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Have you just gone through a divorce or separation? Our latest guest blog comes from Divorce Lawyer, Mena Ruparel on dating after separation.

In my job as a divorce lawyer, I meet a lot of people who have started dating someone new, even though they aren’t divorced yet. Most of the time my clients are too shy to mention to me that they are dating. However, I usually get to see their financial details at some point or another and I notice that they are paying subscriptions to dating websites.

In a survey released this week, Aviva have found out that the average person getting divorced spends £1,227 per annum on dating. This isn’t surprising to me at all, particularly when compared to the other costs that go hand in hand with building a new life as a single person. The same survey states that £1,483 is spent on new clothes and a further £1,853 on life coaching or therapy. In my view, these costs go hand in hand to build a new, possibly happier, life after divorce. Bearing in mind that legal costs to draw a line under the old relationship are stated to be £1,280, the cost of finding a new relationship seem to be a better investment!

In the Daily Mail, a divorcee spent every penny of her savings on a “Divorce makeover”. She says that she has no regrets at spending £65,000 re-inventing herself. Her costs included a (very reasonable) online dating subscription at £20 per month! As is the case with many new singles, she was also paying babysitters to look after her children, sharing the cost of meals on dates and the cost of pre date hair and make-up. She has no regrets about the money she spent on her makeover.

Mena Ruparel is a Solicitor, Arbitrator and Writer. She writes articles and books on the subject of divorce and relationships

admin Jul 30 '19
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Nowadays thanks to all the social platforms we all have unlimited photos of ourselves. It is well known that having a photo on your profile can dramatically increase interest and first impressions really do mean everything with online dating, so choosing the right photo is make or break.

We asked some online daters for their top cliche pictures of men: 

  • "The unashamed mirror selfie you took before you went out the other night, pouting, hair gelled to perfection yet not a hint of happiness in your eyes."
  • "Look at me touching this tiger in Vietnam during my gap year; yes I climbed the Great Wall of China, or how about a photo of me sat in a plastic garden chair about to bungee off an Australian cliff. I’m well-travelled you know."
  • "Gym/flexing muscles selfie. I, along with other women who may or may not admit it secretly love a topless shot, but lifting up your top to show us your ab-tastic stomach and cutting out your face; major cringe"
  • "Lying in bed, hinting that you are naked, arm draped effortlessly, yet strategically over your head and giving a subtle seductive smile. Slightly creepy"
  • "You holding a (really, really cute) child and then writing on your about me ‘the child is a family friend’.  I don’t even know why this one annoys me"
  • "Standing in a group photo where we can’t tell which one you are or worse, having a better looking in friend the photo with you. Who is he, is he single, may I speak with him instead?"

Most seem in agreement that being well-groomed, travelled, fit, child-friendly is welcomed, but as a first impression - a recent shot of a genuine and comfortable smile is all that is required.

admin Jul 30 '19
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As the number of relationships that have started online increases (it is now the second most common way to meet someone new), has the stereotype of an average online dater being old, desperate and lonely gone?

There is a huge market in online dating and no shortage of specialist sites suiting people with similar interests, hobbies and cultures. The more traditional online dating sites allow you to upload some photos, write an about you, list your favourite hobbies, your height, weight and any other information you decide. And then if the site doesn’t match make for you, you browse through the thousands, narrowing down on the handy side panels and carefully choose some people whose profiles seem attractive to you.  It’s a bit like online window shopping but for a relationship.

Modern apps like Tinder completely cut out the comparably lengthy process and allows you to quickly decide yes or no based on a profile photo, and if you wish to look further; a short sentence or two on their ‘about me’ section. In an age where everything has been shortened with digital technology, this kind of communication has become incredibly popular, but should it really be described as a dating app. Tinder describes themselves as a lifestyle app which acts as a platform for connecting new and interesting people around you. This fast paced system has become popular especially within the younger generation who wish to meet up for casual short term relationships, if not a one night stand. These apps are much more playful and less serious than traditional online dating sites which help to lessen the idea that the user is desperate or seriously looking for a relationship and therefore not associated with the stereotypically older online dater looking for love.

