We all have moments, as singletons, where we think; ‘What’s the point?’


Why are we expending all this energy and money and time on trying to find a relationship?

It’s at this point that you have to take a step back from the dating scene to re-evaluate what it is you want, are looking for and need from a future partner.


After all, sometimes you can just get caught up in the dating whirlwind and forget what it is that you’re actually there for. When dating stops being fun and starts being a chore, you know you have to take a break and rediscover yourself. After all, if that certain someone special were to walk through the door tomorrow, would you want them to see the frazzled, disillusioned, down-and-out you, or the refreshed and fabulous, ready-to-fall-in-love you?


Clearly, you want to be at your best when the big moment comes.


Sometimes, the most important relationship in your life should be how you treat yourself. Take some personal time to catch up with friends and family and just get out and about exploring your world as yourself, without any ulterior motive of attracting a significant other.


Here are some ideas for rediscovering yourself and refreshing your mind before diving back into the dating pool.


1) Take joy in being completely able to do whatever you like. Come Saturday morning, you don’t have to wait around while your other half tries on clothes in the mall, or cheers the local footie club to victory. You have the freedom to do absolutely anything that takes your fancy without having to check in with another person first.


2) Spend a bit of cash on yourself. Without having to report your spending habits to another, you can splurge on that new widescreen TV or pair of designer shoes without worrying about hiding the box in the wardrobe.


3) Take some time to design an interior that really appeals to you and reflects your personality. You can re-do the space so it suits what you now use it for, content in the knowledge that it can be completely your taste and not a mish-mash of styles.


4) Take joy in the lack of damp towels spread over the floor of a morning, or the constant cry of ‘Put the loo seat down!’ Maybe your own personal hell is arriving in the bedroom to find clothes scattered everywhere from that morning’s game of ‘I have nothing to wear!’ At this moment, your space is your space and the annoying habits of another half a distant memory.


5) Cook whatever you want to eat, or go out to any restaurant you fancy. You don’t have to constrain your mealtimes to accommodate someone else’s preferences, weird diets or finicky eating habits. Revel in the pleasure of eating whatever you please, even if that is cheese and nutella sandwiches – hey, there is no-one to judge you!


You know what? Losing love, breaking off a relationship, splitting up – it sucks. Big time. Not only do you lose that person in your life, but you lose a little bit of yourself. However brief the time you spent together was, it still will have affected you and changed you, helped to shape the type of person you are now.


There are a few steps the professionals will ramble on about, citing ‘degree of loss’ and ‘getting past it’. We at Free and Single agree with them, to an extent. In the face of it though, getting over a break up is hard, however you try and minimise the pain with steps. Still, when you are sat alone, wondering what happened and trying to figure out a way to blame yourself, it can seriously help to have a few well-meaning goals to work towards, to help you out of the bubble of self-pity.


So here are the Free and Single steps to surviving a break-up and getting back out into the world.


1. Mourn it

Ok, so first you have to put some time aside to simply feel the emotions. You can try and repress them, but they’ll just come bubbling to the surface when you least expect it – usually in public, like in a new job interview or as you pull into your train station. Take a few days to just wallow. Curl up in bed, don’t change your PJs, eat a steady diet of ice cream, you know, whatever helps. Just feel it.


2. Re-invest in yourself

Once the sobbing is over, take a shower and clean up your space. No-one is going to feel better surrounded by three days worth of empty takeout boxes. Now, take a moment to list all the things you would like to be. Cut out pictures or inspirational words. Join Pinterest. Once you have an image in your head, start moving towards it. Always wanted to see if blondes have more fun? Head to the salon. All that misery pizza causing a few extra pounds? Pop along to the park for a run. Enjoy some proper me-time and get yourself back on top form.


3. Join / start something new

Now you’re ready to experience something new, but your emotions are still a little fragile to dive straight back into dating territory. Now is the time to pick up an evening class or new hobby. It will fill the time you used to spend together, so you won’t be sat at home thinking about what you used to do when you were in a relationship and it will give you something exciting to think about and focus on. Always felt arty? Try a life drawing class. Confused about golf? Check out a club open day and some lessons. Like to go fast? Join a racing track.


