Five no-panic dating tips for Christmas

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If you’re single or you’ve just started seeing someone, Christmas is the time of year that’s guaranteed to turn you from a normal, rational human being into someone who suddenly feels the need to have a beau or a bae, regardless of suitability, attraction, mutual interests, or any of the other things we normally scrutinise very hard before getting involved with someone. It happens to the best of us, as Christmas is a particularly hard time to be single, but it doesn’t have to be that bad. Follow these no-panic dating tips to make sure you continue to date well over the festive season.

Don’t get in a relationship just so you won’t feel alone

Often the idea of being single at Christmas is worse than the reality so don’t try and get loved up with someone just for the sake of it. Christmas is such a busy social whirl that having someone you’re not sure about tagging along the whole time will just end up being more stressful.

Remember that being single at Christmas is often EASIER and MORE FUN

Apart from the annual questions about why you aren’t married yet from Auntie Carole over the Christmas dinner, being single at Christmas is actually brilliant. No fuss about whose family to spend it with, no stress about buying the perfect present and no fretting about whether it’s appropriate to invite your other half to your work do.

Use the time to connect with friends and family

Most people lead such busy lives that there is little time left to spend with the people who are really important to us. Make the most of not having a partner to worry about by hanging out with those other special people.

Don’t go mad with presents

If you have just stared seeing someone, don’t freak them out by giving them an inappropriately large present that might make them feel obliged to reciprocate or scare them off. Something small but thoughtful will let them know you care, but without piling on the pressure.

Save yourself for January!

Dating sites see a huge spike in sign ups between Christmas and Valentine’s Day, so why not take a little break over Christmas to brush up your profile and get really proactive in the New Year instead? There will be loads of new faces all looking for something special in 2019.

Looking for a delightful date? Join mysinglefriend now!

Ten ways to make sure you're using the best profile picture

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When people look at your dating profile they want to get a genuine and honest idea of what you look like, so it’s crucial to use a photo that shows what you actually look like. Of course it’s important to use a flattering picture, but it turns out that we tend to have different ideas about what looks good. Following these tips will make sure you immediately make that all important good first impression.

1. Quality over quantity

One high quality shot will do much better than ten grainy, out of focus ones, so do yourself a favour and pick a good one.

2. Eyes front

Looking directly at the camera helps people get a true idea of what you look like - if you’re looking away or they can only see half of your face, it can feel like you’re trying to hide something.

3. Smile!

You might think that your sultry pout makes you look mysterious and alluring, but you’re more likely to come across as miserable and a bit of a poser. A genuine smile goes a very long way.

4. Head and shoulders

Whilst it’s a good idea to include a full body shot as part of your secondary pictures, your main profile photo should be head and shoulders so potential dates can get a good look at your lovely face.

5. Turn the flash off

A picture taken with a flash highlights all those lines, wrinkles, lumps and bumps, and generally makes you look older than you are. It can also give you scary red eyes, so use a photo lit by natural daylight.

6. #nofilter (please)

People want to see what you look like, not what you look like with a kitty ears Snapchat filter covering your face.

7. Keep your clothes on

Even if you’ve got the body of a greek god or goddess, showing it off on your dating profile isn’t a classy move. Keep those firm abs as a nice surprise for whoever ends up getting past first base later on.

8. Don’t use selfies

Selfies never look as good as photos taken by other people, plus they can insinuate that you don’t socialise much with others. If you have no pictures of yourself to hand, ask a friend to do a quick photo shoot with you.

9. Go it alone

Whilst pictures with friends are great for the rest of your picture gallery, your main profile photo should be you by yourself, so no exes, best mates, randoms or pets.

10. Get a second opinion

Once you’ve picked your photo, ask someone what they think. Does it truly represent who you are? Do you look attractive and approachable? Could you choose a better one? A helping hand from a friend will help you make the most of your profile.

Looking for a delightful date? Join mysinglefriend now!

Sign up to MSF in November and we'll give one month's subscription to Movember!

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Whether you’re male or female, every single penny of your first month’s subscription is going to this amazing cause

We’ve always been proud supporters of Movember and 2018 is no different! As part of this year’s campaign, we are going to donate the first month’s subscription of everyone who joins mysinglefriend during November to Movember - and we mean everyone. Whether you’re male, female, a young single, a more mature dater, and whether you have a moustache or not, every single penny is going to this amazing cause!

Movember raises awareness and money for health issues which affect men globally, focussing specifically on prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health issues leading to suicide. They aim to improve quality of life for men facing cancer, before, during and after treatment; create new approaches in mental health that are designed to work for men; and help men to take action in taking care of their health. We all have dads, sons, brothers, uncles and friends in our lives, and we all want them to be healthy and happy, making this a fantastic cause that everyone can support.

