How to date in hot weather

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Now, don't get us wrong: we love the summer. Long days, light evenings and warm 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!

Success story: Geoff and Helen

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We’ve got a little something here to brighten your day in the shape of another mysinglefriend success story. Geoff and Helen got in touch to tell us all about how they met, and why having two front teeth missing doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to have an unsuccessful first date!

“I wasn’t looking at signing up to any dating sites but my housemate at the time asked me to write a profile for her on mysinglefriend so at the same time she made one for me. I didn’t ever sign up to any others and I didn’t even log in until many months later when I was bored at home one evening. I saw a few recent messages so intrigue got the better of me and I paid for a month’s subscription. I replied to three or four messages but Helen was the first (and only) girl that I ended up going on a date with. Helen has said that her approach was to blanket message all the ‘hot’ guys and see who replied!

“Our first date It was at a bar outside on a warm Wednesday or Thursday night in March. We met at the tube station and I later learnt that Helen had thought someone else was me and she wasn’t impressed but was relieved when she actually found the real me! We walked to the bar and on the way in bumped into a good friend of mine and his relatively new girlfriend (now wife). It was weirdly awkward especially as they sat outside close by clearly spying on us!

The date itself was fun, Helen was due to run the Paris marathon that weekend and I had run the London marathon the previous year so we talked about that. Helen had also recently been ski-ing and crashed into a shed which meant she was missing her 2 front top teeth. She temporarily had fake ones on a retainer while waiting for implants which was quite funny and a shock when she first showed me. Lots of free flowing conversation and far too much booze for a work day but a good date.

“We are getting married in early August in Umbria in Italy, although we got legally married on the 4th July in Norwich with two of our parents as witnesses. Italy will be a 3 day party with friends and family and we can’t wait! Helen used to live in Italy and we have been most years since we met so it is close to our hearts.
We’ve done everything the wrong way round and have already had two children (Elliot 4 and Stella 1) so we are heading to Tuscany for a family holiday immediately after the wedding but our proper honeymoon is in the Maldives in February – our parents have kindly offered to split the baby sitting duties.

As I mentioned, we’ve already done the things many do after getting married. We bought a flat, had a baby, moved to a house, had another baby and then finally got engaged. We are both one of three so there is a fair chance we may have one more baby at some point. We’d then need a bigger house as the kids get older so may end up moving out of London for more space. All the boring stuff that family life entails! We’ve discussed possibly moving abroad for a while with one or both of our jobs so that could be an option. Ultimately we have two happy, healthy kids and that is the main thing.”

Huge congratulations to Geoff and Helen, and little Elliot and Stella! We hope you have a fabulous wedding and we wish you all the very best for the future!

If you’re looking for someone special, sign up free to mysinglefriend.com and get searching!

Why great profile pictures are crucial to dating success

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"First impressions count when someone first casts an eye over your profile."

It's said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and nowhere is that more true than on your online dating profile. Just as in real life, first impressions count when someone first casts their eye over your profile and if your photo isn't up to scratch, that potential date is going to move on quicker than a camera flash. Just as when you first see someone across a crowded bar, it's all about the visuals in that first moment of attraction and adding a photo that is the onscreen equivalent of you wearing your PJs and knackered old trainers on a night out isn't going to cut it. Here are the types of photos you should avoid using to maximise your chances of getting plenty of dates.

Bad quality photos

If your photos are fuzzy, pixelated or you're so far away from the camera that your features can't be clearly seen, we guarantee that you won't be doing yourself any favours. Well-focussed, colourful, head and shoulders shots will get you the most attention (we've been doing this for ten years, so trust us on this one.)

Selfies

Unless you've taken a particularly good shot with the aid of a selfie stick, selfies rarely show you off to your full potential. Pictures taken in the bathroom mirror are an absolute no-no, and even those taken with the front camera setting are hard to get a good angle on, creating a minefield of double chins and strangely-shaped noses. Ask a friend to take a nice shot instead.

No pouting please

Whilst you might think that ultra moody black-and-white shot makes you look all smouldering and moody, the chances are that a potential date thinks you look grumpy and miserable, which is an instant turn off. Smile and the world smiles with you, as the saying goes, so find a picture where you look bright and smiley.

