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The great eight dates

The eight people that everyone should date once

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1.    The younger one
The celebs have been at the younger dating thing for years, and admittedly some haven’t worked out so well (Courtney Cox and hubby and Demi Moore and hubby). But some have (James McAvoy and Anne-Marie Duff). Not that it really matters how it ends up long term, though. What really matters is the fun early bit of dating someone significantly younger than you; the smug satisfaction that you’ve ‘still got it’, the excitement of being with someone with an unsullied zest for life and, perhaps most importantly, the knowledge that in any argument you might have, you are older and therefore wiser.

2.    The older one
There is always a flip-side to everything, and by dating someone much older (within reason), you become the exciting, zesty for life one. Forget the fact any friends your age know you are the least cool person you’ve ever met; to someone a decade or so up, you’re young and therefore instantly ‘hip’. What’s more, your relatively aged date is likely to have worked and saved longer, and therefore actually have the cash to take you to the over-priced ‘hip’ bars. Win-win.

3.    The bad one
There’s a list of people we are not advocating here: people in prison, people who should be in prison, people who make your skin crawl. But those categories aside, everyone should go on at least one date with someone veering towards the wrong side of edgy. You know what we mean; the ones with the glint in their eye; the ones with the swagger in their walk, the ones your parents begged you not to date in high school. It’s unlikely to last very long as a relationship (mum is normally right), but who cares? Briefly dating the bad boy or girl is still inexplicably fun.

4.    The friend one
If you want to avoid all those horrible first-date nerves, but still go on a date, there is one simple solution: date a friend. Obviously, not any old friend, it has to be one you sort of fancy. But that’s it. It doesn’t have to be the secret love of your life, just someone you know will appreciate you getting dressed up, will laugh at all your jokes and will still speak to you the next day. It’s all the fun of dating without the crazy hormones.

5.    The one you don’t fancy
This one might start the same as your date a friend – i.e. a date without all the horrible nerves – but it has the potential to grow into something far bigger and better. Because if you think you don’t fancy someone and are therefore nerve-free, you’re more likely to be your true self, with none of the pretence and awkwardness that most first dates bring. And with that openness of character, opening your heart – however unexpectedly - can’t be too far behind…

6.    The one you do fancy
There is nothing like that giddy, stomach-flipping moment when you first set eyes on someone you fancy. By simple mathematics, if that moment extends to a whole date, you’re going to end up very giddy indeed. And yes, we’ve already noted that being with someone you fancy too much can make you awkward and nervous and panicky – but is that always a bad thing?

7.    The blind date one
‘I know someone you’d get along with brilliantly.’ The well-meaning words that strike cold, dark horror into so many single people’s lives. But blind dates set up through your friend/ colleague/ mum/ ex don’t have to be as unbearable and patronising as they first sound. After all, these ‘setter-uppers’, if they’re bothering to take the time to set you up, probably care about you a fair bit, and therefore know you a fair bit too. There’s no guarantee you will get along as ‘brilliantly’ as your friend/ colleague/ mum/ ex promises, but even if you just get along ‘OK’, it’s still not a totally wasted evening.

8.    The perfect one
This doesn’t mean ‘perfect’ in the fairytale sense. There are no candles, roses, beaches or violins (well, unless you want there to be). By the perfect date, we mean the perfect one for your real, and possibly un-fairytale like, life. The one where you laugh until your cheeks ache, where you talk until 3am without even realising it’s past 10pm, where you click with someone’s soul in a way you never imagined. There is no guarantee who this date will be. Maybe it’ll be the younger one, or the older one, or the friend, or the one you fancy, or the one you don’t… But we can guarantee that when you find it, you will know.

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