What if there was a way to work out if they like you – really like you – that was fail safe?


Impossible, you say. No-one can ever know for sure without taking the plunge and asking. However, there is a way to get a strong idea of your crushes’ preference – do they see you as a friend or something more?


How do you work this out?


Body language. The mystical sixth sense that can help you decipher the feelings of that attractive man across the bar.


How does one go about reading this hidden language?


  • Posture if a good giveaway. Signs of nervousness, like fidgeting, swinging arms, moving from foot to foot – these all suggest they are anxious in your presence. If they make an effort to look confident though, by straightening up, pulling their shoulders back and standing tall, they are probably trying their best to look impressive for your benefit.
  • Eye contact – I’m not talking full-on, aggressive stare here, more excited flicking, longer than usual glances, lingering looks…Especially take note if you see the eyebrows raise a little when they first look at you and their eyes flick to look at your lips.
  • If she is fiddling with her hair or lipstick , or if he is adjusting his tie and smoothing or messing up his hair then they are trying to attract attention, keep your eyes on them and draw your gaze. A full head of hair shows vitality, touching the lips makes you think about kissing and adjusting clothing can be a status thing.
  • Touching is an obvious tell. If she is touching your forearm or your hand when she laughs, or if he is guiding you round the room with his hand in the small of your back, chances are they are definitely interested.
  • Lending a jacket or jumper is a guy’s way of marking his territory in a crowded bar. It’s also a protective gesture and a self-motivated one – when the jacket comes back it’s going to smell like you.
  • Smiling is a great tell – but check if it is a proper smile that reaches all the way to the eyes and across the face. They obviously feel good about being in your company if they are beaming a smile at you.
  • Nodding along with what you’re saying, especially if the nods are happening in rhythm with what you’re saying is showing interest and a desire for you to continue talking.


Relationships. At the end of the day, if you’re reading this blog, visiting Free and Single and browsing dating profiles, it is for a purpose. You’re not here for kicks, you’re on the hunt for a potential life partner.


Now, first, before we go any further; I beg you, have you thought this through? When you picture a ‘relationship’ are you seeing the ups, the downs, the good times and the arguments? Or are you rosily contemplating a life filled with chocolates, red roses and sunsets?


Relationships take work. Not back-breaking, miserable Monday-morning feeling work (if it feels like that, it might be time to call it a day). But work nonetheless. There will be days when, say, you’re hungover and want to nap, but your other half is sick and needs you to go out and get cough medicine. There will be times when you really want to go shopping, but it’s the only day your partner’s parents are in town for a visit. There will be points where you question why you are together at all.


However, there should also be some serious ‘ups’! Surprise bouquets and being whisked off to the theatre, voluntarily skipping Saturday’s game to accompany you to your best friend’s wedding. These good moments make the work and the compromises easier, make them worth it. At the end of the day, you know you have someone who will support you, look after you and laugh at your jokes.


Here are some tips for working that relationship:


  1. Never go to bed angry. Ever. No matter how annoyed you are, no matter how tired. Calmly, without shouting, explain that you’re hurt, you’re not happy with the situation, but that you really need to sleep right now or you’ll mess up your big meeting tomorrow. Schedule some time to talk about the issue as soon as possible the next day. Move the venue for the discussion to neutral territory, somewhere public where you can’t shout at each other. Then give them a hug and a kiss and go to bed. The thinking space alone should help resolve the issue the next day.
  2. Now you’re in a couple, you have to think about what the other person would like. If you’re not into that and you don’t understand the word ‘compromise’ then you are not ready to handle a relationship.
  3. Keep the surprise, the suspense and the excitement. Thoughtful gestures, little gifts, compliments, asking for details about their day – all small acts that add up to keep the love burning.
  4. Listen to each other. One of the all-time most important tips for anyone, in any situation, be it dating, friends or relationships. From listening comes true intimacy, true connection and lasting love. You will learn about the other person, you will learn about yourself and you will form a bond that transcends the ordinary.
  5. Keep lines of communication open. Your life is no longer just about you, now you’re sharing it with someone else. You don’t have to report your every move to each other, but if you’ve agreed to meet up and you’re late, show a little common courtesy and phone to tell them. Even if you feel restricted by the interest your other half shows in your whereabouts, it could simply be that they are worried about you. When you’re late, instead of rationally explaining it away as traffic difficulties, they are picturing you mugged and bleeding in an alleyway.


