You know exactly who you’re looking for, so why is it so hard to find that perfect person?


Unlike other people, you already know what makes your perfect mate, so there is no need to waste your precious spare time dating someone who doesn’t make the cut. In short, you have defined your soul mate and you refuse to compromise. After all, you shouldn’t have to.


Well, I have news for you that may come as a bit of a shock – maybe make sure you’re sitting down?


Your finickiness about who is and isn’t right for you is destroying your chances of falling in love.


Yep, I said it. By being so demanding about the characteristics, careers, looks and lifestyle of your preferred partner, you are actively narrowly down the pool of candidates…and not in a good, efficient way either.


Yes, if you already live life to the full, you want a partner who slides into your life and fits perfectly first time around. However, that’s not love, that’s a figment of your imagination. It is possible that if you’re in that frame of mind, you’re really not ready for a relationship.


A relationship is about adapting your life and melding it with someone else’s. That’s why it is so hard if you break up, you have to untangle your joined lives to go your separate ways again. If you broke up and didn’t notice the difference, well, it doesn’t say much for the quality of your relationship, does it?


Try opening your mind to the possibilities. There is a reason why rom-coms always have the heroine end up with the annoying best friend instead of the devilishly handsome doctor who seems to good to be true.


I dare you, for the rest of the month, look outside your comfort zone when examining profiles with potential. Have you only ever dated Gemini’s? Go crazy, message a Taurus. Do you always date blondes? Try for a frisson of excitement with a redhead instead. Do you find yourself judging someone’s worth by their employment? Try dating someone in a different field of expertise.

You stand to be pleasantly surprised and maybe, just maybe, you’ll find yourself compatible. I’d say it’s worth it – give it a shot today!


The temperature is dropping in the UK and USA and rising fast in Oz – but wherever you are, we’re all on the downwards slope into the holiday season. Make the most of your dates by exploring new places together and experiencing new things. Here are some ideas to get you going!


UK – Head to Castle Fraser near Aberdeen for a fairy tale date and wrap up warm for a walk around the walled garden together.


USA – If you’re taking your kids along to meet your date in New York, insure it all goes smoothly with a trip to the Big Apple Circus!


OZ – Enjoy spring in Melbourne with this selection of lovely picnic spots around the city.


UK – Here’s a crazy idea – head to La Refuges de Fondus in Paris, a short skip and a jump away from London. Enjoy the novel dining experience!


USA – Pop to the Butterfly Enclosure in Phoenix to enjoy a romantic walk among the butterflies.


OZ – Looking for a way to keep things exciting after a few dates? Head to Paramatta outside Sydney and enjoy a night in this luxe Park Royal hotel.


UK – If you’re in Manchester, head to the Castlefield Gallery to enjoy some creative and contemporary art together.


USA – Take a road trip out from Las Vegas to Red Rock Canyon to enjoy some fantastic sights and a stroll around nature together.


OZ – Get yourselves to Salamanca Place in Hobart for a date of people-watching, chilling on the waterfront and patronising cafes.


What if I meet my internet or blind date for the first time and we have absolutely nothing to talk about?


Well, go in prepared! Yes, I know it can be the ultimate worst thing in the world when you’ve exhausted the weather, what’s going on at work and compliments before you’ve even reached the bar for your aperitif, but you have to try a little harder if you know you’re not the most eloquent when it comes to small talk. Avoid blank mind syndrome by glancing over the headlines before you go out, maybe prepare a brief synopsis about the latest book you read or movie you saw (without spoilers!) and above all, loads of open-ended questions about your date. Everyone can talk about themselves if someone else is showing an interest. After a while, the conversation will start to flow naturally and you can relax and enjoy it.


I am so nervous about my date later today that I can’t concentrate on anything else, my hands are shaking and I feel physically sick. Help!


Okay, well that’s not good! You should be excited, not nauseous. Ask yourself why you are putting so much pressure on this one date that you’re treating it like an exam you never revised for? First off, you have to accept that it’s going to be fine – it’s a first date, not a meeting with a gun squad. The worst that can happen is that you don’t get on in the slightest and sit in silence for twenty minutes before they do a runner out of the bathroom window – and really, that means not only are you better off without them in your life, but you have an awesome anecdote to tell at parties. So, chill out, calm down, be prepared – that means outfit ready, cash taken out/spare card, a plan of how you are going to get there and back and a knowledge of where ‘there’ is. Let someone know where you’re off too and then sit back and enjoy the ride.


