One of the most daunting aspects of being set up on a blind date on dating reality show First Dates UK isn’t only that the singletons are going to have dinner with a total stranger. It’s that the fancy restaurant Paternoster Chop House in London, where they share casual conversations and a light meal, is strategically fitted with 42 cameras and there are about 70 crew members watching their every move. That’s enough for someone to miss their mouth with a fork and have their food spilling on their clothes for their date to see…
But because the First Dates UK matchmakers work hard to pair couples who are compatible and share common interests, it isn’t long until the singles feel comfortable around each other. If they run out of topics to talk about or there’s an awkward silence, the charming host Fred Sirieix and the staff (who are actually actors in real-life) keep them engaged and entertained throughout the evening. At the end of the date, the couples pay the bill and decide whether they’ll go their separate ways or exchange numbers.
There have been dates that were nothing short of cringeworthy, where a single landed with a frog instead of a Prince Charming. But there also have been romantic dinners with sparks flying, cute giggles and the couples smiling ear to ear because they’d found “the one” on a TV show.
As dating “scientists”, we viewers (and wanna-be daters) get to analyse how and why that little touch of magic happened, and then steal all the best tips to use for ourselves. So, put on your white lab coat, take out that magnifying glass, and check out how these past First Date couples got it right: