Budget dating ideas that don’t cost a fortune

Let’s call it what it is.

Dating is expensive!

Besides the cost of making yourself look less sasquatchey (pretty sure we’ve financed our beautician’s third salon) and more like the Snapchat Goddess that you are, you have the cost of the date itself – movies, dinners etc., all of which quickly deplete your fun budget. And yes, we always go Dutch!

So before you go and sign up to discount days on various voucher websites check out our date ideas that don’t suck (budget or balls):

In tandem

Most big cities have places where you can hire a tandem bike and which are really affordable (around £40 for the whole day). It’s also also a right hoot and you get to explore your city (and your date’s bottom) more closely. Remember to take a picnic with you to refuel (*wink *wink) at the next park.

Pop-up Wine Bar

Vinery London is hosting another pop-up wine bar this Saturday. Just rock up and sample some delicious wines and pay what you think the night was worth (and based on how much you’ve guzzled away).

Volunteer together

Volunteering together may not be the first thing that pops into your head when you think ‘hot date’ but it can be a really fun and rewarding experience. Head on over to http://www.do-it.org for some ideas and let’s not forget the mayjaaah karma points you score. Who knows, this could be your thing as a couple.

Just have pudding

A girl’s gotta eat, right? So next time you head on to a restaurant, why not ditch the starter and main course and just have one (or four) different desserts to share with your date instead? It will be cheaper and let’s face it, you will have the pudding anyway so you might as well have the brownie, lemon tart and creme brûlée at the same time.

Go to a festival

What’s better than to dance the night away with bae at a festival? Dancing the night away at a free festival of course. Check out this handy guide to find one in your area.

Do you have any other wallet-friendly date ideas you want to share with a fellow dater? Share them in the comments below!

 

3 reasons why you should date a vegetarian (even if you love a good sausage)

Hey meat lovers, it’s #Nationalvegetarianweek so let’s talk about why it’s ok to date a vegetarian.

Many members of the carnivorous persuasion are often put off by the idea of dating someone who doesn’t’ share our love for all things burger, steak and sausage. I mean, it is delicious, right? Anyhoo, let’s look at why dating a veggie may actually be a good idea:

They won’t bite

Pun intended. Believe it or not most vegetarians aren’t out there to recruit you to their way of life like some crazed cult follower. Oftentimes they worry if being veggie may be a problem for you. Seldom are your carnivorous ways a deal breaker for them. Vegetarianism is a personal choice so you won’t have to worry you may have to gnaw your chicken drumsticks in secret.

Your culinary world will open up

Veggies are foodies too and they don’t like to eat boring stuff, so finding restaurants that offer delicious veggie options that go beyond the cheesy pasta dishes or salads can be an exciting adventure, which is sure to open your world to new and exciting dishes.

You won’t have to share your fave food

If you are like me, you don’t particularly like to share your food. Sorry, it’s nothing personal, but you order yours and I’ll have mine, thank you very much. So, hands off my sticky BBQ ribs!

Lastly, when dating a veggie you may inadvertently start to eat healthier without even trying. More veggies = longer life. What’s not to love?

Are you a vegetarian? What advice would you give Meat Lovers? Sound off in the comments below.

Romantic love traditions from around the world

As April draws to a close, I’m often reminded of a courtship tradition that plays out on the night of the 1st May in German. As a native born in the Rhineland region, where this tradition is alive and well, this night played a significant role, especially during my teenage years.

On that night, boys of the region go out, armed with ladders, saws and often slightly inebriated to cut down a young birch tree which they would decorate with colourful paper ribbons and then plant on the roof of their beloved’s home (or a slightly less treacherous place) to declare their undying love.

Historically this tradition was used as an attempt to promote marriages in rural areas; today it’s still a popular way for singles to flirt.

It’s certainly romantic and probably not something you’d associate with the German culture but it also made me wonder how love is expressed in other cultures. So I started to look and here are my favourite 3:

Ireland

Everyone knows that finding a four-leaf clover is the symbol of good luck. But not many people know what in certain parts of Ireland it is also part of an ancient love ritual. It is still believed that if a woman consumes a four-leaf clover while she’s thinking of her crush, he will eventually be hers.

