Here’s a success story that’s got all of us here smiling! Vic met Belinda on our over 40s site, MatureFreeAndSingle, and are now engaged to be married. Here’s their story.

 

“Many thanks for your e-mail and yes, we would like to share our story to show how beneficial to us your site was, so here goes—hope it’s not too long for you.

 

I had only been a site member for about 2 weeks when i first “winked” at Belinda. (She had been on the site for about a month). She “winked” back at me and after exchanging a few messages, we got in touch by phone. Something sparked between us and for the first week, we were having three hour conversations every night on the phone (thank God for ringback after 59 minutes).

 

We arranged our first date a week after we had first exchanged messages, a lunch-time date on the 24th July. This was followed by another meet for lunch the next day and i think that we both knew on this second date that there was definately a strong attraction for each other. We continued our meets and visited each others houses and in October we went on our first holiday together, two weeks in Lindos, where we had a fantastic time.

 

This was followed by a two week Caribbean cruise in December. It was during this cruise, when docked in Martinique, on Belinda’s birthday, that i proposed to her and she made me the happiest man by saying “yes”.The photograph was taken on Belinda’s birthday on board ship.

 

Since then, we have had a week together in a beautiful log cabin in a forest near York and another two weeks in Lindos in May.

 

Life together for us is so very special, we have so much in common and haven’t been apart since last August.

 

Thanks to Mature Free and Single for bringing us together.

 

Best regards

 

Vic”

 

And all the best of luck to you too! This type of success is exactly what we set FreeAndSingle up for, and it’s great to hear from people who we’ve helped get together.

 

Paula – FreeAndSingle

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Try and treat them how you would want to be treated in this situation

 

First off, I have to state – I have absolutely no patience for ‘The Rules’. My stand is if you like someone, you tell them. If you don’t, well, is it more or less awkward than the first option? Doesn’t matter – still, in my guidebook, you tell them.

 

I am a proponent of tact however, so if you don’t feel that your first date or meeting or skype chat or whatever illicited anything other than a wasted portion of your life, grow up. Everyone we meet and interact with gives us something of themselves. Even if they were the most abominable bad date you have ever experienced, just think – now you know exactly what you’re not looking for. Many people haven’t had a chance to narrow that down yet. It’s all about the silver linings, people!

 

What to do about it:

So, back on track, if you’re feeling less than enamoured of your date, don’t lead them on. Sleep on your decision and when an invitation to the second date turns up, turn it down.

  • Don’t offer to stay friends if you really didn’t click.
  • Don’t give them a pity date.
  • Think of just one good thing, however insignificant from your failed date, cite it in thanks and then turn them down.

Even if they know what you’re up to, they’ll appreciate the sentiment of you not ripping out their heart and stomping on it.

‘Thank-you very much for helping me discover that fantastic little restaurant, but I don’t think we really connected enough for a second date.’

No need for embellishment, or the addition of further compliments. Say your piece and scamouche – no hanging around for a rejection coffee, no one likes that! Instead, wander on home and log in to your Free and Single account to have another try and see who else is out there.

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Have a great date at the seaside, check out Fit Free and Single for beach bunnies

 

With all this rain we’ve been having it seems appropriate to have a list of inside activities you can do away from your own home – after all, meeting someone you’ve met online should, for the first time at least, occur in public. If you have any ideas or wild successes, do please send them in!

 

For the Young Free and Single, Summer automatically calls to mind long, warm, balmy days that you can spend outside at the beach or the park. However, if its rainy, the lure of the parental residence is not so appealing. Instead of turning to cinemas, which are entertaining but not exactly great if you are trying to get to know someone, look outside the box. Try an indoor ski slope and try your hand (or should that be your feet?) at learning to ski or snowboard. Learning a new activity together really sparks off the conversation and makes sure there are no awkward pauses! If you’re looking for something a bit more chilled, why not sign up for a baking class and make each other cupcakes while brushing flour off your noses?

 

Free and Single Parents have a double whammy to think of new activities – more likely than not your kids will be involved in the outing. A visit to a historical site can be perfect. Jousting tournaments and characters entertain the kids (often there will be kids-only crèches or activities) while well-deserving parents can take a stroll through the grounds, learn a bit of history or just sneak into the café and enjoy a cream tea. If your kids are a little bit older, why not try a fun activity day like ‘Go Ape’, where you all get harnessed up and swing through the trees, teasing each other and motivating everyone – it’s a great way to forge bonds and encourage interaction.

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Summer fling or blossom into a full relationship?

