5 Date Ideas You Might Think Are Good...But Aren't

1. Ice Skating

When I'd got back together with an ex-boyfriend just before Christmas a few years ago, I thought what better way to rekindle the romance than an evening of ice skating in the idyllic setting outside the 

Natural History Museum

. Surrounded by fairy-light filled trees and with the beautiful museum building providing the backdrop, we started the date by having hot chocolate in the "log-cabin" bar/café  - so far so good, then we entered the ice rink...!

Firstly, he couldn't skate to save his life and slowly edged himself round, clinging onto the sides for dear life. Not quite the romantic gliding around the ice rink holding hands that I had envisaged and he also proceeded to get increasingly stroppy when I tried to encourage him to let go/speed up. Whilst doing a few laps on my own as I got bored of going at 1 mph, I then got my comeuppance! A song came on that I loved (no doubt a cheesy Xmas song like Mariah Carey) so I looked over at him and gestured up at the speakers with such overenthusiastic excitement that I fell arse over tit in quite spectacular fashion, sending my camera flying in the process. Various nearby skaters who witnessed this rather embarassing incident gathered round to check I was ok as my boyfriend tried (and failed) to stifle his laughter! I then had the humiliating act of gathering up the various pieces(!) of my camera that were scattered across the ice and then had to try to retain the small amount of dignity I had left for the rest of the skating session! Not something I want to repeat in a hurry!

2. Ice Bar

Similarly, the 

Ice Bar

 is not good for clumsy people like me - as I mentioned in my 

last post

, I went here on a first date with one of the Metro men. Considering 


 in there is made of ice, it's nothing short of a miracle that I didn't cause some kind of an accident/injury! I do actually think it's a fun place to go but I would just say maybe not on a first date...see the below picture of me 

(yes, I got my date to take a photo of me - is that weird?!)

No one wants to be sporting THAT ensemble on a first date (for those of you reading this who don't know me, I'm NOT obese - that's just the delightful effect of the jacket!), and clutching on to a glass made of ice whilst wearing those ridiculous gloves and battling first date nerves is not an easy task let me tell you! (It's also so bloody cold in there that you end up with a nose that Rudolph would be proud of - again, not an ideal date look!!)

3. "Voucher" places

Now with this one I don't want to come across as a snob - believe you me I love nothing more than a good old "Orange Wednesday" at Pizza Express - all I'm saying is not on a date, especially not a first date!! Again, I have experienced this first hand, back when I was fairly new to London. Long story short, he picked 

La Tasca

 as the venue for our first date and I figured why not (tapas is a good, sociable first date food choice after all) - what I didn't anticipate was that he would whip out a "50% off" voucher when asking for the bill.

When telling some girlfriends afterwards, they thought this behaviour would be acceptable only if he then paid the remaining 50% himself - but no, no we then split the remaining half between us. As I say, I'm all for a bit of a bargain, but to the men out there please take note; this is not the way to make a gal feel special!!

4. The National Gallery

From one extreme to another, this disastrous date took place earlier this year when the guy I was dating invited me to the sold out Da Vinci exhibition at the 

National Gallery

, which work colleagues informed was the hottest "money can't buy" ticket in town! Now don't get me wrong, I love a bit of culture and can peruse the 

Portrait Gallery

 and trundle round the 

Tate Modern

 with the best of them, but this one was a little full-on! Firstly, the guy was a fair few years older than me and a partner in a law firm and therefore quite serious and mature.

Trying my best to impress, I did my research before hand so that I knew my 'La Belle Ferronière' from my 'Madonna Litta' but he just seemed to want to walk around in silence and whenever I tried to interject an opinion or make conversation, he just kept saying "You don't need to pretend to be interested" - I actually WAS interested, it's not every day that you see this much of a legend's work all in one place, but he seemed to think he was far superior to me and also had a massive chip on his shoulder about how hard he'd had to work to get where he was in his career. Eurgh, I'm getting annoyed just thinking about him but my advice here is that if you are doing an arty date make it somewhere more down-to-earth and just enjoy it and have a laugh!

5. Cinema

I realise the cinema has been a staple date option for many, many years and I'm sure lots of people would feel it is a pretty fail-safe option, but from some of my previous experiences, this is yet another dating minefield! One of the main issues is choice of film - pick a rom com and the guy is likely to be bored out of his mind, pick an action film and the girl is likely to be - for example, the time I fell asleep on a date (quite literally, on his shoulder) whilst watching the god awful (and seemingly never-ending) "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End"!Similarly, just this year, I have had two other calamitous cinema dates. The first one was when I decided to be assertive (not a trait that comes naturally to me) and pick the film that me and 'Mr Chelsea' should see. As I was really keen to see War Horse, I insisted we saw that, not quite thinking through the fact that Mr Chelsea had previously explained to me that he had been a vegetarian since he got his first pet as a child as he couldn't face the idea of eating any animals after that. Without giving anything away, it's pretty safe to say that there are plenty of disturbing and unpleasant scenes involving animals/war etc as well as just lots of death in general - poor Mr Chelsea looked horrified throughout and in hindsight, even aside from the fact he was an animal lover, it perhaps wasn't ideal "date movie" material!?

Not wanting to repeat that mistake again, when I then went on a cinema date with a different guy a couple of months later I thought it best to let him pick! It wasn't the fact that I then had to sit through Safe House (a film so bad even Ryan Reynolds can't save it!) that made this a bad date - it's the fact that the guy bought some kind of Haribo-esque sweets for us to "share" throughout the film but then proceeded to scoff 90% of them before the credits began without offering me any, before thrusting the leftovers in my direction grunting that he didn't like rest so I could have them - what a charmer!! Considering that on our first date he stated that Jordan is his ideal woman "because she's such a good business person" he's lucky to have got a second date, and it's safe to say there wasn't a third!

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Looking For Love in London


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