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.



Dating at breakfast time - what to wear?

‘Fancy a Bagel?’ Breakfast Date


If you’re off to breakfast together, make an effort. To be fair, this goes for every date, but the last thing you want is for her to start her day staring across the table at a bleary eyed, hair-mussed, scraggly shaved example of manhood. Go to bed early, get up on time, shower! Dress in lighter colours but stick to smart silhouettes – ironed trousers, soft shirt, layering jumper. Come prepared to discuss the day ahead.


Obviously, you have to dress for the day in front of you but stick in something special to give a nod to the fact you’re meeting a date first. Make sure you give yourself time in the morning do do your hair and make-up to your satisfaction and wear softer colours than you would in the evening. A white shirt and colourful silk scarf is a fail safe option every women can pull out of the wardrobe to look classy and pulled together early in the morning.


Take a date to lunch to get to know them better


‘Let’s do Lunch’ Date


It’s lunchtime, your morning passed in a blur, you feel run ragged already. Head to the bathroom! Splash some cold water on your face and wrists, re-apply deodorant and re-style your hair if necessary. If you were super prepared, slip on the spare shirt you brought with you and be fresh as a daisy when you walk into the lunch date. Smart shoes are a must, unless you’re doing street vendor food, in which case have a back-up plan for where to sit if it rains.


Your head is still concentrating on the details for that afternoon meeting and your nervous hair twirling has caused a frizz situation. To the ladies room! A wash of the hands, a spritz of perfume and a bouff up of the hair under the blowdryer serves to have you ready to charm and chat all through lunch. Take a smaller bag with you to keep your focus on your date and not your iphone. Slip a cosy cardigan on to break down the ‘I’m at work’ barriers and help you relax over lunchtime.


What to wear to the date you know is breaking up with you


‘We Need to Talk’ Break-up Date


If you are about to ditch someone, tone down your look. Dress in sombre colours and at least look like you spent the last few nights in anguish over your decision. If you think you are about to be subjected to the ‘It’s not you, it’s me’ line yourself, dress like you own your own very successful company, have legions of adoring fans awaiting you around every corner and have only to buy a new deodorant to have women swarming all over you. Think smart shoes, fresh haircut, dab of fresh cologne. You’ve already moved on, baby.


If you are about to commence break-up speech number two with your unfortunate date, have the decency to look average, or better, plain. Dark colours, nothing fancy with your hair or make-up, simple clothes. No need to twist the dagger, as it were. However, if you suspect you’re about to get dumped, look fabulous. Accentuate your figure, get a blow dry, wear your favorite lipstick and don some sexy (but walkable) heels. Accept the dumping with a glossy smile, then sashay out of there like you’re off to meet the President for drinks.


What to wear for your engagement


‘Will you Marry Me’ Date


If you’re getting down on one knee, start off with a good quality, dark trouser – no need to have dirt decorating your knees for the rest of the day, especially as you’re likely to be either wining and dining your new fiancee or else drowning your sorrows in the pub with your mates. Depending on how you plan to pop the question, add a suitable top half of the outfit (polo shirt if active, ironed shirt if dressed up and tee shirt…no, never a tee shirt. Make some effort, please). Make sure you have a jacket with a secure inner pocket, natch.


If you’re the one trying to make an honest man of him, good for you. See above. If you merely suspect that you are about to be proposed to, put some extra effort in. After all, there will likely be photos and these pictures will stick around for the entire rest of your life, so no pressure. Get your hair done before your date, keep your make-up simple and classic – anything trendy will date so fast and have you hiding those pictures within the year. Dress appropriately for the venue and get a French manicure, you know. Just in case.



More advice on what to wear for a first date

Get some date ideas that nix the classic ‘I have nothing to wear’ wail by their very nature.

Planning your outfit along with your date


I interviewed a group of ten guys for this dating blog post, asking them what turned them off when dating a new women, what got them hot under the collar and what advice they would give to any lovely ladies looking to seal the deal with them on a dating website.


I found out a whole bunch of tips that guys are willing to share with the female species in order to better understand them and achieve greater dates. See, men want love too!