 

While Summer has not exactly been a blast of hot air this year (more of a damp squib!) there are still great things you can plan to make your days off from the daily grind that bit more exciting. How best to experience new adventures, than with a new person to help explore and shine a new perspective on things?

 

For the health nut who likes to check on Fit Free and Single, why not charm a skittish athlete into discovering the joys of an early morning run? Indeed, a day trip could be created to visit a new area, take in a view, play Frisbee or mini golf and then partake in a tasty, well-balanced picnic. Even if the weather backs out on you, I find nothing can bring together new people like competition. Head to an indoor leisure centre for a frolic in the pool, a friendly battle in the squash courts or even head to the pub for a game of snooker or darts.

 

Summer for the Mature Free and Single can open up a whole world of opportunities. When you know there are places you wish to visit, but the appeal lessens without someone to accompany you? Find a likely compatriot on Free and Single and you can spend the entire season, (and beyond!) exploring new ground and reminiscing about previous adventures. I think a stroll along the coast in Cornwall or Kent, followed by fresh seafood and leisurely drinks is a sure fire way to entertain. Maybe you would prefer something even more cultural and could take a day trip to a local gallery or a hands-on craft activity such as pottery painting?

 

Come back for part two where I muse on date ideas for Young Free and Singles and Free and Single Parents!

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Find local datesThose incredibly clever guys in our Development Team have really done themselves proud this week. And we’re over the moon to tell you all about it!

 

You can now search for member profiles near you using your phone’s GPS signal!

 

Using your mobile phone, log in to any of the Niche Sites you’re a member of, and tap on the ‘local’ icon.

 

You’ll be able to search for members by their interests, characteristics, appearance and much more. Helping you find exactly what you’re after!

 

…And for those of you who might be worried…don’t be! We only give an approximation of location, so you’re not going to get prospective dates turning up on your doorstep!

 

Log in now and try it for yourself!

 

The FreeAndSingle Team.

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The British tennis season is here. That only means one thing, Wimbledon. Wimbledon is one of the biggest sporting events of the year, and even if the weather threatens to rain on your parade, it is an event everyone should experience at least once in their life.

 

Wimbledon's a great dating ideaAnd it’s a perfect place to take your partner on a date. There’s great tennis, loads of celebrities, tons going on, and great restaurants in Wimbledon Village if you fancy a bite to eat afterwards. You won’t be struggling for things to talk about, and the atmosphere gives the whole date a feel good vibe.

 

Advance tickets are distributed by public ballot, and to be eligible you must write to The All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club requesting to enter by 31 December for the following year. Your chances of being successful in the lottery are remote. You can queue on the day, but get there early, and remember payment is with cash only. If you want Centre Court tickets, which start at £40, arrive around 3am, or the night before. If you just want to soak up the atmosphere, a ground pass at £20 will suffice – the benefits being that you don’t need to queue so early, and on the first week you can see some big names on the outside courts. Or you can catch the evening matches after work for just £14.

 

Whenever you go, you’re likely to have to queue to get in. So if you’ve gone along with that special person, be prepared! Maybe take a couple of seats, a special hamper of food, and some drinks. You’re queuing to get into one of the world’s greatest sporting events, so the queue is part of the whole experience. Use it as a good excuse to get to know each other.

 

If you’re really lucky (or resourceful), you’ll be able to get your date into Centre Court. Here’s a tip for you… The people who man the doors into Centre Court are absolutely fabulous. Tell them you’re on a date, and your partner has never seen inside Centre Court. Could they please just let the two of you in for a couple of games…? If they say no, just move onto the next entrance and try again. Eventually you’ll strike gold.

 

Make the effort and get along to Wimbledon this year. I’m taking Paula and the kids tomorrow evening (very romantic, because Wimbledon was one of the first dates I took her on. I got us into Centre Court and we watched Juan Carlos Ferrero). Maybe see you there 😉

 

If you haven’t got yourself a date yet, what are you waiting for? Get online now and find your perfect tennis partner!

 

Tim, FreeAndSingle.

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We were asked on a recent TV show what it is that can make or break your online dating experience. Without hesitation, we went straight for that part of dating that makes your blood run cold. No, not that first date, but the dating profile. Although you may not know it yet, the free dating profile you set up at FreeAndSingle is the best thing you have in your armoury to ensure success when starting to date online. If it’s not up to scratch, then all those potential dates will simply pass you over.

 

We frequently get emails from members saying they’re not getting much success from all their efforts. They’re getting in touch with members on the site, but nobody seems to be getting back to them (more on getting that first email right later on). Then we take a look at their profile, and it’s usually the place where more work needs to be done, and some simple pitfalls avoided.

