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The V-Day Fallout: What to Do Now

By admin | Filed in Dating Advice
Disaster Date

How was your Valentine’s Day?

Did your secret crush send you roses? Did the girl next door give you a wave and an invite to dinner? Or did your cards get lost in the post and your date went awry?

 

Whatever happened, if you find yourself still looking for love post the big V-day, don’t sweat it. It’s not the be all and end all, I promise.

 

Don’t believe me? Then take five minutes out of your busy schedule and cast an eye over our list of dream dates gone wrong. Have a chuckle, make some quick resolutions that nothing like that will ever happen to you and then have at it! Get combing the site for someone you fancy and send them a quick message – after all, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain!

 

I organised a date with a girl I’d had a crush on for ever. I thought it would be really romantic to post letters with the time, date and details written on them in a kind of scrapbook layout over the week beforehand. What I didn’t realise was that her ex had stalked her and on receiving the letters, which looked a little bit like newspaper-cutting ransom notes, she freaked out and called the police. Needless to say, we never got to go on our date.

 

James sounded like the ideal man on his profile – tall, handsome, sweet, generous and with a romantic streak. We messaged back and forth for weeks before finally agreeing to meet up. Once the date was set, I found myself waiting in the bar for the tall guy with the red rose in his lapel. However, he never showed up. I stormed back home to demand why he’d stood me up via message only to find a slapdash email from his girlfriend. Thank goodness we never got together!

 

I met a great guy online and was all set to meet up, but then I found out he had been on one date with my friend which had gone horribly wrong and she wanted me to cancel. I was still into him, so I decided to go ahead with the date, but my friend felt so guilty about vetoing things that she overcompensated and wanted to know all about the ‘new’ guy I was supposedly going to meet. I had to make up an entirely different person to tell her about so she wouldn’t get suspicious and then when I had a great date I felt I couldn’t tell her at all in case she realised I’d lied about the guy!

 

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Internet Dating

Andrea met Jon on Free and Single in January 2012.

 

She had been single for eight months and had finally felt ‘over’ her ex when a friend suggested online dating. She laughed it off but then, curious, she set up an account.

 

Within days she had been ‘winked’ at, messaged and all-round showered with attention. Nervously, Andrea browsed the profiles of the guys who had shown interest. One guy stood out for her.

 

Jon had a friendly smile in his profile picture, he looked right out of the screen as if they were face-to-face. He had described himself as ‘shy, quiet and bookish’ but also had a friend describe him as ‘a darts-playing champion who could make anybody laugh with his quick humour. Makes a mean grilled cheese.’ Andrea was intrigued and attracted. With some trepidation, she messaged him back.

 

Soon, Andrea and Jon were racing home from work each day to check their messages. They quickly moved from chatting online to their first nervous phonecall and after that, well, they were unstoppable. Soon, they were ready to meet in person.

 

Andrea picked out her outfit with care, had a friend stop by to give her a pep talk and an outfit critique and then left for a coffee shop that she and Jon had determined to be exactly between their towns. She was shaking as she ordered a latte and sat down at a table with a good view of the door.

 

Jon walked in and Andrea recognised him immediately. He came straight over and they bumped noses accidentally as they tried to do the whole continental greeting thing. Instead of feeling mortified though, Andrea felt an instant calm and chuckled along with Jon’s witty observance – she forgets what he said exactly, but she knew straight away that she liked this guy as much in reality as she did online.

 

Now, two years into the relationship, Andrea couldn’t be happier. She and Jon are moving in together, finally, after a few hiccups with deciding which town to move to for ease of commute. They’re planning a holiday for the summer and still visiting the coffee shop where they first bumped noses. If she could change one thing?

 

‘I’d have signed up sooner! Jon was online for a month before I was – imagine if someone else had snapped him up before I got there!’

 

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Heart Print

What’s on in the world this month that can provide you with a spectacularly original, traditional or romantic date night?

