Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

I'm on a Strict No-Dates Diet; SINGLE LIFE

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

I'm on a Strict No-Dates Diet; SINGLE LIFE

Article excerpt

Byline: LAURA TOPHAM

MY DATING detox has begun. It was long overdue: I've dated 14 different men already this year (39, if I include speed-dating) and it's exhausting - repeatedly recounting my life history, trying to remember whose stories are whose and who's called what. I realised when I cancelled my Valentine's Day dinner to stay in alone that I've over-dated and need to go cold turkey.

In fact, looking back, I've been showing all the classic signs of binge-dating: extreme apathy, reluctance to wear makeup or high heels, and nausea at the thought of eating dinner with a man, no matter how expensive the restaurant.

I started by clearing out all the unhealthy texts and emails I've received from potential dates and deleting any new messages I receive without replying. I feel harsh but it's for the best: who'd want to date a date-junkie anyway? I need to purge myself of awkward silences, strained conversation and clock-watching before I get involved with anyone.

(I must admit my resolve was tested by an invitation from Simon, a man I've dated previously and really like. I tried to convince myself seeing him was allowed as we'd met before - thus more friends than lovers, I reasoned - but when he mentioned the dreaded "D" word (dinner) I cancelled.) Now I've got so much free time I'm managing to make the gym every day - which is a relief as I put on half a stone dating. All in all, my first week was a great success.

I declined all dinner offers from men and instead confined myself to going out with girlfriends, clubbing in the VIP room at Paper nightclub in Piccadilly.

I did slightly break my rules and start talking to some scruffy looking men who looked slightly familiar - in fact my friend Nicola even nicked a trilby off one of them - but I made it clear to them that it was just a friendly chat and staggered off into the night to spend [pounds sterling]60 on a dodgy-looking Chinese meal in Soho (well, no one's perfect). …

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