 

The good news is that putting your profile together is not difficult. In another article we’ll give you some tips on what to put into your profile, but here we’ll give you some of the Golden Rules we’ve picked up as a result of reviewing literally thousands of new profiles every week.

 

Get the Photo right

Bad Dating Profile Picture

Try and find a photo that you think reflects who you are. And if you can’t find one, have a friend take one for you. Remember, the photo should be about who you are, not how glamorous you can make yourself look. Here’s an idea – show the photo you’re looking to use to your best friend. Best friends are great at being brutally honest, and will give you valuable feedback on how your photo will be received.

 

Here are some types of pictures to be avoided:

 

  1. standing proudly by your supercar (or the one you drove for a day)
  2. uploading poorly-taken photos of you from your mobile phone
  3. photos of you with your children (you love them, of course, but people want to get to know you first. Your children will come later if things go well)
  4. photos of you when you were clearly much younger
  5. photos that don’t leave much to the imagination (if you know what we mean)
  6. mugshots, where all that’s missing is a prisoner number hanging round your neck. Be happy and let it show in your profile picture!

Be Honest

There’s been heaps written about people exaggerating, or telling downright porkies in their dating profiles. And that’s because it’s true! Women are more likely to lie about their age, men about their height. The fact is, this exaggeration makes no sense at all, as you’re going to be found out when you meet for real.

 

Be honest about yourself. OK, by being honest I don’t mean you have to go too far (whether you snore or dribble, why you’ve got smelly feet)…you just have to be truthful about who you are, what your values are and what you’re looking for.

 

If you’ve got kids, be PROUD of that and say so. Don’t say Children: None, only for someone to find out later.

 

Writing a truthful profile is what it’s all about.

 

Don’t moan!

Everybody likes to moan now and again. And that’s fine. But it’s not great if your profile is downbeat. People are dating online for a fun and uplifting experience. They’re not likely to get in touch with someone who’s headline is “Why do I never get a date?”, now are they?

 

Stay positive. You’re not a negative person, so don’t do yourself down by making people think you are in your profile. Try writing your profile with a smile on your face, and imagine the person reading it smiling back.

 

Don’t talk about other relationships

Ooh, a big no-no. However you’re feeling about a previous relationship, it’s best not to mention it in your profile….or on your first date, come to that. In fact, they’re best avoided until you’re totally sure it’s a safe topic of conversation.

 

Check your spelling & grammar

We don’t mean to get all school ma’amish, but one of the biggest issues people have with a profile is if it’s littered with spelling mistakes, poorly constructed sentences, and slang (yep, slang!) The logic goes that if you’re not diligent enough to check your spelling and re-read your work to make sure it all makes sense, then you can’t be that bothered about online dating either.

 

When writing out your profile, we’d recommend:

 

  1. reading it out loud to yourself to see how it sounds
  2. thinking to yourself (as honestly as you can) “If I was reading this for the first time, would I like to meet this guy/girl?”
  3. using a spell checker if you’re not too sure about any spellings (in fact, use one anyway).

 

Reading back through these, they do all seem like common sense. Which, in fact, they are. Take some time over your profile, and you’ll be rewarded many times over.

 

Good luck!

 

Tim, FreeAndSingle.

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Free and Single want to help you with your own dating success story!

How is this for the most perfect success story you have ever heard?

It is the stuff internet dating dreams are made of.

So have a little read of Janet’s story to see how she initiated contact with Martin and how they both fell in love and are now in their happy ever after…

‘I first winked at Martin on 25th June 2011 and we had our first date two weeks later on Friday 8th July. Martin said he didn’t usually reply to winks but when he saw my profile and photo he couldn’t resist (aww!).

From then on, we spent every weekend together and gradually realised we’d hit the jackpot and fell in love. We started talking about getting engaged in August but thought it was too soon and were worried about what other people might think, so we decided to wait until June 2012 which would have been Martin’s Mum’s birthday – sadly she passed away a few years earlier.

By September we were both positive we had something amazing and changed our plans – we bought the ring but waited until Christmas day to get engaged – it was so special and Martin almost cried. We now have the Wedding booked for 21st March 2014 at Cooling Castle Barn in Kent and i just can’t wait!

If someone had told us this time last year that we would find our perfect partner online and be engaged and planning a dream wedding by this time, I think we would have both been a little scepticle – but it has happened and we are both over the moon.

We can’t thank you and your team enough – we now have an amazing life together to look forward to. It’s a dream that absolutely came true!

Online dating really does work!

Jan and Martin
xx

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What do you think is a sure fire way to get someone's attention and a date?

