Despite being settled in her own relationship, Sex Education’s Aimee Lou Wood loves “living vicariously” through her friend’s dating stories. “There’s nothing better than that for me,” she laughs.
“My friends on dating apps seem to have had so many chats and flirtations going on during lockdown,” she tells me via Zoom a few weeks after restrictions started easing. “One of my mates told me that he needs to stop or when lockdown is eased he’ll have about 60 guys on the go.”
The star seems to have a lot in common with her Sex Education character, including offering up sound advice when it comes to matters of the heart. I mean, remember when Aimee encouraged Maeve tell Otis how she really felt about him? That’s the kind of friend we all need. Off screen, Lou Wood encourages her pals to be true to themselves too – and to follow their intuition. It’s a strategy that’s always worked for her.
“I love to give my friends help and support but I also want to empower them that they already know. Everyone has that intuition but it’s hard to listen to.”
“Dating can be such an odd thing, it’s a lot of pressure. But I normally know within five minutes if I’m going to get on with someone. I really believe in intuition,” she says, “I also think I’m a bit of a witch. I love star signs and tarot. So, I don’t know if it’s intuition or me thinking I’m psychic. I think we all have a knowing inside us. I love to give my friends help and support but I also want to empower them that they already know. Everyone has that intuition but it’s hard to listen to.”
“Rudeness, not saying thank you, and being impolite is such an ick for me.”
So, what are Lou Wood’s dating red flags? “Rudeness, not saying thank you, and being impolite is such an ick for me,” she says. That’s something she learnt from her dad, who offered her some pretty sage advice when she started dating: “Don’t look at how they’re treating you, look at how they’re treating the waiter.”
With all this sound knowledge under her belt, Lou Wood has teamed up with Bumble to help singletons across the UK to get back in the dating game. Below, she offers up a few tips to get you started.
Spend Some Typing Hyping Yourself Up
“Be compassionate to yourself. Before you dip your toe back into dating, remember you are a confident dream babe with a cracking sense of humour and endless charm. Put on some inspirational music (may I recommend Lizzo?) and hype yourself up.”
Let Them See The Real You
“Don’t be afraid to tell people what you’re into. You’ll cut the small talk and may find some common ground. Don’t be nervous to show off those lockdown skills – regional jigsaw competitor? Made so much banana bread you’re now considering applying to Bake Off? Let them know.”
Date How You Want To
“It’s a lot, meeting someone after all this time. Over the past year, what you’re looking for might have changed. Looking for a full blown Lady and The Tramp Spaghetti Sharing romance? Totally fine. A laid back summer dalliance? Also fine! As restrictions ease and dating gets back to normal, seize the day and date how you want to.”
“Not sure whether to go for an elbow handshake? To snog or not to snog? Inside or outside? Let your date know what you’re comfortable with before you meet them so your communication is flowing and stress free.”