 

Original

  • Head to your favorite watering hole and have the barman create a cocktail specifically for the two of you.
  • Book into a culinary taster class and learn how to cook your special meal together, then chow down on the fantastic results.
  • Don your waterproofs and head to a muddy quad bike circuit to spend some quality time in direct competition with each other. Once done, brush yourself off and head to the pub!

Traditional Ideas

  • Take your date to that special hole-in-the-wall restaurant you reserve for these occasions and splash out on a fancy bottle of wine to share.
  • Dinner and a movie is about as traditional as it gets – why not mix it up and do the movie first, then dinner, thus ensuring any awkward silences can be filled in with discussion about the movie!
  • Head to a fairground or a big wheel and indulge in candy floss, winning teddy bears and jumping into each others arms in the haunted house.

 

Romantic

  • Try a boat trip down the river – add in fairy lights, a three-course meal and a serenade by violinists and you’re in danger of your date falling completely head-over-heels for you right then and there.
  • Turn your living room into a zen space clear of clutter and transform into a forest, snowslope or fairyland complete with picnic blanket and homemade repast.
  • Create a treasure hunt around your favorite city for your date and document the whole thing on camera as a memento of your time together.

 

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Couple Holding Hands

Sometimes it seems as if all those people in happy relationships are a tad envious of the singleton’s freedom.

 

Other times, it feels like being single is possibly the worst thing in the world. Conflicting, huh?

 

So, we at Free and Single have done a quick round up of the pros and cons of relationships – to enthuse you and motivate you into continuing your dating adventures to find ‘The One’, or else to make you appreciate your single-ness until fate sees fit to intervene!

 

Pros!

  • It’s cold, it’s raining and you’re snuggled up together on the sofa under a blanket, with a good movie and a cup of tea. Bliss.
  • Support on tap! Come home from a hard day, have a bit of a moan, enjoy dispensing advice, maybe get a shoulder massage…
  • Feeling frisky? Get down to business with all the love and trust you could want.
  • Want to travel? Hate walking into new places by yourself? Insta-travel companion!
  • Someone to bring you soup and blankets when you’re feeling poorly.
  • A shoulder to cry on when things go topsy turvy.
  • ‘Darling, do I look good in this?’ Answer: ‘Ravishing.’

 

Cons!

  • Being with someone means involving them in your life. They’ll worry if they don’t know where you are or if you are proving incontactable.
  • Mess/Tidiness. One of you will prefer things slightly tidier than the other. That’s life, folks.
  • When your other half goes about ordering salads or saying they aren’t hungry, only to start nicking your chips.
  • The inevitable urge to start changing them, or yourself, to fit.
  • Jealousy – nobody likes the green headed monster to emerge snarling, but sometimes you just can’t help yourself.

 

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Online-Dating

One of the hardest things to do when starting to internet date is writing your profile.

 

I’ve written about how to make your online dating profile stand out from the crowd; first in these Five Top Tips for Online Dating and then again in Avoiding the Dating Profile Pitfalls

 

I was scanning through the profiles popping up on the main page of Free and Single and a few things really caught my eye – not in the least because I was thinking about this article from the BBC…

 

Are you guilty of bringing these cliches and empty sayings into your dating profile? Are you actually making yourself sound boring by trying to hard to sound exciting?

 

Tips for Sprucing Up your Dating Profile in 2014

  • Be specific – don’t sit on the fence and declare how you ‘listen to all sorts of music, everything really.’ No-one loves all types of music. No-one! Hate folk songs? Say so – there is no need to be aggressive about it, just focus on what you do like instead.
  • Have you seen those awkward, generic sentences that start off with things like; ‘Well, here we go. Not sure how this works…’ Can it. That type of introduction says you are nervous, intimidated and filled with trepidation. It also says you aren’t sure of what you want and from my point of view, if you aren’t completely sure that you would like to meet new people, have fun and go on dates or start a relationship, then what are you doing on a dating website?
  • Try really really hard to let your profile speak about the real you. Don’t use it as a soapbox to vent about ‘stupid soap opera’s’ or ‘the damned bureaucracy’. No-one wants to date an angry, intolerant person.
  • It seems blindingly obvious but here’s a good’un: Don’t lie. Not about your age, your height, your weight, your salary (why are you discussing your salary on a dating profile anyway? Romantic much?) Stick to the truth and you’ll have much better, genuine success.

