I went on a date in Lancs every night for five nights, here’s what I learned

The top five perfect winter date ideas… Unless you’re me

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Romantic comedies lie. Whether we admit it or not, as soon as that first winter frost hits the tip of your nose, the notion of someone to welcome in the festive period with becomes increasingly enticing.

And yet, the reality of a first date in winter is rather less romantic, and far more awkward.

So call me the Grinch, call me the villain in your Christmas film, the Scrooge who couldn’t get screwed: but "at Christmas you tell the truth." Five dates in five nights, organised via God’s gift that is Tinder, all the while hoping that none of them turn out to be serial killers.

Gentleman #1:

Bad Santa, anyone?

The cinema. A classic first date idea but make it festive. Despite being financially destitute by this point, I've wasted a week’s food budget on a popcorn/coke combo – but at Christmas we treat ourselves, so screw it.

It’s cosy, relaxed, and perfect for those who suffer from nerve-induced verbal diarrhoea on a first date. Just sit back, enjoy the most delicate of tentative of hand holds, and watch whichever Christmas film you happen to find yourself in – let's be realistic, they’re all the same anyway.

Gentleman #2:

The longest one: Manchester Christmas markets. My favourite place and also the date that I am dreading the most. This is not a quick evening, it is a long afternoon, evening and night all rolled into one; if we don’t get along at all then that is a very long time to be polite and fake a smile. I don’t even need to go on the date to say how risky this one is.

Gentleman #3:

Lancaster on Ice, you love to see it

Ice Skating. Mariah Carey sets the tone as we glide around in tandem. Completely elegant and totally unproblematic. Oh, but wait, I absolutely and unequivocally cannot ice skate. I have spent the larger part of my night arse-over-tit: looking as though I've downed one too many glasses of festive cheer – whilst excusing all redness on my face as a symptom of the winter chill instead of a result of pure humiliation.

A major dilemma – I have now spent so much time on my back that he has either reached the absolutely correct conclusion that I have a horrific sense of coordination, or that I have adopted the aggressive flirting technique of a presenting baboon.

An accurate recreation of skate-gate. The falling over series.

Gentleman #4:

By this point I considered my main company to be the mulled wine

It is day four. I am exhausted. Now I remember why one should avoid dating at all costs; so, my apologies to Gentleman #4, but tonight we are hitting the bar. A no brainer. Completely risk free. Between the last-minute dash to meet uni deadlines, and the residual embarrassment of last night’s skate-gate horror, I welcome this one with open arms. With no fear of red wine teeth or having one too many, it is time for the mulled wine, and lots of it.

Gentleman #5:

Yes I posed for pictures for 20 minutes… And?

A ferris wheel first date sounds all well and good; that is until your date goes greener than a Christmas tree and you have to spend the next 20 minutes in close proximity, praying to escape without being covered in vomit. Under any other circumstances, the view, the company, and the first date excitement might’ve culminated in a total success – a 100% approved winter date idea – but I have apparently pissed off Santa Claus and so am doomed to a terrible festive season.

Merry Christmas to you all, let's be merry.

So, who needs a winter warmer partner? When the pressure of dating is so high at this time, it’s totally not worth it. Instead, I choose relaxation. I choose family and friends. And, I choose to realise that sometimes Lizzo truly does speak the gospel, and we must find that we are ‘100% that bitch’ by ourselves. That often, a winter boyfriend might leave you feeling colder in January than you did in November.