Fancy more than a one-night stand? A guide to Bristol student dates from talking stage to marriage

For when you wanna call them for more than just booty

Ever tried to explain the talking stage to your parents? They just can’t wrap their boomer heads around it bless ‘em- “Back in my day we used to go on proper dates”. Well, the future is now grandpa.

First you’re “just shagging”, then you’re “talking”, then after a suitable amount of quality time spent together- you’re exclusive. But that doesn’t mean you can go calling them your boyfriend/girlfriend just yet, you need to have the conversation about labels first!

It’s a nuanced game out there, and it can be hard to know how to play your cards for each tedious stage of pursuit, but fear not. Through our own trial and error, we’ve compiled a list of activities to correspond with whichever stage of romance you’re at, so if you fancy more than just a one-night stand, look no further.

Breakfast and bed, respectively

So, your Wednesday night Gravity pull has turned out to be more than just a hat rack, you get along well and they’ve ended up staying the night; perfect- nothing says romance quite like cooking them breakfast.

How do you like your eggs in the morning? Not fertilised I hope! Warning: may involve mildly awkward run-ins with flatmates.

Does Deliveroo do Johnnies?

If you’re still at the point of meeting for just one reason, why not show them you really know how to have a good time and suggest ordering a takeaway?

Make sure it’s clear that this has everything to do with how into them you are and nothing to do with the fact that it’s Domino’s Two for Tuesday.

Admire the goats on The Downs

Potentially a first wholesome meetup, so this is a big milestone! I know meeting in the stark, sober light of day sounds scary- but hear us out.

A walk requires minimal effort and commitment, and we suggest The Downs- there’s normally an ice cream truck, great dogspotting, a sunset if you’re lucky. You could even go look for the goats that are just sometimes chilling on the cliff face. Plus The Downs are massive, if it goes tits up you can literally just run away.

Where to go: The Downs, The Mound, St Andrews Park

I’d take you to the movies but they don’t allow snacks

This one’s great because you don’t actually have to talk to them. You can gauge what kind of person they are by a) how they respond to your film suggestion (did they stay for the credits after Spiderman?!) b) what food they order and how loudly they chew said food and c) if they talk in the cinema (The Bristol Tab guide to ghosting someone is out soon).

Please, please, please listen to me when I say that there are cameras in the cinema so unless you want to inadvertently dabble in porn then keep your hands to your damn self.

Where to go: Everyman, Odeon, Cinema de Lux

I like you a latte

Grabbing a quick coffee is the perfect amount of time to spend with someone where you actually have to talk to them without committing to the length of going out for a meal, and without seeming like you’re coming on too strong.

In an age where even double texting can be seen as laying it on too thick, straight up asking someone on a date can seem a little forward, so to follow the sheep and fanny around a bit- a coffee is a great way of saying: “Hey! I like having sex with you, but also quite like you as a person as well!”

Where to go: Coffee Under Pressure, Mrs Potts, Columbian Coffee Co.

Flirt over a Guinness

Once you’ve conquered the fear of spending sober time with them, now you can get so drunk that you lose all inhibitions, maybe now’s a great time to tell them how much you mega fancy them.

And if you’re really lucky you might get to meet their drunken alter ego (also great date spot) which is like going out with two people in one.

Where to go: Kongs (play on the retro arcade games), Bag of Nails (unless the smell of cat food bothers you)

I like you so much, I don’t mind you’re a messy eater

If you’ve decided you like spending time with them enough to commit to a meal, congratulations. A meal is a bit of an ordeal; especially if you’re a messy eater or just an awkward person so save this one for a few dates down the line.

You can tell a lot about your date by how they treat the waiting staff; so maybe after this is a great time to initiate (or not to initiate) the conversation about exclusivity.

Where to go: Pasta Loco, Bravas, Molto Bueno, Vincenzio’s, Yakinori, The Flipside

We’ve been to Bath together, we’re basically married

So you’re well on way to bf/gf territory if you’ve made it this far. Over are the days of awkwardly exchanging glances when someone asks “what are you?”. Baby we’ve been to Bath together we’re basically married!

But in all seriousness, a day trip to Bath is a great date idea that’s niche to Bristol; you get the feel of a holiday all within about a £10 train ticket, a small price to pay to walk around and admire some stunning Georgian stone

Where to go:  Pulteney Bridge, Prior Park Landscape Garden, obligatory Insta pic outside Bath Abbey

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