And the benefit of signing up to mysinglefriend during Movember isn’t entirely altruistic: we did some research a little while ago and found that 55% of women said that raising money for charity makes a potential date more attractive, so not only are you helping this fantastic charity, you’re also making yourself look even hotter as well! So, whether you’re taking part in Movember by growing a ‘tache, or just fancy a date and want to show your support, sign up to mysinglefriend now and do your bit!

Why dating in autumn is the absolute best!

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It seems to be the received wisdom that summer is the best time to date, and, of course, all those picnics, BBQs, sunset walks and al fresco dinners are wonderful. However, we think there’s a lot to be said for the joys of dating in autumn. Not convinced? We’ve got five reasons that we think will change your mind.

The weather is perfect

If you’ve ever turned up to a summer date red-faced, perspiring and desperately trying to hide the big sweat patches under your armpits, you’ll know that dating in hot weather isn’t all its cracked up to be. Autumn provides the perfect balance between hot and cold.

It looks so romantic

On a sunny day when the russet leaves are falling gently from the trees, you can’t help but feel like the world is a gloriously romantic place. Plus, you can get some super romantic couples selfies for Instagram too.

Dating sites are packed with new members

Dating sites get busier in months in the leading up to Christmas, as no one wants to spend the winter shivering on their own without a bae to snuggle up to, so you’ll have a larger pool of lovely people to choose from.

All the good movies come out

The run up to Christmas and the awards season means that ALL the good movies come out, giving you loads of options for snuggling up in the back row of the cinema with a massive bag of Maltesers.

There are loads of fun dating options

People don’t do much in the summer, apart from obsess about being out in the sun, so autumn is when loads of fun events happen. Oktoberfest, Halloween parties, Bonfire night, pumpkin carving, Christmas markets… Plus, lots of these activities are outdoors, meaning you can legit sidle up to your date for a squeeze to keep each other warm!

Looking for an autumnal date? Join mysinglefriend now!

How to spot a scammer when dating online

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At mysinglefriend we want to make sure that you have a safe, fun and positive experience, and our dedicated customer care team works very hard to remove unwanted accounts from our site. We’re confident that our moderation techniques maintain a high level of security, but we always urge our members to be vigilant when dating online and report any suspicious profiles. Here are a few warning signals to look out for.

They’re too attractive

Whilst there are many good looking people on mysinglefriend, alarms bells should ring if all of their pictures look like they are professional model shots that could have been downloaded from Google. Even if they are actually a model, look for some candid shots of them relaxing with friends and family.

They offer a sob story

Much like the stories from The X Factor that tug on your heartstrings, scammers will often create personas and situations that are designed to lower your guard and earn your trust. Of course, there are many real people out there with stories to tell, but if it all seems a bit too perfect, proceed with caution.

They want to move very quickly

If someone asks for your phone number or address persistently as soon as you start chatting with them, be on your guard. Online relationships should follow a progression that feels natural to you, so if they want to rush you through it too quickly, they might not be genuinely looking for a date.

They ask for money

If someone you meet on a dating site asks you for money, it’s highly likely they are a scammer. However persuasive their story seems - such as they are having an emergency, or it’s just a loan - we very strongly advise you to NEVER send money to someone you meet online.

They ask you for private information

If someone asks you for details about your bank account, driver’s license, passport, online passwords or anything that is security protected, DON’T tell them anything. There is no need for someone you’ve just met online to know those things, so you can be sure that they are scammers.

If you think you’ve identified a scammer, please email us at admin@mysinglefriend.com and let us know so that we can take the appropriate steps to remove them from the site. We want your time on mysinglefriend to be as fun and safe as possible, so don’t hesitate to get in touch if you think you’ve seen something suspicious.

Are attractive people happier? Not so, studies show

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Although it might seem like beautiful and handsome people are happier than those not considered to meet the criteria, the reality is in fact quite different. According to studies, runway models and actors -- considered by many to be the fairest of us all -- actually tend to suffer from chronic low self-esteem and depression in spite of their good looks. Here are the four main reasons behind this startling truth.

 1. Different definitions of happiness

Our culture idolises and praises good looks more than any other attribute. On billboards, television, and across the internet we’re constantly being bombarded with images of thin, smiling, women and wealthy young men with washer-board abs, believing that they must be happy.

 As a result, this becomes our definition of what true happiness must be like. We end up believing that if we just lost weight and had a big enough paycheck, we’d be so much happier. Although it’s perfectly normal to define happiness this way when you lack and desire these things, those blessed with good looks have their own interpretation of success.