I have a second date coming up. I’m excited, but also apprehensive – the first date was good, but we had to try. If there is no spark at this second date, I think I should give up and look for someone else.


You know, sparks can be overrated. Sparks go out pretty fast – unless they catch on something. You know what can work though? (Taking the fire metaphor on a bit…) Remember how in Scout / Guides camp you spent ages rubbing two sticks together? Eventually, they set off a spark, which caught and started a hot, slow burning fire. See where I’m going with this? Sometimes you just need to give it time to find out what makes you and your date click. It’s not the movies, you don’t generally find out that yes, you both love Bon Jovi to the point of obsession as well as adore fresh sushi from that one little restaurant down town, in one go. You have to ask questions, get the ball rolling, spend a little time finding out about one another. Let me tell you, if you’re having a good time, don’t over think how it ‘should’ be. Instead enjoy it how it is.

What should I do to prepare for my first date?


It’s coming round to that time of year again, folks…


The temperature is dropping (or in some cases, rising – you know what I’m talking about!) and ideas of a good time are turning to sharing mulled cider with your beloved, snuggling in front of a log fire together or getting out and about to visit friends and family during the holiday season.


What if you find yourself single during this time though? If you want to add a flirtation, a romance or a relationship to your Winter wish-list, join Free and Single today and get on your way to making it happen!


Our Guide to Fashion for Great First Impressions when Online Dating


Here’s round-up of our fashion and what to wear dating articles so that you can be dressed to impress on all your dates and upcoming parties!


The Dating Expert: ‘What Should I Wear on my Date?’


How to Dress for a Super Hot Date (This one’s for you, Aussie guys ‘n’ gals!)


Before and After: Does Appearance Matter when Online Dating?


10 Brilliant Outfits to Wear and the Dates that go with them


Dating Help: What Should I Wear?


Guide to First Date Outfits


Dressing for Your Date: Tips and Pointers


How do you act on dates?

We all know that if you have an intense fear of heights plus trust issues, then going on a bungee jump for your first date is quite likely to literally make or break the beginnings of your new relationship. After all, if its likely you’re going to be mentally (or physically) scarred by the date, chances are it doesn’t bode well for any future between the two of you.
However, knowing your own strengths and weaknesses is supremely helpful when venturing into the dating pool. You have the power to line up events to suit you so that you will be at your most confident, self-assured and ready to feel that spark – if it exists.
Why would you not take the opportunity to work out your dating character so you can leave the rest up to fate?

First, you have to work out your default dating style.

a) Noisy & rambling

Do you find yourself laughing louder than usual, embarking on long anecdotes and loosing track of what you were talking about mid-way through?
If you react to tension by getting louder, speaking faster or just speaking for the sake of filling the silence, then now is the time to act. Start practicing pacing your speech, keep on track of what you are saying and slow it down as you speak. You just need to calm down and then you will act more yourself. Make sure to breathe between sentences and try posing questions instead of running through anecdotes.

b) Intense & interrogative

Do you pile the pressure on your date, willing them to be ‘The One’? Do you delve right in at the deep end and start talking life goals, baby names and favorite hymns for the wedding before the aperitif?
Chill out! Even if the person you are sitting across from is ‘The One’, they are going to be so freaked out by your heavy-weight approach they will run screaming from the building at the first opportunity. Try and relax into your date, appreciate it as a way to experience someone new’s approach to things. Make an effort to listen to them and ask pertinent questions about their stories – don’t just ask to see their medical history forms and their CV, this is not meant to be a job interview.

c) Shy & quiet

Do you clam up when faced with a new person? Does your conversation become reduced to nods and shakes of the head and some nervous smiling?
If you’re shy, you will already be aware of what an issue it can be when it comes to meeting new people. The cure is practice! Don’t fall back on a shot of Dutch courage before your date, instead try to talk through with yourself why you are nervous. Be brave and just go for it – have some pre-prepared questions to ask when your mind goes blank and then just concentrate on listening to the other person. When they start asking you questions, try and answer in full sentences instead of one-word bursts.

