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Quickly, we all know the regenerated feeling of New Year never lasts much longer than a week…so before you slip back into the daily humdrum we’re going to help you get one important resolution under way. Not quite ready to leave the house yet? Here’s the great thing about online dating - you don’t have to. If finding someone is top of your New Year’s resolution list, then here’s how to be pro active about finding love in the New Year, online. Don’t worry you can keep your slippers on and sherry in hand for this one.

5 steps to being proactive with online dating in the New Year

1. Take the first step (or get someone to do it for you)

Never tried online dating? Well datemy.co.uk takes the pain out of online dating by letting your friends or family do the hard work for you. Often signing up is the hardest part so encourage someone else to do it for you. If you're feeling slightly hesitant then this is the perfect way to get online.

2. Profile Makeover 

You might be giving yourself a bit of a New Year makeover. You should have the same idea in mind for your dating profile. January is a great time to refresh your online profile, whether it’s you or your Matchmaker doing the tweaking. You might even have some great photos from the festive period or from New Years Eve. Update your photos to recent ones and have a read through your profile to see if it really reflects you now.

3. Reflect

Think about your past relationships and dates that you may of had. What do you want? Once you have a clearer vision of who you’re looking for and what you need it becomes easier to filter through and have a successful date.

4. Take a chance

If you had a bit of bad luck in love last year, it could be time to widen your horizons and pick someone you never usually would. This is why it’s great having your own personal Matchmaker on datemy. They might just find you someone that you didn’t realise was right for you. If you’re fed up of doing the looking, sit back and let them do it for you. 

5. Open mind

The average date costs £206.87. With 6 out of 10 people having experienced a really bad first date, our advice is to keep an open mind. It’s always best to go in to a date thinking positively, but don’t expect to hear the sound of wedding bells. If you have an open mind it can take the pressure off, and you’ll find it a lot easier to ease in to the date and just enjoy it.  

 

We want our members to be successfully matched and the secret to this is having a photo that brings you and your profile to life! So if you’re giving yourself a little New Year makeover don’t forget to refresh your online dating photo also!

A profile without a photo gets lost amongst the crowds. It may sound a little shallow, but this is not about how attractive you are, this is about putting a face to a name. Having no photo may add an element of mystery; but it’s not doing you any favours. With no physical cues available online, a photo helps you to stand out amongst a crowd of other members. That’s why having a poor quality photo can be just as bad as having no photo at all!  

Online shopping & Online dating

Online dating could be compared to online shopping. Imagine you need a new pair of shoes. You’ve found a great website, you think you know what you’re looking for but you’d like to browse. You’ve filtered size and type, and up come 10 suggestions. But 9 out of 10 have no photos. You read a couple of descriptions, “Classic, casual, reliable sole” “Warm, slim heel, sturdy straps” Ok sounds great, but are you going to add any of them to your basket without seeing a little more? Probably not!

We’re not just making this up…

There is scientific proof behind it all. People are more likely to form relationships with someone who is equally matched in qualities like, similar facial attractiveness. It’s called the “Matching Hypothesis”. No one is crazy about pictures of themselves. If you don’t feel confident with your photos our advice is to find someone you feel really comfortable around and get them to take photos of you in a natural setting. That’s why we encourage our members to get their Matchmaker to take photos for them. Because of Facebook it’s understandable you may not have any high quality pictures of yourself. You might have a fuzzy image where you’ve cropped your best pose out of a group shot…don’t worry if this is you, it’s better than nothing, but do you stand out?

It’s great when we see new sign ups who have a light, bright and happy profile photo. We know instantly that their Matchbox will be brimming with match requests.

Because of all the lovely profiles we’ve had signed up recently we decided we wanted to hear more about our members. We’ll be posting your stories here so just let us know if you’d like to share one with us.

This months story is from lovely Matchmaker Lara who’s helping her mum find love on datemy. 

My Mum’s Story

I set mum up an account on datemy.co.uk because she's had some shocking experiences on other dating sites and it's put her off joining a new one.  She really is a brilliant person who deserves a special someone in her life. In this day and age with work and friends taking so much of mum’s time up, it's really difficult to meet people the traditional way.

She did meet who she thought was a great man on another dating site only to find out two months down the line that he was married and that his wife was in Australia visiting family for 3 months. It really knocked her confidence, she's a pretty savvy and intelligent woman so to have the wool pulled over her eyes in such a horrible way after it had taken her so long to buck up the courage and put herself into the online dating world that she vowed that she would never do it again. When I saw datemy I signed her up straight away, it took her three weeks to finally decide to give it a go and this was after a lot of persuading on my part.

I think the reason she agreed is that putting herself out there is essentially all on my side, it means I get to do the hard part and hopefully she'll get to meet someone as fantastic as she is.  

Fingers crossed 

Lara 

Thank you to Lara for sending this heartfelt story through. Her mum is a great example of someone who has tried and tested other online dating sites and been truly set back by the experience. People turn to online dating because seeking a relationship in-between work and friends can be a struggle, it’s just finding the right dating site for you that can be difficult. This is why Lara chose datemy.co.uk and we’re so glad she did. We can’t wait to help find her mum a gentleman who deserves her. 

If you’d like to send us your story of why you became a Matchmaker, or why you're single on datemy.co.uk, just email it to hello@datemy.co.uk  

For singletons in the UK dating can be an expensive and time consuming process. Brits go on an average of 10 first dates and it’s estimated that each date costs an average of £206.87. With 6 out of 10 of us having experienced a really bad first date, that’s a lot of cash and nervous energy wasted!