1) Guys are taught that they can get away with anything so long as they project confidence. Ever fallen for the charming dude with an arrogance issue over the man hiding in the corner looking scared?


Take a tip from the guys and pretend confidence when you don’t feel it for real.


2) Men can be super fragile. They are always told they have to be the strong one, the macho one, the one who can re-wire a plug. Sometimes they don’t want that responsibility on their shoulders.

Never mock a man about his sexuality – it’s rude, its crude and once you’ve bruised that ego he is not going to be feeling especially fond of you.


3) Dudes are more black and white than women. Think; ‘Man see, man want.’ If a man likes you, he will let you know. It harks back to all those cavemen territorial feelings. He’ll do whatever is necessary to make you like him back.

If he isn’t putting the effort in, or trying to impress you, then he is unlikely to be seeing you as a long term relationship.


4) Guys will never understand women. They can’t get into the mindset, they won’t see the problem from the same point of view and they certainly don’t have a chance of getting what the issue is if you scream or blank them.

When a man is confused about how you are feeling, or trying to make amends for something, communicate rationally enough that he can begin to see what is happening in your head.


5) No-one likes being lied to. Men (and women) appreciate honesty in their dating life. There is no hope of building a trusting relationship if your ‘sports-mad’ online date shows up for your first meeting and point-blank refuses to hang out in a sports bar, ‘cos of, you know – all the sports.

Stay truthful. Its tempting to exaggerate or embellish your life and interests, but at the end of the day, do you really want to wast time dating someone who likes your dating profile more than the real you?

You know that feeling you get when you first meet someone and there is an undefinable spark?

Your stomach is filled with butterflies, you can’t help smiling when you think of them and people keep asking you what’s going on because you are ignoring your coffee fix?


Well, that’s not love folks, that’s infatuation.

A crush. Sexual attraction. It’s a good thing because it shows there is something there to build on, to work with. However, many couples find that as the infatuation fades along with the first few misunderstandings or arguments, the relationship starts to break down.


For some lucky couples though, they make it past this beginning phase.

They work out their ‘teething’ issues and it is this process of supporting each other and working together that starts to build real emotions into their chemistry.  Trust is built and the relationship blossoms into love. Here are four signs that you may be in love;


1) Seeing them smile or laugh lifts your mood and you would do anything to make them happy.


2) You automatically try and share their experiences and stresses, to lighten the load.


3) You want to forgive them straight after you’ve cooled off from an argument because you can’t bear being grumpy with them.


4) You project them into sharing your future with you, unable to picture a moment without them there to support you.


Don’t worry if you don’t think you’re experiencing any of these signs.

All relationships are different and these feelings are all part and parcel of an emotionally mature relationship. You have this to look forward to, possibly with one of your Free and Single dates!


Don’t fret if you’re not there yet, so long as both halves of the relationship are feeling happy you should live in the moment and enjoy the experience.


If you’ve been dating for a while, or even if you’ve just started, the change in seasons always gets us thinking about how to change ourselves, be better and reach our full potential. The gap between seasons is traditionally when people do the most clothes shopping, get their hair cut or invest in new beauty products to see them through the new season.


It’s the same with dating. You want to be the best you can be when you head out on a date. It leaves you confident, filled to the brim with self-esteem and ready for anything – be that a another random blind date or the potential meeting of the love of your life.


Here’s our five top tips for getting the Springtime feeling into your dates. Enjoy!


1) Add more vegetables to your diet. Start adding in more coloured fruit and veg as the produce comes into season and boost your vitamin and mineral counts. This will result in healthier skin, hair and body, you’ll feel 100% better and you’ll be looking good too.


2) Clothing. Dump those dark, dingy tones that took you from work to bar during the rainy season and consign your coat to the back of your wardrobe. Invest in some lighter, brighter new colours, knits and prints to instantly lift your mood and make you feel more optimistic.


3) Have a laugh! Head so a comedy film, or have a great night out with a friend who makes you chuckle. Laughing is proven to boost your mood and make you more attractive to the opposite sex. All that smiling will get your confidence sky high and you’ll be ready for an onslaught of Spring dates in no time!


4) Plan a trip. Now is the time to take advantage of all the early bird offers out there and book a holiday with some friends. It gives you something to look forward to on days when you are not feeling your dating luck is going too well and if you do happen to be heading into a relationship come trip-time, the holiday will give you some time apart to enjoy reconnecting with friends and family.