China

In China, the Dai people have this courtship tradition where a group of girls sitting together in the evening are approached by a group of men in red blankets. They will then pick a woman they like and serenade her. If she likes him too, she’ll give him a stool to sit on and he’ll return the favour by wrapping her up in the red blanket.

Italy

In what is now a worldwide phenomenon, in 2000, couples started to attach love padlocks – often engraved with their initials – to Rome’s Ponte Milvio bridge and then threw the key into the river Tiber as a symbol of their unbreakable and eternal love. Sadly, this ritual caused quite a safety hazard threatening the collapse of the bridge under all the weight. After a lamppost partially collapsed this tradition was stopped and it became illegal. But since the Italians are a romantic folk they created a website where you can attach virtual love padlocks.

Love is universal and it’s lovely to see that so many wonderful expressions of it are still traditionally practiced around the world.

All you need is love, right?

So you’ve been ghosted…what do you do?

So you’ve been on more than one date and you seem to have instant chemistry.  You’ve been texting for a few days since your last date, and then, POOF!  Your match has vanished into thin air.

Welcome to the murky world of ghosting.

Ghosting is a term that is becoming more and more frequently heard in the dating circles and so in our latest blog we thought we’d do a little research and find out just how people feel when they’ve been ‘ghosted’ by a date.

After quizzing some friends and asking around on social media these are the statements that came out:-

  • Makes you feel worthless
  • Makes you feel confused
  • Leads to you mistrusting other potential dates
  • Leads to a ‘why do I bother’ mentality
  • You feel disrespected
  • Feeds insecurities

Let’s face it none of those feelings and reactions are positive and dating should be positive, it should be adventure, an opportunity to meet new people, try new things, have new experiences and make lots of memories.

Ghosting sucks, and this article about a girl who was ghosted by a guy she’d been seeing exclusively for six months (!) shows that it’s not just the early day’s relationships that fall prey to this cowardly technique.

So what can you do if this happens to you in the world of online dating?

    • Take a positive attitude – it is not you with the problem. If someone ghosts you it is highly likely they have done it before.  A leopard cannot change its spots remember!

 

    • Don’t be tempted to keep messaging for an answer as to why – you won’t get one, and if you do it will be lies, it would see a classic excuse is for the ghoster to say that someone close to them has died and their life has spiralled out of control.

 

    • Don’t change who you are – remember you shouldn’t change just to fit into someone else’s lifestyle. If they cannot handle all of your AWESOMENESS then they are not worth your time and effort.

 

    • Don’t give up – get back online and start making new connections. Relationships don’t just happen they take effort.  So be dynamic and start something.  Just don’t desperation date (more on this later!)

 

    • Always and most important – remember YOU DIDN’T MESS ANYTHING UP.

Breaking up with someone is never easy to do, but ghosting is really cowardly and more brutal than actually being honest with someone.  Focus on yourself, going out with friends and ultimately holding your own and remembering your manners when everyone around you forgets theirs.

Has ghosting happened to you? How did you cope with it and what tips have you got for others in case in happens to them.

Is dumping a date by text ever acceptable?

It’s true that breaking up with someone is hard to do.  I don’t know anyone who actually enjoys telling someone it’s time to call quits on a relationship. Gone are the days it seems when you would meet up face to face and tell each other over dinner or coffee (as weird as that now seems looking back) that your relationship was over.  Now it is all about being dumped by text, or even worse by social media.

And that is exactly what happened to a friend of mine this weekend.  She phoned me in a state of disarray saying that her latest online dating match had texted her saying ‘that on reflection his life was too chaotic to add a relationship into the mix’.  Whilst sympathetic to her tears, I did mention that they’d only just moved off WhatsApp messaging and gone on two physical dates, so surely he was just sparing them some social awkwardness in person.  Alas, she didn’t quite see it in the same way.

But in reality is it THAT  bad to dump someone by text?  Surely there are times when it’s socially ok to spare each other the embarrassment of tears in public.

getting dumped by text message

In an attempt to offer some impartial advice here are some instances it could be considered ok to dump someone by text.

It’s a new relationship – if you and your date are still relatively new, and have only been out three or four times then dumping by text is totally acceptable.  You barely know each other and so there is nothing to be gained by a long drawn out letter (you probably don’t even know addresses yet) or a face to face meeting.  In fact, if the relationship is that new you could probably just get away with disappearing off the face of the earth rather than an official break up text.  No big drama.

