The other day, I was sitting on a tube checking my Badoo and generally minding my own business (ish) behind two semi-attractive banker types. They were a city-boy cliché, from their quasi-matching T M Lewin shirts (I am reliably informed that these are still on the whole 4 for £100 thing) to the humble brags punctuating their sentences, and I was curious to hear whether their chat might meet my stereotype-heavy assumptions.
So I removed my headphones and paused the virtual flirt I had going down on with Adam, 31, Badoo veteran and apparent LOL-ocopter.
I wasn’t disappointed. Because it transpired that what the boys were discussing was the concept of a ‘winter wife’. Which is almost as hilarious as it is intriguing. Turns out, the ‘winter wife’ is a THING amongst late-twenties males who aren’t quite ready to commit to being an actual adult and dating, but also have come to the realisation that long dark evenings sans a significant other comes with its own particularly savage breed of loneliness. The boys didn’t stop there. Other benefits to a winter wife include: acceptability of strolling around Christmas markets, someone to blame ‘having’ to watch X Factor on, and less pressure to maintain a summer body whilst your entire brain is screaming at you to nest.
I do kind of see their point. And actually I think it’s pretty transferable to both sexes, too. Quite frankly, the idea of a big spoon to keep me company through the English winter is rather awesome. Hence my use of Badoo. (BTW, if you’re yet to experience it, Badoo is the largest dating app in the world, with currently just over 360 million users worldwide. It also gets you to verify your human existence when you sign up, which makes catfish-ing less likely.)
So it’s agreed – winter dating is the ONE. And if you’re with me, here’s my top ten recommendations for activity-based dates in London. Because let’s be honest – dinner and drinks is so basic.
- Ballie Ballerson – An adult-sized ball pit where bar visits are encouraged.
- Bedtime Story Nights – Possibly a little punchy for a first date, but who cares. Just make sure your PJ game’s on point. Because that’s the dress code.
- Counter Battersea – it’s a floating restaurant
- Swingers – The crazy golf variety. Obviously
- My Old Dutch – ok it’s not strictly an activity, but the menu is one the coolest I’ve ever seen, and you can say things like ‘shmoke and a pancake’ legitimately. Nearly.
- Shuffleboard – The aim of the game is to get the biscuit to the other side without getting stuck in the kitchen. Prepare for all manner of inuendos.
- Bunga Bunga Covent Garden – Immersive dining at its absolute finest. Arrive through the meat cellar, then Join Jimmy & co on the run from the police.
- Barry’s Bootcamp – Dark, sweaty rooms filled with writhing bodies and pumping toons. It’s almost as if they WANT you to turn up in pairs.
- All Star Lanes – oldie but a goodie. Unless your bowling skills are limited to ricocheting off the kiddy side-barrier-things like me. In which case maybe not.
- Fright Night Thorpe Park – Because there’s nothing to break the ice like scaring yourself silly.
Do you Badoo?