 Some may want to live a simple life away from the cameras but can't because they have public profiles to maintain, while others just want to settle down without being scrutinised for their simplest mistakes. If they can’t do this, they wind up feeling depressed and lonely.

 2. Low confidence levels

 Many successful celebrities depend on their looks to boost their confidence levels, while average-looking people tend to be happier because their confidence comes from something deep within.

 It short, happiness comes from being satisfied with what you have -- no matter how successful you are, you will never feel happy if you need outside gratification to feel comfortable with yourself.

 3. Comparisons, comparisons

 You'd be surprised to learn that most attractive people feel they aren’t beautiful enough because they compare themselves to their peers.

 The entertainment industry is very competitive, so celebrities will often try to outdo each other. Although competition is perfectly healthy for individual progress, it can be damaging if you see yourself as being at fault all the time.

 Celebrities will often go to great lengths to please their fans and look better than their peers. As a result, they become depressed and unhappy because they've done nothing to address their general well-being.

 4. The clock keeps ticking

 During a recent award acceptance speech, Nicole Kidman spoke out against a major trend in the entertainment industry: older female movie stars suffer tremendously from what is known as ageism, or prejudice based on their age.

 This explains why so many celebrities dedicate their early 30s to their career instead of settling down and having children (incidentally, egg cryopreservation is increasingly popular among young actresses), or undergo cosmetic procedures to maintain their youthful appearance.

 The attractive people we see in the media may seem to have everything, but they always have to maintain a certain image in order to remain relevant.

 Happiness is a choice

 Not all famous people are unhappy with their lives -- there are some who are quite content and comfortable with their fame. But remember -- being constantly preoccupied by what other people think of your appearance is bound to have an impact on your overall well-being.

 Conventional thinking has it that pursuing success will lead to happiness, but research indicates that it may be just the opposite. Happiness is a choice. The question is, are you willing to make it?

This is a guest post by Zoe Dobson of Zwivel

5 signs that your date isn't going well (and what to do it about it)

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It’s totally normal to turn up to a date with high hopes. This person could turn out to be The One, or at least The One To Have Some Fun With For A While. However, sometimes we can want things to turn out well so badly that it colours our perception of what’s really happening, and stops us seeing that, actually, the date isn’t going that great. Here are five subtle signs to look out for.

They’re not present

A first date should be phone-free, so if one or other of you is distracted by your phone, then you aren’t that interested in the other person. If they’re texting, looking at the football scores or even chatting up the waiter it’s best to recognise that it’s a non-starter and call it a night.

They won’t stop talking about their ex

This is a massive red flag. Not only isn’t it fun for you to act the agony aunt, it’s also a sign they aren’t over their ex and therefore not ready for a relationship. Equally, if you find yourself unable to not bring your ex up, you should have a careful think about if you’re ready to be dating.

They don’t let you get a word in edgeways

Whilst talking too much could be a sign of nerves, it could also point to them being more interested in themselves than you. If they show no interest in learning more about you, it’s wise to make your excuses and not go on a second date.

One or both of you is drinking way to quickly

It’s normal to neck a few drinks on a first date, as alcohol is a useful social lubricant. However, if it feels like you’re both necking the booze because you have nothing to say to each other, it’s not a good sign. Stop drinking and end the date before you end up confusing being squiffy for fancying each other.

You just aren’t feeling it

If your mind keeps wondering to what you might have for lunch tomorrow, you are clearly not felling a spark or a desire to get to know your date better. And that’s totally fine, as we don’t have chemistry with everyone we meet. Find a natural pause in conversation and tell them it’s time you went home.

Looking for a delightful date? Join mysinglefriend now!

A lovely message from a happy ex-MSFer

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"I have never been happier in my entire life"

The best part of our job is hearing from happy couples who met through mysinglefriend.com. Today we received an email from Sarah who told us a bit about her MSF experience...

'I just want to say how grateful I am to mysinglefriend. I married 'the one' yesterday after 18 amazing months together. 

I have never been happier in my entire life. After finding myself living alone for the first time at 38, fast forward a couple of years and I meet my 'husband' after my closest friend and his closest friend signed us up to mysinglefriend. He'd lived in my hometown the whole time and lived three minutes from where I worked,  and fate finally brought us together. 

This is just a thank you to Sarah Beeny for setting up a dating site that is for people just like me, who aren't sure about the idea of meeting someone online but understand that you can't rely on the traditions of old. Thank you again to all involved at my single friend from a traditionalist who never dreamt they would meet there perfect match via a website. The unique way that you ask friends to write about you is why I am now so happy.'

