New government guidelines mean that pubs and restaurants will be forced to close at 10pm latest as of tonight.

The rationale behind this is likely because, after this point, people get a little too merry and forget to social distance.

But for single people, it also puts paid to that part of the night where they and their date might get a little closer.

Even for those who don’t drink (and therefore won’t be tipsy and loose by 10pm) there’s something about the cover of darkness and the impending last train home that spices up a date.

Thankfully, we’ve got some tips alongside dating app Badoo to ensure you can still have fun despite being put on what they’re calling the ‘Cinderella curfew’.

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Try brunching or day dates

Let’s be honest, many of us are overly reliant on booze and soft lighting for first dates.

It may seem obvious, but giving up a real, actual day of your weekend shows commitment to getting to know someone. Plus, you get to see them in the cold light of day sans beer goggles.

Natasha Briefel, UK Marketing Director, Badoo says: ‘There are plenty of ways you can spice up your first or second date in light of these new restrictions, from doing an activity together during the day, to prosecco brunching.

‘It might even bring you closer together, or allow you to realise how compatible you are.’

Dating coach Persia Lawson continues: ‘A sober early date fosters a more authentic connection, because if you get on, you know it’s genuine and not a result of the booze.’

Get closer digitally

You can really use this time to widen your dating pool through apps and websites.

According to Tinder, 52% more messages were sent globally during lockdown and a record 3billion swipes were made on 29th March, with similar trends expected if a second lockdown is introduced.

They recommend getting your bio and pictures in tip-top condition so you’re turning all the right heads.

Tinder is also hosting Swipe Nights, where you can match with people who make similar choices to you in the game – providing you an evening of fun and a potential new beau.

Gauge their reaction to restrictions

Persia states: ‘The new rules give you an opportunity to see if you and your date are on the same page when it comes to values: for example, do you see these rules as an impediment to your freedom, or a way to help bring the covid infection rates back down?

‘Having an open and honest conversation about your thoughts on these rules will not only give you something to talk about on your first date, it will give you a chance to bond and develop a more intimate connection – or not, as the case may be!’

Let this be the moment you find out whether your date is an anti-masker, a Covidiot, a conspiracy theorist, or a weird anti-Wuhan racist. Then you can be back in bed and away from them by 10.15pm.

Do a half and half date

The best dates are those that go from dinner to drinks to breakfast the next day.

Although that can’t happen in person, you can break up the IRL portion of the date by 10, then go to your respective homes and enjoy a wine or hot drink on Zoom or Houseparty together.

This way you can work out whether you have chemistry so you aren’t wasting time, but also have fun during those after-hours moments.

Enjoy the leeway it gives you

‘It’s a handy way to call time on a first date if there is a lack of spark or connection,’ says Persia

‘And, if you are into the person you’re on a date with, it’s inevitable that the curfew will help with ‘leaving them wanting more’.

‘After all, taking things slow and steady in the romance department is always a good idea in the long run, and allows you to make a deeper, more honest connection.

‘Not to mention the benefits of getting a (reasonably) early night and reduced hangover come the morning.’

At the moment, the only couples than can legally have sex are those in an ‘established relationship’ – which isn’t ideal for single people.

But times are hard for everyone right now, and it’s better to embrace the changes and allow something natural to develop than go full ‘curfing season’ just so you have someone in your bubble.

Use these new guidelines as a way to get out quick if it isn’t working, and allow a slow burn potential love grow if it is.

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