The 10 Worst Things About Dating In London

So, maybe you didn't get the memo that you were supposed to take home someone at uni and wake up in a full-fledged relationship. (Or, maybe you did, but you broke it off ages ago anyway.) Maybe there are plenty of potential Tinder dates calling you "baby" and "sexy" in messages, but none who have offered to take you out to a proper dinner. Maybe your date from last week finally texted back and wants to get drinks this weekend — but that would mean canceling plans with your pals in Brighton. So, yeah, in a nutshell, dating in London is basically awful.
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It's one thing to want Mr or Ms Right. It's another to leave work early and spend 45 minutes on the Jubilee line so you can swap rounds with some potential mate and then endure weeks/months/years of analyzing texts and emails, all while surreptitiously checking Tinder to see if that person's even still active. Ugh. Make it stop.
You probably know all these things already, but in singledom solidarity, we're sharing the very worst, no-good, ridiculously lame things about dating in the Big Smoke. Read 'em and weep, but have faith — we're all in this together.
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Designed by Tania Lili.
The good news is that everyone's on Tinder. The terrible news is that everyone's on Tinder. You'll have to plow through a few dozen left swipes, but the app is undoubtedly useful for arranging a date. And, if that date is a dud, simply go back and resume your search. It's when the date goes well that problems occur: You like this person, but does that mean it's time to abandon Tinder so early on? Is he or she still using it? YES? What a jerk. But, wait, so are you. Is this person just staying active to see if you're still active? What are they thinking? Aaaaaaaaaaaaagh.

Then, of course, there's the fact that any Tinder user has access to countless singles. What's to stop people from doubling their pleasure and seeing if they can have a few folks on the go at once, especially if sex is involved? Whether it's nice or no, people like to hedge their bets.
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Designed by Tania Lili.
Is there a bigger cockblocker than the TFL? One minute you're batting eyelashes and ordering another G&T. The next, you're grabbing your Oyster card and settling for a hurried peck outside Green Park station because you need to catch the last train home. It's like Cinderella, only with the added option of Uber or a night bus. Missing that train and not having an appealing back-up is a totally loaded situation. Do you go home with your date? What happens then? What does this mean? You can't help but wonder how many relationships started up simply because someone missed the Tube and had nowhere else to go.
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Designed by Tania Lili.
Jane Austen really pulled a fast one. Create an unpleasant, emotionally aloof man, turn him into a Prince Charming figure, and train generations of singles to think that our bored, boring, and boorish dates are merely diamonds in the rough. Sometimes, "aloof" really translates to "self-involved." People, show some interest. Make some effort. Stop saying "Oh, I don't mind" when asked what you want to do on a date. Tell us you like us. Step it up.
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Designed by Tania Lili.
Seriously, where are all the singles? You're not alone if you feel like nearly everyone you know is still (still!) joined at the hip with his or her university sweetheart. It's "partner" this, "we" that. That's great news for your loved-up pals, but bad news for your dating life. Your married friends want to go out and eat Camembert and drink wine; they don't want to play wing-woman. Not that it really matters, because every good-looking specimen you see is already paired off. Sometimes it feels like the only thing standing between you and lifelong celibacy is that total nerd your best friend wants to set you up with. (Don't do it.)
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Designed by Tania Lili.
Dating in London is further complicated by the fact that you are rarely actually in London. Many a promising fling has been stalled after one or both parties jet off for a quick mini-break. "Let's meet up when I get back" is now code for "we'll never see each other again." It's frustrating, but if Ms Amazing or Mr Wonderful couldn't wait five days for you to return from Ibiza, well, he or she probably wasn't so perfect after all.
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Designed by Tania Lili.
Long-distance relationships are tough — especially when they involve leaving the cosy confines of East London to sleep over with your paramour in Putney (or vice versa). Nobody likes riding the tube, getting three buses, or taking the DLR when it's not absolutely necessary (that's what work is for). Dating someone outside your Zone or on the other side of London is doable, of course, but not ideal. Best-case scenario: Your bed-buddy is cool with you leaving stuff behind and staying over whenever you want. You'll never see your friends or favourite local coffee shop again...but love is full of compromises.
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Designed by Tania Lili.
Dinner and a movie? What's that? While some folks may be more creative and capable of dreaming up memorable outings, the rest of us are commitment-phobes who can't handle anything more serious than an after-work drink. If that goes well, then we can talk dinner. And, since we Londoners enjoy our tipples, dating has become synonymous with going on one long, extended bender. A bender with lots of small talk, mixed signals, and awkward silences. Our memories are blurry, our livers have had it, and our heads are pounding. Can we make sober dating a thing just for the sake of our health?
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Designed by Tania Lili.
At the risk of sounding like a UKIP campaigner, London's open borders and flourishing international community can be a catch-22. Bars filled with Portuguese and Italian babes all dying to dance with you? Yes, please. Bars filled with Portuguese and Italian babes dying to get your date's number? Hell no. With so many international options around, it's hard to convince your crush — let alone yourself — that settling for one mate is feasible. The competition is fierce, and really intimidating. The best option, clearly, is to elope to the continent.
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Designed by Tania Lili.
Once upon a time, Saturday night was Date Night. Now, the last thing you want do is sacrifice a weekend to swap small talk with a near-stranger in some too-loud gastropub. You've got parties to hit, weddings to attend, weekend getaways to enjoy, and Friday-night hangovers to get over. Unless this date involves the two of you watching X Factor in onesies with a bottle of rosé, you'll pass. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, sure. But, Saturday? Please.
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Designed by Tania Lili.
Brits can be polite to a fault. In order to avoid any awkwardness, they're willing to suffer stoically through a bad date or even a months-long relationship. In other words, it's quite easy to waste your time thinking you and so-and-so have a future (or are least dating) when really he or she is merely keeping calm and carrying on. Being direct or aggressive tends to backfire, which just makes the whole thing even more frustrating. Are you dating? Hanging out? Shagging? God knows.
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