4. Be open to socialising

Now that you have semi-recovered, you need to do the final and hardest thing: get back out into the world, for real. You’re looking great, you have a fabulous new hobby to talk about and you have a bunch of friends who would love to see you smiling again. So head out for dinner with the girls, or pop to the pub with your mates. No pressure to go looking for love, you are just readjusting to a world without your relationship. Enjoy it. Have a few beers, or buy those shoes, knowing you don’t need to explain yourself to anyone when you get home.


5. Try dating again

Once you feel whole again, let your friends know. They can set you up with people for a no-pressure reintroduction to dating. Log onto Free and Single and start browsing profiles. You never know who you might meet. Keep going to your evening class or hobby, or gym, or local park and be open to smiling and saying hi to other people you come across. Feel good about yourself, and the rest will follow.


Good luck!

Go to an exhibition to show off your cultural cahonies

In the UK? Try visiting London for the Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum exhibit, where you’ll leave with a real sense that life is precious.

In Oz? Pop to Melbourne to sample some of the city’s renowned art and see One Hundred and Twenty Seconds crowdfunding art project in Federation Square, teaching you to make the most of every moment.

In the USA? Why not head over to see Upstream Colour, a new film released in early April and enjoy a giggle together in the back of the cinema as the baffling story plays out in front of your eyes.


Head to a sporting event together

In the UK? Head to the FINA Diving World Series in Edinburgh to catch a glimpse of some of the world’s best high divers doing what they do, all while wearing nothing more than teeny tiny pants.

In Australia? Get yourselves to Canberra to support the Australian Running Festival and maybe even spark off some inspiration to attempt a marathon yourselves.

In the USA? Head to Georgia for the Golf Masters Tournament. Take a picnic and enjoy a stroll around the grounds watching the best golfers in the world make their moves.


Check out a food festival to share new tastes with each other

In the UK? Visit the Lancashire Food Festival and let your taste buds be tempted by the huge array of delicacies on offer. Don’t forget to share, this is no place for chip-watching.

In Oz? Check out the Kangaroo Island Seafood Festival and gobble platefuls of freshly caught fish, as well as enjoying seaside BBQs and campfire cooking.

In America? Find a festival dedicated to everyone’s favorite breakfast item and go to BaconFest, in Chicago to sample bacon from producers all over the country.


Have a great date, wherever you are and let us know in the comments whether you have any tips for date ideas to do in May!



You’ve spent time, effort and money getting ready for your date.


You know the venue, the time, you’re excited to meet this person you’ve been messaging back and forth. You’re hopeful that the elusive spark will be there, that this could be the start of something real.


What do you pack in your handbag, or slip in your pockets before you leave though to help make sure the evening goes smoothly?


There is always something that you can think of that could help you in a sticky situation – ever ripped your skirt on a date and now obsessively carry around a sewing kit?


I’ve put together a list of items for ladies and gentlemen that can help put your mind at ease while you’re on a date – after all, if you are prepared for something, it very rarely happens and you can just relax.



  1. Mini Listerine/ Breath Mints/ Mini Toothbrush
  2. Mini Dry Shampoo
  3. Antibacterial Gel
  4. Blister plasters
  5. Body moisturiser
  6. Nail file
  7. Tampon
  8. Taxi fare
  9. Mini Umbrella
  10. Mascara/Lipstick



  1. Spare jumper
  2. Taxi fare and loose cash
  3. Smart shoes
  4. Breath mints/mini toothbrush
  5. Comb


Feeling sick? Got a cold? How to cancel your date gracefully

By signing up to an online dating service, you are declaring to the world that you are ready and willing and available to date. You are putting yourself out there, on the line, ready for acceptance and rejection, in the hope that love and romance are just around the corner.


Having gone to the effort of deciding to join an internet dating website like Free and Single, filling out your profile with just the right balance of measured wit and lighthearted whimsy, taking the perfect profile picture and cultivating a messaging relationship with one or two promising people there are only three reasons you would cancel a long awaited date with someone;


1) Sickness

2) Genuine Emergency

3) You have changed your mind


So, how do you go about actually cancelling this date? Presumably you do not wish to hurt anyone’s feelings, you’ve been there and you remember what it felt like.


It entirely depends on why you are cancelling.


First, try and cancel as far in advance as you can. A last minute drop out is less than flattering to your date and doesn’t show much consideration for them, their time and effort in getting ready for the date or their feelings at being cancelled on.


