Can you have a date without alcohol?

For busy working individuals, dates usually take place after work at F&B outlets near their offices. The couple usually will have a few drinks to unwind from their busy day and start getting to know each other.

First date cheers

Alcohol serves as a double edge sword – it helps break the ice but it also impairs decision-making. So there are many would prefer not to drink on a first date. Though your date might prefer a tipple just like everyone else – what do you do?

 

Here are some options to camouflage your drink and get on with your date:

 

1st choice – Sparkling water / Tonic water / Club Soda

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On the rocks (with a squeeze of lime to be fancy), these three options all look like either a vodka-based cocktail or a gin tonic. These options are better than juice or soda as it has no sugar content especially when a date lasts between 2 to 4 drinks. Most people do not drink the recommended 8 glasses of water per day and are chronically dehydrated, so drinking more water is good.

 

2nd choice – Diet soda

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Similarly, on the rocks with a lime or lemon, any diet soda looks like a cocktail. It has less sugar than regular soda and it has more taste than water. Most outlets will have diet Coke, diet Sprite or perhaps even diet Ginger Ale.

 

3rd choice – Virgin mocktails

virgin bloody mary

Mocktails are cocktails sans alcohol – looks and taste just like the real deal. The bartender will actually still have to make it with a shaker and pour into a fancy glass as per a regular one. For the best illusion, try virgin Bloody Mary, Pina Colada, or Mojito.

 

4th choice – Non-alcoholic beer

Becks non-alcohol

At a pub or beer hall, it may be too pretentious to drink anything else but beer. So, if you want to have the beer but not the carbs or alcohol – opt for a non-alcoholic beer. Two of the most popular options around are Becks Non-Alcoholic or Asahi Zero that is served in a pint glass just like everything else.

 

Last choice – Coffee / Tea

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Sometimes, you may just want a latte or chamomile. Coffee and tea are appropriate at all times, even in some bars. You can always make an excuse for having to stay awake to head back to the office after or run an errand.

 

For #bettermatchesbettertimes, with this menu, you can fit right in by ordering a drink that looks an alcoholic one. Without booze, it doesn’t put pressure on your date for having a drink or two. Similarly, at the end of the date, you are sober enough to decide if there will be a second date.

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6 tips on how to take online dates offline

As mentioned earlier in this blog, physical dates are still necessary for making real connections. When everyone is bragging about how many people they met online, the real measure of whether your dating game is on point – is how many such dates were in real life.

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Dates in real life

After seeing an awesome profile with the best profile picture, you may think you found the ONE. However, it is just a very narrow perspective of who he or she is. The smallest things can put you off – a really annoying laugh, a funky cologne or being self absorbed into constantly taking perfect selfies. You will really know for sure by having a coffee or a cocktail together.

Date-Online

It is easy to hide behind a keyboard or a mobile phone screen as an anonymous casanova – flirting back and forth with emojis or snappy comebacks. How does one navigate beyond just electronic communication to getting a meet-up?

Here are 6 quick tips:

1) Keep it friendly – don’t commit to too much or promise too much. Most dates, especially first dates, will not be the best night of your life. Say something classic like “Do you like coffee? I know a nice cafe.” or “This chat has been great ;D You know what would make it better? Doing this over a beer.” Nothing too romantic, rather focus on your mutual interests and chat like you would with a new friend. After all – that’s all they are, for now at least…

2) Stick to the facts – without body-language or tone, all anyone can go by with online dating is through your words. Even with emojis, it is notoriously hard to express emotions through text (don’t feel bad, the best poets get misread too). Also, while it may crystal clear to you, the recipient of your texts may misinterpret your well-intentions. The safest way to protect yourself against misinterpretation is to keep things short and sweet and focus on mutual likes rather than more emotive topics.

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3) Meet up soon – after making contact and establishing that you two can get along digitally – don’t wait too long to ask them out. Draggy long conversations that go nowhere will likely lead nowhere as well. The truth is that after 24 hours of chatting you would have gotten to know enough about a person to warrant a date or give up. Be casual but firm in asking “maybe we can do something sometime next week?”

4) Don’t say ‘date’ – of course, its a date. But saying so, puts pressure on everyone – it may put some people off already. You guys met on a dating site to have dates, so it is implied. Hence, use alternatives like “catching up”, “meeting for a drink” or “grabbing a quick bite”.

