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):
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).
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!
It’s perfectly natural to feel nervous before a date. But what a time, right? Just when you want to be at your best! Don’t worry, it’s actually quite easy to manage those pre-date jitters. Here are some strategies we found to be quite effective:
Preparation is key
If you are one of those people who does everything that scares them at the very last moment, you are also likely to fret all the way leading up to your date, try to find an outfit an hour before or leave your house without really knowing where you are meeting your date. Not the best conditions to Keep Calm and Carry On Dating. So to ensure total dating zen, it’s definitely better to be prepared. Make sure you know what to wear, where to go and plan the things you can plan well in advance.
Set the right expectations
Often dating nerves can be caused by high expectations. The more importance you give the date, the more potential for pre-date nerves. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself, try to relax and just see what happens. Your date will run more smoothly too, because you will be able to enjoy it more rather than ticking off boxes in your head.
Your body doesn’t know the difference between what’s real and what’s imagined. So instead of imagining something bad, try a positive thought. A nervous person’s body will send clear signals, such as raised shoulders, hunched torso and crossed arms which in turn will make you feel more anxious. But you can change your mental state in a very short time and here’s how you do it: Stand up tall, raise both arms in the air like you have just won an Olympic medal. Smile as brightly as you can. This may feel silly at first and I’d suggest you don’t necessarily try this on a crowded train (then again, why not?), but I promise you it does work. The key is to do it for at least 30 seconds and to really FEEL like a winner! Visualise yourself crossing that finish line, feel that winning feeling, your achey legs and stretched lungs. Hear the roar of the crowd and enjoy the moment. Try this exercise whenever you need a boost. The more you try it, the better and quicker it will work.
Let off steam
It’s no secret, that exercise is a great stress buster. This applies to date nerves too. So, hit the gym, go for a run or a brisk walk; anything to get that blood pumping round your body. Added benefits include a healthy glow, confident posture and an endorphin induced happy mood. All very attractive traits which your date is going to love.
One drink, two drink, three drinks, oops
Dutch courage may seem like a good idea, but drinking too much can cause you to make the wrong decisions and actually increase nervousness as alcohol depletes your vitamin B stores. For a calming bevvie try something more natural like camomile tea instead and have a little protein based snack to help keep your blood sugars even. Both will help to keep you calm.
So, do you think you are ready to start dating and put our strategies to the test? The hop over to Plentymorefish.com and find singles in your area.
The UK has the longest working hours in Europe with a culture of coming to work early and staying late. Although this is not something you can change without moving countries, you can alter the way you manage your time. Fortunately, online dating sites like Plenty More Fish can help busy people get back onto the dating scene.
Online you could be chatting to 12 singles in a week, in real life however, meeting 12 people would be more difficult. Internet dating is a great way to help people with limited time on their hands open their eyes to the huge amount of errr…..plenty more fish out there!
So, what are you waiting for? You too could be meeting lots of lovely singles in your area. Registration on Plenty More Fish is free and only takes a couple of minutes.
It is believed that William Shakespeare wrote what would later become the most famous love story of all time – Romeo and Juliet – between 1591 and 1595. A quote from this tragic play is:
“Don’t waste your love on somebody, who doesn’t value it.”
It’s safe to say these words are as true as they were almost 450 years ago and what better way to honour the playwright than to take inspiration from his words. My guess is that you, dear reader, have experienced unrequited love before, much like rest of us. It happens. You love someone but they don’t love you back. The healthy way to deal with this is to recognise the truth and move on. Yet sometimes, people become so wrapped up in a relationship, it seems impossible for them to see just how unhealthy that relationship is. Read on and discover the signs of a bad relationship:
Your partner puts you down
If your partner calls you names, ridicules you or makes you feel like an idiot in private or in front of others then they are no good for you! No one should be made to feel inferior or stupid in a loving relationship and if that’s happening to you, it’s time to leave.
You are keeping secrets
If you can’t tell your family or friends about the things your partner says and does, then you may not be in a healthy loving relationship. If you lie to protect him/her, you devalue your own principles and could damage other important relationships.
Your partner wants you to change
If you new partner is very critical of the things you do and the way you look, it’s safe to say they do not truly love you. In a healthy relationship you don’t have to apologise for who you are. A healthy relationship will get your confidence to grow. In an unhealthy one it will shrink.
You feel bad, guilty, unhappy, depressed, or sad about your relationship
A loving and good relationship is happiness, equality, respect and kindness. If you don’t feel secure, comfortable and loved in your relationship, then you may be with the wrong person.
Your partner doesn’t trust you
Constant phone calls, texts, emails and demands on your time. Jealous fits and angry accusations are NOT signs of love! If your partner doesn’t trust you or accuses you of lying, then you need to re-evaluate your love. Opening your post or showing up at work unexpectedly, means they don’t trust you. This is a sign of deep insecurity, which could lead to more serious relationship problems.
Your partner controls everything
Your partner making all the decisions may give you the illusion you are with a confident person but the need to control every aspect your life together is often another sign of deeply rooted insecurities. These are not easily dealt with and can be a sign of bad times ahead. A healthy relationship is a democracy, not a dictatorship.
You constantly argue about financial issues, family matters, or goals for your future and can’t seem to agree on your plans for the future. Perhaps it’s time to rethink this relationship. Nobody has the exact same plans for the future, but the happiest couples have the same goals and desires.
