Dating game: Mel Buttle
Dating game: Mel Buttle

Buttle: I’ve had to lift my dating game

I'm dating, which means every week I have to come up with a series of interesting activities and unique places to eat food. It's like being an activities director at a part-time adult camp. As each weekend approaches I begin trawling websites for what's on in Brisbane. The year hasn't fully kicked off yet so there's not a lot of big-ticket events to take a date along to.

So instead I've had to make my own fun, as Mum would say. Thankfully it's peak TV season, so you can always phone it in with a night at home watching My Kitchen Rules. It goes for two hours, add in dinner on the couch and that's a whole evening filled in.

A date is a reflection of you, it says to your mate a lot about you. It lets them know what you think is cool, and if you have your finger on the pulse of your city. I am certainly not cool, but, like a veteran cabbie, I do know my way around Brisbane. Taking a date to the Dayboro pub may seem like a nice idea, but do you have 90 minutes of car chat ready to go? It's a long drive, also do you want to drive in front of your date? What if you have to manage a two-lane roundabout or a reverse park? My preference is no more than 20 minutes in the car to the date location, any longer and you risk having to have a killer long story loaded and ready to go.

Chris Rock once said that when you date a new person, they're not meeting you, they're meeting your representative. This rings true for me, I've been seeing someone for a couple of months now and as loyal readers will know, I'm not big into fitness. However, to impress a certain someone I've joined a gym, I've cut down on my shiraz intake and broccoli no longer rots into mush in the bottom of my fridge. Instead I steam it and then, eat it, without any cheese sauce or anything.

Impressing a new person means upping your game. When they come over you don't greet them in pyjamas, rather, pretend that you were simply reclining in your home until dinner time in your smart casual wear. Also offer them a drink when they arrive, don't yell, 'you know where the fridge is' over your shoulder. I also try and have the television on an interesting channel. To communicate intelligence and worldliness, I recommend a documentary about animals, or World War II.

However, even though dating can be stressful, these days finding the perfect restaurant that caters for everyone's food intolerances can be hard. There's a really good bit to dating, too, having someone there to join in my rants at the TV has been really nice. Ruby, although she is a great dog, tends to run from the room in fear when I screech "it's burned, you've overcooked it," at the screen. A gentle "not you Ruby, you don't have hands" is often enough to get her back in the room. Poor thing - I'm glad she can't talk, or the therapy bill would be enormous.

Mel Buttle is a Brisbane comedian

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