d) Terrified & shaking

If you are honestly scared of even meeting your date, there are several things you can do to calm your nerves. Firstly, arrange to meet in a public place. Secondly, maybe keep it casual the first one or two times you meet by both agreeing to take a friend with you and double dating. Learn some deep breathing exercises (in through the mouth, out through the nose) that will force your body to calm down and stop shaking. Avoid alcohol and caffeine.

e) Calm & positive

Well look at you! If you can approach a new date feeling this zen, you are doing very well.
However, be careful that you are not so relaxed that you appear uninterested or indecisive. Make sure you still engage with your date by asking questions, listening to what they have to say and helping to make any decisions, like what to order for dessert. If they end up driving the conversation, they won’t feel as if they had a good date at the end of the evening.
Now you know how you act during a date, you are ready to implement some changes to ensure you are more confident and more ready to connect with the person you are meeting. After that, its just a matter of taking every opportunity available to you to experience that melding of minds and chemistry that signals a real relationship potential.

New Shoes? What does that have to do with dating?

We all start to get that back-to-school feeling around about now, thanks to years spent schlepping around the shoe shops with our mum’s trying to find a pair that fit properly. Personally, it was the hours spent staring at all the different pencil case options that come back to haunt me.


If you are a parent yourself, I’m sure you know this feeling all too well at the moment. Even if you’re not buying up school uniform for troublesome tots right now, its worth harking back to that new year, new you feeling now, instead of waiting four months to make a change on the 31st of January. Apart from anything else, we all know it is harder to keep resolutions when it is cold and raining and for the majority of us (I’m watching you, Oz!) that is what January heralds. So, lets embrace the start of the new school year as a time of reinvention and put our dating good intentions to good use now instead of later.


New Season Dating Resolutions to Stick to

1. Unpack and wash your baggage. Okay, I admit this sounds weird, but hear me out; we all come with a past, it’s what makes us who we are. The key is to accept your past, good or bad and move on. Let it go, stop rehashing it and get ready to make a future. Either get a therapist, a friend or write a private letter outlining all your feelings about the past. Let it all out, sort through it and learn to forgive and forget. You don’t want to drag all this old stuff into your new, shiny, beautiful future relationship, do you?


2. Say yes. To everything. Really, unless you are about to burn out from all the social interaction (or go bankrupt), then saying yes is guaranteed to get you places you wouldn’t usually go, meeting new people and experiencing different things. This makes you more likely to meet someone you’ll actually be interested in and well as more interesting when you do go out. Being able to talk about your latest adventure can be a godsend if you’re feeling nervous before your first date.


3. Make time for ‘Me’ time. It isn’t selfish, it is necessary, stop making excuses. Find a time when everyone else who usually makes demands on you can be otherwise occupied and claim it for you own. Make it a routine, so everyone knows not to bother you between 8pm – 9pm on a Wednesday evening. Take that time to put effort into you – bathe, shave, get your hair done, paint your nails, sort out a date outfit you feel comfy in, whatever makes you feel good.


4. Be open to opportunity. If you’re on the bus and a cute girl looks you up and down, smile back. If you’re buying your morning coffee and the guy behind you orders the same, strike up a conversation. It is all practice, chatting to people, making new friends and acquaintances – and you never know, that guy behind you in line to the train ticket machine? You might not get a spark with him, but his tennis partner might be searching for a women just like you.


5. Set aside time to look at Free and Single. Revamp your profile to include all your new experiences, interests and hobbies. Keep your picture updated to reflect your new hair cut or pink lipstick obsession. Routinely give yourself 30 minutes or more to browse your messages, reply, check over new profiles and chat to new people. Online dating gives you a pool of people all looking for the same thing, without having to winnow them out in a bar. However, it isn’t effortless, you still have to be involved in order to get results.


Go forth and keep your resolutions, add a few of your own, make some positive changes for you and watch the dates come rolling in!

Let us know how you get on in the comments 🙂

What are your internet dating resolutions to find a partner before Christmas?

We’ve all been there, right? You look back over the date you just had and realise that maybe your 1 hour treatise on the tapeworm your pet has was not appropriate dinner conversation? Or that the zeal in your date’s eyes as they described their perfect women was a little bit too intense for your liking?