Group shots

Your primary profile photo should be a photo of just you - no friends, no exes and no random bunch of strangers on holiday. The people viewing your profile won't be dating anyone other than you, so you're the only one they need to see (also, it's helpful for them to be clear which one is definitely you!). Save group shots for the rest of your photos.

Visit mysinglefriend.com and sign up now.

6 ways you're sabotaging your dating life without realising it

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Do you feel like you aren’t getting enough dates and you can’t figure out why? Well, it’s worth thinking about whether the problem lies with you. Often we blame outside factors for the fact that our love life isn’t going the way we’d like it to, but sometimes our own unconscious behaviours are things that are holding us back. Here are six ways you might be putting the brakes on your dating life without even realising it.

You aren’t paying attention to your profile

If you’ve been online for a while and you aren’t getting much interest, it’s time to shake up your profile. The most important thing you can do is add new photos, but small details like changing the age range of the people you’re looking for can also help. A stale, neglected profile won’t do you any favours.

You take ages to reply to messages

Whilst you don’t need to reply instantly, if you leave it too long to get back in touch, potential dates will think you aren’t serious about dating and will move on. Make time to reply to all messages at least once a day.

You’re playing it too cool

Playing hard to get rarely works, and it is definitely a turn off if you’re communicating online and haven’t even met yet! Enthusiasm is attractive, so show your excitement about meeting up with people and getting to know them.

You look too hard for reasons to turn people down

If you view all potential date’s profiles looking for reasons not to date them, you can’t then claim there just aren’t any good people out there. If you look for the good things and give everyone a chance, you’re much more likely to meet someone.

You’re unavailable

If you’re so busy with work that you barely have time to schedule a dentist’s appointment, let alone a date, you’re going to find meeting someone hard. Consider whether now is the right time to be dating, and if you need to make changes so you have time to actually go on dates.

You’re not making dating a priority

The above point leads onto this one. If you aren’t making time to give dating the attention it deserves, you will find it very hard to meet someone. If you’re really serious about your dating life, make it a priority, and you’ll soon end up with some great dates.

Fancy a date? Join mysinglefriend.com now!

Success story: Danny and Sarah

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We’ve got another lovely success for you in the shape of Danny and Sarah who met on mysinglefriend.com last year. Their story is proof that you should never give up after a first go at online dating, because that perfect someone is probably just around the corner.

“I was a bit sceptical of online dating and had been doing it for 13 months before my first date, “ Danny told us. “That went on for a couple of months and fizzled out in a haze of wine and misunderstanding. My lovely friend who added me to mysinglefriend, from work kept telling me to keep trying because “you’re going to meet your future wife through it.” As I said, I was sceptical, but then Sarah popped up last summer.

“The only way online dating works is to be open minded and beat the nerves and get out to meet people. For us, it’s been a lovely success and has brought us together when otherwise we would never have any just cause to meet! We had a perfect start to our dating as we went into it with the attitude to not take ourselves seriously. Start with wanting to meet a new friend and give it time.

“Also, with being busy professionals, it’s crucial to seek having fun experiences first. This is what worked for Sarah and me. My first date eighteen months earlier was a bit heavy because we had messaged each other
for a month beforehand and therefore built up a picture of personalities through this. I remember thinking how difficult it was to meet someone you had already formulated an opinion about, only to have to readjust when we finally met. With Sarah, I asked that we meet asap so we wouldn’t ‘waste’ time messaging only to find each other different. However, not so this time. We met within a week of messaging. We have not looked back!

“Our first date was at a lovely walking location ( and pub!) between Wakefield and Sheffield. We walked along the Transpennine Trail and talked non stop!! We stopped at the pub for something to eat and a shandy. We were aiming for a 3 hour date but it turned into 8 hours 9 minutes! We kissed in the car park and it was a kiss I had never expected or experienced before!!! I was smitten! We love each other’s company and every date we have we laugh out loud and do daft things like dancing to Symphony in the cereal aisle at the Co-op! We love walking and beers so we just love the time we share because we do the things we love doing.

“I proposed on Xmas day. I had ordered a specific ring from a jewellers in Spain and it arrived a week before Xmas so the timing was perfect. We aim to get married on the 27th December at 15:03 because I love trains and timetables and Sarah thinks this is hilarious! We aim to pack out the church with our friends and family with the theme of ‘sparkles ‘ as it’s Xmas and we both love it. Honeymoon will be next early summer, probably in either Corfu or Croatia. Also, land traveling by train to suit both our hobbies as Sarah loves traveling too. Food, beer, wine, old churches and buildings are what we aim for on our Honeymoon!

