Celebs Go Dating Expert Eden Blackman’s Top Tips For Eternal Singletons
Ever wanted a real-life dating expert to take the reigns on your personal life? From dealing with the politics of splitting the bill to curing your habit of stalking your ex on social-media, there's no problem that Celebs Go Dating pro Eden Blackman can't solve.
Now that he's sprinkled his magic over Unforgettable - a movie starring Katherine Heigl as an embittered ex who can't get over her relationship - we've squeezed out some of his best tips for avoiding disaster and achieving that happy-ever-after.
1. How to tailor your dating profile to make you a better prospect
Don’t put any more than four pictures on your dating profile. The first, second, and third are always great pictures. The fourth is usually a questionable one, and the fifth one, I find, is the one that you shouldn’t have added, and it’s the last picture people will see before they decide if they’re going to swipe left or right.
Keep it short, don’t do any group shots – particularly on the first picture, because people are busy, they’re flicking through dating apps and they don’t want to look at a picture and go ‘okay, which one of these nineteen people is the girl or the guy that I’m actually looking to meet on this profile?’
Try not to use any pictures on your dating profile that you’ve got on social media. It’s very easy to screenshot that picture and chuck it into Google, and people can then find your Facebook, your Twitter, your Instagram, and your LinkedIn.
I always say take four bespoke pictures with your phone - obviously you don’t have to do a photoshoot. Take brand new pictures that haven’t been put anywhere, and use those pictures on your dating platforms.
2. Is it ever acceptable to be one of those guys who posts headless torso pics?
Idiots. They never win. They never, ever win. On my app (WouldLikeToMeet.me), they wouldn’t be published because we verify our pictures. If your face isn’t in the picture, it doesn’t get published. It could be anyone. How do you know that chest is the person you’re going to meet?
First and foremost, do you really want to meet someone who doesn’t put their picture, and only puts their “alleged torso” up? I don’t think so.
3. Name the ultimate dating sins
Not paying attention, being on your phone, yawning, being distracted, and not asking questions. The best thing you can do is turn your phone off, put it on silent, put it in your back pocket, and engage with the person that’s in front of you. Even if it’s a really bad date, and you don’t fancy them, you can be out in 20-25 minutes.
We had this on Celebs Go Dating: Jonathan Cheban could not get off his phone for five seconds, and it’s incredible rude and it’s incredibly disrespectful. On a date it says ‘I really don’t want to be here’.
If you’re suggesting that to someone you’re on a date with, you might as well just walk out. So, phones off, and eyes and ears forward.
4. How honest should you be about the length of time you’ve been single?
I think you should be honest. I don’t think it’s anything you should be ashamed of. Some people are single for years and some people are single for minutes. It really doesn’t matter.
What I wouldn’t do is talk about exes and previous relationships.
Don’t ask the question in the dating world that there is no correct answer to - ‘why are you single?’ The amount of people who ask that on a first date, and it’s just impossible to answer. It’s always good to ask questions - just not that one. There’s a billion other questions you could ask.
5. Sex on the first date: yes or no?
Kissing I think is fine. If you’re on a date and the electricity is there, and the sexual chemistry is there, a kiss on the first date is great. I’d even go as far to say that you know what – this is from a guys perspective – if you’re on a first date and you really fancy each other and you really want to take it to the next step, as long as guy can put his hand on his heart and say ‘I definitely want to see this girl again’, I think it’s okay to have sex. I don’t agree with guys that just have sex and then ghost their date, because that’s just horrible. It makes everyone feel like shit. But I’m all for it, if the attraction is there and you can’t contain it then enjoy it. Just be honest with what you’re doing.
6. Who should pay on the first date – is it rude not to offer to pay half?
I don’t think it’s a big deal anymore. I think it’s pretty standard that a guy should pay on the first date. I think where it gets tricky is that some guys and some girls think ‘shouldn’t I make an offer to go halves?’ If it’s an offer, and it’s not actually real, don’t make an offer. I think it’s pretty much acceptable now that the guy pays for the first date, because after all, it tends to be the guys that are asking the girls out. I think when you get to date two and three and four, then you can maybe offer to pay.