 

 

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2014 is the Year of Dating!

By admin | Filed in Dating Advice
Snowy Walk

Christmas can be a tricky time. It can seem like everyone is smooching under that damn mistletoe when you’re the only one stood alone in the corner with your fourth glass of eggnog.

 

However, Christmas is over for another year and we’re now stuck in the month of payback – presents, parties and party food all take their toll!

 

This time can be used for more than weepy recriminations about that second box of chocolates you scoffed next to the Christmas tree. Instead, use the time to reinvent yourself. Forget resolutions – those are for pansies. Instead, you can make yourself into the best possible version of you, ready for a year of love, laughter and lighter thoughts.

 

Chuck the chocolate, pop on a coat and go for a walk – seriously, it’ll bring a rosy glow to your features! Get a friends to take a picture of you in the evening sunshine (super flattering) and update your profile image. You could even treat yourself to a new haircut first if you fancy.

 

Think about what to write in your profile – what needs updating, what you want to write instead. Plan it out and then set aside an hour or so to actually write it, make the changes and start benefiting from them!

 

Enjoy the new year and enjoy your dates this January!

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Winter Date

Usually, the first blog post of the month here at Free and Single gives you some really specific, country focused date ideas. Not this month. Nope, this January 2014, I’m putting forwards three great, all purpose date plans you can do anywhere, one for each country Free and Single is based in.

 

United Kingdom

The constant gales and blustery torrential rain can’t get you down if you purposefully set out to beat it! Wrap up warm and swathe yourself in waterproofs – now is the time to dig out your wellies and sou’ wester!

Once you and your date are fully water repellent, head into the great outdoors for a whirlwind adventure through some of the beautiful countryside – try a nature trail, an English Heritage tour or a garden exploration.

Don’t forget, once you’re done outside, you have most definitely earned a long, lavish teatime treat in a local cafe or pub to warm you up and discuss all your madcap new anecdotes!

 

United States of America

Beat the wintry chill with a cosy indoor picnic! Make sure the room you choose is clean and tidy, then stun your date with a thoughtfully prepared picnic feast and drinks, all laid out on your freshly washed picnic rug.

Lay out on the floor once you’re down eating, pop a rustic sounds track or some folk music on your phone and look up at the wide expanse of, eh, sky? Ceiling?

Use your imagination and have a great time chatting. Often sharing a meal outside the confines of a table and chairs can really help you to relax and be yourself – which is just what you need on a date!

 

Australia

The heat is high in Oz right now and I reckon nothing could be better for a hot date than, well, air con.

Whizz your date over to a public ice rink, pull on some super thick socks and spend an hour or two holding hands and practising your backwards skate moves.

After you’re done skating, sit-in at a cosy diner and chow down on burgers and milkshakes. Bonus points if there’s a jukebox you can sing along to, 50s style!

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Happy New Year!

By admin | Filed in Dating Advice, Events
New-Years-Eve-Fireworks

Here at Free and Single our mission is to help you find someone you share chemistry with to kiss when that clock strikes 12 tonight.

 

We hope we managed it this year – but fear not! 2014 is looking good!

 

Here are some dating tips to start putting into practice in 2014;

  • Smile at everyone you meet – those first few seconds determine how new people feel about you!
  • Ditch the weather as a fall-back talk topic and practice a few natty phrases that will help get the conversation rolling in those awkward silence moments.
  • Get a new year overhaul and spend some time making yourself feel fabulous, whether that involves a new hair cut, a new outfit you can rely on for spontaneous dates or some time at the gym so last minute body image issues don’t rear up to spoil your day.
  • Re-write your dating profile! If you’ve been dating through Free and Single for a little bit, don’t let your introduction get stale – keep it updated and keep your profile picture current.
In the meantime though, what are you doing inside reading this? Get out there, into the world and celebrate the turning of another year. Meet some people, smile at everyone and be open to the possibilities a new year brings.