Here’s what not to do on a date;


1.  Right, first things first. No matter how much you want them, no matter how late you feel you are leaving it or how much you want this date to be The One, do not obsessively talk about babies. Sure, if you see a cute baby, feel free to say, ‘Aww, cute baby.’ Don’t feel the need to go over to said baby, coo at it, question it’s mother closely about it’s every move and then have to be dragged away while sobbing incoherently about ticking clocks. Instant turn off.


2. Never be late. If you honestly cannot prevent it, call ahead, that is what phones are for. If you are going to be more than 30 minutes late, prepare to make up for it. If you are trapped in an important meeting/broken elevator/childcare situation, then call ahead as soon as you know you won’t make it and reschedule immediately. Never assume you can wing it through the meeting then run across town and just be 40 minutes late without telling anyone.


3. Passion is a good thing. Anger, intolerance or unending rants are not. If you feel strongly about a topic that comes up, feel free to share your feelings with your date – after all, you are there to learn about each other. However, be tactful, remain calm and keep to the point. Don’t become the overbearing lunatic they remember for lecturing them about the benefits of homeschooling through the appertif, the starter, the main, the dessert and the cheese course. You will never hear from them again and they will possibly escape out of the bathroom window half-way through the evening.


4. Lots of people are looking for love, partnership, marriage, commitment. Male or female, don’t become the dreaded ‘Bridezilla’ who details your perfect ceremony within five minutes of meeting a potential lifemate. You run the risk of looking more interested in the big party and the presents than the contract a wedding celebrates – that of lifelong partnership and support. Resist the temptation to interrogate your date about their marriage prospects and leave that chestnut for another time, when you are further into the relationship than the hors d’oeuvres.


5. Yes, it is scary and nerve wracking to meet someone for the first time, especially when you feel pressure and hope for that person to be, you know, it. The One. Being intoxicated is something alcoholics and drug addicts do, if you don’t want to appear to be teetering on the edge of sane control or about to be shipped off to prison for possession, refrain from imbibing too much or taking anything suspect. Unless you are an alcoholic or drug addict, in which case cancel your date and head off to rehabilitation therapy instead.


The moral of the story? When on a date, be calm, collected and view yourself from afar to keep yourself in check. There is plenty of time for them to discover your collection of garden gnomes, your need to eat a chocolate hobnob every day at 4pm and your desire to make tutus for future baby girls. However, save those gems for a later date, when they will appear charming instead of crazy.



1. When it’s Summer, come rain or shine you want to be outside. Even in the Southern Hemisphere’s Winter, it’s warm enough that outside is still a great dating option.


UK – Southerners, head to Exeter and the Clip’n’Climb wall for some lighthearted vertical activity. Chill off afterwards with a pub garden pint.


USA – New Yorkers, head to the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival to see traditional boats race down the river and to sample delicacies like sticky rice wrapped in palm leaves.


OZ – Try Earl’s Juke Joint in Sydney for some tasty cocktails and a comfortable atmosphere that will have you and your date chilling in no time.


2. Taking the kids along with you now they are on holiday? Here are some activities you can all do together.


UK – Zip off to Edinburgh and visit Craigies to pick your own delicious soft fruit and introduce the kids to the joys of fresh strawberries.


USA – San Franciscans, pack a picnic, head to the Kite Shop to be fully kitted out and then go on a kite flying championship with the kids.


OZ – Get them excited about space and the final frontier (for free!) at this NASA installation in Canberra.

3. Feeling flush, or really adventurous? Try these date plans on for size to really impress your date and have a fab time.


UK – Head to the Electric Picnic Festival near Dublin to enjoy a weekend of good music, international foods and dancing together.


USA – For sheer, terrifying novelty value, go to the Boston preliminaries of the Air Sex World Championships – yes, you read that right. Maybe not for the faint of heart?


OZ – If you have a few hundred dollars to hand, try this Duck & Wine evening in Melbourne and enjoy many, many delicious courses together.

We’ve all been there. Freshly arrived at your date venue, waiting for your, as yet unmet, internet date to wander suavely through the door and greet you.


They enter. They seem to be normal. They look like their profile picture. They smile and kiss you on the cheek to say hello. Thus, they have lured you into falsely having hope that maybe, just maybe, they will be The One.