There are plenty of internet pages dedicated to users sharing their experiences using these apps including the funniest, creepiest and cheesiest chat up attempts they’ve encountered which also helps to keep the whole thing a lot more light hearted. It seems to be used as a way for young people to ‘hook up’ rather than find love or anything long-term. Jean-Claude Kaufmann in his book Love Online discusses the change in relationships since the millennium.  Thanks to online dating sites, Kaufmann suggests, “there was now a vast hypermarket for love and/or sex, in which everyone was both a buyer and seller who openly stated what they wanted and tried to satisfy their needs as efficiently as possible.”

Considering by 2030 it has been predicted that 1 in 2 relationships will begin online, so far apps such as Tinder ultimately seem to have helped partly remove the embarrassment of engaging in online dating especially within the younger 20-somethings. For now, although it is generally becoming more socially acceptable, it would only take a few swipes on these apps to realise there is still a slight stigma attached to the idea of online dating as a large number of people have written in their bio: “if anyone asks, we met in a bar”.  

admin Jul 30 '19
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So you know two single people, and obviously you think they are just perfect for each other! But how do you go about setting them up? Here are some tips we’ve put together for you.

1. Find similarities
Firstly, work out if they have any common ground. Opposites can and do attract but there should be some commonality. Casually mention each other in conversation so that their names are familiar.

2. Arrange a meeting
The next step is to organise where, when and how to get them to meet in person. Do not let them know your matchmaking plans because this adds pressure and nerves will make the whole thing awkward when they do meet. Suggest they both come and meet you and some other friends at a bar where it's busy enough for them to not feel under the spotlight and is a great place for striking up casual conversation.

3. The introduction
Introduce each other and mention one or two things they have in common, then allow conversation between them to flow naturally. If it doesn’t initially, don’t force it, remember you can't create chemistry these things take time.

4. Take a step back
If and when your plan works and they do start to take things further, take credit in silence and don’t keep pestering them about how it’s going. A genuine relationship can take time to form, but by all means bask in your matchmaking glory.

admin Jul 30 '19
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Writing an online dating profile about yourself can be a really daunting experience. One of the biggest complaints about online dating is that after a while all the profiles begin to look the same and ultimatley the user gets bored and logs off feeling unsuccessful. So how do you grab their attention and stand out from the crowd without sounding egotistical and self-centred? An online dating profile is short and therefore amplifies anything you write and can become a character statement about you whether you intend it that way or not. You can really benefit from investing some real thought into what to write. These are the top tips we’ve assembled for writing a profile.

We think a really key idea is getting someone you love to help write it for you. It is not often peole are told what their best qualities so it can be hard to come up with some yourself. There are many qualities your loved ones see in you that you may not know about yourself. At the Matchmakers who initially write the profile are personally known by the single people. This helps to build an honest and usually more appealing profile as people find it a lot easier to write about another person than themselves.

It is best to avoid cliches at all costs, dont fall into the trap of thinking that the classic ‘one liners’ never get old, because they did. Those are the type of things that will not get you noticed by the right people. Having somene help you write your profile can often give you great and original ideas which is undoubtably going to be more interesting to read than ‘I love laughing’.

A dating profile is a snapshot - you have a limited amount of time to grab someone’s attention. Keep it short because people usually just skim read through the writing sections of a profile. You wouldn’t tell a stranger who you met in a bar your whole life story in the first instane so it should be no different online.

Often words used to describe a person are attributes which need to be proven through getting to know you, therefore, using a carefully selected selection of photos can say a lot more about yourself than a whole paragraph about yourself. Choose recent photos which you feel comfortable in and remember you can always get help from a loved on on choosing them.

admin Jul 30 '19
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