Get to know each other
Not every potential partner you chat to will be the one, so in the beginning take advantage of our dedicated inbox messaging service. Until you’re sure about a new partner, don’t give out any personal information such as your private email or phone number. By keeping your correspondence within our system, you remain in control, with the ability to block messages from other members you don’t wish to hear from. Please report anything suspicious to our care team.
Only do what you feel comfortable with
Perhaps the relationship is moving too fast for you, or the correspondence is moving in a direction you are uncomfortable with. Make sure you trust your instincts and do what makes you happy. Being honest will help in the long run, as you will both know where you stand.
Create a safe and secure password, try to use both letters and numbers and do not use commonly used words as these are easier to guess. And remember, keep your password private and don’t tell it to anyone else.
Don’t lend anyone money
You wouldn’t normally lend someone money that you have never met before, and you wouldn’t normally ask someone you don’t know to lend you money. Common sense suggests this isn’t normal behaviour before you have met someone, so if anyone asks you to send them any money be very suspicious and do not send it.
To find out more about staying safe using online and offline dating, please visit our ‘Safety’ Page.
Don’t wait for love to find you
Be active on the website. If you’re interested in someone, send them a message, because the more connections you make the more likely you are to find love. Remember everyone is on the website to find love, so don’t be shy, let them know you’re interested!
If you’re unsure how to start a conversation….
Show them you’ve looked at their profile properly and are keen to find out more – don’t be over personal, but perhaps ask them more about their listed interests, or talk about an interest that you both share.
Mr and Ms Right
Your imagined Mr or Ms Right might be perfect for you in your dreams, but in reality everyone has things they’d like to change about themselves, and no one is perfect all the time. So give new people a go, they may not be your usual type – but hey, maybe that’s where you’ve been going wrong!.
Show yourself off
If your profile has photographs your success rate will be far higher. If you can, have several photos on your profile, one headshot with a big smile, one full length shot of you looking your best, and, as shared interests are important in a successful relationship, how about a photograph of you doing something you enjoy.
Fill in as much information about yourself as you can
The more information you make available on your profile, the more people will be able to search for you online, yielding better results for you. A more complete profile will also indicate to other members that you’re serious about finding a partner, and will therefore attract other serious members.
Be cheerful and energetic on your profile. Tell everyone about the things you love – not about all the things you hate. Include activities you enjoy, or talk about the good things that are going on in your life. If you can, make a joke to show off your sense of fun, and remember people respond well to those who can make fun of themselves.
Regularly check and update your profile
Keep your profile up to date with new pictures and information about what you’ve been up to. This will get new people interested in looking at your profile.
For starters, have you read their profile? Make sure you do, that way you already know a little bit about them, and perhaps have an interest or two in comon. Maybe you're both animal lovers and have lots of pets, or you both enjoy skiing and travelling. Try mentioning a shared interest in your initial message, it'll highlight the things you have in common and will also show them you're genuine and trying to find someone you'll really connect with.
Along with shared interests, you could ask them about their profile picture. We're not suggesting you tell them how gorgeous they look, (as this can easily come off as sleazy and offensive), but perhaps ask them about where their profile was taken - maybe it looks like they're on holiday or at a party. As long as you don't get overly personal, this can be a great way of getting a response.
Make sure your message is light hearted and friendly. Be polite and don't be offended if they don't respond.
And remember, there are also topics which you may want to avoid such as religion and politics. These topics are best avoided when you're not sure who you're talking too. Someone may have filled in this information on their profile, which suggests they are open about their religious and political beliefs, but that doesn't mean it's a great conversation to start off a relationship.
I think it’s time for us to meet…
You have been chatting online for a while now and things are going really well, so you’ve both decided it’s time to meet. So, what steps can you take to make the date run more smoothly, and make you feel secure that you aren’t taking unnecessary risks with your safety.
Make your own travel plans
Decide how you are going to get to and from the meeting place, and stick to your plan.
Tell someone your plans
In advance, tell a family member or friend who you are meeting, when and where you are going, and when you will be getting home. If your plans have to change then remember to let the person know. Also be open with your date, let them know you’ve shared your plans with friends or family.
Take your phone and keep it on
Make sure your mobile phone is fully charged before you go on your date and keep your phone with you at all times in case you need to make a call.
Drinking alcohol can impair your ability to make good decisions, so to stay in control avoid drinking too much alcohol.