Then it happens. Something about them, during the course of your date will be revealed and you will fixate on it. I mean, obsess. Completely and utterly be unable to remove it from your mind. The date will end and you will go home disappointed and ready to tell anyone who will listen about, well, that thing. What was it again? You know it was something awful…


Are you guilty of this behavior? Working yourself up to meet a person you connected with on Free and Single, only to convince yourself it could never work as a relationship within the first thirty minutes due to some indefinable characteristic? I don’t suppose you are just being picky, are you?


We all have little things that annoy us. For me, its the sound of people eating with their mouth open. Bleurgh. If a date lacked basic table manners or grammatical ability, I’d immediately downgrade them from ‘Possible Mate’ to ‘No way, Jose!’


So, in order to help us make a favourable first impression, I have a little list of no-nos that could be the difference between thirty minutes and thirty dates.

What not to do on a first date

Top Ten List of What NOT to do on a Date

  1. Leaving your coat/hat/gloves on during your posh dinner for no apparent reason.
  2. Not knowing when to stop drinking and having to be carried home or put into a taxi which charges extra in case you throw up on the upholstery.
  3. Talking exhaustively about your ex, your relationship, what went wrong, how you could have done better and ending by sobbing uncontrollably. (Hint: You’re not ready to date yet!)
  4. Berating the waiter, maitre’d, hostess, manager, or indeed, anyone at all is bad manners.
  5. Picking your nose, burping loudly, farting, dribbling, or any other private bodily functions should remain private. At least until your thirtieth wedding anniversary.
  6. Ordering lots of food, sending it back to the kitchen, getting continual refills, eating everything in sight and then patting your pockets at the end of the meal with a ‘Sorry, left my card at home!’
  7. Talking of ordering, let your date order for themselves unless they expressly ask you to do it for them. There is nothing more annoying than someone you have just met choosing your meal for you.
  8. Top up drinks unless you have both agreed. (Also see No. 2). No-one wants to be pressured into drinking more than they feel comfortable with, or feel forced into matching you drink for drink, even if you can down twenty pints with no ill effect. (Ha!)
  9. Start an interrogation. Medical history, past relationships, daily routines and dietary activity are all subjects that have no place at the first date table.
  10. Stand them up. No matter how nervous you are, or how much you are immediately convinced on catching a glimpse of them at the bar that they hold no interest for you, never, never,  stand someone up. You are not to hurt someone who is just out, putting themselves on the line and looking for love, same as you. Always give them a chance. Always.


Who has seen the TV show Dates?

I started watching Dates in the expectation that it would show couples meeting, give me tips on first date nerves, venues and fashion, and it has to an extent, done just that. However, the show deals with actual real-life scenarios as opposed to the perfect, ‘everything-will-work-out-for-the-best’ Rom-Coms of cinematic fame.


I like the idea of everything working out. I’m a romantic at heart, I like to think everyone will get their happy-ever-after. While many of the characters in Dates do go on to start new relationships, it has yet to be with the person they meet on their date. Instead, the show explores the idea that meeting a new person can help clarify your own purpose in signing up to an internet dating site.


Why Did You Sign Up For Internet Dating?

Have you registered for online dating to ignore a bad break-up? To try and please your family? With hope that you can escape loneliness? Whatever your reasons were for taking the plunge and signing up, Dates shows that that action is just the beginning of your adventure into the dating world.


I think one of the key take-away points from Dates is that one date, one possible match, one person, should not be the be-all and end-all of your dating career. Sure, a lucky 1% may meet their first internet date in person and they’ll both be set for life. How lovely. For the rest of us, it takes work, effort and perseverance. So instead of looking at dating as a second job, desperate to find ‘The One’ and get on with living your life together, try to see dating as a means of meeting new people who just happen to be single.


Yes, there is pressure to deliver on dates. However, if you can ignore that and just have a good time, relax and enjoy finding out about someone you haven’t met before, you never know what you could find. Some you won’t see again. A few may turn out to be good acquaintances in the future. You might even find a new best friend, someone you really connect with but have no special chemistry with.


Embracing opportunity, experiencing new things and opening up to new people all push you just outside of your usual comfort zone and help to create the person you’ll be when you do meet your other half for the first time.


Let this be a Summer of dating and opportunity!