Do you feel that special 'spark'?

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’ve had the date, you’ve got back home and you sit down. That wasn’t really what you had hoped for – the date didn’t go smoothly, or you really just had nothing to talk about. The banter you shared while writing messages to each other disappeared when you were face to face. You had built up a picture in your mind of a petite brunette and ended up meeting a towering blonde. Their mannerisms unsettled you, you had a disagreement about the movie…whatever it was, the feeling is clear. You didn’t feel that certain something, that ‘spark’. You don’t really want to pursue this any further.

 

First up, you have to decide if you are just completely incompatible, whether you could be friends but nothing more or whether it was just a really bad first date and a second might be worth trying. After all, something about them made you want to meet them in the first place, so a second chance could be worth it.

 

Incompatible:

This is going to be hard, no denying it. You have seen them in person and now you have to let them down. If you are lucky, they felt the same about the experience and will have to qualms accepting what you need to say. If you are not lucky, they’ll have had a great time and not realised that you did not share that with them. Be tactful, let them down gently but don’t feel guilt tripped into a second date. If you know this is not going anywhere, you have to let them know elsewise you are just leading them on.

 

Could be friends:

Tricky this one – you have to sound out the waters and see whether they are feeling the same. If they come across as harbouring stronger feelings for you, better to step away. They will agree to be friends assuming it could lead to something more and unless you think that is a possibility, there is nothing but heartache down that road. On the other hand, they could feel the same. Having had a great time, but no romantic feelings towards you they will likely be more than happy to put the whole thing down to an amusing anecdote you can tell at your next party and be friends. Lastly, they may be the ones stepping away from you. Don’t take it personally, see it as an opportunity to log back onto Free and Single and find someone better suited to date!

 

Second chance:

If you are unsure about the date and think that possibly you just had a bad time because you had a long day at work, you were really nervous,  your shoes were killing your feet, or the restaurant messed up your reservations and order, consider organising a second date. If it was a truly terrible date, they may not agree to a second and you don’t have to worry about it anymore. A second date though, in a different place, maybe at a different time of day could have you significantly more relaxed and open to meeting a new person. Even if the second date goes the same way as the first, at least you know you tried and can move on to looking through more Free and Singles for your next first date!

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Have you found Love with Free and Single?

Here at FreeAndSingle, we love a good success story. We love them so much, we wanted to take the time to share a few of them with you, in the hopes of boosting your motivation and letting you know that love can happen, wherever, whenever (I know, cheesy song lyric alert).

 

 

So when we heard about this romance from MatureFreeAndSingle we just had to share Howard and Wendy’s story:

 

 

‘Both Wendy and I had joined the dating site last year to hopefully meet someone to share another relationship with.
Wendy and I both were both divorced last year and felt it was the right time to move on.
We both found each other through the adverts on the site and at first I saw Wendy and thought what a wonderful profile she had and a “cheeky smile and looks to match”.

 

I made contact and asked if Wendy would like to chat, in which Wendy replied yes. After a few brief exchanges through the chat side of the site, both Wendy and I agreed to swap numbers and started chatting on the phone. We both lived locally and made arrangements to meet for afternoon coffee and lunch.
The first date went really well and we both got on really well with each other, I already had a good feeling about Wendy, which I think people on the site call “chemistry”!
We met again and things were really good, it was near Valentine’s Day and both Wendy and I exchanged cards with some really romantic verses.
We have now been together for 2 months and have had lovely days out, walking on the beach in the snow at Filey to having our very first romantic weekend away.
We are now an item and are looking forward to our future together with holidays planned and more romantic times to come.
I can sum up by saying to anyone out there on the FreeAndSingle site that in my profile it said;

 

 

“you have to pull the weeds out the garden first to see the true flower that you like”

 

 

That is what I did, Wendy is the sweetest flower I have ever seen. You must wait for the right person and if you wait you will find your flower.
Good luck to everyone out there, you will find your soul mate as long as you are prepared to wait and not go for second best.’

 

 

 

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Do you have a signature dish you can whip up and impress with?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You may have been dating a while now, or you may just want to turn up to your first date with a home baked offering to help ease the first impression to fully favourable. Either way, you want to make sure that the choices you make go down as intended.

 

First off, make sure there are no allergies or dietary requirements such as vegetarianism!  No point making your famous peanut butter and chocolate brownies if your date has a fatal allergy to nuts.

 

Picnic

 

The classic image here is of rural elegance balanced with a certain practicality. After all, at some point this food has to be lugged to your patch of grass. Once your blanket is spread and you are ready to chow down on your delectable lunch, you want the great reveal to be tasty looking and not pale sandwiches with jam smeared around the plastic they are encased in. Choose simple basics, good quality and bring wet wipes. Personal favourites would include: marinated olives, flatbreads or farls, humus and other dips (securely packaged!), crudités and a chunky salad with veggies, grains and beans. Lastly get the whole thing off to a flying start by going with a cheese and a selection of cold meats or quiche.

