Looking for ‘The One’

Dear Agony Aunt Nicola

I have been single for some time and i have found that new relationships always end in disaster or they just weren’t exactly what I’m looking for in a long-term partner. I am hard to please, my friends call me fussy and say I should just settle down and reckon I’ve missed the boat a few times. I am concerned time is flying by and that I will never find ‘The One’ but why should I be with someone who doesn’t tick all the boxes? Melanie

Hi Melanie

There’s no rush to find a partner and especially if you don’t feel they’re 100% right for you. No one is perfect, everyone has their flaws but when it’s about finding true love you will accept it if it’s meant to be. Go with your gut instinct as this is a good way to know if a relationship is right for you to continue. As the saying goes you have to kiss a few frogs to get to your prince. Take your time and enjoy your free time meeting new people which will give you a good chance in finding ‘The One’ for a long lasting relationship.

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The Importance of Being Honest

They say honesty is the best policy. And when it comes to dating, it’s certainly one of the most important.

Online dating has changed a great deal in the last decade. What began as a form of online lonely hearts, has progressed into a sophisticated, dedicated industry. Online daters come in all shapes and sizes, and so do the websites and apps available to them. The development of the industry has allowed daters to be increasingly specific about who they want, and what they want from that person.

In 2015, you can find almost anything online. Whether you desire a threesome, a sugar daddy, a mail order bride, a one night stand or a long-term relationship. But in order to ensure you get exactly what you want, there are three key areas of dating where honesty is of the essence.

1) Be honest about who you really are.

If you’re online dating, and actually plan to meet up with people, there is no point lying about who you are – to either yourself or potential matches. No one wants the first impression they make to be one of disappointment, but that’s likely to be the case if you mislead people about who you are.

Use photos which show the real you. Don’t select super-flattering options, which you know don’t really look like you do in person. And don’t use old photos, or ones which show a different version of yourself. If you’ve lost or gained weight recently, make sure the photos you use online are up-to-date. As a rule of thumb, you should never use photos which are over six months old.

When filling out your profile, think about stuff which is really important to you. Try to represent, as best you can, the real you. The person they would meet on the date. Don’t exaggerate or lie to attract people, just be yourself. The right people will be drawn to this.

2) Be honest about why you’re online

Never lie about your intention. Even if you’re in a relationship, and using online dating to cheat, there is no need to lie about it, in this day and age. There are actual sites designed to service those needs.

Be honest with yourself about what you want from an online relationship. How serious do you want it to get? Are you just looking for a friend, or someone to chat to? Do you desire no-strings sex, or a casual arrangement? Is there are specific sexual preference you wish to explore? Or are you looking for a long-term relationship?

The more honest you can be with yourself about what you want, the easier it is to find it. By honing in on your reason for dating online, you can choose the best site to suit those needs, and identify websites where you’re likely to meet like-minded people. Then, by communicating on your profile exactly what you are looking for in a relationship, you are laying your cards on the table from the very beginning. Anyone responding to your profile will be doing so with full disclosure.

3) Be honest about your feelings

The great part of dating online, is just how many options you are provided with. And you won’t like everyone. Be kind. Don’t lead others on unnecessarily. If you’re not interested in someone who approaches you online, it’s perfectly acceptable to ignore advances. Passive rejection is an accepted part of online dating.

If you go on a date or two with someone, and don’t feel any chemistry, but they don’t feel the same way, let them down gently. Never try to disguise rejection with extreme kindness – it will always be mis-read. If you’re not interested, get out of the relationship as quickly as possible.

Meet Genuine Singles at Singles 247 Dating site.

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Dating with Disabilities

Dear Agony Aunt Nicola

I’ve never been in a relationship and I think this is due to my impaired eyesight. How can I go on a date if I walk into walls?! I would like to think i’m very sociable and have confidence when it comes to public speaking but where dating is concerned I feel i’ve failed before it’s even started. My confidence is taking a knock with the thought of going through the process of physically getting to my date without making a fool of myself. Any advice would be much appreciated, thanks John.

Hi John

Dating can be much harder for those who have physical or psychological disabilities. There are plenty of disabled people who go dating and you shouldn’t be any different. Without knowing the extent of your visual impairment it’s best to plan your journey, maybe have someone on hand to help such as a friend or relative someone who you can trust that will be there for support. Once you have a meeting point arranged with your date it’s best to check the place out beforehand this will ensure your smooth arrival. Preparation is key for you, this will then give you the confidence to turn up for a date. It’s also best to let your date know of your concerns but do it in a light hearted way with some humour to keep it positive. Please keep in mind though that people who are worth dating are the ones who don’t judge you or make you feel uncomfortable.

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Safe Online Dating

Dating online is a lot of fun. Used properly, an online dating site can be the gateway to romance. However, as you embark on what could be the adventure of your life, it’s important to do so safely.