“We both have two boys each who are grown up or on the cusp of; they’re so supportive and lovely to us. That’s also important, that they know their parents are making decisions to secure happiness in our lives. Our beliefs is about living the moments and seeing a beauty in the everyday . It’s not true that you only live once; you die once but you live every day. To live and love someone every day is a precious find we will never let go of. We always walk holding hands. We dance together when there’s music to dance to and share the deep belly laughs of life. And Sarah keeps saying that she has learned that life needn’t be filled with failed relationships with tattooed balding men called Dave. I am the exact opposite!”

We’d like to wish Danny and Sarah huge congratulations and best wishes for the future from everyone here at mysinglefriend.com. And we can’t wait to hear all about the wedding!

If you’re looking for someone special, sign up free to mysinglefriend.com and get searching!

Here's why you shouldn't quit online dating now

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Have you hit the online dating wall and feel like giving up? You aren’t alone. Whilst there are a few people who are lucky enough to meet the love of their life on their first date, for the vast majority of people it takes longer. And, like anything in life, the longer you do it without getting results, the more you’ll feel like giving it up as a bad job. However, we all know that online dating does work and there’s absolutely no reason why it won’t work you too. Here are five reasons why you shouldn’t quit.

Because you’ve done the hard part already

Deciding to take the plunge and going through the work of setting up your profile is the hardest bit of online dating. Once you’re online, and you’ve set your search parameters, you don’t have to do much more than wait until likely matches pop into your inbox. We do advise that you are proactive about your searches if you want success, but even that isn’t much work when it comes down to it. If you feel like it’s a bit of a slog, remind yourself that the hardest bit is done and you’ll feel more motivated.

Because the next date could be THE date

In the end, it only takes one right date. Of course, this right date might turn up after several months of wrong dates, but once you’ve been on that right date you won’t have to date anymore. It’s also important to remind yourself that the more dates you go on, the more likely you are to meet someone really special, so it’s worth keeping going. It’s a number game after all, and the higher the number of dates you’ve been on, the closer that special date will be.

Because you might have been looking in the wrong places

If you aren’t getting much response, or you aren’t clicking with any of the people you meet up with, it’s time to change your parameters and cast your net more widely. Consider changing the age and distance ranges of the people you’re looking for and think about dating people you would normally reject for minor reasons like being too short or not being what you consider ‘your type’. Making small changing can reap big rewards.

Because having a break isn’t the same as quitting

If you really feel like you’ve had enough, you can choose to have a rest instead of deleting your profile and quitting for good. Stopping visiting the site and not checking your messages for a while can be a great way to give yourself a break, think about other things and recharge your batteries. After a while your enthusiasm for dating will return and we guarantee you’ll be glad you can quickly hop back on the site and get messaging again.

Because it’s worth giving it one last big push

If meeting someone is really important to you, then it’s worth putting in the effort to find them, which won’t happen if you quit. Before you give up, try putting in the effort to give your dating profile one last big push, especially if you’ve been online for a while. Online dating profiles do get tired, so revamp yours with new pictures, a new narrative and ask a friend to contribute some new words too. Transforming your profile like this can help transform your love life, and will up your chances of meeting that special someone.

Fancy a date? Join mysinglefriend.com now!

Success story: Louise and Edd

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Occasionally, our members are lucky enough to hit it off with the very first person they meet on MySingleFriend, which is what happened to Louise when she went on a date with Edd. The happy couple got in touch to share their story with us…

“Before MySingleFriend, I had only tried dating apps previously and that was awful so I was apprehensive. I’m also very shy and the thought of meeting new people terrifies me so it was a big step, but luckily my friend talked me into it and wrote my profile. Now I tell everyone that online dating is wonderful!

I had a running event the day after our first date, so Edd kindly agreed to come to somewhere near me for an early drink so that I wasn’t too late to bed in preparation for the next day. We went to a local pub for a few drinks and hit it off straight away. I think he ended up getting the last train home and I ended up with a bit of a fuzz head in the morning, and we arranged our second date almost straight away. There are no wedding bells for us yet, but I moved in with Edd in June. We are still finding a home for all my stuff in his flat so I think a house might be next on the agenda.