5) Start exercising. Yes, I know it’s hard to get off the sofa when the evenings are still a little drab and dreary, but think this way: if you had started a new exercise regime in November, you’d be fighting fit now with all the pain behind you and all the gain ready to rock at those Springtime speed dating sessions! So start now and be strutting your stuff on the beach come Summer.


When we are little, we see that everything in the world comes in pairs. We hear stories about Princesses finding their Princes (or usually being found by them, up a tower or about to become dragon chow). We attend weddings where two people are joined together.


Later on in life, as teenagers, we might date a few people either seriously or not. The world seems full of possibilities and you don’t want to get ‘tied down’. You flirt with potentials, you make friends easily and you experience what life has to offer.


A bit older still and you start to value the idea of having another person in your life. Someone you can talk to, who makes you laugh and who will always be ready to share a cup of tea with at the end of a long, hard day. Someone who lights up when they see you, who holds your hand, who knows just what to get you for your birthday.


This person is shaped by the views of ‘togetherness’ that we are exposed to over our lives. Ladies expect a modern-day Prince Charming, with a feminist slant, a love of handiwork, chivalry and the ability to put the toilet seat down. Men expect a sexy conversationalist they can have  a good time with, who cooks a mean Sunday Roast and forgives the odd damp towel on the floor.


The thing is, you never know who will be perfect for you. On paper, a person can seem like the ultimate match made in heaven – but in practice the spark fizzles and never quite catches alight. The key to the ‘Search for a Soulmate’ is to, in fact, not search at all. Let it happen naturally.


The best thing to do is reach a place where you are happy with yourself (for after all, if you don’t love yourself, how can somebody else?) and where you can accept the possibility of another person entering into your life. Sure, do things to help it along – but your first goal should be in making yourself happy. Buy some new outfits or get a haircut – for your benefit. Try out some of those activities you have always thought about doing but never quite got around to – see which ones make you happy. Fill in an online dating profile, but don’t obsess over it ever waking minute.


You’ll be surprised. One day, you’ll get back from your fencing class, or pottery exhibition or just a night out with your friends and you’ll log on and see someone has winked at you. Someone nice. Someone who would like to meet you for lunch. Someone with whom you will share that spark.

Looking forward to 2013 inevitably encourages us to look back over the last year and put our actions (or lack of) into sharp perspective. ‘What ifs?’, ‘Why didn’t I’s?’ and ‘I should have’s’ litter our thoughts.

Sure, it is easy enough to say we’ll do it all differently in 2013 – that this is the year we will work-out instead of sitting on the couch watching Homeland, this is the time for us to buy a house, go on dazzling holidays, impress the boss, find a love…

How about then, instead of just saying we will do these things, instead of just meaning to but never quite getting round to doing them, how about we try not to force grand outcomes but to work towards them as part of our everyday lives?

Looking for Love

We all look for love, one way or another. The search for someone to support us, cherish us, laugh with us and adore us is one that many people embark on every year. Often, as the result of a resolution not to be the only single one at a friend’s wedding or to be able to return home on a blustery, cold winter day to the waiting arms of someone who actually cares, instead of just re-runs of Friends.

However, these things tend not to just happen. In order for them to occur, you have to go out into the world instead of hiding away and you have to live your life and embrace opportunities. Otherwise, you will never move beyond your immediate circle of friends and family and there is no-one you want to date there (unless there is, in which case, NYE is the time to admit it. Then if all goes badly you can brush it off as end-of-year sentimentality and move on accordingly).

So make a promise to yourself this coming New Year. Instead of making a resolution you know you won’t keep past February, plan a goal that you want to see happen. Then plan lots of small steps on how you plan to make it happen. Schedule the step sin your diary and tick them off, one by one as you achieve them. Don’t be scared to give yourself a treat when you do either – bribery is an excellent way of convincing yourself to do something scary.

To achieve a goal of meeting someone special, here are some steps I’m a fan of;

  • Getting a new, flattering haircut and tips from the stylist on how to do it myself.
  • Planning a new experience once a month with friends – a day at a rifle range, a go-ape adventure, a wine-tasting tour, an evening in watching a foreign indie movie…
  • Smiling at people when I pass them in the street.
  • Popping to the pub once a week and spending some time at the bar talking to people. (Try a compliment or ask for a recommendation as an opening gambit).
  • Asking friends if they know anyone they think I might like and getting them to set us up.


