large (23)You know the one I’m talking about.

That guy your mum fell in love with before you did. The one who fits every bill known to womankind. The perfect date. The gentleman. The textbook boyfriend, if you will.

With them, doors will be opened, flowers will be delivered and your anniversary will never be forgotten. He’s quite simply, perfect.

For someone else, that is.

Despite all of his positive perks, he no longer makes you want to drop your pants, he doesn’t force your brain to function on higher planes and he doesn’t make you feel alive anymore. Fairy tales are telling you yes, but your gut is telling you no.

So what do you do?

Naturally, you carry on the stale relationship for a while longer because, well, half of your stuff is at his and it would be a huge effort to lug it back again. He knows that you take it with milk, no sugar and he doesn’t need to ask what you need when you’re hungover: happy meal complete with toy please, ta very much.

He’s like the job you’ve had for years, the dish you always order in Nando’s and that jumper you’ve had since 2006. He’s tried, he’s tested, he’s trustworthy. But is that enough?

I’m not saying that the only attractive men are those who don’t hold doors open, give you flowers and make you want to break into a rendition of God Only Knows. Far from it; these are prerequisites for any boyfriend I take on. I’m simply saying that if you’re with someone who does all of these things and you’re still not weak at the knees, then something’s up and it might be time to move on.

You have to ask yourself whether or not it would matter if their looks faded to that of our beloved Bruce Forsyth, whether his conversation would remain as interesting to you fifty long-haul flights later and whether you would be happy to hold his hand in a room full of hotties. Now, it’s highly likely that you will answer, “yes” to all of these questions, and that’s okay, you’ve been together for what feels like forever. But don’t be fooled. Here’s the real test…

Picture the perfect woman for him.

Match his likes and dislikes, think about how she’d look, smell and even sound. Would she enjoy sailing as much as him? Find his eating habits endearing as opposed to enraging? Would she be anything like… you?

If the person you’re picturing doesn’t have your name on them, then do him a favour and let him go and find her. You’re the only thing standing between him and his dream girl. And you and your dream fella.

It will be an ugly break up. You’ll be confused and will feel mostly guilty. It will be one of the hardest splits of your life and you’ll question yourself daily because – bizarrely – you’re tearing yourself away from something that is, on the surface, perfect. But stay strong dear friend; you’re doing the right thing.

I can promise you that once the tears have dried and you’re both finally free, you’ll feel like the luckiest girl in the world. You’ll see him with his new girlfriend and feel nothing but happiness and, most importantly, you’ll have the highest of standards because of what he’s taught you.

And for that, regardless of who you end up with, he will always be The Perfect Date.

The Drink.

What is it about going for a drink that is just so much better than dinner?

Whether it’s a first date or a final date, a gin and tonic or a cold peroni is always better than munching on a salad or a burger. It’s obviously because it takes the edge off, but the only problem is, in this day and age, nobody really goes out for just the one. When you propose to go out for drinks, we are all now prepared for the worst. Girls must always bring ample make up in order to make the transition from ‘after work drinks’ to party time in Shoreditch and guys must always opt for shoes rather than trainers, just in case.

And with all this drunkenness flying about, anything can happen. You can drop a glass, poke your date in the eye, fall over and the ‘going-home-together’ rate sky rockets. Albeit slightly risky, some drinks dates can end up in two people being far more honest than they would normally be with the person sitting opposite them, resulting in something that neither might have expected.

The only problem is, when you finally meet up with them sober, their cute drunken behaviour might actually turn out to be a reality… I think the hilarity of a drunken date however, is well worth the risk. Keep knocking back those southern comforts because even if it’s not fun for you, for those of us at the next table who are partially sober, it really is a treat.

And anyway, the next round’s on me…