Huge congratulations to Sarah and her partner from all of us here at MSF

Are you looking to meet The One? Sign up tomysinglefriend.com now and get searching! 

7 first date conversation tips to get the ball rolling

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Even if you've usually got the poise and social skills of Meghan Markle, there's something about a first date that can either make you clam up completely or cause you to turn into an unstoppable chatterbox. An easy, natural conversation is the ideal, but what can you do if you're struck by nerves? Here are a tips that will help your conversation flow smoothly.

Admit you're nervous

Whilst it might seem like admitting you're nervous will make you look very uncool, the fact is that the other person is probably nervous too and talking about it will instantly give you some common ground and break the ice.

Ask questions

Open ended questions (i.e ones that invite more of an answer than 'yes' or 'no') give your date an opportunity to talk about themselves and make you look good because you're genuinely interested them. Keep it light though, they won't want to feel like they've been interrogated.

Don't tell lies

It's ever so tempting to fudge the truth a little to make yourself feel more impressive or accomplished, but if you get into a relationship the truth will eventually come out and you won't look good. 

Don't ask about their salary

Talking about work is fine, but don't press them on how much they earn, whether they own a property or what sort of car they drive. You'll just come across as a gold digger, which is not an attractive look.

Don't treat it as a therapy session

Be authentic and forthcoming, but don't fill them in on every tiny detail of your emotional history. Getting to know someone takes time and they don't need to see the dark, hidden corners of your mind just yet.

Don't talk about your ex

By all means mention previous relationships, but a first date is way to early for getting into the nitty gritty of your exes. If you still feel compelled to moan about them it might be worth asking yourself if it's too soon for you to be dating.

Keep it positive

Many people find it hard to talk about themselves without some level of self-deprecation. This is fine, and an appealing quality, but don't confuse it with low self-esteem. Talking yourself down won't encourage your date to find your attractive or fun to be around,.

Looking for a delightful date? Join mysinglefriend now!

 

 

5 online dating mistakes that you need to avoid

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There are some bad dating habits that can undermine your online dating experience

Getting yourself online and looking for dates is a proactive first step on the road to meeting someone wonderful. However, there are some bad dating habits that can undermine your online dating experience and make things trickier than they need to be. Here are some mistakes that you should be taking care to avoid whilst enjoying your search for that perfect someone.

Don't reject someone on the basis of photos alone

Photos are of course a crucial element of every dating profile. They show you how a person looks and also give you a good insight into their friends, family, hobbies and interests. However, you should fight the urge to select or reject people based on looks alone, because, whilst photos are useful, they can't show you what a person is actually like in real life. If you're rejecting lots of people based entirely on looks, you could be missing out on a genuine connection that can only be felt face-to-face.

Don't get bogged down in the details

If you obsess over the details it will take you a long time to go on a date, let alone meet The One. Likes and dislikes are important, but don't reject someone on the basis that they love Game of Thrones, whilst you think it's a load of old fantasy nonsense. Concentrate on the broad strokes: do they live in the same city as you? Do they look like a fun person? If they like watching TV and you like watching TV then that's enough for now: you can argue over what to watch at a later date.

Evaluate the tone of their profile

Rather than trying to read in between the lines of every profile, evaluate the tone as a whole. Do they seem well-adjusted? Pleasant? Friendly? Funny? Or can you detect a hint of negativity or bitterness in there? Do they seem sincere? The overall tone of a profile can convey an awful lot, so, once again, don't get too bogged down in the details. Also, if they mention their ex in their dating profile it's very possible they're not yet over them, so beware!

Don't get too attached based on the profile alone

No matter how amazing someone seems on paper (or screen), you won't be able to get a real idea of them until you actually meet them in the flesh. You learn so much more about someone when you're sitting opposite them: do they make eye contact, do they smile a lot, are they rude to the bar staff, are they constantly checking their phone? Don't get hung up on them in any way until you've actually met them, or you'll be in for a lot of disappointment.

Don't convince yourself you've met 'The One' after only two dates

If you badly want to find The One, it can be tempting to rush into a relationship quickly, only to find that, once you've got to know them, they aren't who you wanted them to be. Take things slowly so you can truly get to know them before leaping in with both feet. It takes time and patience to get to find out who someone really is, but it will be worth it in the end.

Looking for a delightful date? Join mysinglefriend now!

Six tips for taking your online relationship offline

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If you've been chatting with someone online and things have been going well, you've probably started thinking about meeting up IRL. However, it can be tricky to know when is the right time, and how to suggest it. If you've been fretting about how to take your potential romance off the internet and into the big wide world, here are some tips that will make it a little bit easier.

