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Eight dating tips for millennials

Dating is hard. It’s near impossible to go on a string of dates and come out the other side with your humanity intact and head held high. And as a millennial it can be even harder. In a climate of rapidly evolving technology and social politics, romance is fraught with conflict.

Queenie, our resident expert, has intimate knowledge of the modern dating scene. She’s also the titular character in Candice Carty-Williams’ hit debut novel.

Here Candice Carty-Williams – writing in the spirit of Queenie – offers eight key tips and tricks for you millennials who are on this unbelievably bumpy dating ride...

Candice Carty-Williams

1. Know what you’re going into, for yourself

You’ve got to 'do you' and not be ashamed or embarrassed by what you want and deserve.

If you want a relationship, fine. If you want sex, also fine. If you want to maybe have sex and then it turns into a relationship, fine. You’ve got to 'do you' and not be ashamed or embarrassed by what you want and deserve.

2. Communication is key

When getting to know someone, communication is essential. It’s important all the time, but particularly when you don’t quite know each other just yet, especially in this age of texting and tweeting and WhatsApping and Snapchatting and sliding into DMs where tone can be lost almost immediately.

3. Don’t dive in with the sex stuff right away…

Tamara Lawrance plays Queenie in the BBC adaptation

…unless you want to that is. You don’t have to immediately start sexting and sending pics to engage someone. If you feel like you do, odds are when you start talking to them about real life stuff, like how your day was, they’ll have nothing to say.

4. Know your worth

And know that you don’t just have to get what you’re given because a good looking person starts talking to you.

5. The block button is your friend

When using an app, hit the block button when you need to and don’t hesitate.

6. Sometimes it’s just not about you

Again, if on apps, people will approach you by categorising you in their minds and reducing you to the lowest common denominator they can see from a quick glance at three of your pics. Before dates I’m often given ‘chocolate’ and ‘ebony’ markers, which make me feel like I’m not seen as a human person. Don’t pay that too much mind – it’s not about you. See point 4.

7. Accept that nights out can be quite bad

Nights out can be a lot, can’t they? You get all dressed up in clothes and possibly Spanx that aren’t comfortable. Then the whole thing seems to end up being about who you meet rather than actually dancing, or whatever should be happening when loud music is playing. Nights out always make everything feel worse and more immediate, because you’re tired and your friend is getting approached by everyone possible while you feel like a little lonely slug in the corner that nobody wants to even salt let alone talk to. But take these nights for what they are: generally quite bad and not actually a place to have a great time.

8. If you aren’t enjoying dating, GET OUT

As soon as you aren’t enjoying dating, EVACUATE. LEAVE. Take some time for yourself to patch up your self esteem that has probably taken a beating. You don’t owe anyone anything, but a polite goodbye wouldn’t go amiss.

Candice Carty-Williams talks to Nihal about dating

Taken from Radio 5 Live's Headliners. Photo credit: Lily Richards

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