Keep your belongings with you
Keep your belongings with you at all times as this will avoid the risk of having your personal details stolen. Also keep any drinks you have close to you at all times. If you have to leave your drink unattended for any reason, leave it. Having to buy a new drink isn’t worth risking your safety over.
Get help at any time
Trust your instincts. If you are being made to feel uncomfortable then attract the attention of someone around you. Do not worry about offending your date, as your own safety is more important. Tell someone around you if possible, and leave the situation. If you need to wait for a taxi or friend/ family member to collect you, wait in a well-lit public area, with plenty of people around you.
Get out and about
If you are actively looking for someone new in your life, you’ve got to put yourself out there. Why not try out something you’ve never done before and start a course, or join a new gym and do an exercise class. This will allow you to meet new people, whilst also having fun and improving your quality of life by trying out something you may really enjoy! Joining a singles club or registering with an online dating site is a great way to meet new people that are also single and actively looking for love. Attend activities that are going on in your local area, like visiting your local farmers market or your local fete, as this is a great way of meeting someone whose local to you.
Don’t give up
Easier said than done, but staying positive is really important even if things aren’t going well. The one for you could be the next person you meet, and if you’re feeling discouraged and pessimistic, they might pass you by without you even noticing!
Open your mind
Most people have a type of person they usually go for, or an image in mind of their ideal partner. It’s important to set standards for yourself, but that shouldn’t mean you pass someone by just because they don’t fit your perfect mould.
Don't be afraid of stepping out of your comfort zone. For instance if you've never been to one, why not try a speed datign event or shared interest datign experience. If this prospect really does scare you, why not take a single friend along to make things a little easier, as having some moral support may give you the confidence boost you needed. Why not ask a friend to set you up with someone new? This blind scenario may seem daunting, so to take the edge off arrange to meet for a coffee during the day, as this will provide a more relaxed atmosphere than a romantic evening dinner!
If you haven't had much luck with love recently you may feel like it's your fault, but the truth is it's ok not to have success with everyone you date. Finding someone special who's really right for you may take more time, but in the long run you will be a lot happier in a lasting relationship, than one that fizzles out because it wasen't right in the first place. Make clear what you want out of a relationship, and don't deny yourself happiness by fitting into someone else's perfect mould.
Meeting the one is definitely possible if you put yourself out there, stay positive, open your mind to new people and take a risk with love! And most importantly be yourself!
Going to a shared interest dating event is a great way to meet other singles who enjoy doing the things you love. We host a range of shared interest dating events so that you can do the things you enjoy whilst meeting new people in a relaxed and fun environment.
You will get to meet other singles in a relaxed environment where everyone’s out to have fun and meet new people. This group scenario can really make things easier, as for some people it can feel stressful meeting new people on a one to one basis.
By choosing to go to a singles event, you can increase your chances of meeting someone special dramatically, as like you, everyone there is also actively looking for love, taking away the confusion of trying to working out who is actually single!
If you're really adventurous why not try a bungee jump. There are lots of locations around England where you can try out bungee jumping, just make sure you choose somewhere safe with all the necessary licenses.
Sphering, or zorbing, is a fairly new extreme sport in Britain. It's a great extreme sport to do as a pair so could be great for an extreme dating experience, rolling and spinning towards speeds of 30mph!
Indoor skydiving is a really unique experience, and with a bit of instruction you can quickly master the tecniques of freefalling and manoeuvre yourself around. In a two minute freefall session you will fall about 2 miles, making this definitely a date to remember!
Why not try out a day at the racing track, for example in a supercar driving experience for two or a mini racing adventure.
If you're both more into water sports, why not try out a white water rafting experience for two or in a larger group of friends. You may not end up looking your best, but it'll provide a great topic of conversation for recovery drinks afterwards.
Make sure you find out all the medical and safety requiements before booking onto events like these to avoid disappointment when you arrive.
It's natural to be a bit nervous before a first date, as of course you want to make a great first impression. So we've come up with a few tried and tested methods to help make your date a little easier if you're feeling nervous.
Wear something comfortable and suitable for where you're going. You may want to wear your favourite outfit, but if it's not appropriate for the venue your attending you may feel uncomfortable when you're there.
If you're worried you won't have enough to talk about on your date, suggest doing an activity rather than dinner or drinks. Do something active like ice skating or bowling, as this will provide entertainment and also give you something to talk about. Alternatively, you could suggest going to the cinema, theatre or a gig, as this way you won't have to talk for the entire night, and you will be provided with something to talk about afterwards.