Don't leave it too long

If you're feeling a bit nervous about going on a date with someone, it can be tempting to play it safe by continuing to hide behind your keyboard. However, the longer you exchange messages, the more this person is going to seem like a casual pen friend than a potential love interest. There's also the possibility that someone more proactive will ask them on a date and snap them up. Exchanging a few messages to feel things out is great, but once you've developed a bit of a rapport it's time to meet up face to face.

Offer alternative contact details

One simple way to start to move things offline is to offer your phone number. Chatting on the phone or texting generally feels more personal than on a dating site, so the offer of a date may come up more naturally this way. However, don't just exchange messaging online for texting instead of meeting up as you still won't have a solid idea of what they're like.

Save some stories for the actual date

If you share too much about yourself online, you could end up without much to  talk about when you actually meet up in real life, which is a sure fire way to crush any chemistry that might exist between you. There's nothing more alluring than a bit of mystery, so don't kill the intrigue by laying out your entire life story before they've even set eyes on you.

Be prepared to be disappointed

It's easy to idealise people before you meet them and imagine they are everything you've dreamed of and more, but remember that these thoughts have no basis in reality until you've actually met someone and got to know them a bit. Lower your expectations a little and be clear about who they really are and not who you want them to be. This is a good reason to take things offline fairly quickly, rather than spending ages chatting online and feeling no chemistry when you finally get to meet.

Don't put all your eggs in one basket

When dating online, the likelihood is that you won't meet your soulmate on the first date, so you need to give yourself plenty of options. If you spend ages talking to just one person, you're missing out on lots of other potential dates. Chatting to lots of different people and going on lots of dates will hugely enhance your chances of quickly meeting someone that you really click with.

Looking for a delightful date? Join mysinglefriend now!

What makes a great profile narrative?

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If you're serious about meeting someone online, a great profile narrative is crucial. Photos are also important, but people want to find out what you are like just as much as how you look. Your profile narrative is the best place to showcase you personality and tell people what you're looking for in a relationship. A generic profile that doesn't say much about who you really are is going to be easily overlooked, so you need to hook your potential date's attention with some details about what a wonderful person you are. Follow these tips to help you make the most of MSF.

Profile headline

Just like a newspaper headline, your profile headline should be brief, snappy and, hopefully, a bit witty. You can use it to explain a bit about yourself, tell people what you're looking for, or just catch someone's attention by making them laugh. 

Good examples:

'Birds do it, bees do it, even educated fleas do it. Let's do it, let's... communicate.'

'World traveller seeks first class companion'

Bad examples:

'I don't know what to write'

'.........' (Leaving it blank)

Why should people get to know you?

This is your opportunity to really sell yourself. Whilst you might feel reticent about blowing your own trumpet, there's no room for wallflowers when it comes to online dating. If you're struggling to describe yourself, imagine how your friends would describe you and write that down. If you can't imagine how they would describe you, ask them! 

Mention what you do for a living, but don't turn your profile into a CV as people will be none the wiser as to what you are actually like. Talk about your hobbies and interests, your passions and the things you would like to do in the future.

It's important to make clear at this stage what you're looking for. Obviously a blow-by-blow account of your dream wedding day is taking things too far, but if you're looking for a committed relationship now is the time to say, because it's helpful if everyone is on the same page from the start.

Describe your ideal match

What you don't want to write is a long list of characteristics, such as ideal job, looks, weight, education, salary and hobbies. It's a lot for anyone to live up to and can make you sound superficial and picky. Concentrate instead on values. If you want to meet someone who is ambitious, say you're looking for someone who is passionate about their job. If you're looking for someone who is buff, say you're looking for someone who values their health and takes care of themselves. Writing in this way allows someone to consider whether you have similar values that will make a great relationship, rather than feeling like they aren't ticking all your boxes.

Be positive!

A great rule of thumb for your profile narrative is to keep things upbeat. We've all had struggles in life and we all get grumpy, but don't show these qualities in your profile. Coming over as negative, snarky, bitter or angry is going to put potential dates off immediately. Keep it light and you're much more likely to attract someone.

Looking for a delightful date? Join mysinglefriend now!

 

Coping with rejection when online dating

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Rejection is part and parcel of online dating, but it definitely shouldn't put you off pursuing your dream of finding someone. Whether it's not getting a reply to your message or not getting a second date, you're bound to feel the sting at some point, so being able to cope and move on is vitally important. Here are a few tips that will stop it from holding you back.