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I was very lucky: Edd was the first (and only) person I met from MySingleFriend. We have both met each other’s profile writers and thanked them dearly. While Edd was trying to impress me he told me he would love for us to cook together with a nice glass of wine - two and a half years later and I’m still waiting! We have had a great time and seen and done so many nice things that I may let him off… we shall see!”

We’d like thank Louise and Edd for dropping us a line and wish them all the best for the future! If you are part of a MySingleFriend success story we’d love to hear from you too! Get in touch at blog@mysinglefriend.com and tell us all about it!

Looking for a lovely date? Join now and find someone wonderful.

The secret to winning at dating

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Everyone wants to know the secret to winning at dating, right? That one trick that will land you a string of great dates until you finally meet The One and everything magically falls into place. The truth is that there isn’t one special trick that will lead you to your happily ever after, but there are several steps you can (and should) take that will give you a huge head start on everyone else and, if you apply them consistently, will help you win, sooner or later. Follow these tips and step up your dating game.

Be proactive

If there was just one secret to winning at dating, it would be this. Waiting around like a wallflower to be picked never works: you have to take the initiative. Choose the people you’re interested in and message them, rather than sitting around doing nothing whilst your inbox to fills up with people you aren’t really interested in.

Message length really matters

Striking the right balance when it comes to sending messages will help you get replies and, therefore, dates. Sending a message that is too brief, like ‘Hey, how are you?’ suggests you aren’t actually that interested, whereas sending a very long message is not only a) boring to read but b) can come across as needy. A message of around 90 words gives you enough space to make an impression but without coming on too strong.

Be honest, authentic and positive

Lying on your dating profile in terms of age, looks, body shape or achievements might be tempting but is pointless if you want to meet people in real life. As soon as your date realises you’ve been telling porkies, the date is effectively ruined, so be your honest and authentic self online. However, make sure you are presenting yourself in a positive light. For example, if you’re a snorer, this isn’t something they need to know before they’ve even met you.

Develop a thick skin

If you’re serious about meeting someone, you need to be able to deal with rejection. Being turned down at all stages of the process is part and parcel of online dating and you need to develop some strategies to cope with it so you can shrug it off and move on quickly. Time spent agonising over why someone hasn’t replied to a message or doesn’t want a second date is time that could be spent sending more messages.

Persevere

If you haven’t yet met the person of your dreams, you have to keep going. It really is as simple as that. The more people you message, and the more people you meet, the more likely you are to find someone. Keep searching, keep messaging, keep dating and don’t get downhearted: that magical date where the sparks fly is just around the corner, if you persevere.

Fancy a date? Join mysinglefriend.com now!

Not receiving much response? Here’s why…

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When it comes to dating, the good things come to those who wait. Whilst there is the rare occasion that someone ends up with the first person they meet from MySingleFriend, it usually takes a few dates before sparks fly. However, if you’ve been on the site for a while and you haven’t even made it past the messaging stage, it’s time to re-evaluate your profile and find out exactly why you aren’t getting much response. The following tips will help.

Your profile isn’t complete

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 meet someone who is right for you, you need to fill out every tiny detail about who you are and what you’re looking for. Plus, given that this is MySingleFriend, you should make the most of the opportunity of having a friend write something about you.

Your photos aren’t working

When people look at your profile photo they want to get an honest idea of what you look like, so it’s crucial to use one that is a genuine likeness and will enable them to recongnise you when you meet. It is of course important to use a flattering photo, but we all have different ideas about what looks good: you might think that pout makes you look sultry and sexy, but to others you may just look sulky and grumpy. If you aren’t getting much response, ask a friend for an honest opinion and experiment with using different pictures.

You aren’t being proactive

Whilst it would be great if Ms or Mr Right magically found you without you having to lift a finger, it ain’t gonna happen. If you stand shyly on the sidelines like a wallflower at the high school dance in Grease, no one is going to notice you, so you have to get out on that floor and be seen like Cha Cha DiGregorio. Seek out people you’d like to meet and make the first move by sending them a message. Confidence is sexy and people will be flattered by and interested in your attention, so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.

