London’s Dating “It” Girl on Dream Dates, Online Dating and Disappearing Men

By: Elizabeth Marie |

Charly Lester writes the popular 30 Dates Blog, one of London’s biggest dating blogs. She is one half of The Go To Girls, running dating advice workshops for single women in London, and recently founded the UK Dating Awards, the only consumer-driven Dating Awards in the world. I am a big fan of her blog, as her candid writings are so relatable to anyone who’s been single and dating (so, everyone in the universe) and I continue to be so impressed with the community she’s built offering single’s support, dating advice and reviews.  I recently had the opportunity to grill Charly on all things dating and am excited to share her answers with you!

Here we go! 

1. I’ve read all about Henley Boy and have definitely had one or five of those in my life. What is the biggest lesson you learned from going through that?
That relationships which start quickly tend to end quickly. I’ve always been the type of person who dives into things head-first, particularly when the other person reciprocates, but you can never know someone after just a few encounters. I’ve learned to go in more slowly, and try not to expect too much in the early stages.

2. What should a woman do when a guy stops calling or all of sudden vanishes out of thin air? This is the most common question we get-should she call/text/snapchat him, or just wait and hope he gets in touch? Or none of the above?
Nothing. Absolutely nothing. You shouldn’t chase him. And to be honest, even if he does return, if he can vanish so easily, and so quickly, then why would you want him in your life?
Nothing … except move on! It’s a bitter lesson to learn, but you have to look on the positive – at least you found out he was a flake early on!

3. When you meet a man you like, do you tell him right away that you’re a dating expert/blogger?
Yes – I’m really big on honesty. In the early days of my 30 Dates Challenge not all the guys knew (it depended who had referred them as a blind date) and I found that really difficult. Dating is such a big part of my life these days that I couldn’t not tell someone. However I like to do it on my own terms. I hate it if I’m reviewing a dating event, or meeting single guys, and someone introduces me as ‘a dating blogger’. I think the term carries a lot of misconceptions – where as if I can tell them about the Challenge, and how I fell into writing about dating, men tend to be a lot more understanding.

4. What is your London dream date?
Haha, I’ve been so lucky in that I’ve done a lot of the things I wanted to do in London – jet boating down the Thames, eating in the dark at Dans Le Noir, and dinner at the OXO Tower and The Ivy were all high on my list!
I guess now I’d like to do a hot air balloon ride, I’d love to take the Eurostar to Paris (not really a London date!), and I want to check out Chiltern Firehouse!


5. When you visited LA, what was your impression of the men there?
I love the States, and I have really good friends in LA, so all the guys I met out there were great. I love the American approach to dating – it’s only in the last few years that us Brits have started to appreciate just how fun the world of dating can be.

6. Are there any online dating faux pas you see women making? Or men?
I don’t think women should always expect to have everything paid for them. Yes, it’s nice on a first date for a guy to pay, but as a girl you should always at least offer. If I don’t like the guy, I will adamantly pay my share. And if I do like the guy, and he buys dinner, I’ll try to get drinks or something else later in the evening.

Online I think people over think stuff. Just talk to people like you would in real life. Don’t over think your approach, just have a normal conversation. Everyone is there for the same reason. Don’t judge someone too harshly on their choice of words, and try to be open minded.

I think women in particular can be too set in their personal ‘tick lists’. Have a real think about what’s important to you – often it’s stuff you’ll only realise when you meet with someone in person.

Try to meet up quickly – don’t chat for ages before meeting up. You end up forming a false impression of someone, which he or she will never live up to in real life. Once you’re interested in someone and you realise you have enough in common to chat for a few hours, arrange a date.

7. What is the worst online dating message you’ve ever received?
Haha I’ve had some shockers over the past year, but the ones which stick out are ones which have been copied and pasted over and over!
I’ve been sent the same message, by the same guy, five times in four weeks.

All images via 30DatesBlog.