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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.

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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.

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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.

 

Navigating Valentine’s Day as a New Couple

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.

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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.

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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.”

#Awkward

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Our advice?  

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!

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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.

How to survive online dating – be yourself.

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.

looking for your perfect partner

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.

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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.

How to get your online match to message you back

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?

how to get an online match to message you back

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.

when your online crush won't text you back

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.

getting your match to message your back

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!

Busiest day of the year for online dating

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.

new-years-resolutions

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.

busiest-day-of-the-year-online-dating

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.

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Writer’s block? Tips for the perfect dating bio

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.

tips for writing an online dating bio

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’. 

 

The big question not to ask on a first date

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.

questions not to ask on a date

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?  

young couple in love on a date

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.

Photo credit: K.G.Hawes Question Mark? via photopin (license)

Little Lies vs Honesty

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 matter

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Choosing the right words is key to a good dating profile

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’.

Sweet seduction

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!

online dating profile advice

Feeling inspired to try out online dating? Then way not give www.plentymorefish.com a try?

First Date Etiquette

You have secured your first date and you want to make sure it all goes swimmingly. It’s a confusing time to date nowadays and there’s a lot of conflicting information out there, so it’s understandable if you feel a little nervous. To help you navigate the rapids of the dating river, we’ve compiled a list of etiquette pointers for you to bear in mind for your first meeting with your date:

1. The Queen Vic
Choosing the wrong venue can really set you off to a bad start. Surveys suggest that the majority of singles would prefer their first date to be drinks at a bar. That said, you shouldn’t take your date to your local, where you are likely to be greeted by friends, or worse, the ex. No matter how sociable your date is, you are meeting him/her to get to know them, so give them your undivided attention. Choose a neutral venue like a wine bar.

2. First Date Fashion
We all know how important first impressions are and the way you dress says more about you than you may realise. You may think that a distressed pair of jeans and your vintage T-Shirt make you look oh so sexy, but this look is likely to get you kicked to the curb quicker than you can say Hipster. Gents, think job interview without the suit. Remember to shower, shave and go easy on the smellies.

As for the ladies, the key word here is lady. Choose an elegant but understated outfit which will flatter your figure and use makeup to accentuate your face, but keep it natural. Men prefer natural looking women, who are confident rather than caked (in makeup).

3. Bad Manners
I’m not referring to the ska band here. It’s a quintessential British tradition to be well mannered and polite. Good manners will never go out of fashion and no one has ever complained about them. Remember what your mum taught you and you will be fine. And gents, it’s okay to hold a door open for your date or help her into her chair.

4. Vampire Vendetta
The fettuccine alla scampi e aglio (or pasta with garlic prawns to you and me) are out of bounds, unless a) your date has the same or b) your intention is to repel him or her from giving you a good night smooch. In which case – Buon Appetito!

Oh, and another word of advice here. If you are prone to clumsiness, stay clear of potentially messy meals. I once dropped my spoon into my soup and spend the rest of the date with a napkin round my neck covering the stains on my white top. Yeah, that’s how I roll.

5. Dutch Dilemma
This is the one issue that gives most people a headache. So let me make this easy for you. There is an unspoken expectation among women for a man to pay on the first date. However, some may prefer to go dutch. So gents, to make sure you are covering all bases, simply ask her if she would be offended when you pay. This way you are considerate and you give her an opportunity to decline, in case she’s really opposed to it. Sorted.

6. So Call Me Maybe
To be honest with you, this waiting around for 3 to 4 days after a date malarky annoys me. What is wrong with letting your date know (that night or the next morning) that you had a great time and that you hope to repeat it soon? You are interested in him or her, right? So, show it. (Editorial disclaimer: If you intend to see the person again, refrain from declarations of your undying love for a little while longer.)

Equally, let the other person down easily if you don’t feel that way and allow them to move on rather than holding onto a false sense of hope. Be respectful, thank them for a nice date and tell them the connection you’d hoped for just wasn’t there. There’s plenty more fish in the sea.

Do you have any tips for our members for their first date? Or a funny first date story to tell us? Leave us a comment or send me an email!

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