Happy New Year!

 

 

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merry-christmas

Well, it’s a tad early but I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you

A very Merry Christmas from Free and Single!

What are you up to on this fine Christmas Eve?

 

If you’re already fed up of wrestling the turkey into the shower to defrost it, why not take a time out and work on your online dating profile?

 

I find big events like Christmas and New Year really focus what it is we feel we want from our prospective partners.

 

For example, try thinking of questions you would desperately want to know the answer to on a first date and then honestly answer those questions yourself as part of your profile.

 

I’m thinking more of expanding on the classic ‘In my spare time I like to hang out with friends’ (I mean, who doesn’t?), to a bit more in depth, ‘In my spare time, I love visiting up-and-coming new restaurants with my friends and reviewing them for my foodie blog.’

 

Finding the family a bit on the annoying side this year?

Has Auntie Lucy asked one too many times when the sound of church bells are going to be a-ringing? Geesh, been there, done that, donated the t-shirt to charity.

 

Instead of the usual rolling eyes, or sullen silence, or even complaints that you would if you could, try telling her about one of your more recent dates. Even if it was no good – in fact, the worse the better!

 

Turn your dating experiences into anecdotes and you’ll distract attention away from your single status and feel better into the bargain.

 

Everyone loves to share and with any bad date karma released from your shoulders, come the New Year you’ll be ready to dive back into that dating pond.

 

I hope you have a fantastic holiday tomorrow, whatever you end up doing!

 

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What to Wear to my Party Date

By admin | Filed in Dating Advice
mistletoe-kissing

It’s the party season and bunches of mistletoe are hanging haphazardly everywhere, just waiting for kisses and good times to occur.

 

If you’re gearing up for a sophisticated wine and cheese evening, or a night out on the tiles with friends, a work office ‘do or a family set-up blind date, it can be a nightmare trying to decide what to wear.

 

To keep things simple, determine whether the occasion calls for casual, smart or formal and then follow our quick guide to looking fab this party season.

 

Ladies

 

Casual

It has to be the fabled Christmas jumper! Go as outrageous or as simple as you fancy, whether you channel the full tinsel-bedecked, sewn-in LEDs Rudolph number or an elegant berry coloured cashmere number. Style with comfy leggings, a piece of sparkly jewelry and warm flat boots.

 

Smart

Think tailoring and fun details like a peplum or trumpet hem (not together!) Whether you go with a dress or separates, stick to rich, deep colours and dress up your outfit with jewelry, shoes and a sparkly jacket. Maybe try a different parting  or small hairstyle change.

 

Formal

For this dress code, think jewel tones; floor sweeping gowns or an exquisitely cut woman’s tux. Play with fabrics that scream luxe, like velvet, satin, silk and brocade. Add jewels, beautifully blow dried hair and complementary shoes.

 

Men

 

Casual

Same as the ladies, I am all in favour of the Christmas jumper for a bit of casual cheer. Go silly with a Christmas pudding print jumper or keep it classy with a Fairisle print knit in subdued colours. Pair with comfy dark jeans and loafers.

 

Smart

Pressed suit trousers in charcoal grey or dark navy, with a matching jacket. Have fun when it comes to your shirt by playing with colour. A deep burgandy, a pattern or a cream shirt would all be a twist on the norm. Add smart shoes, cufflinks and belt.

 

Formal

I’m presuming evening formal here, so go with a tux or a dinner jacket (maybe check with some other’s to find out what they are wearing before investing). Crisp, white shirt, smart black shoes and well-cut tailoring never fail to attract attention.

 

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