3 Things You Can Take Away From a Bad Date!*


I’ve been talking about dating a lot recently. But that’s just because there is so much to say! Whether it’s about finding the best dating sites, how to get back into dating, staying safe while dating or even just some good old date ideas, there’s always something to talk about – better still, there’s always stories to share too!

I think the worst date I went on was with a guy that I had politely said yes to on a night out because I didn’t want to hurt his feelings (rooky error). He made me pay for the entire date and that was just a total ball ache because I wasn’t even into the guy! That was a harsh lesson that taught me to be more honest with myself (and dates) and learn to say no and mean it!

Whether you’re part of the Oxford dating scene, the Sussex dating scene, the London dating scene, the Manchester dating scene or the Norfolk dating scene, I think we all have stories we can tell about bad dates. If you’re a Leeds single, a Liverpool single, a Wiltshire singles or a Nottingham single, a single alien from outer space, I’m sure literally anyone can weigh in here! Bad dates happen to the best of us.

But what can we take away from them?

What we want!
Most importantly, bad dates teach us what we want. We might think we want someone who loves food as much as we do but when they steal the biggest slice of pizza or the cheesiest slice of garlic bread from our shared meal, we might be forced to think again! A bad date will highlight to us what we really don’t like in a partner, and remind us of what we really want.

An evening off
Yeah okay, so the date might have sucked but what would you have been doing otherwise? Working? Scrolling through Instagram in bed, bitterly liking cute celeb couples and wishing you had a bae to cuddle up to? Sat on the sofa binge watching Netflix and eating a microwave meal for one? A date is a date – it gets you out of the house for a night off, even if it didn’t go how you wanted it to!

A realisation that you’re not ready
Sometimes, a bad date is bad because of you. Yep, it’s true! The date might be perfect but you’ll still find fault in it because you’re not ready. If you’re jumping into a new relationship too soon, if you’re still in a relationship, if you’re overcoming a difficult period in your life… whatever the reason, if you’re not ready, it will impact your date!

See? A bad date can have its perks! Whether it’s an evening off from your usual routine or something deeper, like self-realisation about what you want or who you want, as long as your date ends with you getting home safely, there’s no bad date that’s so truly bad you can’t take even one thing from it.
In the worst instance, you might at least get a free drink, right?

What’s the worst date you’ve ever been on? Let me know in the comments below!

Love from,
Florence Grace

This post was sponsored by Digital Dudes Ltd but all thoughts and opinions are my own.


Ask For Angela - Keep Safe While You Date*

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Whilst love, sex and relationships are spoken about across mainstream media platforms a lot, one topic that isn’t often brought up is safety in these situations. While safety is always paramount in any kind of relationship, it is particularly important at the beginning of a relationship, when you first start dating someone. You are essentially doing what your parents always warned you against doing – meeting up with a stranger (who you may or may not have met online) that you probably don’t know too much about, and this can sometimes be incredibly dangerous.

Of course you should use your common sense and do all the sensible things – tell several friends and family members all about your date. Tell them their name, age, where they work, where they’re from and most importantly of all, where you’re meeting and what time. Make sure you meet your date in a public place with lots of people, and if you can, try and meet your date somewhere that you’re familiar with.

But what if you do all of that? What if you follow all the normal rules but something about your date still isn’t quite right?

That’s where Ask for Angela comes into play. Lincolnshire County Council launched the campaign and it hasn’t taken long for it to spread across the UK (although sometimes with a name change). The idea of the campaign is simple. If your date is making you feel uncomfortable, vulnerable or unsafe in any way, go up to the bar and ask for ‘Angela’. This will alert the member of staff to your situation and they will help you to safely leave the building without causing a scene with your date. The campaign has proven to be very popular, and very successful, and has even had support from the free dating site, We Love Dates, who have created their own mini campaign on their website and Facebook page to support the movement.

While it is predominantly a UK campaign that started in Lincolnshire, it has reached the far corners of the UK and has even achieved recognition in the states, with Hollywood mega star Ashton Kutcher giving the campaign his nod of approval! In addition to this, posters are now popping up in bathrooms at clubs, pubs, bars and restaurants that encourage people to ask for ‘Angela’ if they need help, and also provides relevant contact details for crisis helplines. Now, even dating websites are getting involved, such as the free dating site We Love Dates. They have created a mini campaign on their Facebook page and have worked with a number of people to help raise awareness of Ask for Angela – which is absolutely fabulous, as we all know the risks that come with online dating!

It’s sad that we live in a world where campaigns like this are needed, but it’s so good to see the campaign being rolled out successfully on a national scale, and being acknowledged by dating sites, bars, clubs and so on. We need to protect ourselves and those around us, and if you could lend a helping hand by being ‘Angela’, why wouldn’t you?

Dating should be fun, and you should be able to go on as many dates as you like, whenever you like! But you should always remember to stay safe.

What do you think of the Ask for Angela campaign?

Love from,
Florence Grace

This post was sponsored by We Love Dates but all thoughts and opinions are my own.


Why the Men In My Life Have to Be Feminists

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I feel like before I really delve into this blog post, I have to make one thing clear:

Feminism is about the equality of the sexes.

It's as simple as that. It's not about hating men, it's not about trying to be better than men, it's not about becoming superior. It's about women being treated in the same, decent way men are treated. 

So with that thought in mind, why wouldn't I want the men in my life to be feminists? Why wouldn't I want to have mutual respect for the men in my life? I want them to value me the way I value them - not see me as less than them, beneath them even. I want them to view me as the same as them, on their level. Anything less is just simply not for me. 