We teamed up with Bach OriginalTM Flower Remedies to put together top tips to help you ace your first date. Great news considering a recent survey has suggested you’ve only got 12 minutes to impress on a first date and people are looking at your smile (64%), whether you make eye contact (58%) and the tone of your voice (25%).

Here are our top tips for a successful first date:

1. Wear what you feel great in!

It may sound simple but wearing something you feel great in will boost your self-esteem. Feeling like yourself and knowing you look good helps calm the pre date nerves.

2. Swap the pre date drink for natural remedies

Why not try switching the Dutch courage for a natural flower essence to take the edge off your nerves. We love Bach Original   Flower Remedy Larch, for when you lack confidence in your abilities.

3. Have an open mind

It’s always best to go in to a date thinking positively, but don’t expect to hear the sound of wedding bells. If you have an open mind it can take the pressure off, and you’ll find it a lot easier to ease in to the date and just enjoy it. Remember to ask questions; this is a great way to show you’re interested and it also takes the attention off you for a moment.

4. Be the best you

On a first date you want to show the best version of yourself, but how do you do this if you’re feeling nervous? Our advice is to think ahead to some of the common ice breakers like; “What did you get up to last week?” Share something interesting or fun you have done recently or you have planned. Having familiar things to talk about will put you in your comfort zone, and spark conversation.

From the makers of RESCUE®, Bach Original Flower Remedies balance your emotions and allow you to fulfill your potential with the system of 38 flower essences for emotional wellbeing. They are the original flower essences, produced according to Dr Bach’s traditional methods, which date back over 75 years, and many of the plants used originate from the Bach Centre garden in rural Oxfordshire. Suitable for all the family.

This months guest blog comes from Kyle Bradford, Author of Choppa Papa, a blog dedicated to observations and anecdotes about single parenting, dating, divorce & manhood.

I was recently asked to write a few lines responding to, ‘Why I’m Thankful For My Divorce’. I’m not thankful for my divorce. Anything causing so much pain shouldn’t be celebrated. I don’t wish it on my worst enemy. My gratitude is what I pulled from that wreckage, gathering up pieces of my broken dreams and with them creating something new and better. Divorce was merely the flash paper igniting the change.

If divorce affords us anything it’s the chance to rewind, reflect, and renew, then taking what we learn and choosing to do life differently. Through that I came to see my divorce as a remarkable gift. Outside the shadow of their mother, I now had the freedom to build a unique and lasting bond with my children, one of my own making. A decade later shows it’s the best gift I’ve ever received.

It’s an easy mistake to consider divorce a blessing; this perhaps is the epitome of our fondness to see the brighter side. But there’s a danger in this way of thinking. Doing so may leave us confused about the realities of divorce.

Regardless of how toxic a marriage or incompatible a spouse, it’s no less a travesty when something that began with such hope and enthusiasm comes to an end. Divorce should never, ever, be applauded. So much pain concentrated into one decision must never be considered a blessing for which we are grateful. In truth, divorce ideath. It’s the death of love, death of dreams, death of futures. As with anything that dies, especially before its time, we are right to mourn and weep for the loss.

But while divorce takes away it also gives in return. Divorce affords a unique opportunity to rewind, reflect, and renew. Rewind the past, reflect on our decisions, and renew ourselves by taking what we learned and doing things differently in the future.

If we are ever thankful for divorce it ought not be on account of our decision to do so. Instead our gratefulness, if indeed we have arrived as such a place to feel grateful, is in how we nurture and grow out of the decay, how we gather up the pieces of our broken dreams and form something new and better. It becomes right to celebrate and applaud the good that happens in us beyond and through a divorce, never the divorce itself.

I can say with absolute certainty my divorce gave me the opportunity to be a better father. Yet in reality, the more appropriate word is it ‘forced’ me to be a better father. That is none too small of an admission and took nearly five years to accept. Motherhood casts a long, wide, beautiful shadow and it is often difficult for dads to find their place in the sun. Fatherhood routinely gets lost in a mother’s shade.

Divorce changed all that. For nearly a decade, I have had the opportunity to shine into my children’s lives in a way never imaginable as a married man. This didn’t occur naturally. Becoming a divorced dad to a three year and eighteen month old, I initially focused more time on my reemerging social life than any fatherhood responsibilities. I believed my opportunity lied in a newfound freedom not in nurturing a special relationship with my children. Yet time, and especially circumstance, taught me to see my divorce in a brighter light.  The moment I did that the mounds of frozen bitterness, anger, and resentment that had piled up in my heart began melting away.

Considering all the good that’s happened in the past ten years, including a relationship that will soon lead to marriage and a deep bond with my children, I’m no more thankful for my divorce today than I was the day it happened. Such pain, sorrow, and heartache are something I would never want for myself or anyone else.

Yet I am grateful for finally recognizing the opportunities that my divorce provided. How it motivated me to rewind, reflect, and renew which led me on the journey through an Emotional Winter that gave me new wisdom of, among other things, ‘to find the right one, I must be the right one’.  None of that could have happened if not for a divorce.

Kyle is the author of ChopperPapa.com, a blog dedicated to observations and anecdotes about single parenting, dating, divorce, manhood, and what he affectionally calls ‘Intellectual Roadkill". It’s not the typical “daddy blog” about potty training, naps, minivans, or the best app for toddlers. Once referred to as “Confucius on a Chopper,” he brings a shrewd and candid approach to the issues we all face such as relationship communication, healing from an extramarital affair, marriage, and coping with divorce.

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