I think men can pay for one or two, and then when you get to date three, four, and five, then you’re getting together as a partnership, and therefore in a partnership you help out as much as you can in equal measures.
7. How to escape a date you’re just not feeling
It depends on the date. I think you should just go for a drink on your first date. You shouldn’t tie yourself into a cinema, meal thing. You can have a drink, you can get a feel about someone and about whether it’s going to work, and if it’s not working, you can go ‘listen it was really nice to meet you, I’m going to make a move, but it’s been pleasure to meet you and good luck.’
I don’t think you need to text them, I think if someone texts you to say ‘I really had a good night, do you fancy doing it again?’ you just have to be honest, and you have to give what you’d want to get yourself. You wouldn’t want anyone stringing you along. In the long run you’re going to get hurt if you think there’s something in it.
If you really fancy someone and someone doesn’t fancy you back you want them to say: ‘Do you know what, I had a really great time, but you’re not for me for this.’ Then you can get over it, and you can move on. You just have to be honest, and give the kind of respect that you’d expect to get yourself.
8. How to keep the faith if you feel like the IRL Bridget Jones of dating
Have belief. Have belief in yourself and the universe. Don’t be nervous, because a lot of people get very nervous on dates. It is okay to say that you’re nervous if you really can’t control it.
We had a guy that was on Series 2 that was really nervous at one of our speed dates, and he couldn’t even lift his glass because he was shaking so much. I think if you’re nervous and that’s a real factor for you, then I think it’s okay to say that. If you feel that the other person will understand and respect that, I think it’s just a case of not giving up.
Try online dating and offline dating. You can do both. Open your eyes and your opportunities to meet new people. Online dating is very important to me because I’ve got my own dating app, but the one thing I will say is, there are 10 million single people in the UK using online dating. That’s 10 million people that you’re not meeting.
We’ve all got interests. We’ve all got likes. So if you’re into art – join a painting group, or if you’re into reading, join a poetry group or a book club. It’s just leading into stuff you like. It’s just opening up your parameters of how you’re going to meet people.
9. In Unforgettable, Katherine Heigl’s character tries to ruin her ex-husbands relationship – what’s the best way to feeling to stop feeling so jealous of your ex’s new partner?
You have to give yourself a grieving time. When you think of breaking up a relationship, particularly with the text of the film – they broke up and she clearly didn’t want to. So anything where a decision is taken for you is a form of grief.
You have to allow yourself that time to grieve over that relationship. If you are then finding yourself setting up fake Facebook accounts as they do in the film then you’re sabotaging someone’s life.
There’s an exercise I got told a couple of years ago that works incredible well. It’s a kind of meditation thing, but I’ll briefly explain it to you.
If I can’t get over my ex-girlfriend and it’s colliding with my life, I’d sit down in a room and I’d close my eyes and I’d just clear all my thoughts.
Then I’d visualise myself and my former girlfriend, and I’d imagine an umbilical cord attaching us to each other. And with each breath, we’d step away from each other, both, as individuals. When you get to the stage where that individual is far away, when you feel comfortable, you, the person, cut the umbilical cord. You are cutting your tie to that individual. And you sit in that room in your headspace until you are completely happy to say goodbye, and then you come back to the real world.
It’s an incredible process, because in your head, you’ve let go. You’ve grieved and you’ve let go, and you’ve taken control to break that connection. It means in your self-conscious that all of the fascination about looking at their Facebook will disappear..
10. On having a social media cleanse after a breakup
I think it looks immature, and it suggests that you’re deleting him from your life, and unless it was negative – unless he did something awful to you or upset you or was bad to you, there’s no reason to delete their pictures. If the next person you’re going out with looks at their Instagram and goes “who’s this guy?” and you go “that’s my last boyfriend – that’s us in Paris, that’s us in New York” – it would be weird for you not to have those pictures up. It’s part of your life.
You put them up there because at that point in your life you were super happy and you were having a great time and it happened to be with this guy. It seems a bit sad to delete them and lose that whole great feeling.
But if seeing your ex-boyfriend on there is causing you pain, then yeah, maybe you should erase them. But if you’re on good terms then you’re on good terms and there’s no reason to delete them.
Unforgettable is out in UK cinemas from 21st April
Now check out a bunch of people guessing which period myths are real or fake..