Your date is avoiding you / you suspect they are cheating – let’s face it if the person you’ve been dating isn’t returning calls or texts or you have suspicions that they are playing the field then frankly they don’t deserve the courtesy of a break-up text.  Just move on.

Your relationship is purely a digital one – if so far your relationship has been purely screen-based and conducted by social media then putting the brakes on it in the same way won’t come as out of the ordinary either.

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The relationship is toxic – so you’ve been on a few dates that seemed ok, but then came a turning point and your date’s behaviour has become unstable, unhealthy and overall a little bit toxic.  In this case breaking up by text message is absolutely the safest thing to do.  Don’t put yourself in a 1:1 situation with them where you might get hurt.  Distance is safest.

You are in a long distance relationship – if your location was poles apart and you rarely saw each other and your relationship was all done by Skype and text then it is obviously more logical (and friendly on the bank balance) to break up in this way.  Seriously, though if you’ve spent months writing heartfelt essays to each other then that someone deserves a little more than your standard digital breakup.

broken-heart

Whilst this post is a lighthearted jest about digital breakups,  if you’ve got to a point of emotional closeness, or been dating for longer than three months, seen each regularly, slept together and been mutually exclusive to each other then you really owe it to the other person in the relationship to give them your time and honesty face to face.

Have you ever dumped someone by text message or social media or had it done to you? How did you feel? Would you ever end a relationship in this way?

Low key but cool ideas for Valentine’s Day Dates

As of the date of posting this blog, this is your official warning that it is 14 days until Valentine’s Day.  Put that reminder in your phone now and we hereby relinquish all responsibility that we never told you about it.

If you’ve recently embarked into new relationship territory having found your significant other online, this can be a nervy time.  You want to acknowledge the new person in your life but you don’t want to come across like a limpet or worse a serial killer.

clingy girlfriend syndrome

Don’t fret our team of busy love cupids have been out there hand-picking the some alternative, low key yet romantic options for Valentine’s Day dates.  So what are you waiting for, pucker up, look smart and perfect that Spotify Valentine’s Day playlist for the perfect night.

Indoor Picnic

Let’s face it the weather is grim.  It’s cold, wet, damp and dark and the thought of dining al fresco is most definitely off the menu.  The solution?  Create your very own indoor picnic and wine and dine your date in the warmth.  Think fairy lights, music, some delicacies to share (chateaubriand is always delicious with someone special), giant faux fur throws and candles and you have all the ingredients for a perfect romantic night in.  For a dash of extra cuteness order in some Valentine’s Day cookies for you to share.

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Stargazing

There’s nothing more romantic than laying out looking the stars, but in the UK in the middle of winter, your date won’t thank you for this. Instead, why not head to one of the many planetariums across the UK for a night-time view of the sky sans the frigid temps. It will guarantee you some up close cuddle time.

stargazing around the UK

‘If Music Be The Food of Love’…

When you are happy your brain releases feel-good chemicals endorphin, oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine.  Dopamine, in particular floods your body and makes you relax and enjoy yourself. Why not look at local gigs and concerts, or even open mic nights that you could take your date to on Valentine’s Day.  Obviously pick something you have the same taste in and then you can spend the night listening to a favourite group, relaxing in each other’s company, letting your guard and inhibitions down and you’re guaranteed to have something both to talk about into the wee small hours about later on whilst you get cosy.

concerts for valentine's day

Create a Love Nest

We live in a world obsessed with social media and documenting our lives; our Facebook feeds are full of pictures of our friends living ‘perfect’ lives.  Sometimes though this obsession to post online distracts from the genuine sentiment of the moment.  

Valentine’s Day is all about enjoying each other without distractions and interruptions so why not take a step back and turn your house into your own romantic hideaway.  Somewhere where the two of you can decamp for 24 hours, phones off, curtains drawn, lights low, make a bed on the floor and just enjoy the quiet.  Simple pleasures such as a long steamy shower together, massage, good food and lots of tactile touching are all ways to make you both feel good about being with each other.  Your focus will be totally on each other giving each of you quality time, it is also much more personal than going away to a hotel.

couple-love-bedroom-kissing

Ultimately, it’s not about the grandiose nature of the gesture you choose to make it is just about making time to show that person that you care about them and that they make a difference to being part of your life.  Even if you don’t give a Cupid’s arrow about Valentine’s Day, at the very least, it’s nice to put in a little extra effort to make your partner feel appreciated.  