Meeting somewhere public that you are familiar with will really help, as you will feel more in control of the situation if you know your surroundings.
Try and make sure you arrive on time, as running late won't help with your nerves.
Acknowledge that your date is probably nervous too, and realise that they are also trying to impress you and make a great first impression. Realising this can really help you relax, as it takes off the a lot of pressure.
And finally, and probably most importantly, just breathe. When we get nervous or anxious, relaxed breathing tends to go out the window, so before running for the hills, take a few deep breathes as this will really help to relax your body!
Going on dates can be expensive, especially if you're doing multiple activities a week or meeting up every weekend, so why not try some of our lower cost ideas that will still impress.
- If you have been dating for a while and feel comfortable enough to invite them to your home, try eating in a cook a special meal without spending a fortune. Why not try cooking a more exotic type of cuisine that you've never ried before, this will add the wow factor and show that you've tried hard to make the night special. Another idea is to cook together, each design a course to make and then see whose comes out the best - or have a bit of fun and challenge each other to a cook with unusual ingredients, even if it doesn't turn out as a masterpiece it will still be fun! Also supermarkets often have great deals on wine and spirits, so try out a more unusual wine or make up soem cocktails with dinner - this will definitely impress!
- Visit an area of natural beauty, perhaps you and your date will have never been there before so you can share the new experience.
- Go for a walk or hike. This is a great option for a date during the daytime, as dates in the evening are often based around eating and can be more pricey, so this could be something new to try out.
- Do some research online beforehand and you can find great discounts on events, shows and experiences you may have been wanting to try out. Take advantage of restaurant discount vouchers, there are hundreds of offers online, and even the poshest hotels and restaurants have offers running, so there's no need to feel cheap for using them! Also, go out for lunch instead of dinner, restaurants have great lunchtime deals to get people in seats.
- Go to an art gallery or a museum, they are often free and will provide you and your date with something to talk about whilst you walk around.
- Visit somewhere in your local area that you've never been to before. Maybe there is a popular attraction nearby, or an exotic restaurant that you would never normally try out. Imagine you've never been to the area before and think like a tourist, where would be the best places to see? Even if the attractions don't turn out great, with the right date, you can still have a laugh and have something to talk about and remember.
- Try doing some extreme sports. Let your date know your plans beforehand as they will probably need to dress accordingly. Generally speaking, giving something scary and new a try, will probably bring you closer together, as you shared the experience with one another. Why not try zip-lining, kayaking or rock clmibing? You could hire an instructor for a lesson, or go to an indoor version at a local sports centre. If you're going to chose an extreme date, then bear in mind your dates comfort zones may be different to yours, so check beforehand if they are keen, and if not suggest doing something a little tamer like a hike or a bike ride.
- Take a day trip somewhere a bit further a field that you've always wanted to go to. It will give your date an insight into who you are and what you like doing, and will also be a new experience for you both.
Find out what you DON'T want
So it's got to the point that you're thinking of giving up on dating. You've been on so many awful dates lately, that you're beginning to think you'll never get out of this slump. But a bad dating experience doesn't have to be all bad. You can take a lot of information from a bad date, and perhaps find out the qualities you are looking for in a potential partner. For instance, if you had nothing to talk about on your date because you two shared nothing in common, perhaps you're looking for someone who you can share your interests with. To avoid this situation arising again, why not find out if you share any interests beforehand, and if not reassess whether that will work for you in the long run.
Know the difference between a bad experience and a bad date
Sometimes when you look back on an awful date, you may see that the date went awfully not because of who you were with, but because of bad circumstances. For instance torrential rain at a picnic, or a gig being cancelled at the last minute, may leave you feeling deflated and that the date was doomed from the start, but in fact doesn't mean you aren't compatible with your date. So if you think you've perhaps been victim to circumstance, who not give your date a second chance and go out again, as the next time everything may fall into place!
Say how you feel
It's hard to be honest with people when you know you're telling them something that may upset them. But being honest with yourself and others is the only way you're both going to be happy in the long run. If you're sure you don't want to see someone again, let them know politely that you had a good time but want to leave it at that. Their feelings may be hurt, but it'll only get worse the more time goes by!