Not too long ago I was reading out a Twitter thread to my boyfriend. It was all about things women found to be a turn off in men, and one that I read out loud was "If he's not a feminist". I laughed, because obviously I agreed - I'm not attracted to men who aren't feminists. Maybe physically, but I'm talking about a genuine attraction on a deeper level than that. 

My boyfriend, Jonny, took this moment to announce to me that he wasn't a feminist - in a tone of voice that suggested "uh, why would I even be one?". Thankfully, I know my boyfriend and I know him well. He doesn't always get things that I talk about with him straight away - I'm not saying he's stupid at all, I'm just saying I often discuss things with him that he hasn't necessarily discussed before. And, if you hadn't guessed already, feminism is definitely one of them.

All I did was ask him a question. "Do you think men and women deserve to be treated equally?"

He didn't even have to think about it. His actual and immediate response was "well yeah, obviously". I knew this would be his answer because like I said, I know him. So I took great delight in telling him that yes, he was a feminist. It wasn't fought, he didn't try to argue it - he literally just said okay and then carried on about his day. 

And I think that's where the problem lies really. People are so scared of the word 'feminist' that they don't want to admit that it is something they are. It's often treated with as much disgust as the word 'fat' or 'ugly' - it's something people just really don't want to be for no real good reason! (Side note, that is not a fatphobic comment - I am simply demonstrating that when you call someone fat, they take offence. The same also happens when you call someone a feminist when they don't think they are) 

It isn't until they have the definition of the word broken down to them that they realise actually, they do believe in what feminism stands for and so wow, look at that, they are a feminist after all!

Obviously I want all the women in my life to be feminists - because excuse me but why would you wanted to be treated in a lesser way than your male counterparts? But it's even more important to me that the men in my life are feminists too. 

I can proudly sit there and say that my dad is a feminist (yay!). I suppose having three daughters would have altered his mind anyway, if he felt any different. And now I'm kind of working my way into making my boyfriend come to terms with the fact that he is a feminist according to what he believes and that he needs to actually start acknowledging that some of the things he does can be seen as problematic towards women, towards me - like supporting Dapper Laughs.

As a woman who has been abused, assaulted and raped by a man, I don't find jokes about any of those subjects funny. I didn't find them funny before any of that happened to me, and I don't find it funny now. So I don't appreciate someone building up a successful career all about making fun of topics like sexism, rape and so on. Dapper Laughs even had the audacity to make a rape joke when he was in the Big Brother House, so I've been told - and I find that appalling. 

So whilst I can't control what my boyfriend does by any means - and I don't want to either, because that's not healthy - I have asked that he doesn't watch Dapper Laughs videos with me or show them to me expecting me to laugh... because I won't. And I hope one day, when he's heard enough of my women's rights chats and read enough of my blog posts, he might come to realise that actually, what guys like Dapper Laughs do is actually incredible disrespectful to women, and to enjoy it also paints you as a pretty disrespectful guy too. Jonny might have the core beliefs of a feminist - equality between genders - but he still has some learning to do about problematic behaviours of other men! I'm happy to help point them out to him and help him to understand just how hard it is to be a woman and how he should help, not hinder women's fight for equality. 

My boyfriend values me like no one else before. We're a very 21st Century, millennial couple - he doesn't expect me to behave like a traditional woman and I don't expect him to behave like a traditional man. We both have our own career and bring home a very similar wage. He does all the cooking (even though a woman's place is in the kitchen, right?) and I do most of the cleaning, with some help from him. We both do the food shopping, we both support each other in every way we can and that's how it should be. What he doesn't realise is that almost all of the time, his views and behaviours are that of a feminist. And I hope when he reads this post (because aw he reads all my posts) he will see what a good thing that is! 

It's a very different scenario if you choose to act in a traditional way. If that's what makes you happy and works for you then yes girl, you live your best life. But as women, we should never be forced into a lifestyle choice we don't agree with or feel happy with by a man simply because they're a sexist arsehole who can't appreciate that times have moved on and women absolutely deserve to be treated as equal. 

And that's why it's so important to me that the men in my life are feminists! That the men in my life don't expect me to do things just because I'm a woman and "that's what women do". That they support my decisions in life, that they empower me rather than trying to drag me down beneath them. That it's not an issue if I don't want to get married, or keep my own name if I do. That it doesn't matter if I do want babies but want to carry on working, or if I don't want babies at all. That it doesn't matter if I work a basic job on minimum wage or if I have a full blown career earning double what they do - as long as I'm happy. That they don't use International Women's Day to ask about International Men's Day... That's all I want from the men in my life! For them to be a feminist and support all of the things listed just then. To support me, and all the other women struggling to be treated as equals and have their voices heard. To respect women and treat them as their equals. Is that seriously too much to ask?

I know this post is provocative. I know my boyfriends mates will see this and probably take the piss in their little group chats like they usually do when I share a post about him, I know there will be women who disagree (like my mum and one of my sisters) and I know that it will stir up a lot of opinions - but I don't care. I won't ever stop speaking about feminism, equality and the like until we have it. 

And if you're a woman and you disagree with what I'm saying, let me just ask you this: 

Why would you ever want to be surrounded by men who thought of you as inferior to them? Surrounded by men who treat you like crap simply because you have a vagina? Men who tell you you can't do this, that or the other just because you're a "woman"? 

I mean if that's what you want... well, I just can't relate. And I don't think many other women can - because we all deserve better than that. 

Love from,
Florence Grace
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