, and what has he put in these eggs?!' As we looked for somewhere to go for lunch, I told myself I can get through this if I just drink enough wine - it was then that he told me he was massively hungover and we therefore had to have a painfully sober and awkward lunch, followed by him chomping his way through the two eggs I hadn't chosen (again, not attractive first-date food)! I thought I'd made it quite clear that I wasn't interested but he texted to try and arrange a second date before I had even got on the tube home!
Lesson to be learnt: Men sometimes don't look like their carefully selected online dating pics! Also DON'T agree to go for lunch/dinner on a first date, just drinks is much easier to escape from!
2. Mr Eurovision
Don't worry, this was not a man with a weird obsession with the Eurovision Song Contest, but got labelled with this nickname as we met at a friend's Eurovision themed birthday party - he was a Romanian 'Dracula', I was a Swedish milk maid; it was a beautiful union! We went on a string of dates, with him staying at mine over several weekends as he lived outside London. He was also way out of my league looks wise! So far, so good... Then one Saturday we spent the day on Clapham Common with a bunch of mutual friends, followed by drinks in Clapham. It was there that whilst I went to the toilet, a barmaid came over and offered him her phone number which he happily accepted in front of said mutual friends who told me as soon as I got back to the table. Cue much embarrassment all round and him repeatedly assuring me for the rest of the weekend that he'd binned the number straight away. Needless to say there were no further dates with Mr Eurovision and I later saw her openly writing on his Facebook wall which was lovely! Must say that's the one and only time a guy has actually picked up another girl whilst being on a date with me!
Lesson to be learnt: Hot men are often players. Also don't go to the Belle Vue pub with a date!
1. Mr Baileys
The No.1 spot has to go to Mr Baileys - a firm favourite story amongst my friends. To be fair to him, he didn't necessarily do anything 'wrong' as such and we did go on a fair few dates - but at the end of the day I just couldn't get over the fact that he ONLY DRANK BAILEYS! Not beer, not wine, not a manly spirit like no, JUST Baileys. Repeatedly ordering 'a Baileys and a Gin & Tonic' and being asked 'Would you like ice in your Baileys, madam?' got very tiring and it was always awkward having to explain (often to cute barmen) that the Baileys was in fact for my 'friend'! The final nail in the coffin of this little dalliance was when Mr Baileys came along to a friend's engagement drinks and despite having given my friends advanced warning of what his choice of alcoholic beverage would be, the disbelieving stares and stifled giggles lasted throughout the evening, and seeing him stood cradling his glass of Baileys whilst surrounded by my friends' boyfriends all drinking pints caused me to have an epiphany that it just was not going to work.
Lesson to be learnt: Men, even if you don't particularly like normal 'manly' drinks, please force yourself to drink them when on dates and at social events, for the sake of all involved! (Bless him!)
Want more from this author? Visit her blog at Looking For Love in London.