5) The where and when – If you want to keep things uncomplicated to start, consider meeting in the day. Though as busy professionals, you only be free to meet in the evening, avoid going to a fancy restaurant. Instead, take a chance on a cosy bar or venue.

6) Hope for the best, plan for the worst – Sometimes dates can go bad, real bad. The person sitting across you could be bland, sketchy, uncouth and more. There are times where you just need to break free. Hence, plan an appointment after the date so you can choose to honour it if things turn sour. Here are a few other tips to keeping the date safe.

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In this era of Catfish, there are horror stories of how the picture does not match up the profile. It may be scary to take a leap of faith in making an invitation but for #bettermatchesbettertimes – you’ve got to give it a try. So don’t just swipe and chat, use these tips to get a meet!

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First date

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10 signs he is into you

Does he love you or not – 10 signs to know (infograph)

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You need more than online dating

Statistics proving that just online dating isn’t enough

Online dating is not enough (infograph)

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Avoid a ‘swipe left’ on your profile

With modern dating apps providing swiping, you can “meet” thousands of people in one sitting. Each person who is eligible to meet you gets a grand total of 0.4 seconds before being condemned to a swipe left (also known as getting rejected). Interactions have degraded to essentially a meat market – where only the hottest people get a swipe right to win in this game, just like everything else.

A rough estimate would put at best 10-15% of people as categorically attractive, how will the rest of us be able to find love online? The shy-looking guy might be really sweet or that the girl with braces may be really cool – but you’ll never know that unless you get to meet them.

The only way to get through is to up your profile picture game. With some of these tips, even the ugly ducklings have a chance at being swans in the online dating world.

SMILE AT THE CAMERA

Easiest to do of all the suggestions in this post. Considering we were all taught to smile or say ‘cheese’ while having our photos taken, this should be natural.

For Women who put up as main picture of themselves smiling at the camera will definitely get more traction than those who don’t. The picture that seems to most popular is one in which they’re flirting at the camera — making a sexy or pouty face. Do not flirt away from the camera, as men may think you’re flirting with someone else behind the scene.

For Men, surprisingly is the opposite, where the ones who do the best are of men who are NOT smiling and are actually looking away. Aloof dudes who are too cool to focus on the camera drive the ladies wild.

SKIN IS GOOD

It is a realistic and physical world so if you have a body (or portions of it) worth showing off, now is the time. For women, those who showed some cleavage in their pics did better than those who didn’t. Same can be applied For Men – instead of cleavage, show muscles / abs. NOTE: while it is to attract attention, too much revelation may draw a wrong crowd.

LESS PARTYING IS BEST

Having pictures of you partying can indicate that you are fun to meet. However, just like showing too much skin, too much partying can be your downfall. For men and women, it may seem that you are immature and aren’t ready for a relationship.

YOUR FACE SHOULD BE IN FOCUS

For men and women, after all, that is who they will be meeting. So ideally a blank or boring background that will not take attention away from your face.

That said, to avoid being ignored among all the simple face-only profiles, here is an gambit that can also elicit interest. If you’re doing something interesting to draw someone’s eye or spark an conversation, it is also advisable to put up. Examples like skydiving, living abroad, playing a musical instrument.

With these tips, will your profile still get looked over? Unfortunately, yes – there are millions of profile for everyone to scroll through. But your unique profile (a more optimised version) will have a higher chance of catching the attention of the guy/girl that you actually want.

Good luck – here’s hoping you get #bettermatchesbettertimes !

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What to order on 1st dates?

First dates are always awkward. You and your date are sitting down for the first time to find out more about each other. Previously, we’ve covered what to or not to say – so now, the next step is what to or not to order.

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In this initial meeting, everyone wants to put their best foot forward. Your choice of food and beverage says a lot about you and these non-verbal cues matter tremendously. So here at MeetDrinks, we’ve compiled a list of Yays and Nays to your menu.