You’re being too picky

If you get bogged down in the details of trying to find exactly who you think you’re looking for (red hair, green eyes, over 6 foot, is fanatical about Emmerdale), you will instantly narrow your options down to almost nothing. Being open minded about meeting all sorts of different people gives you much more opportunity to find someone lovely, even if they don’t neatly tick off every item on your list. In fact, we recommend chucking away your list as we know happy couples who would never have met if they hadn’t been prepared to step outside the rigid boundaries they’d created for themselves.

Your messaging game needs a little work

Even if you have the most perfect profile in the world, you won’t get much response if you’re sending uninspiring messages. Here’s how to pique their interest…

·      Make your subject line more interesting than ‘Hi’. If the person you’ve messaged has an inbox stuffed with messages that start ‘Hi’, ‘Hello’, or ‘Hey’ you won’t stand out from the crowd.

·      Make it clear you’ve read their profile. This shows you have a genuine interest in them and aren’t just spamming everyone on the site with the same generic message.

·      Tell them about yourself. Offering some morsels of information about yourself will grab their interest and make them more likely to visit your profile than one of those banal messages that say something like ‘Hey, how are you?’

·      Ask a question. Asking a question in a message offers them a hook to hang their answer on by immediately opening a conversation and making it easy for them to reply.

If you’re feeling downhearted about not receiving much response, put these tips into action and don’t give up. You get out what you put in, so with a bit of extra effort you’ll soon have plenty of exciting dates lined up.

Fancy a date? Join mysinglefriend.com now!

Success story: Liz and Andy

Liz and Andy just a few moments after they got engaged.

Liz and Andy just a few moments after they got engaged.

A while ago we introduced you to Liz and Andy, who had recently got together after meeting on MySingleFriend. They’ve just got back to us with an update to let us know that things are going swimmingly and they’ve just got engaged! Here’s a reminder of what they originally told us, plus their most recent news.

“I only went on one date, though, and I wonder whether I have missed out on having some of those funny stories to tell, or whether I would have cringed and ditched the whole idea after one or two tries. . I would definitely recommend it to others with a caution to have an open mind and not judge people just on their photos or profiles. What are their emails like? What questions are they asking you and how are they responding to yours? And people can appear very different when you meet them face to face.

"Since we both lived in the same town we met somewhere local and low-key. I was late (this was beginning to be a theme) and he was waiting. As I approached and he turned to greet me, my heart leaped! He was so charming looking. This was it! My first date and its already better than I expected. We hit it off and chatted and laughed over dinner. Then I challenged him to a game of pool at my local - he didn’t let me win - I didn’t want that kind of treatment from an accomplished snooker player - but I think he went easy on me! The date was lovely and he was such a gentleman.”

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“Since then we’ve moved in together and been on a couple of holidays. Andy comes to see my band play and comes to all my theatre shows, and I sometimes watch the snooker with him! We got engaged on our most recent trip to the Caribbean where Andy proposed to me on the beach. It was very romantic and we went out the next day and bought the ring together on the island, which will always be a lovely reminder of our dream holiday.

I wasn’t expecting him to pop the question so we haven’t made any plans for our wedding yet, but we know we’ll want to share it with lots of our friends and family. As for the honeymoon, we might go back to that dream destination or perhaps we’ll go on a whole new adventure!”

Huge congratulations to Liz and Andy from all of us here at MySingleFriend! If you’re looking for someone special, sign up free to mysinglefriend.com and get searching!

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: Simon and Thea

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Our wedding was truly magical and the friends who profiled us got very drunk as they did a shot every time they were mentioned in the speech!

One of the best parts of doing what we do is hearing from people who have met through the site and are now living happily ever after. Online success stories definitely do happen, and you have every reason to believe that the next one could be you! We recently heard from Simon and Thea who met on mysinglefriend back in 2011 and are now married with two gorgeous children.

“Before MSF we had both used another dating website and were of the opinion that online dating was for geeks, loners or slime balls. Neither of us shine socially so the idea of a friend highlighting our assets was really appealing. At the time online dating was in its infancy but also a feasible option for both of us as our social circles were highly limited. We were glad to be able to read true profiles of potential suitors.

“Our first date was in Ely. Simon arrived over an hour early (he always arrives with time to spare even 9 years later!), and had spilt hot chocolate down his shirt before he met me! Prezzo was full, and I had a stinking cold (again, this is true to form!). We went to Pizza Express and the rest is history! Simon proposed 16 months later and we married in December 2012. We commuted to see one another throughout our dating and engagement so had living together to look forward to. Our wedding was on a sunny winter’s day in North Oxfordshire, at the Tythe Barn (Bicester). It was truly magical, and the friends who profiled us got very drunk as they drank a shot every time they were mentioned in a speech! Our honeymoon was in NE Slovenia - a chalet in the mountains - where we achieved driving on the right, navigating to attractions that were in seasonal shutdown, and reflecting on our next steps.

 “We have been through two house moves, a major house renovation project, a Masters degree and bringing two wonderful children into the world. We wouldn’t change a thing. Our ups and downs are a part of the rich tapestry of our life together, and may the weaving continue making memories together!

 “We have recommended MSF to friends who have also had success. We as a couple would very much like to thank the MSF team as without you we wouldn’t gave met.”

Huge congratulations to you both from everyone here at MSF!

Would you like to become part of a mysinglefriend.com success story? Join now and find someone wonderful.

 

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!

Are men the more romantic sex?

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Men often get a bad rep when it comes to being romantic, but according to new research it turns out that they might actually be the soppier sex. According to statista.com, the average spend on Valentine’s Day has increased every year since 2015, with an estimated £650 million spend in 2018. This spend is largely funded by older millennials (aged 28 - 36) who are reported to be the most active buyers and gifters of Valentine’s products.

To see if it’s true that men are making more of a fuss, this year Funky Pigeon created a tool to see which gender was more romantic about Valentine’s Day in 2019. They found out that men are behind 81% of all flowers sent, whilst women send more cards and alcohol. In fact, women send more alcohol (74%) than they do cards (71%). However, women sent 71% of cards, so it looks like that guys might not be shy about splashing out on a bouquet, they are much more reticent when it comes to committing pen to paper in the name of love. Maybe men and women are just as romantic as each other, but in different ways.

Check out Funky Pigeon’s tool to find out where you and your loved one rank on the scale of romance.

Valentines Day on a budget (top UK date spots for every couple!)

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Are you looking for the perfect date spot for Valentine’s Day, but don’t have the budget (or desire) to splash out? There’s no need for your bank account to suffer this Valentine’s Day, as there are plenty of free days out across the UK that double as brilliant date spots. Great dates are all about discovering new places and making memories together - something that doesn’t need to cost a thing. There’s also less pressure with budget dates as neither of you will be shelling out, so if you’re planning a first date around Valentine’s Day then a free one is the way to go. There’s a free date out there for every couple, so check out these top free locations now.

 For animal lovers

 The Donkey Sanctuary – locations across UK

Spending an afternoon with lots of adorable donkeys – what could be better?! The Donkey Sanctuary has locations across the UK, but the main location is in Sidmouth, Devon. It’s home to hundreds of rehoused donkeys and is a great date location for a pair of animal lovers.

City Farms – locations across UK

Experience rural life while in the bustling heart of a city. City farms make a great spot for urban dwellers in need of a country escape. Feed and pet the animals, wander around the grounds and enjoy a fun (free) day out. There are plenty city farms across the UK, including in London, Bath, Nottingham, Edinburgh and Newcastle.

 For food & drink fanatics

Biddenden Vineyard, Kent

Take your Valentine to an award-winning vineyard run by the same family who started it. Wine plus a romantic walk – what could possibly make for a better date?

Healeys Cornish Cyder Farm, Newquay

 A trip to Healeys Farm is a must for any cider lover. It’s a working factory based 20 minutes out of Newquay with so much to see and do. Discover how the cider is made, visit the farm animals and enjoy a fun day out.

 For sports fans

National Football Museum, Manchester

If you live in Manchester, you can get free entry to the National Football Museum – making this a great budget date for anyone footie mad. Wander through the Hall of Fame, take a penalty shootout and discover how fans, players and the media have shaped football to be the phenomenon it is today.

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London

 Wrap up warm, grab a flask of coffee and head out for a walk around Queen Elizabeth Park. It was built for the London 2012 Olympics and continues to be an inspirational place for sporting potentials today.

 For art lovers

 National Gallery, London

Where better to take an art-lover than the world-famous National Gallery? Home to a collection of over 2,300 paintings that date back to the 13th century, it makes for an excellent date location.

 Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool

The Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool is home to one of the largest art collections in England outside of London. So, if you’re after some art in the North, this is the place to go!

 For history buffs

Natural History Museum, London

The Natural History Museum in London makes a perfect date spot for any history buffs. With over 70 million artefacts and stories that span the history of earth’s existence, there’s so much to see and do that you’ll forget all about your first date nerves.

 Durham Cathedral

 Durham Cathedral was one of the first buildings to be given World Heritage status (along with the Taj Mahal and the Palace of Versailles), making this an interesting and unusual date for any history fan. Plus, the naturally quiet environment is perfect for any awkward lulls in conversation!

Big Pit National Coal Museum, Pontypool Wales

A visit to a coal mine might not sound like the most romantic date in the world, but it will certainly be a fun one that neither of you will forget. Discover what it was like working in the mines, getting up close and personal 300 feet underground.

 For nature enthusiasts

 The Winter Garden, Sheffield

February might not be the warmest time of year for an outdoor stroll, but that doesn’t mean nature lovers have to suffer. Pay a visit to The Winter Garden in Sheffield, one of the UK’s largest (indoor!) greenhouses home to over 2,500 plants from around the world.

 Glasgow Botanical Garden

Exploring Glasgow’s beautiful botanic gardens makes a perfect date for any nature lover. It features several greenhouses and is home to plenty of wildlife, including a collection of tropical rainforest plants.

 For book lovers

 Writer’s Museum, Edinburgh

The Writer’s Museum in Edinburgh is great date spot for any budding readers and writers. It’s home to a collection of unique books and manuscripts, set in a gorgeous historic building.

 The Potter Trail, Edinburgh

Discover how the city of Edinburgh shaped one of the world’s most popular book series. Not just for Potter heads, this free guided tour is a great way to learn things about the city and how influential location can be for literature.

 The British Library, London

A trip to the library might sound like a boring date, but The British Library is anything but dull. It’s the largest library in the world (with roughly 200 million items from across the globe) making this a perfect date spot for any bookworm.

Looking for a date this Valentine’s Day? Join mysinglefriend.com now!

How to stay safe when meeting up in real life

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Regardless of how much of a rapport you’ve built up online, your first meeting should take place somewhere public

The internet is a fabulous resource for finding people to date, but it’s easy to get lulled into a false sense of security when chatting to someone online, and forget that this person is a total stranger. Whilst the vast majority of people you talk to are who they say they are and are looking for a genuine connection, there may be some who aren’t. Follow these few simple steps to keep yourself safe.

1. Meet in a public place at first

Regardless of how much of a rapport you’ve built up online, your first meeting should take place somewhere public like a cafe or bar. Never agree to go to a stranger’s house for dinner and never agree to being picked up from your home, either in a car or on foot.

2. Consider a day date

Dates don’t have to happen in the evening, so consider meeting for a coffee or lunch rather than after work drinks. This presents you with the opportunity to tell them you plans later in the day, meaning you have the perfect excuse for a quick getaway if necessary.

3. Be careful with alcohol

A drink or two will help if you’re feeling nervous, but too many could leave you in a vulnerable position. Be very aware of how much you’re drinking and stop if you’re starting to feel out of control. Warning bells should ring if you feel your date is pressuring you into drinking too much, so don’t be afraid to swiftly end the date and call a taxi.

4. Do your research

Pretty much everyone has some sort of online presence now, so have a look at social media and find out a bit more about them. If you see anything you don’t like or that concerns you, it isn’t too late to bail.

5. Tell a friend what you’re doing

Make sure someone knows what you’re doing, where you’re meeting and any details you know about your date. It’s sensible to check in with them once or twice during the date, especially if you change venues. You don’t need to make a big thing of it - it’s easy to send a quick text when your date nips to the loo - but it will make your dating experience much safer.

6. Have an exit strategy

If your date isn’t going well, it’s good to have a pre-planned reason for leaving. The best way to do this is keep your first date purposefully short: agree to a coffee rather than a sit down lunch, or a quick drink rather than dinner. Telling your date before you meet that you have plans later makes it easy for you to leave, and if the date goes well you can make plans to meet up again soon. However, if you’re not feeling good about the date you have every right to politely but firmly tell them, and leave with no excuses.

Looking for a date in 2019? Join mysinglefriend now!

