Have you got that Friday feeling today?


If the ‘Thank God Its Friday’ syndrome is really catching up with you, then I have a great reminder for you – next weekend is the August Bank Holiday! If your head has been stuck in paperwork and to-do lists, now you’ll finally have some time to get online, find a great date and actually head out and about with them.


Not to mention, in honour of the additional 24 hours of free time stuck onto your weekend, we’re going to be sending out some fantastic offers for all our fabulous Free and Single’s – so what are you waiting for? Let’s get in the holiday mood!


I’ve got some ideas to share with you on how you could spend that all important extra day off, so have a browse and see what takes your fancy (ooh, and you have any ideas or plans, I would love to hear them, so do please leave me a comment).




If you are spending some time in London after the recent Olympic fanfare, you might want to consider checking out the outdoor film showing at Somerset House on the 25th August for a chance to snuggle with your date – definitely bring a picnic and a blanket!




Maybe you are a little further North than London and can head to Manchester for a night out. Why not have a look at the Blue Cat Cafe for some up and coming the music stars and fantastic beats? Listen to some smooth jazz, perfect for the over 40s dater who likes to kick back with a gin and tonic.




For those of you heading to Dublin, why not try out one of the many attractions of the Emerald Isle? My favourites are Dublin Castle and seafood at Aqua. Take your date for a mini break and enjoy Guinness together in a cosy pub if it rains, or explore the city like a local if the sun shines.




If you are feeling flush this upcoming Bank Holiday weekend, why not take your date to Paris? Try out this spectacular magic show and ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ together before heading out for some of France’s famous culinary delights.


We seemed to ‘click’ during chats and after a week we took the plunge and decided to meet up. On our first date we both felt that certain chemistry. So much so, we met again only three days later.

Your first date is mere hours away and you are a bag of nerves. ‘What ifs?’ run through your head, scenarios good and bad have you packing your bag with everything from spare lipstick to bandages. You know, just in case. Well, I have narrowed down the list of things you have to worry about by graciously removing at least ten things, leaving you with time enough to pile the contents of your wardrobe on the bed. Without further ado then, here are ten things to remember for your first date.





  1.  If you are in charge of organising the date, then have a think about it to make it relevant. You don’t want to be the person who takes a different date to the same restaurant every Friday night. Think of what you know about your date already and try to include these details into your planning. Know they love penguins? Why not surprise them with a trip to the zoo. Did their profile mention how much they adore chocolate? A trip to a chocolate factory with a pre-arranged tour could be your ticket to an excellent first impression and a great date as well! Always make a back-up plan – nothing says thoughtful like running from a soggy picnic in the park to reserved tables at a good restaurant in town.Give some thought to your date and always have a back-up plan!
  2. When it comes to getting ready for your date, one thing is paramount: wear simple, comfortable clothing that suits you. You want to make a good impression, so don’t choose this moment to wander far from your comfort zone and get a green mohican to appear more ‘cool’. Make sure you approach your date with an open mind and try not to fixate on tall, dark and handsome. Might be you have a thing for blondes you just never knew about.First impressions count...but stay in your comfort zone
  3. Having finally arrived at the crucial moment when you meet, possibly for the first time, pay attention to your date! This is not the time to become self-absorbed. Pay them a genuine compliment and show you appreciate the effort they have made for you. Try not to be so nervous you whip out a generic, ‘You look nice.’ Maybe even pre-prepare some compliments specially, to calm your flummoxed mind.Pay attention to your date!
  4. Listen to your date when they are talking! Try not to dominate the conversation, you want a good back and forth to get started. Ask questions about them. Have a few conversational gambits up your sleeves in case of lulls. Make sure you are up to date on current events so if all else fails you can discuss the economy intelligently.Listen. Ask questions. Your date doesn't want a monologue about your life right now.
  5. Try to keep yourself in the moment, enjoying the date. Reminiscing about the last relationship you were in or comparing your current date to an old paramour is the fastest way to ensure there is never a second date.Try to relax and enjoy your date, not plan tomorrow's grocery list
  6. Whatever you do, avoid your mobile phone. Everyone is onto the old ‘family emergency’ get out clause by now and responding ‘for work reasons’ is a terrible excuse. Give your date your full attention. Leave your phone on silent or vibrate, have it fully charged certainly for safety reasons, but don’t answer it or text while you are with your date. It is just plain rude.There is a reason it is called 'face-to-face' interaction. Put your phone away.
  7. There is no way to say this one lightly: don’t come on too strong. Even if you just woke up from a nightmare where you were the last person on Earth, alone forever and you believe this to be a portent there is absolutely no need to share this foreboding with your date. You will freak them out and put extra pressure on the outcome of your first date. Dating is meant to be fun people, not an audition for marriage or parenthood!First dates are no the place to discuss your future kids names and college plans
  8. Stay positive and show your good humour and relaxed nature. Treat others as you would wish to be treated. Shouting at the waiter doesn’t impress anyone, it just makes you look like a bully. No-one likes a bully.Treat others as you would wish to be treated
  9. Ah, the age-old who-pays-for-what issue. Here’s a solution: whoever initiated the date offers to pay. The other can offer to purchase the next thing, like going onto a bar for a drink or meeting up next week for coffee. Alternate paying can help you raise the awkward point of a second date, without appearing pushy. Make sure you carry some cash on you as well, in case you end up paying for your half or your cab home – or just in case the place you’re at doesn’t have a card reader.Money can be tricky, don't let it ruin your date
  10. Stay safe. Make sure you don’t drink too much. If you need to calm your nerves take deep breathes not shots of whisky. Let a friend know where you are and tell them to expect your call at the end of the date so someone knows where you are. If you feel uncomfortable with the way the date is progressing, either bring it up or leave. Stay in a public place and be cautious. If they are a nice person they won’t mind you taking precautions for your safety.Stay safe. Dutch courage is traditionally taken in small amounts...
Have a good time and remember, above all, to just relax and have fun!

Summer fling or blossom into a full relationship?


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


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


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


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

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

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

It is the stuff internet dating dreams are made of.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Online dating really does work!

Jan and Martin

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.



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!

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.’




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.




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.




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.

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.

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 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 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!