5 Dating Lessons from ABC TV’s Better Date Than Never

5 Dating Lessons from ABC TV’s Better Date Than Never

There are first dates, and then there are first-ever dates. While our TV screens are flooded with endless dating shows, ABC TV’s new series Better Date Than Never will have you swooning (and likely squirming over the shared awkwardness).

As the name suggests, Better Date Than Never follows a diverse range of Australians all looking to go on their very first date. It comes from the creators of Love On The Spectrum, so you know it’s good.

Dating is a bloody minefield — from finding the perfect activity for your budget to working out who should pay for it, it can be pretty damn overwhelming. But there are a few gems I can let you in on after watching all six episodes of Better Date Than Never.

Warning: there are some minor spoilers ahead.

Love lessons from the cast of Better Date Than Never

No one is ever cool on a first date

Let’s just rip the band-aid off: First dates are awful. We’re all nervous, no matter how much we pretend otherwise.

Charles, bless his heart, is consumed with nerves. Despite studying environmental engineering and trying to work out how to solve climate change with algae — low-key genius — when it comes to his first-ever date, he is literally speechless.

He’s frozen, eyes shut tightly, desperately trying to find the words to ask his date a question, any question, and he eventually comes out with: “Do you like… crocodile?” He spends the rest of the date beating himself up about the crocodile question. “I hope he doesn’t think I have some special thing for crocodile.”

Charles, Better Date Than Never
Charles really puts himself out there. (Image: ABC TV)

Romance is a team sport

Charles is the only participant on Better Date Than Never that doesn’t have family around. All the others have incredible support networks of siblings and supermums. But Charles is not alone — he’s given a coach who specialises in LGBT+ relationships. Charles studiously takes notes, of course.

None of us goes into dating alone, even if we’re seasoned pros. There’s always the group chat debrief to decide whether the interaction was worth it or not. Heck, most of us still get friends to help craft text messages before we’ve even met the person.

The fear is real

Nirvali, who is battling severe social anxiety, speaks for a lot of women, if you ask me: “I know it’s dark, but I’m scared that I’ll go on a date and never come home again.” She also has pretty damn accurate expectations: “A couple of awkward interactions, and after that, we’ll just go home.”

Dating is scary as hell. You’re putting yourself out there, tearing down the walls, and for that, I think every one of these stars deserves a medal.

The cast of Better Date Than Never
(Image: ABC TV)

Consent is everything

“Would you like a handshake or a hug?” “What would you think if I kissed you?” These conversations flow so naturally in Better Date Than Never. I swear this series should be played in high schools to show that consent is definitely romantic, even when things don’t go the way you had hoped.

There’s no easy way to let someone down, but there is a right way

Olivia, who lives with Down syndrome, sums up her fears about dating: “I’m scared of breaking his little heart.” After which, her mum talks her through how to politely and honestly tell someone there’s just no romantic spark, which we can all learn a lot from.

Olivia, Better Date Than Never
Olivia, just causally waiting. (Image: ABC TV)

Charles, I’m sorry to say, ends up on the receiving end of such a speech from one of his suitors. While desperately trying to hold himself together, he solemnly declares: “It’s the 31st of August today, and spring is coming tomorrow.”

Better Date Than Never premieres on ABC TV and iview on Tuesday, January 24, at 8:00 pm.


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