Don't take it personally

This is the golden rule. Although it may feel very personal to be rejected at any stage of the dating process, it's crucial to remember that it's not about you. There could be a hundred reasons that someone doesn't reply to your message, and none of them are because you are somehow not worthy or attractive. Equally, if someone doesn't want a second date it will be because they don't feel a spark, which should have no bearing on your self worth. Someone who doesn't know you has no authority to judge you, so chalk it up to their loss and move on.

Stay positive

You'll handle rejection better if you can stay positive. If someone didn't message you back, don't get gloomy about why. Maybe they've started seeing someone, maybe they're really busy, or maybe they aren't the type of you want to get in a relationship with if they can't even be bothered to respond. Remaining upbeat will stop any perceived knock backs from ruining your dating experience.

Don't give up

Although there are a very few lucky people who meet the perfect person on their first ever date, the vast majority of people send loads of messages and go on loads of dates before they meet someone they like. You have to put some time in, so if you let an initial rejection put you off, then you'll never get to meet all those people who could turn out to be The One. Plus, the more dates you go on, the easier it will be to move on from the ones that don't work. 

Use it to get some empathy for the people you turn down

Online dating isn't a one way street so there will be times when you don't want to reply to someone's message or go on a second date. Use your own experiences of being rejected to gain some compassion for the people you inevitably have to turn down. Figure out a nice 'thanks, but no thanks' message to send and think about assertive but not unpleasant ways you can say no to seeing someone again.

Looking for a delightful date? Join mysinglefriend now!

Success story: Tara and Mark

               Tara and Mark on their wedding day

             Tara and Mark on their wedding day

We're very pleased to introduce you to our latest success story, Tara and Mark! This fabulous pair got in touch to let us know all about how they met on mysinglefriend, a story that involves everything from a beautiful wedding in New Zealand to lawnmowers!

"I was very pragmatic about starting online dating. My son was 3 years old and we had not long been in the UK when I went online. I am a very social, outgoing person but circumstances prevented me from meeting potential partners the way I had previously - at work, through sport and via my three New Zealand-based brothers. Online dating was for me a way of striking up conversations from my living room. In my eyes it was just a matter of getting on with it.

"Mark postponed our first two dates, the first for a work dinner, the second due to illness. I told him ‘three strikes and you’re out’, which would have been a pity as he made me laugh. We ended up meeting on a week where Mark was Mr Thursday and I also had dates with a Mr Tuesday and a Mr Friday. We joked at the wedding that Mark became Mr Sunday Lunch and he’s now Mr Everyday.

"Our wedding was on a Vineyard in New Zealand near where I grew up, 8 years after we met (having both been married before we didn’t rush). My son gave me away to the man that had proved his love and commitment to us. 

"As to our plans for the future….continuing to support each other in our endeavours and help ‘our’ son get through his fast approaching teenage years. We’re a sporty family with Mark being an avid golfer, myself competing at dressage and our son being good at almost everything at which he turns his hand. We both run our own businesses and Mark would like to sell his soon and stop. When I met him he’d moved to a flat due to his divorce and on our first date he said he never wanted to own a lawnmower again. It nearly put me off as I had plans for land in my future. Now we live on 15 acres and Mark’s got a tractor, ride-on and three heavy-duty lawnmowers. He says he’d just like to stop work and play with the machinery all day. Proof that you never know where MSF will take you!"

Proof, indeed! Many congratulations and best wishes for the future to Tara and Mark from all of us here at MSF! If you're still on the lookout for your perfect person, sign up to mysinglefriend.com now and get searching!

Should I make the first move online?

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The more people you contact, the more dates you'll get

One of the questions our fabulous admin team at mysinglefriend,com get asked the most is 'Should I make the first move when it comes to sending someone a message?'. For example, if someone adds you as a favourite, is it OK to immediately send them a message or should you wait to receive one first? In short, what's the etiquette? Read on for some tips on easily navigating the world of online dating.

Should I message first?

Yes! Whilst many of us have retained some old fashioned notions around not making the first move, you have to grab every chance you get to make people notice you. If someone you like the look of adds you as a favourite but doesn't message you, take the initiative and message them, as they have clearly made an expression of interest. And, even if someone hasn't favourited you, don't be afraid to send messages anyway. The more people you contact, the more dates you will get.

How long should I wait for a reply? Should I follow up with another message?

People have different expectations when it comes to how quickly they should reply to messages, and they might not match up with yours. If you bombard someone with messages asking why they haven't replied, it's highly likely to put them off, so resist this impulse. Give them a couple of days, then send them a quick reminder. If they still don't reply, move on to someone else.

