Dos And Don’ts Of Dating In Shoreditch

So you’ve moved from your rural town or city to our fair capital. And in the interest of living in one of the most vibrant, sociable parts you’ve settled in Shoreditch. The first thing you have to know is that you’re not exactly living in London. In fact what you’ve actually done is move from one bubble to another, only with much tricksier dating etiquette and worse mind-fuck games. Here pretty much everyone knows each other somehow and whilst it’s super-easy to be a slut, it can cause untold social-politics problems. Here’s a handy guide to navigating this sexual minefield.

DO hang out in London Fields throughout the summer. We all know it’s over-played but we all still go for 3 reasons: 1. It’s one of the few parks in East London where you can legally have a BBQ. 2. There are always people walking their puppies. MEGA CUTE! 3. The whole place is perpetually crammed with beautiful boys and girls with eyes that beg you to check them out. Please note that this is eye-candy territory only. It’s simply a wonderful place to perv on others without feeling embarrassment over your roving eye.

DON’T date anyone from Vice or The Old Blue Last. Shoreditch is cliquey as fuck but these places are clique-a-geddon for a fresh-faced hipster.

DO “chillax.” Ugh, I loathe that word but it was a piece of advice given to a friend recently that I’m appropriating for the same purpose. Basically, 99% of people in Shoreditch are a single-handed flake-a-rama. That means they will be late, they won’t answer your texts, they will blow you out on more than one occasion. And you know what? You just have to accept it. I know its hard going, but you just have to be cool about it. Sounds ridiculous, right? Welcome to Shoreditch dating, sweetheart. What you come to learn is, at some point, you’re going to wind up doing it to someone too, and totally without malice. You can’t get angry for something you’re guilty of as well.

DON’T hook up at techno raves. The people you meet there are usually sketchy fucks on way too much K. Don’t get me wrong, warehouse raves in London are the best! Fabulously grimey fun but they are not the place to meet the boy/girl of your dreams. Unless of course the person you desire most is someone who’ll listen to you babble about Seth Troxler whilst they rack up some lines on the back of your passport. Then go nuts.

DO go to as many parties by yourself as possible. This may sound a bit reckless but I actually mean parties outside your social circle. Make friends with people who are on the outer vestiges of your circle and then go off partying with them. You’ll feel safe as you’re with a mate but you’ll also be meeting a whole bunch of new people, who (hopefully) haven’t already slept with all your friends.

DON’T fall into the trap of the 7am hook-up. Everyone knows the type I mean. So you’ve been flirting all night with a person and they’ve kinda been flirting back but it’s hard to tell. Slowly the party dies out and you’re the last two standing and things start to happen at a time when no-one else is around to have any clue. Oh my lord, what are you still doing here?!? There is no dignity in this situation! The other person clearly doesn’t want anyone to know you guys are hooking up and that’s usually for a not-nice reason and not because they’re a private person or some-such bullshit. AVOID AVOID AVOID.

DO date someone in gainful employment. Sounds obvious, I know, but Shoreditch is FULL of people who don’t have jobs but somehow manage to party all the time. I know there’s the economic crisis and all and lots of people just can’t get jobs. And that’s totally not their fault. These are not the people I’m referring to. It’s the people that don’t even try. The true trashbags. The rest of us can’t work out how in the hell they manage their lifestyles (often it’s not even mummy or daddy lending a helping hand) so keep them as your party pals and only date reasonably sensible ones who work hard and won’t tempt you off the rails on a school night.

DON’T think that being a dickhead is cool. Yes we’ve all seen the viral and oh yes, wasn’t it ever so funny but gosh wasn’t that just me. No. Don’t. Just don’t. You like analogue photography so much then get a fucking film camera. You like fixie bikes so much then get one without a sodding break and peddle backwards like you’re meant to, okay? Don’t need glasses? Don’t wear cheap over-sized nerd frames then. You make those of us with -6 eyesight well jeals. Genuine people will like you for genuine originality so don’t fall into the Shoreditch stereotype.

