real life

All your dating questions answered. You're welcome.

Peter Helliar


Since It’s A Date began airing on the ABC, I have been asked for my viewpoints and opinions on dating on TV and radio, been approached on the street for dating advice, and contacted on Twitter by somebody hoping I could save their fledgling relationship.

I couldn’t for two reasons.

One, it was too far gone; and two, I am a comedian.

But I thought it may be fun to share the answers to the question each episode posed in It’s A Date. I may even learn something about myself…

*Looks longingly into the distance… or at least the corner of the Perth Qantas Club*.

So here we go.

1. When Should You Abandon a Date? 

During the writing of each episode where a character’s behaviour is bordering on intolerable we had to stop and ask ourselves the question; why doesn’t he/she just leave? My answer always ended up being the same, “because you don’t”.

Usually you’re on a date because you have some level of emotional investment in the other person – so you tend to stick it out. Also, it can take your brain some time to process abnormal behaviour, sometimes it’s not until the cab ride home when you call your mum or best mate and get their assurance to confirm that yes, your date politely presenting you a folded menu with his penis delicately placed in it, was a bit weird.

With that said, I suggest pressing the eject button on any date if any of the following occurs. Base-jumping is thrown up as a first date “out of the square” option, your date falls asleep during dinner, he/she denies the Holocaust or he is wearing a T-shirt outlining reasons why a beer is better than a woman.

2. How Important is Honesty on a Date?

I would suggest honesty is highly important. That does not mean there isn’t room for revisionism or a little creative refurnishing of your present day self. She doesn’t need to know about the warts on your arse that you had burnt off on Thursday and he doesn’t need to know that you’re menstruating.  With that said, you may want to mention that jail stint at some point or that sex change operation you had or are planning on having.

3. How Important is a Sense of Humour on a Date?

A sense of humour helps but that does not mean you should strive to make every comment a belter and every observation a punch line. Dating is about making a connection and it’s important you have moments of honesty and candor. For the bigger picture it’s important that your senses of humour connect. No point riffing freestyle on Kevin Rudd’s filibuster style concession speech if his/her favourite TV show is Real Housewives of the OC.

Do opposites attract?

4. ­Do Opposites Attract?

I don’t think you can be the polar opposite to somebody and maintain a relationship but as far as dating goes, dipping your toe in your right-wing, Super League-following, Pinot-supporting, fundraising-organising neighbour’s pool because your trampoline is bust and the Bulldogs didn’t make the finals, why not?


Some opposites should be avoided though. Bielebers and One Directioners, Bondi Vets and Cronulla Vets and of course motorists and cyclists. When will they get along? *Looks wistfully off into the Perth Qantas Club buffet*

5. Should you Date on the Rebound?

This is a tough one. As Ronny Chieng’s character, Winston observes in the series “rebound just means we’re both moving on with our lives”.

The trouble comes where one person is on a date hoping the other will be The One, whilst the other is hoping they will be the one they can tell their ex they just slept with.Try not to use anyone for your Facebook status updates.

I would think any long term serious relationship shouldn’t be immediately followed up with another long-term relationship.

There’s no point being married your whole single life, right?

6. How Much Do First Impressions Count?

You only get one chance to make a first impression; unless you have short-term memory problems. I don’t believe in love at first sight, more so attraction at first sight. I first saw my wife sitting at terminal 2 of Sydney airport and I was attracted to her; her face, her smile, the fact that she was reading a book.

But there would be no possible way I could have fallen for her generosity of spirit, her inner strength or her beautiful nature. That takes time, that takes love. Okay, I’m a comedian getting soppy now, quick somebody pull my finger.

Should you have sex on the first date?

7. Should You Have Sex on a First Date?

Short answer. Yes.

Slightly longer answer. Only if you like the other person and like sex.

Longer more complicated answer. Perhaps, maybe but not always and not as a rule.

Don’t have sex if you don’t feel anything, don’t have sex to avoid conversation, don’t have sex because he paid for dinner, don’t have sex in a servo toilet and maybe don’t have sex even if you want to, even if you really like him/her. Maybe that’s the best reason not to have sex.

8. Does Age Matter?

Once we’re adults, we’re adults right. People want different things in relationships. Security, father figures, mother figures, to be nurtured, strength, to help, protect or to fix someone or to be fixed by someone. With that said if an 84-year-old manages to meet a 22-year-old hottie on his deathbed, then I probably wouldn’t be attending the wedding.

The final episode of It’s a Date screens on Thursday, October 3 at 9pm on ABC1.

It’s a Date season 1 out on DVD now too.

Star of the long running and much loved Rove, writer and star of the feature I Love You Too alongside Peter Dinklage and known associate of notorious AFL superstar “Strauchanie”. 2013 sees Pete back on the stage and behind the camera, this time as creator of the scripted series It’s A Date for ABC which will also see Pete make his TV directing debut.

What were or are your dating rules?

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