When you finally take the chance and message that special someone you have noticed on one of the Free and Single sites, you want to leave an impression – a good one, favourably. So what to write? This is the internet equivalent of walking up to someone in the street and asking them their name and number after all.

 

It can be tricky to think of something, after all you want them to respond and not instantly hit delete or get the wrong impression about you and your purpose in messaging. Not only that, you want to appear witty, understanding, clever and fun. Maybe you want to add in some information you gleaned from their profile in order to show how well you paid attention…but not so much it looks like you creepily stalked them and memorised all their likes and dislikes.

 

It’s a minefield of misinterpretation and innuendo. What to say, what to do, not to mention how to keep up your chilled, confident and comedic genius should they actually reply – then you will have to write a second message. What if it goes on from there? You might find yourself desperately rehearsing lines the night before your first date, so as to appear the same nonchalantly witty person they glimpsed in the first message. Oh god. What if you get married and they finally work out that the smooth, hilarious, considerate you was all an elaborate ruse?!

 

Okay. Calm down. Breathe. It is the same advice you always hear from me – be yourself. The little bad dream scenario you just had? It wouldn’t occur if you just started out being yourself anyway. Sure, take a little time to think over a good opening message, but don’t have a panic attack about it – it won’t define your life, whether you get together or not.

 

Think about what you want to happen and engineer your message accordingly:

  • Do you just want a reply?
  • Do you want to work towards a skype or telephone conversation?
  • Maybe you are really convinced this could be something and you want to try for a face to face first date straight away?
  • Think through the ideal repercussions of your message and write.
  • Keep it to the point, don’t start rambling.
  • Say what you feel.

Unlike randomly asking someone out in the street, at least online if it all goes horribly wrong and they blank your message you can recover in your own time and move on, no hurt, no foul. It could be embarrassing, but at the end of the day – no-one else saw. You’re fine. You survive to write another message, another day.

Good luck!

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Just what is she thinking?

Ah, the minefield that is the female mind. A mystery to menfolk everywhere, I am here to try and give you a basic hand in deciphering the riddles that women can effortlessly create for the haphazard confusion of men. Hopefully, this handy guide should help you out on your next date.

 

She Says: ‘I have nothing to wear!’

She Means: Do not respond with the obvious. You both know that she owns copious amounts of clothes. You both know that at least half of them are clean and either hanging up or folded neatly away (or strewn across the floor dependant on her tidying style). However, what you do not comprehend is that she is looking for a particular outfit, maybe one she just saw in a magazine, almost entirely possibly that she doesn’t actually own. She is not only looking for the clothes, but also for the exact way in which those clothes were worn in that picture, along with the hairstyle and make-up. Probably the lighting, props and surroundings. Sometimes, she is not looking for an actual outfit, but the feeling that accompanies the wearing of the right outfit for the activity at hand. Basically, she is trying to create the vision she had of what she should look like, realising it is not going to happen because she only has ten minutes left before the taxi arrives and no styling team to give her a hand, and then wailing ‘I have nothing to wear!’ because for some reason, that makes more sense than trying to explain what the actual problem is. Ideally, offer to pick something for her. Then she can snort with derision, tell you exactly why that outfit would be wrong for the task at hand, pick a better alternative and wear it all day having replaced the feeling of confusion with one of smugness. Everyone wins.

 

She Says: ‘No chips for me please, I’m on a diet.’

She Means: First off, instantly tell her she looks gorgeous. Then depending on how hungry you are, either order a larger portion of chips or allocate about 5 or 6 chips as lost to you in your mind. Then you can allow her to sneak chips off your plate without getting annoyed at her insane notion that calories from a different plate don’t count. Another method here would be to cover the chips in a condiment you like and she does not, but that can occasionally backfire depending on how much she really wants those chips and whether or not she ordered an actual meal or just salad. Be wary.

 

She Says: ‘How do I look in this dress?’

She Means: The key here is tact and distraction. If yes, feel free to shower her with compliments, but be aware that she is unlikely to believe any of them. You could try a favourable comparison technique, whereby you tell her you didn’t like the dress on the model, until you saw it on her. If the answer would honestly be no however – I repeat; tact and distraction! First off, say it looks good. Then, before she can say anything (but she has started pulling that face) pick a detail about the dress and point out how it doesn’t do her figure/legs/colouring justice and you think she would look even better in a dress that highlighted her figure/legs/colouring – get my drift here?

 

What other lines do the ladies give you that get you all confused? Send them in in the comments or tweet me @freeandsingle and I’ll have a go at translating!

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