Looking for love is far from easy. Sometimes it can feel like you’re doing it all wrong. But one British reality dating show is bringing joy, laughter, and even the odd tear, to viewers by showing the more human side to first dates.
Set in a restaurant in the heart of London, Channel 4’s First Dates allows viewers to eavesdrop on real-life blind dates.
Of course, there’s crippling nerves, wardrobe malfunctions, excruciating silences and table manner slip-ups. But, it’s so much more than just a spectacle of hilarious encounters.
With each date featured on the show (now in its eighth season) you hear people’s backstories, and you find out why, for some people, going on a date is a huge milestone.
If you’re a dater who’s had more than your fair share of bad dates, First Dates will reassure you that you’re far from alone. If you’re coupled up, First Dates will give you a cheeky glimpse into other people’s love lives. And, if you’re a sucker for romantic stories, this show will undoubtedly move you to tears.
Here are just a few of the reasons you need to watch this cult hit immediately.
1. You’ll see that first-date nerves are very common
Not a single episode of First Dates goes by without someone admitting that they feel very, very nervous. One recurring dater on the show was named “Nervous Louis” because his first date was derailed by his crippling nerves. But, Louis persevered and he came back on the show for a date with someone new, and spoiler alert it went really well! The pair agreed to see each other again. Hurrah!
2. You’ll see proof that first dates can lead to very happy endings
When a date goes really well on First Dates, it’s truly a pleasure to watch. From the moment they connect, you’re rooting for them. You want them to go out again and maybe, just maybe stay together forever.
And, the wonderful thing is: that actually happens on the show. When Ibiba and Aarron share a lovely date together on the show, they talk about some very real feelings about their pasts. And, they later return to announce that they’re having their first baby together!
When Scott and Victoria met on the show, they hit it off straight away. After 3 weeks they moved in together. They returned to First Dates for another special moment.
3. You’ll hear people’s life stories and it will probably make you cry
First Dates is a show about dating at all stages of life. Some daters have tragically lost their previous partners, and many share their stories and their reasons for re-entering the world of dating. These stories are profoundly touching, and a reminder that dating is far from easy at any stage in life.
Octogenarians Patricia and Alan shared the many troubles they had faced during their lifetimes, adding that they want to live life to the full. Widower Alan talked about losing his wife and his son, and it’s safe to say his story had people reaching for their tissues.
“Life is so bloody short and so many people don’t realise that. I don’t want to die with any regrets,” said Alan. “I love life.”
Some people on the show talk about the impact of past heartbreaks. On one very emotional date, Damian opened up to his date Kai about developing Tourettes after a very bad breakup, which impacted on his mental health. Kai then revealed that he has been living with depression for much of his adult life.
“I was in love and I took that breakup really hard. I just didn’t think that I could cope. It was at that time that the tics started,” he said.
4. You’ll see that other people get stood up too
The course of true love doesn’t always run smoothly. And sometimes people don’t show up to dates. First Dates has had its fair share of no-shows over the seasons. But, every single deserted dater has had another bite at the cherry. As they say, second time’s a charm.
5. You’ll see that it really is a very small world
For many of us, the idea of going on a date with an ex-partner is not entirely our idea of a good time. But, a couple of times on the show, daters have been accidentally reunited with blasts from their past. In one episode, Vince and Anna shared a date and both mention that they feel like they’ve met before. Turns out they dated when they were teenagers…
6. You’ll see that embarrassing moments are all part of the charm of dating
There are heaps of awkward moments on the show, and they only serve to make the daters even more endearing to their dates.
First Dates is a lesson to us all: even when we’re making fools of ourselves, we’re still lovable. Most importantly of all, the show teaches us that dating can be hard for just about everyone.
But, just like the First Dates daters, there could be a happy ending right around the corner.