How quickly should I reply?

As quickly as you like! Any 'rules' about leaving it a certain amount of time should be completely discarded as you're here to meet someone, not to play games. If someone took the trouble to message you they'll want a reply, so don't fret about putting them off by being too keen.

Should I ignore messages from people I'm not interested in?

No. Whilst it may seem pointless to engage in conversation with people you don't want to meet up with, it's just good manners to send a quick 'Thanks, but no thanks' message. Everyone likes to be noticed, even if they don't get the result they want, so do people the courtesy of replying and it makes everyone's life that little bit better. 

Looking for love? Join mysinglefriend now!

Can online dating lead to love?

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'Can online dating lead to love?' is the big question that absolutely everyone asks themselves when they sign up to a dating website. The short answer is: yes. The slightly longer answer is: yes, but you have to put some effort in. Whilst some people are lucky enough to meet The One on the first date they go on from MSF, for most people it takes a bit of time. However, with a bit of dedication and a willingness not to give up, online dating can definitely lead to love. Here are a few tips that will help you to meet the person of your dreams.

Complete your online dating profile fully

People won't want to date you if they don't know anything about you, and a half finished profile makes it look like you don't really care about going on dates. If you really want to find love, you need to fill out every tiny detail about who you are and who you're looking for, plus, given that this is mysinglefriend, you need to get a friend to write something about you.

Get some good photos

Quality photos make or break a dating profile, so if you don't have any, or the ones you have aren't very good, you'll be missing out on dates. We've written a whole post about why you need to use great quality pictures which you can read here.

Be proactive

Whilst it would be lovely if Mr or Ms Right somehow managed to seek you out without you lifting a finger, it highly unlikely that it will happen. If you stand shyly by like a wallflower at a the high school dance in Grease, no one is going to see you, so you have to get yourself out there and noticed like Cha Cha DiGregorio (but less horrible to Sandy, please). Seek out people you'd like to meet and engage them in conversation.

Be consistent

Being proactive is one thing, but you must also be consistent. If you get all excited at the beginning and send loads of messages and then don't login for two weeks you'll miss out on replying to people who will already have moved on to dating other people. Login for a few minutes every day to keep things ticking over.

Keep things fresh

If you've been on the site for a few weeks (and that's perfectly normal!) change things up a bit to keep your profile fresh. Adding some different pictures and making some tweaks to your profile often tempts people who might not have got in contact the first time round. 

Go forth and meet people IRL

This is the clincher. It's scary to go out and meet people in real life, but you definitely won't find love if things remain forever online. You can't really tell if there's a spark until you meet someone in the flesh, so it's crucial that you get out there and meet them. Plus, the more you do it, the more your confidence grows, and the more attractive you will be. 

Looking for love? Join mysinglefriend now!

How to date in hot weather

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very hot weather can make dating stressful

Now, don't get us wrong: we love the summer. Longer days, lighter evenings and warmer weather are a tonic for everybody, and can lead to some fantastic dating opportunities. However, as anyone who has ever turned up to a date in the sweltering heat with a bright red face and some embarrassing sweat patches can confirm, very hot weather can make dating stressful. Here are some tips to keep you looking and feeling cool, even when it's boiling outside.

Patterns are your friend

No matter how liberally you apply that Lynx Africa or Mum roll on, you're still going to sweat when it's hot. The trick is to make sure those under arm damp patches can't be seen. To do this we recommend choosing a pattern that will hide any unsightly patches, such as plaid, gingham or check.

Choose your fabric carefully

Obviously you aren't going to stepping out in a wooly jumper, but there are other fabrics, such as nylon, viscose and polyester that cause you to sweat (and pong!) more. Stick with light, natural fibres such as pure cotton and linen to keep your body temperature down.

Don't be tempted to go sockless

Of course you want to show off your well-turned ankles in sunny weather, but wearing shoes without socks leads to sweat and unpleasant smells (not so sexy if you end up back at their place and your trainers stink out their house). Wear trainer socks or footlets.

Set off 10 minutes early

If you have to rush, you'll end up pink, sweaty and frazzled before the date has even started. Giving yourself a bit of extra time will allow you to go slowly and keep your cool.

Sit in the shade

We're not very used to hot weather in the UK and it can be tempting to sit in the full glare of the sun because we don't know when we'll get the chance again. However, if you do this for more than ten minutes you could end up with sun burn or sun stroke before you know it. Sitting in a shady spot will make your date less likely to end with a trip to casualty.

Apply lots of sun cream!

Because it's important. Plus, if you're a couple of dates in, you can get your hands on your date by offering to apply it to those hard to reach places!