These are by no means hard and fast rules. There may be a boy out there in a metal t-shirt and bad tattoos who isn’t a douche. There might even be a girl out there draped in Brick Lane bought vintage clothing who isn’t totally mental. Maybe. TC mark


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  • Alex Nikolov

    Oooh. An article about london, and from what appears  to be actual londoner. If I was you I'd preface the article with an explanatory paragraph otherwise the americans who predominantly read this blog won't get what a 'Shoreditch' is.

    • Dan

      How bout you eat a dick.

  • ribcage

    I'm American and I got it.  Doesn't mean I liked it.  But I got it.

  • Tom Smith

    Fake glasses on people with perfect eyesight is the WORST.
    Glasses being cool is one of the few advantages of having shitty eyes.

  • padface


    It's like 1000x worse for gays FYI. You get all the flakiness, more imjustlookingforsexytimes, and a reduced dating pool (not VASTLY reduced, Shoreditch is mega gay duh).

    Also anything remotely preppy = deathstares. I feel super inferior for not wearing charity shop clothes, Opening Ceremony or Rick Owens sometimes. But the trade off for that is the ever-fun game, 'guess the hipster's gender from behind' game!

  • Wi Na

    Replace 'Shoreditch' with 'San Francisco' and that'd be my 20s.

    Fun then, but glad it's in the past. The flaky skeeziness got so old that I happily ran to the East Bay to settle down.

  • Ian Williamson

    mmm yes the amero-centric view of the world, whereby all web content must be prefaced with its cosmological postion in relation to US culture… thought catalog has gone global biatch
    And no, Eye-raq is not a province of France

    • ribcage

      Who claimed that?  WINA merely suggested that s/he relates to it.  Weaker than the Americentric view is the easy, reactionary one.

    • Wi Na

      The point I was making was that hipster=hipster=hipster. Things that seem so geocentric really have more to do with age, SES and in this case solipsism.

      Or, if you want to be generous, you could say I was highlighting common ground. I certainly spent enough time at raves, wearing thrift and being flaked on to be the last one to get too preachy about this shit, even if I've outgrown it.

      Btw – I lost a brother in 'Eye-raq', so I'm very fucking aware where it is. Thanks.

  • Michael Koh

    My glasses make me look [age]+15 years older.

  • Steven Timberman

    So THAT's what Shoreditch is like! I've lived over in Kingston (west London) for a few months now, and sadly and rarely make it outside of the west London bubble.

    Loved the article and will take it to caution if I ever make it out to Shoreditch… but can anyone point me out places in Shoreditch good to go and try and break into all the bajillion cliques that exist in any cool yet hipsterish borough?

    Really, all I know is that I'm scheduled for a poetry reading in Shoreditch at a “celebrate Ginsberg's Howl” night. I think that sums it up.

    (But seriously y'all, an ignorant american is asking, nay, begging, to find out where the hipsters of London are at. At the risk of being super-sketch, my e-mail is  Innovative eh?

    • Ellesse

      How funny, I live in Kingston… but go to school in New Cross. East
      London is pretty laidback, you should get yourself out there. Though the
      travel fee to even get into Central is quite a turn off. Really no
      point in me responding to your comment (other than the fact that I found
      it coincidental that you live in Kingston), as I can only really advise
      about what’s what in New Cross, not Shoreditch. Lol.

  • Fred

    This article seriously depressed me. The best advice is about the 7am hook-up, but that's not about Shoreditch, that's anywhere. As for “Genuine people will like you for genuine originality so don’t fall into the Shoreditch stereotype.” Er, no sweetheart, genuine people will like you for your genuine personality – it's that simple.

    Also, I know plenty of people who dress like so-called “Dickheads” but would never even set foot into Shoreditch. It's got fuck-all to do with dating potential. This was just way too easy a stereotype to include right?

    But anyway, the reason I think it depressed me specifically is that it's full of negative vibes – even the Do's are filled with misery and settling for a way of thinking that, you know, really doesn't have to be.

    So, a dating tip for you Rachael… Let go of your stereotypes (or maybe you don't hold them, maybe you just included them because it was easy) and stop trying to be so painfully cool. It's pretty tiresome – you must be fucking exhausted.

  • Go Jo

    i think this is hilarious….some of you taking it a bit to seriously maybe??! maybe baby.

  • Trb

    And this is what you trendy fucks have done to east London?

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