 

Home Dinner

 

Okay, first things first. Make sure your house is clean. Nothing ruins the aura of a well-cooked homemade meal than a funk of mess! Once you have tidied and hovered, down to the menu. Choose something you can prepare the day before to give you time to fuss over other things on the night. It can be good to choose a theme such as Mexican, Spanish or Greek to keep you focused when finding recipes and putting together courses. Put thought into all aspects of the dinner, not just the food – tableware and setting, lighting and music all help to set the scene for a really lovely meal.

 

Cake

 

Now, this depends on your own baking ability and the occasion. If you want to present a basket of mini muffins Bree-from-Desperate-Housewives stylee as you walk through the door, this can be solved by just following the appropriate recipe to the letter. This is very important – baking is a science. Use measuring instruments and the specified ingredients to get it right and it will go off without a hitch. If you are looking to do a more impressively decorated cake, well…don’t aim higher than your abilities or it will go wrong. Stick to what you know, or practise beforehand to get a good result.

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Stay safe and have fun when dating

Here at Free and Single our number one priority is to bring together people with similar interests so they can have truly great dates. However, the most important aspect of online dating is to stay safe when meeting up with, after all, strangers you have only ever known through the internet.

 

Once you agree to go on a date and meet up with someone you have met online and feel a connection with, put some measures in place to keep yourself safe – then you can relax and have lots of fun secure in the knowledge that if anything turns out badly, you can escape back home with no harm done.

 

First up, tell a few people who care about you where you are going and when. No point telling the postman! Don’t let embarrassment get in the way of your safety. Tell a few friends then you know you have back-up should you need it. Also set a time when you plan to return from your date – maybe a phone call or a text to discuss how it went with a friend will let them know it all went fine and give you a chance to gossip!

 

Second, choose a public place for your date. Offering to cook dinner at home is a sweet gesture, but it could hide a darker plan. Until you know you trust your date completely, you should stick to areas where you can be seen by other people. Why else would restaurants, movie theatres and coffee houses be the ideal first date venues?

 

Third, if at any time you feel uncomfortable or unsafe with your date, remember this: you are an adult. You do not have to bow to peer pressure and you most certainly should not feel you have to do anything you don’t want to just because you are on a date. After all, the date will never develop into anything further if they stress you out that much, so no need to capitulate ‘just this once’.

 

Fourth. Right. The awkward bit. If, for whatever reason, you decide to go a few steps further than is traditional for a first date – maybe you get carried away by sheer animal lust, or just want to see if you can still do ‘it’ after a long while single – be sensible. Use a condom. STDs are not pretty. Knocked Up is not a film to recreate.

 

The most important things to remember when heading out the door to enjoy a first date with someone you have only ever interacted with online are these: make sure you stay safe at all times and have lots of fun! After all, even if that wasn’t your best date there are plenty more singles waiting to fill up your inbox here on Free and Single!

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Dinner a deux is a classic date option and great for good conversation and some old fashioned romance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s been a while since you eyed up each other’s profile pictures and dissected every last titbit of information with your friends. You have exchanged messages, bantered, swapped email addresses. You might have even upgraded communication to phone numbers so you can have a bit a live chat and see whether that lighting quick wit sticks around when you are in real time or if it does the dirty and deserts you in your time of need. Whatever the build-up, the time has come for the first date. You’ve decided to take it easy and head out for the classic dinner and movie to keep things simple (and to save some cash while you work out if they are worth splashing out on in future).

 

So, much in the way that classically trained wait staff will perfectly pair your wine to your meal, I’m going to have a go at pairing your movie to your dinner! I also want to reverse the traditional order here – I have never understood why you would go to dinner, then a movie – surely doing things the other way around ensures that you always have the movie to talk about if conversation dries up during dinner? Ensure you go for a movie, then dinner!

 

Hunger Games + Pub

Now, this film shouldn’t really boost your appetite. However, it will make you want to discuss everything from the realism, the concept, closeness to the book and lastly – what would you do in Katniss’ position? Thus, great British pub food will recall the fare of the film such as hot soups, lamb stew and fresh baked bread. The friendly environs of the pub will give you leave to freely discuss the film’s story and you can chill out into thoughtful musings in front of the log fire with a cool pint or glass of wine to wind the evening up. Perfect not only for our Young Free and Singles, but for Free and Single Parents whose kids might have been nattering on about the book.