Know when it's time to end a bad date
Perhaps you haven't had a bad dating experience before, or you look back on an experience and wish you'd handeled things differently, so why not think now how you'd handle a bad dating experience. If you are on a bad date and your instincts for whatever reason are telling you to leave, always trust yourself and go. No matter what the social situation, you should never have to feel uncomfortable when you're out on a date, especially with someone you may have never met before.
Also, if you're yet to go on a date, but have been talking to someone online who you're beginning to doubt or be suspicious of, do not meet them. If they've already given you reason to doubt them before you've even met, why do you want to go and meet this person? Carefully think whether it's worth the risk.
Don't turn up without a thought to your appearance. Yes everyone wants to be loved for what's on the inside, but turning up in a smelly pair of old trainers and scruffy top and jeans will just show how little effort you've gone to!
Learn from the past
Don't ignore past mistakes. Learn from past relationships and think about why things didn't work out and how you can avoid similar pitfalls.
Don't avoid certain groups of people just because of a bad experience in the past. Perhaps you dated a rugby player who always put their hobby before your relationship, but that shouldn't make you swear off all rugby players! Just because people have the same interests of the same job, doesn't mean they share the same priorities and values.
Play hard to get
Don't make yourself too available. Ever spent an evening bored and alone because you waited for an invitation that never came? Everyone has at some point, but think about the message this sends out about you. Letting your life revolve around someone else's social calendar is not a very attractive quality.
Don't refuse a date just because they don't fit your 'ideal partner' mould. No one's perfect and you may end up waiting a long time for someone who ticks all your boxes.
Get out there
Put yourself out there! Go to new places where you're likely to meet new single people. If you've never gone to one, go to a speed dating event or to a shared interest dating event. Only by trying out new things can you determine whether they'll work out or not!
Don't ignore your date. Your evening's going great, and the conversations flowing... well for you it is anyway! Your date's been bored stiff listening to you all night and hasn't got a word in edge ways. This is a sure fire dating disaster and you're unlikely to get the chance for a repeat performance.
Make sure you're honest with your date, but not to the extent that it's offensive. It may be obvious to the both of you that you're not a perfect match, but verbalising this is not always the best approach. If you don't want to see the person again, tell them you had a nice time but if you meet up again it will be as friends.
Don't be overly personal. You may be very comfortable talking about personal issues, but not everyone else is. Some people don't want to open up too much on a first date, so bear this in mind. Also, everyone likes a compliment but don't be too personal or make a compliment that some people may find offensive, as you may not get the response you hoped for!
Knowing where to meet other middle-aged singles - whether you’ve never been married, are divorced or are widowed – can prove difficult when you’re unsure where to look. Your first thought may be to ask a friend to set you up on a blind date, but if your friends are mostly married or already have a partner, they may not be a great source for knowing other single people. So if you’re feeling a bit stuck about where to find other single people, try reading some of our tips to find other single people.
Attend a singles event:
If you’ve never tried it before, why not attend a shared interest singles event where you can meet other like-minded singles who are local to you. You may want to try out a speed dating event where you can meet a large volume of people at once, or attend a relaxed shared interest dating event where you can get to know each other at your own pace.
Local group listings:
One way to find singles groups in your area is to contact your local chamber of commerce or visitor centre, as they may be able to provide you with a great source of information on local activities and events.
Your local place of worship:
You may already attend a local place of worship and by asking, find that they run a group for singles to meet-up and share their faith and social activities.
Shared interest groups:
Choose an activity you enjoy or perhaps have always wanted to try, and use the internet to find a singles activity group near you. Meeting new people whilst sharing your interests is a great way to break the ice, as you already have the basis to start a great conversation.
Groups for divorcees:
If you are divorced then you could attend a group specifically created for divorcees to meet-up. You may not have tried attending a group like this before, but it’s a great way of meeting new people who are in the same phase of life as you.
Groups for single parents:
If you’re a single parent there are lots of groups out there for you to meet other singles. This is not only a great way of meeting a new partner, but also a great way to relax and get support from understanding people.
If you love to travel:
Perhaps you love to travel, so why not look for a singles holiday company and visit somewhere new, or find a local business that host singles group outings.
Make your own group:
Alternatively, if you can’t find a group near you that you want to attend, why not make your own singles meet-up group. As you are a non-profit group there are lots of ways to advertise your group for free such as listing events on local websites, asking businesses to display a poster about your group, handing out leaflets, and word of mouth.
