It won’t have escaped your attention that in just over three weeks the most romantic (and equally most dreaded) day of the year, Valentine’s Day, will be upon us.
For new couples this can be pretty daunting and place a lot of unnecessary pressure on a new relationship. You may have only met your perfect match online a few weeks ago, but you can already imagine the two of you on February 14th exchanging gifts and having a romantic evening together. You’ll spend ages finding the sweetest, wittiest card that has just enough sentiment without being too close to those three words ‘I love you’, you’ll painstakingly scour Not on the High Street for an appropriate Valentine’s Day gift and you’ll go all out and book that fancy new restaurant in town instead of the Chinese all you can eat buffet.
Stop! For a minute let’s all take a breather. Whilst there is nothing wrong in telling or showing someone how you much you like them, Valentines Day is just one day out of 364 others, and a meaningful relationship isn’t built over a bouquet of roses. Grand gestures pale in comparison to the littler acts of appreciation, thoughtfulness and sincerity.
When you start a new relationship everything is exciting. The simple ping of your phone telling you that you’ve got a message, those ‘good night’ and ‘good morning’ texts and those surprise date nights to pick you up and get you through a tough week are all little things that matter early on. It is about getting to know each other, what makes your partner tick, the little foibles and things that make you smile about each other. The unnecessary commercialism that is placed on Valentine’s Day takes all that away and it stops being a day to establish and grow your relationship and having fun.
Then there is the added problem of what if you and the person you’re seeing aren’t on the same page as to how to celebrate? Maybe one of you is all about grand gestures and going all out to treat the other person whilst the other partner is all about sentiment and “it’s the thought that counts.”
Do enough just to mark the day. By all means, acknowledge it but don’t make the whole day revolve or be about Valentine’s Day.
If you’re seeing each other during the day plan something different for an activity. Why not consider doing something quirky together such as going to a make your own pottery place and creating something together. Go to places that won’t be full of hundreds of other couples – head out to the countryside and find a nice country walk with a halfway pub. If you live near the coast take a walk along the headland and draw funny messages in the sand. Restaurants are over priced so get creative and consider doing something at home like a romantic picnic, add in some candles or fairy lights and big floor cushions and create a foodie delight to enjoy together. If your relationship is at that stage you could always play some naughty food games for fun and there are lots of aphrodisiac foods you can enjoy together!
These are just a couple of ideas on how you could spend Valentine’s Day with your new partner; if you have more we’d love to hear them.
Remember, that spending time together on Valentine’s Day is more important than anything, so make it count.
We’re all looking for ‘the one’, the ‘perfect partner’, the one who always makes us smile and sometimes when you’re dating it is really easy to lose sight of the simple things that make you unique and what you’re looking for in an ideal partner.
When you start dating you quickly realise that there are timewasters, those who will mess with your head and heart and lead a double life, fly by nights, and those with more drama than a soap opera, but there are also emotionally healthy people who really do want something lasting.
The problem is that we disillusion ourselves into what makes the perfect Mr or Miss Right, and the illusion of enhanced perfection is all too readily purported.
Many of my female friends have delusions about finding a Tom Hardy or Ryan Reynolds lookalike in their local and will instantly discount any man that attempts to chat them up who doesn’t fit this bill. Equally, most of my male friends admit that its looks they go for, several of them were more open minded and admitted it would be the way a woman dresses, the way she carries herself and even how much makeup she’s wearing that would determine if they asked her for a date.
Some of them even admitted that for the average Joe it is intimidating at the best of times for them to approach a woman but even more so when she’s dressed up like a cast member from Real Housewives of Cheshire. Why….because they can’t see who the real person is.
Why….because they can’t workout who the ‘real’ person is that they’re looking or talking to.
This week on First Dates Hotel there was the most adorable guy in Eddie the electrician. He was a real man’s man and got matched with a beautiful girl. Despite his nervousness his personality shone through. He made witty jokes, he paid compliments, he was a gentleman, for me he would have been the perfect date. He told an emotional story and opened up to his date – a brave thing for guys to do. However, his date for the night felt the need to make him feel uncomfortable by making reference to his nerves, she led him on with flirting, swam in her bikini in front of him and then benched him to the friendzone. Ouch.
I take my hat off to Eddie – he admitted that the girl was ‘out of his league’ but that he’d love to date her and see her again. He told her so and although his being honest and open didn’t work for him it was his natural persona that made him so endearing to the viewers.