 

Food

Yays

– Finger food (easy to eat / shareable)

– Fish fillet

– Chicken Breast / Thigh

– Steak

– Salad

– Rissoto

– Pasta (short pasta like penne, fusili, ravioli, etc)

 

Nays

– Chicken Drumstick / Wing (tough to eat well with utensils)

– Long pasta / noodles (tough to eat without causing stains)

– Burgers or Ribs (messy)

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– Shellfish (prawns, lobsters, crabs, etc)

– Anything with a hotplate (smell lingers on clothing)

 

Beverage

Yays

– White wine (even if spilt, it is colorless)

– Mocktails (for those who don’t drink alcohol, this allows you to fit in more)

– Light cocktails

– Coffee

– Tea

 

Nays

– Red wine (almost impossible to remove stains and colours teeth immediately)

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– Beer, Cider and Champagne (the bubbles causes belching)

– Spirits neat or hard cocktails (may get drunk too quickly)

– water (boring)

 

The following list is not exhaustive and not all restaurants/bars/cafes serve the same stuff so on top of that, here are a few guidelines:

 

  1. Keep your food and drinks light, just like the conversation.

Food or drinks that are too strong may be the exact way you enjoy them, however, spare a thought for your date. You would not want to emit gases and smells throughout the evening.

 

  1. Murphy’s Law applies most frequently on first dates.

While there is no scientific proof, it is logical to say that being more edgy will cause nervous ticks or fumbles. So pick items that may cause less of a mess when the proverbial happens.

 

  1. There is safe and there is boring.

Choosing the Mexican Fire Salsa Burrito may be too dangerous but picking a oatmeal porridge is not advisable either. Maybe get something that could be shared like a sampler set (usually consists of most popular dishes) which could be fun.

 

  1. Thread the middle line when it comes to price.

Don’t choose the cheapest item or the most expensive one from the menu. A yardstick is usually the second cheapest item – so it doesn’t make you look cheap and yet not too extravagant.

 

As it is impossible to pre-empt all missteps, by paying a little more attention to what you order will reduces those chances. Hopefully this will help pave the way for future dates, where you can let your hair down more.

'Maybe we could save appendectomy scars until the second date!'

‘Maybe we could save appendectomy scars until the second date!’

 

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MeetDrinks launches Group Dating during season of love

MeetDrinks, a geo-social dating application that brings people closer together over drinks, is releasing its latest Group Dating function today to relieve the pressure on singles by society (Valentine’s Day) and family (Lunar New Year) to find dates/partners.

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Inspired by the popular Japanese concept of gōkon (合コン), MeetDrinks’ group dating will see two users connect and each can bring up to 4 friends to the date. Like a group blind date, it is a safe alternative to single dating and eases tension when both parties have the company of their friends.

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“As online dating gains prominence, it is easier to meet more people but harder to get real connections, “says Peter Yu, Co-Founder of MeetDrinks. “There is massive potential in bringing singles together in face-to-face during this festive period.”

 

This new feature is the result of repeated user feedback and intense market research showing a demand for conservative group dating. While that might seem like a paradox in the instant gratification of online dating, MeetDrinks has learnt much from quietly making more than 200,000 matches since 2015.

 

MeetDrinks found that Asians aren’t just conservative when it comes to dating, it also applies to spending. Hence, for group dates, the inviter will only pre-pay $10 per couple (i.e. double dates cost only $20). With prices usually soaring during this time, low costs to getting started means no financial pressure. To further aid in that aspect, MeetDrinks allows users to invite others to the app and gain $2.50 in credits per successful download.

 

Next up in importance, is venue. Users look out for accessibility, F&B selection and ambience for conversations. MeetDrinks carefully curates a handful of venue partners per city that are conducive for connecting casually. Instead of being surrounded by Lunar New Year or Valentines’ Day austere decorations, group dates are held in light-hearted atmospheres over drinks.

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Last requirement for users, is time. With Singapore being the most overworked people, users do not have much time to waste. MeetDrinks introduced a 24 hour chat window between matches that compels brief introductions that leads to either a group date or moving on. With only days to go, MeetDrinks puts more options in such a small timeframe.

 

“Our conventional approach will produce better matches and better times for our users,” says Peter. “Group dating with MeetDrinks will be the best way to meet someone suitable in time for this season of love.”

 

MeetDrinks is currently live in Singapore, Bangkok, Shanghai, London and Capetown.

P.S. Prefer a ‪#‎streetparty‬ to dim dinners? Join our MeetDrinks crew at

HAJI LANE STREET PARTY VOL. 3: VALENTINE’S EDITION

13th Feb (7pm till late)

hajilanestreetparty

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