Second, if you still want to have the date but your pre-arranged time or date just isn’t going to work for you anymore, then let them know you are only postponing the date. Consider sending flowers or a handwritten note apologising for cancelling and asking to reschedule.


Now, to the the crux of the matter – why are you cancelling in the first place and what do you say to get out of the date?


1) Sickness

If you are ill, you have to let them know. You don’t have to go into the gory details, but let them know how rough you are feeling. Calling someone ten minutes before you meet them to let them know your throat ‘feels a bit sore’ is not going to fly if you plan on still having this date in the future. If you feel sick the morning of your date, send them a message to let them know you are not feeling tip top and you’ll let them know by lunchtime whether you are going to make the date or if you’ll have to reschedule.

Remember, an apple a day…

How to postpone your online date at short notice if you're ill


2) Genuine Emergency

This category is, by ts very nature, unplanned and unpredictable, so reasonable notice may not be possible. However, let your date know the moment you know you won’t be able to make it and unless you are guarding a National Secret, give them an explanation; ‘I’m sorry I can’t make it, my neighbour fell down the stairs and I need to take her to hospital, I’ll call you later to catch you up and reschedule our date.’  This will go over much better than the classic soap opera; ‘Family emergency! Sorry! Bye!’

3) You have changed your mind

The best thing to do here is the hardest. Go anyway and let the date make your mind up for you – you obviously felt some sort of interest or you wouldn’t have got to the point where you had organised a date with this person.  If it doesn’t go as you hoped, no harm, no foul, no second date. Just make sure you let them down gently. After all, you should always treat others how you would wish to be treated!


Stuck for ideas for dates to do as Spring begins?

Here’s our Free and Single online dating guide to how to have a great time with your date, whether its a first meeting or the start of something special!


1) Get together and head to a craft shop to pick up supplies – get stickers, paints, glue, jewels, felt – and then set up shop at a table and decorate Easter Eggs together.

2) Wait for a sunny day and then head to the garden center! Grab some seeds or a pot plant you want to nurture and then plant something together.

3) Head to a cafe with pavement space and order brunch, then enjoy some downtime sans technology and just chat and people watch together.

4) Go to a local tourist attraction you have never visited before despite it being on your doorstep and have fun experiencing something new with your date.

5) Head to the beach and paint little hearts on random pebbles so other people can find them later. Spread the love!


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.


Dating advice can often be women-centric or else completely unrealistic because it is published in a men’s magazine which strives to maintain a sense of macho pride. The best people to ask about how you’re doing on a date are the women you are dating. Of course, actually asking the very women you are sitting across the table from at dinner is likely to look needy and a tad insecure, so we are here to help!


We have gathered some advice from women about what their recent male dates could have done to take the date from blah to huzzah!


Top 5 Tips About Dating for Guys


1) Manners are important. If you don’t want to drive her off immediately, be polite. That means tone down the swearing in conversation, pull back her chair for her at dinner, offer to pay the bill, hold the door for her, chew with your mouth closed. Yes, some women nowadays find this type of action an affront to their feminist values. Most will just be charmed that you were chivalrous enough to do it.


2) Listen. The point of dating is to find out about the other person and in so doing, determine whether you like them enough to have another date. It is a proven fact that people love to talk about themselves, but by showing interest in what your date has to say, you will actively be proving your worth as an attentive human being and a great date.


3) Relax. I know it’s hard, everyone experiences nerves on a date. However, think of something that calms you down and then channel that calm, confident person. Women don’t tend to like feeling like they are terrifying their date speechless, so if you are so nervous about your date that it is affecting your ability to talk, try practicing by putting yourself in situations where you will have to talk to strangers.


4) Make an effort. It’s nice to know that you value yourself, it makes you look like someone a women could value in turn. If you show up to your date in scruffy jeans, a hoodie and a baseball cap then it just shows that you value your own comfort above the need to make a nice first impression on your date. Either that, or you’re a college student.


5) Honesty. There is no need here to go on a full conversational leap through the ins and outs of your dating life for the last four years. If you feel that you are a part of a situation that could affect your potential relationship, such as going through divorce proceedings or that you have a child, never hide this fact. It’s part of the package deal and if they like you, they’ll let it go. If it’s too much of a deal breaker for your date, better for both of you that you find out sooner rather than later.