Relationship Advice From First Dates’ Fred Sirieix

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There is no single, all-encompassing approach to love that works for everyone, but there are some common themes that run through the majority of long-lasting, happy relationships. One man who knows how to spot which relationships have the right stuff from a mile away – or at least from across a restaurant – is Fred Sirieix, the maître d’ from Channel 4’s First Dates and spin-off First Dates Hotel.

Sirieix has seen more than his fair share of bad and good dates from long-term couples and first-timers alike, so we quizzed him on what he reckons the key ingredients are for a healthy relationship.

Make Sure You’re Having Fun

“You’ve got to like the person you are with and be able to enjoy their company,” says Sirieix. “It should be fun to have a conversation with your partner. If it’s not then you’ve got to ask yourself some questions about whether this is the right partnership or not. I think that you know instinctively inside your heart really whether it’s working or it’s not working.”

Get Physical

“I think that physical closeness is very important,” says Sirieix. “It’s one of the most difficult things to get when you’re in a relationship – to have that perfect physical connection with somebody. It’s not something you share with many people. It has to be special. It’s very rare to find.”

Those with their minds in the gutter will have assumed Sirieix is talking solely about about sex, but all kinds of physical contact are important.

“It’s a bit of everything,” says Sirieix. “That overall connection you get with the person you are with. How connected are you?”

Common Interests Are Key

Whatever you like doing, if your partner enjoys it too, that’s going to be a boon for your relationship – and especially helpful for stopping it becoming stale in the long term.

“Have common interests, go on holiday, talk about what’s going on on the news,” says Sirieix.

“I don’t remember who said ‘if you are bored of London, you are bored of life’. In my restaurant we are on the 20th floor and people ask if I get get bored of the view. I say no – I don’t get bored because it is beautiful. You don’t get bored of beauty. You don’t get bored of love, of connecting.”

Work At It

Even if you have that special connection with someone, however, you have to work to keep a relationship in good shape.

“You’ve got to be able to keep that connection alive,” says Sirieix, comparing a couple to a business. “If you have neglected or not nurtured your business it’s going to fail, but it doesn’t need to be this way. You can have a business that goes on and on and on, because you have the right product and are doing the right thing and you are there listening to your customers. There’s lot of giving, a lot of listening.”

Then Work Harder At It

Seriously, Sirieix is all about hard work – it’s the advice he’d like to give himself as a younger man.

“Work harder, that’s what I would say to myself,” says Sirieix. “I’ve always worked hard, but I would say work even harder. I think that hard work always beats talent. Talent alone is getting you nowhere.”

That applies across the board – in your career and relationships

“You can’t take things for granted at all,” says Sirieix. "You have to always strive for better.”

Listen Up

We asked Sirieix the biggest mistake people make on dates and in relationships, and there was one clear error above all to avoid.

“People don’t listen, really,” says Sirieix. “They’re not aware, not open. They’re not able to listen and to try.”

The new series of First Dates Hotel begins on Channel 4 at Monday 10th January at 10pm

Nick Harris-Fry
Senior writer

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.