 

Battleship + Burgers

Action thriller complete with alien life forms can only be fully appreciated with the addition of a good, all-American burger and sides. Head out after work, pick your favourite burger joint, or even a trendy street cart if you fancy a walk ‘n’ talk ‘n’ eat moment with your date. (Heads up – ladies are not generally fans of this). Feel free to set a comfort boundary by dismissing concerns of eating with your hands and always order enough chips that she can have some off your plate without causing massive trauma.

 

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel + Indian

Heart-warming life stories go with a curry hand in hand. I don’t know why, they just do. Get yourself and your date to your favourite curry house and enjoy a sit down meal with all your favourite dishes while you talk over the film. Top marks if you can find a restaurant that has large floor cushions and candles for a lounge-about, romantic atmosphere where you can chill out with a bottle of Cobra while discussing the characters in the film.

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Heart TV

It is confessions time people. I want to know who loves a bit of ‘X-Factor’ or ‘The Voice’? Who can’t get enough of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’? Who is desperate to be a contestant on ‘The Million Pound Drop Live’?

 

The reason I ask is because the extreme amount of reality TV shows available is about to get bigger. I was chuckling at the most recent episode of ‘Take Me Out’ when an email popped into my inbox. This email detailed the basis for not one, but two new reality shows focusing on dating. What is more, the producers of these new, as yet unreleased shows want you to apply to be in the first series! Yes, you!

 

So if you have always fancied yourself a bit of a cheeky chap who needs a bit of exposure on TV to make his dreams come true, keep reading. If you are a lovely lady looking to hit the headlines with a turn on television, carry on reading!

 

The first show the email detailed to me (and this is a corker) will appeal to all you Singstar fans. The show will be airing on Sky Living HD and is going to be named ‘Sing Date’. Yes, the name is a bit rubbish but the concept is all there in the title. The purpose of the show is to get a single women to pick three singing men out of ten possible candidates. Once she has picked, each man gets to sing a duet with the lovely lady. The show finishes with the lady choosing her favourite and the pair of them embarking on a date to record their own special duet. If you love your karaoke, or you just know you could do better than the last contestant of ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ when faced with a stage and spotlight then head to singdate@princesstv.com or call on 020 7985 1808. Applicants must be over 18 years old. If you make the show, I would love to hear from you and interview you about your experience!

 

Second on the list is yet another makeover show! This one will be airing on Channel 4 and sells itself as a sort of self-help guide for serial date-gone-wrong-ers. If you have had a string of bad luck where dating is concerned recently, or its been a while since you took the plunge in the dating pool this show is for you. The helpful people at Channel 4 will give you all the help you need to find out where you are going wrong and give you the chance to fix it! So if you are between the ages of 18-60 and fancy a makeover to help you with your dating confidence, then email datingmakeover@ricochet.co.uk or call them on 01273 224817. Again, if you enter this show I would really love to know what happens, how it goes for you and any backstage stories you pick up along the way!

 

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Happy couple embracing and laughing on the beach

Once upon a time, a young woman who liked jellybeans, sundresses and travelling decided she wanted to get back in the dating game. She was a little apprehensive of just jumping straight back in after a long relationship had turned sour and a friend recommended FreeAndSingle.

 

Nervously, she created a profile and started browsing through other peoples. Then came the time to reply to the first message. Flattered and pleased by the message (from an attractive man who liked dinosaurs, curry and action movies) she replied and they started talking.

 

After a week of excitedly checking her Free and Single mailbox, they decided to try a phone conversation. They didn’t stop talking until 1am and they both had work the next day!

 

This success and the chemistry they felt led them to arrange an actual date. With butterflies in their stomachs, new outfits and friends filling their ears with tips and advice they both set off to Leeds Castle in Kent for a trip around the grounds and high tea in the café.

 

Over scones, tea and jam they felt a connection, something worth pursuing. More dates were arranged, and three years later they remain happily together.

 

Have you had success with online dating? Has Free and Single given you a new lease of life in some way? I want to know if you have rediscovered a love of dating, thrown yourself into the arena for the first time or if you are just adding online dating to your repertoire of meeting people?

 

Here at FreeAndSingle, we are really interested in finding out about those lucky individuals who have found someone special using our website. Not just because it looks good for us either – we really believe that, at the end of the day, it’s better to have someone to connect with on some level. That’s just a basic human instinct, right?

 

So, if you have a success story you wouldn’t mind sharing…would you let me know? I would love to interview some of you to find out your tips for internet dating, or see a video of your favourite date?

 

I’m Caroline and you can find me on Twitter and Facebook – I’d love to connect with you and find out more about your dating experiences! I’m always on the look out for dating hints, awesome FreeAndSingle profiles to feature, funny dating videos and recipes that would be perfect to make for dinner a deux, not to mention good ideas for interesting dates!

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It can make you nervous, but you have everything to gain in looking for love later in life

So you’ve been out of the game for a while.