Hang in there Eddie.
Don’t get me wrong it is natural to put on a different persona when you go out on a date, to behave a little differently to when you’re at home. You’re nervous. There is anticipation. You’ve probably been chatting online for weeks and have heightened expectations of what you want from each other. There’s the hope that you really want this to be ‘the one’.
On dates you’ll give typical responses during the evening such as ‘it was nice to meet you’ or ‘thanks for a nice night’. You do this because you put up a wall that says ‘be cool, be casual’ that way you won’t get hurt.
STOP….if you had a really nice time and there was laughter and eye contact and flirting and the awkward moments didn’t last long ask to see that person again! Be brave, take a chance – if you really want to find someone that’s what you have to do. Lay yourself bare (not literally as that would be strange and weird) and throw caution to the wind. Sometimes a connection doesn’t happen on the first date.
If you don’t be brave your date will just think you’re not interested and both of you will fade into the night, opportunity missed.
Also, don’t put all your eggs in one basket when you start dating. You might meet some great dates over the course of a few weeks, be open to going on multiple dates but be upfront if they ask if you’re dating anyone else. Don’t think dating is now your life….it isn’t. Organise nights out with friends, if you’re on your own at home enjoy the time to yourself and do things for you.
The saving grace about internet dating is that it’s a sea full of fish and there are a lot of fish to catch. Always though be clear to yourself and your date about who you are and what you are looking for. Compatibility isn’t about being two people being the same it’s about two people just finding one thing that gives them a connection.
It could take one date or fifty to find that connection but the more honest you are to yourself and your date the less exasperating the whole experience will be.
You’ve uploaded your photos, you’ve written a great online profile and your thumbs ache from swiping through potential matches. You’re in the thick of online dating and have a couple of matches that you want to reach out to and get to know better. Just where do you start?
The thing is you want to come up with a witty opener, something other than the usual ‘Hi, how are you?’. You could be predictable and ask them something based on their profile…OR you could use the brain between your ears and take a personal approach. This is exactly what one guy did and it netted him a 100% success rate with the ladies. Joe Bagel decided to create poetic masterpieces based on the initials of his prospective matches name. His excellent wordsmith skills certainly got him noticed by the ladies, and you can read the full article here.
With so many singletons now using online dating sites to find their perfect match your potential match may well have been inundated with inbox requests and your opening flirtation needs to hit the mark.
Getting your online match to message your back
Remember the phrase ‘quality over quantity’ – never has it been truer than when sending messages to potential dates. Rather than adopting the idea of cast the net wide go exclusive and only message a select number of matches. For the guys reading this, trust me many women can spot a rehashed message a mile off. We get so many of those lazy mass-messages that we just ignore them. If you spend a little more time creating a unique message, you’ll probably find it’s much more productive. For example, why not try an ice breaker question ‘What are your top five movies?’, nearly everyone loves a good movie and this will see what common ground you have.
Don’t bombard your matches. If you send a message and they take a while to answer back. Don’t sweat it. People are busy and lead a life outside of their dating app and it may just well be there is other stuff they need to attend to. It is easy to think the worst but keep your cool. Don’t keep sending messages and (unless you’ve written something really offensive) you don’t need to message them to apologise for getting in touch.
Get to the point. Once you’ve hit up a conversation and the messages are flowing ask your match if they’d be happy to take the conversation either to a phone call or a coffee. There is no point in stringing it out. Whether you’re a guy or a girl be bold and make the first move and ask the other one out so you can actually have a more in-depth conversation and get off your phones and talk face to face.
Don’t be lazy. Whilst it may be tempting to use phrases and acronyms during your conversation good spelling and grammar goes a long way in making the right impression. Intelligent people are generally looking for someone on their level and the overuse of emojis (no matter how cute the unicorn one is) smacks of immaturity and the fact you’ve had one too many cans of Red Bull for the day.
Keep it lighthearted. Online messaging apps are for light-hearted chat and banter. Keep the serious stuff about exclusivity and your hopes for the relationship for if/when you meet – that way you can gauge accurately your date’s response.
These are just some of the tips you can put into practice to help make messaging your online matches a success, which ultimately is a HUGE confidence boost for anyone doing online dating.
So go forth and get your creative hat on and start chatting. If you have any personal stories or mistakes to add to the list, we’d love to hear about them in the comments!
