Nine things you should know before dating a Mackem

How about a walk down Roker seafront?
How about a walk down Roker seafront?
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You've hit the jackpot, you lucky thing, and you're officially dating a Mackem.

But before you get too relaxed, there's plenty you've got to learn about this rare breed of northerner - and you best learn fast.

So fasten your seatbelts because we're going to give you a crash course on Mackem knowledge, and help you swot up on what will help you on the way.

1. Cheesy chips will get you far.

We don't expect wining and dining all the time, you know. We aren't snobs! A carton of cheesy chips is sometimes just the ticket.

2. A Mackem will be impressed if you take them to Clems for a fish lot on the first date.

Who doesn't just want to slob out with a fish lot (NOT a fish supper) and get to know their date better?

3. Sunderland is actually packed with culture.

We know what you might have heard about Wearside, but we've got a lot to boast about thanks very much! Penshaw Monument! Sunderland Empire! National Glass Centre! Take your pick of these excellent date locations, and do your best to impress.

4. Don't assume that Tyneside has the bulk of the North East coastline.

If you've never been for a walk at Roker or Seaburn, you best fix that ASAP. We promise, these will be some of the best coastal views that the North, nay, the country has to offer!

5. DO NOT confuse a Mackem with a Geordie. They are not remotely the same.

We don't even feel like we have to explain this one. Just don't do it.

6. Let's be clear: it's Haway, not Howay.

Sunderland and Newcastle both have Premier League teams. They both say "Haway the Lads". But woe betide you if you use the wrong one.

7. The height of romance is a picnic at Penshaw Monument.

It's a long old walk up to the jewel in Sunderland's crown - but it's totally worth it. Pack a lunch, a blanket and your walking legs and get ready for an excellent day out.

8. Don't call your date's mother "mum". It's MAM.

Honestly, you'll get laughed out of the house. You're in Sunderland now, pet. Watch your language.

9. Be prepared for a 2am serenade at Arizona - it's the way to our heart. And the soundtrack will be a Five megamix.

We'll just leave you to ponder this. But don't fight the dance moves.