Looking for a hot date? Join mysinglefriend now!

Yet another MSF success story!

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We're always happy to hear about an MSF success story, and we received a lovely message from a happy couple via Twitter. These guys didn't provide their names (we know some people like to remain anonymous!), but that doesn't detract from what sounds like a wonderful romance...

'Hello! It was about 10 years ago but we met on MSF - he was my 2nd date. We clearly clicked and he proposed on top of the Empire State Building 6 months later and we got married in 2009. Now 2 girls aged 3 and 6 and haven’t looked back. In fact one of his best friends also was on MSF and met his now wife a few years ago too. He is god father to my youngest! So thanks MSF!'

Our pleasure! If you'd like to let us know about your MSF success story (anonymously or otherwise!) drop us a line at blog@mysinglefriend.com. We'd love to hear from you! And if you're still on the lookout for your perfect person, sign up to mysinglefriend.com now and get searching!

 

Featured Profile: Lauren

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"I'm very easy going, nothing really fazes me..."

We see a lot of profiles here at mysinglefriend.com and each one is as unique and special as the next. Sometimes, though, there is one that stands out from the crowd and deserves to be shared more widely. This week we'd like to introduce you to the lovely Lauren, who loves Pilates, travel, friends and family.

About Lauren...

"I'm very easy going, nothing really fazes me. I'm a Pilates teacher and love my job. I'm fortunate enough to have the most incredible son a great family and friends. I travel lots on my own, with friends and family and with work sometimes. I like my life but would like to share it with someone."

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About her ideal match...

"I don't have a physical type but do like men with an adventurous spirit. Someone who's happy to try new things, travel and loves life. Equally happy at home or out."

If you fancy getting in touch with Lauren and going on an adventure, take a look at her profile and drop her a line. And if you fancy being a Featured Profile yourself, get in touch at blog@mysinglefriend.com - we'd love to hear from you!

Visit mysinglefriend.com and sign up now.

6 online dating tips for complete beginners

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Online dating is so ubiquitous now that everyone has heard of it, but that doesn't mean that everyone has tried it: there are plenty of beginners out there! Whether you've just come out of a long relationship or simply haven't got round to trying it yet, dipping your toe into the online dating pool can feel a bit scary at first. However, if you bear in mind that everyone was a beginner once, and follow our handy tips, you'll soon be using mysinglefriend.com like an absolute expert. 

Tip 1: Be prepared to put some time in

Though it does sometimes happen, it's unlikely that you'll meet the boy or girl of your dreams on your first date. It takes time to fill out your profile, choose pictures and chat with others, and then it takes more time to meet up with people and figure out which ones you want to see again. However, the more time you put in, the more benefit you'll get out, so don't be afraid to roll up your sleeves and get to it.

Tip 2: Get a wingman on board

Mysinglefriend is all about getting your mates involved, and we guarantee that having a cheerleader will make the experience much more fun. Get them to write your profile (or check what you've written and make sure you're not selling yourself short). help you choose some pictures and then search through the site for potential hotties.

Tip 3: Post a selection of good pictures

Research has shown that we tend to be bad at choosing pictures that show us off in our best light. Whilst you may think that super pouty selfie makes you look all seductive and mysterious, your mate will probably think that you look a bit grumpy and not demonstrating your sparkling personality. Listen to their advice and post a selection of pictures that show the real you.

Tip 4: Cast your net widely

If you get bogged down in the details of trying to find exactly who you think you're looking for (e.g brown hair, over 6 foot, green eyes, is fanatical about Emmerdale), you're going to narrow down your options instantly. Being open minded about meeting all sorts of different people gives you much more opportunity to meet someone lovely, even if they don't fit your tick list. In fact, we recommend chucking away your tick list: we know couples who would never had met if they had stuck so rigidly to their imagined perfect date! 

Tip 5: Don't be shy about taking things offline

Thought the idea of meeting up with a stranger in real life can feel intimidating, it's important to remember that it's the whole reason you've started online dating in the first place! Once you've had a bit of a chat online, suggest meeting up IRL so you can see if you really click when you aren't both hidden behind a keyboard. The first time you meet someone will be nerve wracking, but, like everything in life, the more you do it, the easier it will get.

Tip 6: Relax and enjoy!

The most important thing to remember is that online dating should be fun! It sometimes requires a thick skin, as not every date will be perfect, but as soon as you learn to chalk those up to experience (and enjoy telling it as a funny anecdote), you'll have no problems. See it as a fun hobby, rather than a stressful chore, and you'll soon be having a ball!

Looking for a delightful date? Join mysinglefriend now!