The mantra of ‘new year, new you’ and all that is well and truly in the front of everyone’s minds as we head back to work this week following the Christmas break. One look at your Facebook feed and there is a plethora of ‘resolution’ themed memes promising good intentions.
So many of us set ourselves targets for January, and those of us looking for love are no different – and according to research the 3rd January is THE busiest day of the year for online dating websites and apps. As us lust longing Brits head back to work, research has shown that dating sites are expecting a 37 percent hike in activity as millions log on hoping to find new romances for 2017.
Whilst some of us may be entering 2017 newly single after relationships ran their course and ended up single before the holidays. Others may well have hung in there until New Year’s and realised they were in a relationship that wouldn’t go the distance. Then there are some singles who have made the decision after having another holiday alone that they’ll have a go at dating in an attempt to find their soul mate.
Whatever situation you find yourself in at the start of 2017 you’ll have plenty of choice to browse through as millions of new profiles hit the online dating websites, and with the average user trawling around 43 profiles when they log on it wouldn’t go amiss to set yourself a bit of a strategy to catch the eye of Mr or Miss Right. So here are our top tips for standing out in the busy dating pond this January:-
- Get a great photo – honestly, one showing you surrounded by your mates drinking and partying hard may seem like a good idea but remember you want someone to notice you not the social scene you’re into, or worse even fancy one of your mates! Remember the adage ‘a picture paints a thousand words’? Why not consider investing in someone to help you take a great profile photo so that you really stand out.
- Challenge the stereotypes – ladies who says men have to make the first move? Be proactive and not reactive and if you see a guy you like strike up a conversation. Pose a series of interesting first date questions that allow the two of you to see if there is common ground before moving to the next stage.
- Be engaged – many of today’s dating sites have a whole host of extra features that you can access as part of their membership structure. Opting to pay for a level of membership with access to these features can work in your favour as generally people who shell out for online dating subscriptions are serious about finding a relationship. You” have the chance to send more messages, get read receipts and send more photos allowing you make those matches quicker.
Whatever your relationships goals for 2017 the first part of it is dipping your toe into the water and seeing what happens. With more of us than ever using dating websites as a way to meet new people around the UK, January is the perfect time to try with so many other singletons also out there with the same agenda.
Looking for love in 2017? We’d love to know what you look for or avoid in an online dating profile.
Whilst we may be a generation addicted to selfies and photos, it is safe to say that a well-written quality dating profile will help you stand out in the crowd and catch Mr or Miss Right. The thing is we’re just not very good at selling ourselves, it isn’t in our nature to ‘brag’ about our plus points but in reality this is exactly what you need to do in the world of online dating.
Even if you’re not a budding wordsmith with a little thought and creativity you can create a knockout dating profile. Still need a guiding hand? Our top tips below will prompt you in the right direction.
- Keep it short and sweet. Entice your date with just enough to peak their interest.
- Kids in your photos. Always a risky one as parents tend to keep their kids off the internet. However, if you are a single parent most of your pictures will contain your kids so a quick disclaimer about who that kid in your photo belongs to are appreciated, but not necessary.
- Funny is good. Witty is better. Be original and don’t copy and paste from other profiles.
- Please, no inspirational or insightful quotes. Online dating is not the platform to promote your views on mindfulness or inner peace.
- Guys, please don’t put your height in your bio. Whilst there may be shallow girls out there that open with this question, most of us are better than that!
Regardless of whether you’re a young professional or one of the many over 40’s daters, making the right first impression is key and a good dating bio can be a great way to introduce yourself.
If you’re looking for a potential date what are the things you look for in a good profile? We’d love for you to share with us your profile ‘deal breakers’.
Take the plunge this Black Friday weekend with a HUGE 40% off our online dating memberships – just enter code PMFFRIDAY when you sign up. Be quick though as this offer is only valid until Sunday 27th November 2016.
Believe it or not there is actually a question that is best left avoided when you head out on a first date. When I tell you what it is it might actually surprise you, because it is not what you think and the topic for this week’s blog acts as a cautionary tale for all of us in the world of online dating.
I posed the following question to a guy friend of mine the other week who has been dipping his toe in the singles dating pond, ‘what’s the one question from women on a first date that really winds you up?’
His answer….. ‘When they ask me what I do for a job.’
