9 Things You Need to Know About Dating in London

Apr 17, 2019 by

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You could always suggest a Fika with a new date 


Dating is the same everywhere, right? Wrong! There are major differences between dating in Sweden and London, so save yourself the heartache and embarrassment with Åsa’s insiders’ guide to the dos and don’ts of dating in the Capital.


Written by Åsa Bååv. Åsa is a matchmaker and dating coach originally from Sweden. Her curiosity for new things and meeting new people eventually led her to fall in love with London where she now runs Tailor Matched.


Setting the date is your first challenge

With so much to do in London, the chances of two potential lovebirds having overlapping free evenings is so remote that if it ever does happen, you should immediately get married (joking). Making your schedules work together gets better as the relationship moves along but in the opening stages it’s a little like booking a meeting. The upside? You’ll only make the effort to plan dates with people you’re genuinely interested in.


There are no lunchtime dates

Londoners are notorious workaholics. Lunch-breaks are a rarity and just finding time for a sandwich is hard enough, let alone traveling across the city for a date. Expect your dates to only happen in the evening and to probably involve drinking. London is home to some of the best bars in the world – and people like to make the most of them. Of course, if you’re into sober dating, there are loads of other options (this is London after all).


Avoid public transport on your date

There is NOTHING sexy about the Tube, ok? The lighting, the smells, the sweat – none of it says ‘shall we take this to the bedroom?’ So be on the safe side and plan your dates in ONE location so you can avoid public transport at all costs. And if things have gone very well and you’re heading back to their place, it’s time to call an Uber.


Greet your date warmly (even though they’ll probably be late)

Getting from A to B in London isn’t always easy – it could involve several buses, a Tube and a Boris bike ride so don’t be surprised if your date turns up late looking like they’ve been through an emotional meltdown and all four seasons in a day (it’s all possible). While it may be normal in Sweden to greet your date with a hug, don’t be offended if the sometimes standoffish Londoner would rather have a quick peck on the cheek to say hello.


You will be judged quickly

Did we mention Londoners are workaholics? Well, with demanding jobs, long commutes, and social lives to maintain, the window for dating is left fairly minimal. Time is a precious commodity in London, so expect to be judged quickly and decisively by the person sitting opposite you. Of course, this shouldn’t stop you from showing up exactly like YOU. Forget trying to impress; a genuine connection is what dating is all about, so drop your defenses and let your true self shine.


It’s OK to split the bill

When it comes to gender equality, Londoners and Swedes aren’t unlike in that they’re probably feminists. This, added to London being one of the world’s most expensive city to live in, mean that sharing the cost of a date is a necessity rather than an option. As a girl, you should never expect the guy to pay. He might offer, but he might not. And guys, feel free to be gentlemanly and offer to pay for the girl – but if she says ‘No thanks’, she really means it, so don’t insist. To Londoners, there’s no reason why one person should pay more than the other – so always be prepared to split the bill.


Dates should end before midnight

Londoners don’t turn into Cinderella’s pumpkin at midnight, but they do become nervous wrecks if they miss the last Tube. For heaven’s sake, check the time regularly otherwise you’ll either have to cut the night short to run for the train like it’s a lifeline, have an unplanned sleepover, or pay for an uber-expensive Uber. Be cool, calm and collected and know your last train times.


Don’t assume you’re exclusive

Unlike in Sweden, when once you’re dating it’s assumed you’re exclusive, it’s not unusual for people to be dating multiple partners at once in London. To be on the safe side, don’t assume that you’re exclusive once you are regularly dating. There’s nothing wrong with having ‘the talk’ and laying your boundaries out on the table. It’s better to respect yourself and what you want than get your heart broken because you didn’t want to bring up a vulnerable subject.


Londoners move in quickly

London is such an expensive city that the thought of sharing the rent is usually enough to steer Cupid’s arrow to the bulls-eye, regardless of which direction it seemed to be flying in.



Feel like dating in London is an uphill struggle and need some real confidence to find your person? Swedish Åsa Bååv at Tailor Matched can help. From coaching to workshops and exclusive matchmaking (without the apps) they work with singles in London. Join her at tailormatched.com.