Valentine's Day waiting for a date

If you’re still looking for your significant other to spend Valentine’s Day with you’ve still got time to get online and find yourself a date.  As a little helping hand from our in-house Cupid’s if you use the Plentymorefish discount code ‘PMFVDAY’ you can save 40% on our online dating membership plans.  This offer is valid from today up until midnight on the 14th February.  So get out there and get wooing.

online dating discount code

 

If you’re lucky enough to have found love online then hopefully our Valentine’s Day date ideas will have given you some inspiration on how to celebrate it with your other half.

A woman’s guide to surviving dating in your 40s

Let’s be honest for a moment and put it on the table; dating in your 40s is pretty grim (ok, personal experience talking, it is bleaker than a public service station restroom at the side of a deserted motorway).  At 40 the competition is steeper and it becomes a whole lot more confusing and you’ll find the type of men in the over 40s dating pool very different.

step-up-your-dating-game

Here are some truths that could help you navigate the tricky path of mature dating.

The men are having a mid-life crisis

Men like younger women. A lot of men in their 30’s and 40’s seem to have an awakening moment and panic that they’re getting old and as a knee jerk reaction go out and find the perkiest 25-year-old they can find in an attempt to settle down.  Even if you are near their own age they will still see you as ‘old’ and dismiss your profile. Harsh.  You may well be witty, successful, outgoing and smart but none of that matters in their heads once you are in the over 40’s club.

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You attract that toy boys

An older, gorgeous, confident and self-assured woman is an absolute lure for a man in his late 20s.  To them, the age gap works in their favour as you’ll be comfortable and well skilled in the bedroom and the perfect teacher for them to learn some tricks.  It may suit you to end up with a 25-year-old toy-boy between the sheets but you’ll struggle to find someone old enough to suit your lifestyle and goals if you go down this path.  Think late night booty calls and the wonders of dick pics…really??

how-original

You love your kids but not everyone else does

Having kids and attempting to get back to dating and relationships is tough. All the time you are mindful of their needs and emotions.  You’re careful not to introduce them to every date, you question when to introduce them to the date and then you’re also trying to juggle a date around organising child care.  For some guys the fact you’re a mother will discount you instantly; remember… that says way more about them than it does about you.  Equally, you don’t need to introduce them to everyone unless you think that person is going to have some level of permanence in your life.  If you enter a relationship be upfront about your kids and whether you realistically want more and you’ll soon find out which guys are serious about sticking around.

You’re set in your ways

Dating in your 40’s means you know what you want – this translates to you’re stubborn and won’t deviate from your ideal situation.  Your list of dating dealbreakers is far more set in stone than it was when you were 25, and if you’re looking to settle down and start a family this is now crunch time and you’re going to be super picky about it.

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There’s too much choice

Your phone is full of dating apps, you have RSI in your thumb from continual swiping and you’ve moved to second base (WhatsApp) with several potentially interested parties. Stop! Too much choice is a bad thing and makes it harder for you to spot the genuine guys who are real relationship material.  If you want a partner with a similar professional mindset and age to your own then it is quite possibly you need to be looking at mature dating websites rather than the usual hookup apps.

You’re flying solo

Chances are that by this point all your other female friends are married, also have kids or are in long term relationships.  This means that you’ve lost your partner in crime who will pull you back to reality on nights out after too many mojitos.  You are flying solo with no wing woman in your corner to guide you.  It can be awkward talking to your friends about your dating exploits when their lives are on a very different path and can leave you feeling a little isolated.  Advice? Confide in one close friend who you really trust with your dating tales and keep it between the two of you – their advice will be invaluable and more genuine if they feel like it is something just between the two of you.

wing-woman

Dating in your late 30s and early 40s is complexed.  Shapewear becomes your best friend and there’s a whole text acronym sub culture you don’t understand, but on the plus side you don’t have to justify your stream of one night stands to your mother anymore.

Ultimately, don’t lose hope, when you fall in love as cheesy as this sounds it really is something very special and if it was so easy to come by, well all the sense of mystery around it would be gone and it would lose the magic.

Remember at the heart of it you are an amazing woman and anyone will be lucky to have you….just be patient, don’t settle for second best and keep on searching.

 

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