Go to a singles event
This may be a daunting prospect for some people, but only by putting yourself out there will you reap the rewards. If you're really not keen why not take a friend with you, by having a support system with you you'll have the confidence to mingle and meet people. There are plenty of singles events out there to cater for all tastes, so why not give it a try!
There's a wealth of opportunities available online to help you meet someone special. Create profiles on online dating websites, making sure to upload a photograph of yourself and sharing you likes, dislikes and hobbies. Use search engines to locate singles events near you, for example speed dating events, singles dining experiences, guided walks, meet-ups in bars, singles wine tastings etc.
Arrange a singles night
Maybe it's nearly New Years or Valentines Day, or simply great weather for throwing a big summer BBQ. So why not host your own singles event? Invite your single friends and get them to invite their single friends and so on, even if you don't meet anyone special your sure to have fun and meet some new people.
Take a course
Maybe you've been considering taking a Spanish class or learning to jive? Why not kill two birds with one stone and go to a class, as there will probably be other singles there hoping to do the same! You'll be in a great position to start a conversation, as you'll both have an interest you can share and talk about.
This one is a bit of a no brainer. A smiley, cheeful photo will make a much better first impression than a grumpy one. You want to show off your best qualities on your profile, so show yourself at your best.
Group photos are a big no-no, as confusion can arise as to who is whom. You may know which one you are in the picture, but browsing members will not. If you really want to include a photo with other people in it, make sure you label which one is you.
Pictures of you cuddling up with your pets may be cute to you, but not everyone has a passion for pets. That shouldn't mean having to hide who you are though, so if you really want to display this kind of picture, just bear in mind this won't be everyone's cup of tea.
Close-up Vs. long shot
This is an easy one, if you're really far away in the shot, you won't be showing yourself off to your best. Stick with close ups so people can see the real you.
Who should take the photo?
Self-taken photos rarely show an accurate representation of you, as they're often taken at an awkward angle. If you want to take a photo of yourself why not ask a friend or family member to take one. If you don't feel comfortable saying it's for an online dating website, just say you need a new photo for a social networking site - which will be true!
Old photos are a big no no. It may be the best photo you've ever had taken, but if it was taken 10 years ago that's not going to help other members get to know the real you. A lot of our members highlight their need for honesty in a relationship, so pretending your younger than you are isn't a great start.
Dating Rule No 1 : Love Yourself
What attracts you more to a potential partner, an unhappy, uninterested and unconfident person, or a happy looking, engaging, confident person? We think it’s safe to say most people would choose to date a happy person rather than an unhappy person. So in order to attract more people in your life for dating, focus on things that make you happy in life. This isn’t about putting on a fake smile for people around you, it’s about actually feeling happy, and letting yourself naturally sparkle! Make sure you take at least 5 minutes each day to relax and do something you enjoy, whether that’s taking a hot bath, listening to your favourite music, or having time to read a book.
Dating Rule No 2 : Review Your Expectations
If you’re not having success in meeting your ‘ideal partner’, maybe it’s time to rethink this notion, or who you’re looking for. If you’ve got a long list of criteria of who you’re looking for, chances are you’ll never be happy in a relationship, as no one will be able to meet your expectations.
Dating Rule No 3: Put Your Ex In The Past
Whether you’re aware of it or not, keeping in contact with an ex is not always the best approach to dating, especially if there are still feelings involved. We’re not saying stop talking to someone you need to maintain a relationship with, but if you like to keep your ex close by texting and meeting up regularly, part of you will remain in the ‘relationship zone‘ with this person. Also, if you meet someone new, it may be intimidating or even off putting to have their ex hanging around, it sends a very mixed message!
- What makes you happy?
- Would you prefer a weekend break to the countryside or the city?
- What's your favourite book?
- What is your dream job?
- What are you most passionate about?
- What was the last holiday you went on?
- Who is your favourite character from film or literature?
- What are the most important things you're looking for in a partner?
- What's the most exotic place you've travelled to?
- What kind of music do you like?
- What was your best weekend this year?
- What kind of films do you like?
- What do you do for fun?
- Where was the last place you travelled to?
- If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you go?
- What book are you reading at the moment?
- What gigs have you been to this year?
Dating can be a daunting prospect for anyone just starting out, that’s why we’ve created a dating advice section for you to keep ahead of the game.
Our dating advice covers all you need to know about dating. Whether it’s how to get more people visiting your profile, how to choose a perfect profile photo, relationship advice, or how to impress on a first date, Meeting The One has got the answers..