6 reasons your online messages aren't getting you dates

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Making the leap from messaging to IRL dates can be a slow process. You have to make an effort to connect with someone, find common ground and, ultimately, be brave enough to ask someone out. Sometimes the process can feel a bit tricky and confusing, especially if someone you’ve been chatting with suddenly vanishes. Whilst we frown very hard upon ghosting and always want people to state clearly if they’re not interested in an actual date, it’s worth asking yourself if there is anything in your messages that is making that initial spark fizzle out. Here are six reasons your messages might not be getting you dates.

1. You sound negative

Sound negative, miserable or cynical is going to be a real turn off. Even if you hate your job or your flatmates or the political situation, now is not the time to air those grievances as you won’t make a good first impression. Of course we all have annoyances and disappointments in life that can be shared later on, but in the first instance it’s important to keep things upbeat.

2. Your messages are too long

If someone has to read what feels like an essay every time they hear from you, they’re soon going to get bored. Long paragraphs of text are overwhelming and leave people feeling unsure how to respond, meaning they probably won’t. Keep it short and snappy and remember that if you make a connection now you’ll have plenty of time to share your life story later.

3. Your messages are too short

At the other end of the spectrum are messages that are so short that there’s nothing for your potential date to respond to. Messages that simply say ‘Hey!’ or ‘What’s up?’ are WAY less engaging than those that offer people an easy way to respond. Referring to something in their profile and asking them a question does most of the hard work for them, so you’re much more likely to get a reply.

4. You use your messages to moan about your ex

This is a terminally bad move. Whilst it might be tempting to trash your ex, especially if you’re newly single, it will make you look a) not over them and b) bitter as all get out. Neither of these are attractive qualities or a good foundation for a new relationship, so don’t do it.

5. Your messages sound obviously copy-and-pasted

Generic messages are easy to spot and easier to ignore, so don’t be tempted to spam multiple people with same old lines. Making a genuine effort with each person and writing something unique to them will work much better, we promise you.

6. You aren’t easy to pin down for a time to meet up

We get that you’re busy, but if you want to meet someone you have to make yourself available for actually going on a date. Be clear about what fits with your schedule and when a plan is made stick to it. Appearing flaky or uninterested will make people stop messaging you very quickly.

Looking for a date in 2019? Join mysinglefriend now!

Five ways to kickstart your dating profile for 2019

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Have you ever heard of ‘Dating Sunday’? It falls on the first Sunday of each new year and sees the most sign ups and user engagement of any other 24 hour period, making it one of the most important days in the dating calendar and one you can’t afford to miss. This year it falls on January 6th, so, if you’ve neglected your dating profile a little over the winter months, you’ve got plenty of time to give it a makeover before the big days rolls around. Follow these tips to make sure dating in 2019 goes with a bang!

Use simple language and proper grammar

Have a look back over what you wrote on your profile and check for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. You don’t have to be Shakespeare, but taking care over presentation gives a much better impression than being sloppy and careless. Research has shown that potential dates respond better to simple language because people are naturally drawn to words that are easier to remember and pronounce, so don’t try to impress with over-complicated words of sentences.

Keep it upbeat

When going over your profile narrative, make sure that what you’ve written is positive and upbeat and, if it isn’t, give it a rewrite. Avoid saying negative things about yourself or things you don’t like about other people, and PLEASE don’t mention an ex. People will be much more drawn to you if you are optimistic about life.

Be specific about your interests

Online daters respond well to people who have similar hobbies and interests to them, so do yourself a favour by being specific about what your passions are. For example, don’t say you like ‘sport’ and ‘reading’; instead name your favourite sports and give a list of your top 5 favourite books.

Change your photos

If you’ve been online for a while your photo can go a bit stale. People who have seen it hundreds of times but not contacted you will look at you with fresh eyes if you post a new photo, plus it will revitalise your profile for you too. Remember, the best photo is a smiley, colourful, clear head and shoulders shot.

Write about yourself

This might seem obvious, but many people are naturally self-effacing and so singing your own praises can be difficult. However, writing about yourself is crucial: research has shown that successful online daters spend around 80% of their profile writing about themselves and 20% describing the type of person they’re looking for. People are looking for detail, so don’t be afraid to give some.

Looking for a date in 2019? Join mysinglefriend 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!

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!