 

Maybe you were married, maybe you have been busy raising kids or maybe you were looking into becoming one with the universe. Either way you have now made a choice to start the intriguing, sometimes painful and often highly entertaining path of looking for a new partner in the online dating world.   Thing is, you may be older and wiser now but it still feels like you have never dated before in your life. For some of our more mature denizens, that may even be true – different times, different traditions!

 

Whether dipping your toes into the pool for the first time or after an extended break from relationships, it doesn’t have to be the scary rip tide you are expecting. Instead, let yourself approach it as you would a holiday. Let yourself relax, and get ready to try new things.

 

People always say that by the time you are older you have discovered what and who you like, you know more about yourself than you ever did before and you are more confident in every aspect of your life. This could be true, but I defy anyone not to feel at least a slight twinge of nervousness before embarking on a new date, or even submitting a profile to Free and Single for the first time!

 

However, I would encourage you to enjoy the nervous flutters, to let yourself be excited and to discover whether you and your date have chemistry, are going to end up just friends or whether you just downright loathe each other on sight! After all, at the end of the day its another tale to add to your story and the anecdote, good or bad, will make for fabulous retelling at a dinner party or reunion event.

 

Excellent, having decided to take the leap, lets discuss venues. Dinner a deux is a classic of course, but a tad extreme if you are really nervous to put yourself right into the conversational gambit mode! May I suggest an activity to ensure a topic to talk about should all else fail you? You could visit a vineyard or a cidery and have a tasting, you could visit an aquarium to point at strange underwater creatures and shudder at sharks or you could hire vespas and take a tour of the town before stopping at a roadside inn to discuss the views and the people you passed.

 

I’m a big fan of alternative dates where imagination is key and just letting yourself enjoy it comes first, so put those thinking caps on! I’d love to hear your ideas too, so please tweet me @freeandsingle and have a look at Free and Single Parent or Mature Free and Single to find others in similar positions.

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searching-for-you

So there you are, hiking up hill and down dale, backpack pulling you down but motivation driving you on towards the next hill…and there, as you crest the top of the ridge and look down into the valley beyond, you spy an entire village of hot single men. Err, yeah right. But seriously now, do you have a passion for fitness, but lack someone to share those early morning training sessions with?

 

Fit Free and Single specialises in bringing together singles who share a love of the active life, who are dynamic and sporty. Love the outdoors? After all, there is no point looking among singles whose favourite occupation is watching Big Brother to find a date you’ll actually want to talk to. Sign up for free today to start chatting to fellow fitness enthusiasts and maybe you’ll even get a date out of it!

 

The principle is the same for any dater – why change yourself to get a date? The date will be atrociously boring if you hate maths but opposite you is a chaos theorist eager to explain their day’s work in the labs. Think about what you want from dating, be it fun evenings and getting to know new people or possibly a longer lasting relationship. Then, think about what you like. I’m not talking picky ‘Must have raven-dark hair’ or ‘Only if they love ice hockey’, I’m talking the simple things.

 

Do you have a passion for reading? Probably best to ignore someone who enjoys burning books. Love dinosaurs? Don’t date a creationist.

 

Be flexible as well, you never know what a new person could bring to your metaphorical table – they could introduce you to a whole new world you never even knew existed. Try a different restaurant, be open to the idea of experiencing new things – dating should be about mutual discovery, so relinquish the absolute control over exactly how a date should play out. (You know what I’m talking about. No ditching a date just because he brought you pink peonies instead of purple geraniums).

 

Have a think. What do you yourself bring to a date that might attract someone? Do you just show up (hopefully clean and enthusiastic) expecting to be entertained, or do you give some thought to conversation topics, activities you could do together and use your profile perusal time to your advantage?

 

After all, the most powerful part of online dating is the ability to skip the awkward initial phase of discovering if there is anything you can talk about. You can look over their profile, exchange messages and decide if there is a spark of interest before having to worry that you haven’t brushed your teeth since breakfast, or that the shirt you are wearing has ketchup stains. Let the profile be to your advantage. Search out someone with a few common interests or features and then even if there is no chemistry when you meet, you’ll still have something to talk about and maybe even become friends, if not more.

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As you know 2012 is a leap year and as the old tradition goes, 29th February is the one day that women can propose to men.

 

 

There are so many ways of doing this including introducing yourself to as many or few men as you want with an Ice Breaker.

 

Now we’re not suggesting you go proposing in your first message (men tend to get a bit nervous when that happens!), but we want all you lovely ladies to take a leap of faith and put yourself out there.

 

Prefer a more personal touch? Why not….

 

  • Wink at that guy you’ve been eyeing up.
  • Send him a special Gift
  • Send him a personal Message.
  • Add him to your Favourites.

 

Don’t wait, make it happen now!

 

Good Luck,

 

The FreeAndSingle Team.

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