ELLE (Canada) - - Relationship -

Toron­to­nian Ge­orgie Binks waded back into the dat­ing pool af­ter a di­vorce and two kids. She went on 75 first dates, most of whom she met on­line, over five years be­fore she found her Mr. Right. Here are 10 of her (hard-won) take­aways. 1. You need an “A” in chem­istry if there’s go­ing to “B” any­thing phys­i­cal. “Meet some­one in per­son right off the bat. You can’t pre­dict chem­istry by look­ing at a pic­ture on­line of a guy in a base­ball cap and sun­glasses who pro­fesses to love John Irv­ing nov­els and the Arkells. The most in­tense chem­istry I’ve ever had was with a teensy blond guy de­tail­ing my car. And a beefy mous­tached garbage col­lec­tor. I never dated ei­ther of them, but I still re­mem­ber them.”

2. Know when to hold them and know when to delete them. “Look for early warn­ing signs on a date— like spend­ing 20 min­utes ex­plain­ing how your thermo­stat works (true story) or three hours talk­ing about ‘my cousin’s half-sis­ter’s kid’s un­cle’s wed­ding.’ If this hap­pens, there should be no sec­ond date.” 3. The dog me­ter is al­ways ac­cu­rate. “Most guys loved my dog be­cause my dog was so fan­tas­tic and they were nice guys. I dropped the one guy who pushed my dog away with his foot.” 4. Be sure to know your bound­aries. “When a guy asks your lim­its, he’s not talk­ing about drink­ing.” 5. For some guys, get­ting you drunk is their de­fault. “I watched more than one guy mentally rear­range the game plan when I told him I’d given up drink­ing.” 6. Don’t tell them you’re a writer. “Say you’re a dancer. Af­ter all, you do dance, right? One guy ac­tu­ally made me sign an agree­ment to not write about him... and that’s all I can say.” 7. The more men you date, the more you’ll get sick of men. “It can (and did) turn into aver­sion ther­apy af­ter a while.” 8. Don’t let your kids meet a first date. “My kids went hys­ter­i­cal over one poor dude’s pants. (They thought they be­longed to his sis­ter.) They stared at an­other guy for a whole meal. ‘We hate ev­ery­thing about him,’ they con­fided af­ter.” 9. If you think a guy has some­thing wrong with him, don’t tell him. “I learned that les­son af­ter meet­ing a guy with Tourette’s who didn’t know he had it. He still doesn’t. He just thought I was rude.” 10. Your dreams (and lies) can come true. “I used to tell guys I was back with an old boyfriend to let them down softly. One day, it really hap­pened: My for­mer boyfriend called me up and told me his mar­riage had ended. Af­ter 75 failed first dates, the fact that he had a job, he looked pretty good and I’d al­ready test driven him meant he was a shoo-in. We’re still to­gether.”

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