I looked at him eyebrows raised and somewhat quizzically and couldn’t understand why this seemingly innocent question was obviously like a poison apple. So over a fantastic keralan chicken take out we discussed the reason why this question is seriously taboo on the dating circuit.
On further investigation, it transpired that there are in fact a whole plethora of questions that are more likely to sabotage a first date than to send you both off into the sunset in each other’s arms. Between us, we came up with just some of the real situations below (and yes they are totally cringeworthy!);
- How come you’re single?
- What are your plans for the future?
- What happened in your last relationship?
- What is your ideal date?
- Do you still speak to your ex?
- Would you have sex on the first date?
My companion for the evening admitted on one first date the girl he met asked him if he had any ideas as to where their relationship was going. He was so shocked by her forthrightness that he excused himself there and then because there was no chemistry at all on his part and she made it very clear she was in for the long haul.
As he put it to me…’there was no point flogging a dead horse and she’d only be really disappointed that I lied to her.’
The questions above might seem a really obvious dating faux pas to make, but just why is asking someone what they do for a job so wrong? Well, in all honesty, it sends out the wrong signals.
If your date replies with the answer that they have a high-powered executive job it may well lead to the assumption they are wealthy and in return implies that you are materialistic and motivated by money. You may well be, and that’s your choice but as first impressions go it probably isn’t the one you want to make. Your relationship should be based on personality, shared interests and chemistry not whether or not you wish to hire this person. First dates are awkward enough without asking the above question – and does it really make a difference if he’s a labourer or a lawyer?
There’s a fine line between getting to know someone and digging a little too deep, so try to think before you speak. When getting to know your date it is important to remember that there’s much more to us than our professions and lots of people don’t define themselves by their jobs at all.
If you really want to get to date number 2 then may I suggest you stay well away from asking the killer question above as well as some of the other bizarre options listed!
Have you been on a date lately where the questions have veered into the bizarre? We’d love to hear your tales and pet peeves.
We all know the lyrics to the Fleetwood Mac Song ‘Little Lies’, a song about a relationship where one party chooses to believe the little lies rather than see the truth and change the situation. An analogy that can often be applied to online dating profiles. Most of us have been on a date where when we meet some of the things written on their profile just don’t add up and it is obvious they’ve been a little more creative than they should be.
But why? What’s the point?
Fact. Online dating, whilst fun is also grueling on the soul. In the busy pond of singles looking for love how on earth do you make your profile stand out against the hundreds of thousands of others hoping Cupid’s arrow will strike? Surely by being a little more creative with your profile you’re showing flair and individualism? Not quite.
The problem is that whilst creativity and flair would have got you top marks at school; when you’re looking for ‘the one’ you need to tell it how it is and be honest about your personality, what you are looking for and the traits you like or dislike. Turning your dating profile into work of fiction is not the smartest move.
Honesty is the best policy
The dilemma most online daters go over in their head is that being honest will come back and bite them and can sometimes backfire. Try looking at it another way. If you’ve been honest about yourself and what you’re looking for and a potential match takes umbrage with this were they really for you anyway?
Whether you’re a young singleton, an older dater or someone looking for a casual relationship it is important to write a profile that makes it clear what you want from a potential partner, what you are like as a person and your stand out personality traits.
Those of us in the category of ‘silver daters‘ should stay away from cliches such as ‘seeks companion’, ‘happy in own company’, ‘well settled in own ways’ – these would all indicate that friendship rather than a relationship is more important. Equally avoid phrases such as ‘light-hearted’, ‘funny’, ‘good sense of humour’ – after all, you’re looking for a meaningful relationship not a daily dose of the comedy club.
Words are vital when writing your online dating profile. The wrong ones can be an instant turn off and the right ones could bag you the perfect date. So what are the key ‘trigger words’ that make a standout profile?
Not surprisingly men look for women with words like ‘ambitious’ and ‘confident’ in their profile and women look for male profiles with the words ‘intelligent’ and ‘sincere’. The more positive descriptions you can use the better. For the female daters amongst us try incorporating words such as ‘hard working’, ‘thoughtful’, ‘motivated’ and ‘compassionate’. For the male daters build your profile using ‘spontaneous’, ‘outgoing’ and ‘perceptive’.
An honest well thought and well-written profile will trigger a natural emotional response from a potential date. Whilst you might want to be a little creative and go into your love of traveling and a passion for cats these are not the facts that are going to get your profile grabbing the attention of Mr or Mrs Right!
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