Your loved ones don’t approve of your relationship
No one should choose their partner based on their family and friends’ opinions, but it’s still important to take their opinions into consideration. If your family or friends have strong reservations about your partner, seek specific reasons. Find out the root of their feelings, and try to be objective.
Saying they love you but not showing it
We’ve all done things in the past that have upset others, often unintentionally. But doing something knowingly that will upset the other person clearly shows a lack of respect. If your partner doesn’t care about your needs and wants, it’s really not healthy.
Be honest with yourself – the sooner you face the truth, the sooner you can start over. Everyone has a right to be happy and to be loved for who they are.
Does any of the above resonate with you? Have you been in an unhappy relationship? What made you decide to end it?
Your comments are as always welcome.
Last weekend, I spent an afternoon with a friend who has been single for a while and inevitably the conversation turned to her love life. She is a member of an online dating site and she regularly goes on dates. (Great start.) She told me about this guy, who according to her, was ticking all the boxes. I was ecstatic and urged her to tell me more. “So,” I said, “when are you meeting him again?” She started fidgeting and explained she’d texted him and was waiting for his response. Three days had already passed and yet, no answer. She couldn’t understand why, as things had been going really well and there was obvious chemistry between them.
This was an all too common scenario in her dating world, so I asked her to show me her text message. After reading it, I couldn’t help but think that it was written rather dismissively and not very open-ended. He had no reason to respond to it. I told her how I felt it came across and she admitted she had been a bit dismissive during their dates, but ONLY – she said – to see if he was still interested and ONLY because she didn’t want to come across as desperate.
My friend is anything but desperate, I thought. No, the reason she was behaving this way was all down to having been hurt in the past. And I bet the poor guy felt exactly the same anxieties and worries she was feeling. He was probably just as afraid of being hurt. Why is it then, that we can’t overcome these hurdles and simply be honest and open with our feelings when we have met someone we like? Dating should be fun!
Is the fear of heartbreak so much more powerful than potentially losing the chance of finding a loving relationship? How can people find love again without opening their hearts, without taking a risk?
I find this problem rather frustrating, so I’m turning to you lovely readers to help me find answers. How do we overcome this perpetual cycle? What advice would you give to someone, perhaps a friend, in this situation?
You don’t keep secrets
Happy couples know that keeping secrets will only hurt their partner, and their relationship so they are open and honest with each other.
You have fun
In a healthy relationship you can be yourself and that includes being able to make a fool of yourself. When you are comfortable with one another, you are more willing to open up and show your silly side.
You share responsibilities
When one person spends Saturday morning cleaning and doing the laundry while the other one chills out in front of the TV, it’s not an even share of responsibilities. Divvying up the work is a sign of an equal and healthy partnership that is based on mutual respect. You are a team in all aspects of life.
You spend time on your own
In a healthy relationship you can and are both encouraged to have your own life, circle of friends and interests. There’s no jealousy or constant checking up on the other person.
You appreciate each other
As you get comfy in your relationship, routine sets and you could start to take each other for granted. However happy couples continue to make an effort and remain appreciative of each other. They remember why they fell in love in the first place.
Open communication is the cornerstone to a happy and healthy relationship. Expressing of and listening to feelings without the fear of being judged or criticised is a sign of emotional maturity and encourages trust between two people.
You are intimate
Sex is another form of communication and couples who have sex on a regular basis are often happier than couples who don’t.
Emotional baggage is something we all carry around. Sometimes the baggage is so heavy and bulky that it takes up more room in our life than it should. We get used to that heavy feeling. It becomes part of us. But when you realise you are governed by your past and your emotional baggage is sabotaging your relationships and your life, stopping you from moving on, you need to take steps to break free and dump that heavy burden once and for all. Here’s how:
Feel the emotion
In order to let go, you will first need to allow the feeling to run its course. It’s okay to feel upset, hurt, betrayed – whatever the emotion – as long as you allow yourself to truly feel it. The longer you deny the truth, the longer you will drag this around with you. Give yourself permission and acknowledge what has happened to you. This is often the hardest step and most upsetting, but it needs to happen so you can start to heal.
When trust has been betrayed and feelings hurt, it’s hard to forgive and forget. By holding onto these memories and emotions however, you are also hindering yourself from moving on. The only person you are hurting by not letting go of the past is you. Someone once said, “Holding onto a grudge is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”
To start to forgive, try this exercise: Call the person who hurt you into your mind’s eye, tell them how you feel, why and how they hurt you. Then tell them you are now okay, you have moved on and that you forgive them. Be sincere and then let them go. Now stand in front of a mirror and then forgive yourself. Yes, that’s right. You are very likely feeling feelings of guilt, shame, stupidity for allowing this to happen, for trusting the other person. Allow yourself to be okay with that. You didn’t do anything wrong. Forgive yourself and be kind to you, then let go.
Give yourself some time for reflection. Pretend you are a good friend who observes the painful situation to gain an understanding from an unbiased perspective. In doing this you will gain clarity of any destructive patterns and behaviours you may hold on to, which may have contributed to this scenario. By gaining awareness of negative cycles you regain control, freeing you from reliving them again in the future.
Focus on the good
Focus on what you would like your life to be. It takes practice but knowing that you can now move forward, safe in the knowledge you have overcome such a painful experience, will give you the strength to live a more confident and happier life. Now go and get it!
Have you ever been weighed down by emotional baggage? How did you manage to get over it? Please share your experiences, we’d love to hear them.