Have a great New Year’s Eve and we’ll see you back for more online dating tips and advice in 2013!


Scuba Diving 

Try this on for size – a full length wetsuit in fashionable black neoprene with go faster flashes of blue. Wap on your shocking orange rubber flippers and a fetching pink snorkel set and check in to your local PADI Divers school to learn how to breathe underwater and explore the oceans like a fish. Perfect for Fit Free and Singles.
Great for Fit Free and Singles, Scuba diving makes for a different date night

Zoo keeper

Ready for a walk on the wild side? Why not treat your date to the ultimate in day out activities by booking yourselves in for a day as a zoo keeper. Grab your safari suit, floppy hat and desert boots (maybe pop some rubber gloves in your bag) and off you go. Picking up poo has never been so attractive as when it belongs to an angry tiger! Perfect for Young Free and Singles.

Young Free and Singles will love a day at the zoo

Cabaret evening

Feeling a tad naughty after the Summer sensation that was ‘5o Shades of Grey’? Why not grab your significant other, don some sequinned nipple tassels and French knickers (maybe put more clothes over the top, but it’s up to you) and head to a theatre club (like Proud in London or Brighton) for a light supper and a bit of burlesque action? Perfect for our XXX Free and Single Members.

XXX Free and Singles might enjoy a cabaret evening

Sensory Experience Restaurant

Bored with the same old dinner date scene? Do you get a bit nervous meeting new people? This version of dating will rock your socks! Head to a sensory restaurant (such as Dans Le Noir in London) and enjoy your companions company over a delicious dinner…in the pitch black. Wear your pajamas for all your date will notice, although I’d advise dark colours in case you spill soup all over yourself. Perfect for Divorced Free and Singles.

Great for Divorced Free and Singles who may be feeling nervous about dating again

Go Ape

Like to monkey around with a new date? Harness up and take it to the treetops with one of the Go Ape franchises. Wear tracksuit trousers, trainers and a fleece and then don your climbing gear to scramble around platforms and rope swings high up in the canopies of some of the UK’s best woodlands. Perfect for Free and Single Parents who can take their sprogs along to join in the fun.

Free and Single Parents can take their families along to Go Ape too

Venice Carnival

Got some cash to burn on your date? Why not go all out and fly to Venice for the Mardi Gras carnival? Hire (or commission) some sumptuous traditional gowns and suits and on no account forget the matching masks. Parade around the city on romantic gondalas and sip wine from goblets in St Peter’s Square. Perfect for our Wealthy Free and Singles.

The Venice Carnival is a perfect date for Wealthy Free and Singles

Horse trekking

Get out of the office and into nature by hiring out a horse for a hack. Saddle up and don your riding boots, hard helmet, tweed jacket and tan jodhpurs for a ride about the countryside with your date. Maybe pack a picnic too? Perfect for our Professional Free and Singles.

Get back to nature Professional Free and Singles, with a horse riding lesson

Dinner at a swanky hotel

Do you enjoy getting to know one another over a candlelight dinner by a top chef? Why not dress up in your finest (I’m thinking channel Vivienne Westwood-style tailored evening gowns and Savile Row-style suits), head into the city and choose your destination dinner. Perfect for our Cuddly Free and Singles.

Cuddly Free and Singles can enjoy getting to know each other over dinner

Salsa dancing

Fancy a turn on the dance floor? Ready to get up close and personal with your partner? Why not try a dating dance lesson for some unexpected fun and you never know – you might just discover a new talent! For the ladies; wear swishy skirts in hot colours and low heeled shoes with an ankle strap. Gents; don a fitted shirt (v-neck optional) and smart trousers.  Perfect for our Mature Free and Singles.

Learn a dance move for our Mature Free and Singles

Hot Air Balloon Ride

Splash out on a special occasion with a ride through the skies! Wrap up warm in jumpers, coats, hats and boots so you stay toasty while floating through the clouds in your air balloon. Men and women alike, remember your leather gloves – wouldn’t want that flute of champagne to fall out of your grip now, would we? Perfect for all our Free and Single daters!

All Free and Singles will love a balloon ride!