Remember you are dealing with strangers

Not everyone online is who they say they are, so apply some caution. It’s perfectly normal to do some preliminary online searches to ensure the person you’re meeting is who he or she says they are. Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter should normally confirm a basic ID check, and a number of sites now offer this function for you. Facebook can be particularly useful if you establish you have a mutual friend in common, who can vouch for him or her.

Never give out personal details online

This can sound tough, when you’re trying to get to know someone. But steer clear of telling a stranger your date of birth, place of birth, and other details which could be used for identity fraud. Remember things like the name of your first pet, or your first ever job may also be used by online banking sites, so be careful about giving specific details to anyone.

Never give money to someone you meet online

This may sound obvious, but online scams trick thousands of people worldwide each year. Never give someone you’ve never met, or only just met, money – no matter the reason. Often scammers will suggest they need the money to come to meet you, or for urgent family reasons. No matter how emotionally tied you feel to the person, remember they are still a stranger. The same applies in the early stages of a relationship. It is not normal for someone you have recently begun a relationship with to ask you for large sums of money. Try to keep your wits about you, no matter how quickly your heart is falling for someone.

Always tell someone where you are going

If you’re going on a date with someone you’ve never met before, make sure to tell a friend or family member your plans. Let that person know where you’re planning on going, and roughly how long you think the date may last. Check in with them when you’ve met your date, and again when you’re home. Nowadays there are a number of tracking apps which allow you to check in at the touch of a button. There are also apps which will transmit your location to a loved one.

Always meet in a public location

Again, this might sound like obvious advice, but it can be easy to get caught up on the romance of a situation, particularly if someone suggests cooking for you, or watching a movie together. Until you have the measure of someone, meet up in busy, public places. Stations are a great spot to meet. Not only are they busy, but they allow you an easy escape if the person turns out to be not who he or she seemed online.

I hope you have found that useful, and wish you good luck in your quest to find someone new.

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Single Parent Dating

Dear Agony Aunt Nicola

I’ve been single for a while and have been on various dates but it seems quite a struggle trying to date with having kids. I don’t seem to always find the time to arrange a date with someone new when i’m so busy with the kids. When I think I have found the perfect person and plan to meet them I find myself either running around getting the chores done or stressed. This then leads to losing the excitement of a date and instead turns to worry. If you can give me some tips on where i’m going wrong – is it me or my lifestyle. Elizabeth

Hi Elizabeth

It’s very hard for single parents who have the care of their children and trying to go dating at the same time. There should be a balance and the best way to overcome this is to plan ahead. If you and your new date plan a time to meet ensure that everything is ready in advance so when the time approaches you have done all your chores and you are stress free. If you have childcare if the children are young ask for their assistance in either arriving early or dropping them off early which will give you good time to relax and unwind before you meet your date. Single parent dating can be difficult but there’s no reason why you can’t put yourself first every now and again and have some time for yourself to give yourself the best chance of finding a new partner. Life shouldn’t stop just because you have kids so take time out and have the best of both worlds.

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Sharing Cost 50/50 in a relationship

Dear Agony Aunt Nicola

I been seeing this guy for about 4 months now. When we usually go out he pays for dinner, movies, or anything else we do. I help to pay here and there. Mostly he is the one paying. The other day, he asked that we should share the cost 50/50 and that its getting a little out of hand. We do go out every week so I can understand it can be pricey. I told him we don’t need to go out everytime. I don’t mind staying home and cook and just watch tv. No biggy. I don’t know how to take this? Because none of the guys I have been with before have asked me to go 50/50.

Don’t guys usually pay for everything. However, I don’t know his financial situation. I don’t know how these things work, thanks Jodie

Hi Jodie

It’s a difficult one as he’s offered to pay initially and because of that you naturally expected him to pay each time you went out as he seemed okay with it. He more than likely doesn’t want to make it an issue either, perhaps offer to contribute half especially if what you are doing together is costly. If you sit down and discuss with him splitting the cost or like you say not going out as much if money is tight, there are plenty of things you can do as a couple that doesn’t cost a penny! Things like picnics if the weather is good, sports like a game of tennis, punting, swimming etc there are plenty of things you can do without breaking the bank. The best thing you can do is talk about it otherwise it will only fester in to a potential argument which is no good for any new relationship.

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Meet Up Quick, Honest!

If there were ten commandments of dating in 2015, the first one would have to be ‘thou shalt meet up quickly!’

As I’ve mentioned before, dating in the twenty-teens is a numbers game. With so many people dating online, it can feel as if you have infinite choices. And to some degree you do. It’s by no means a bad thing. Dating can be an exciting, exhilarating carousel ride, if you play the game correctly.

Like most people, my first contact with online dating was the film You’ve Got Mail and so when I first began online dating, I believed the key was to make a real connection with someone before meeting up. To look carefully for ‘The One’, and only once I thought I had found him, to then meet up. As a result, I chatted to guys for several weeks, trying to learn everything about them, before I committed to going on a date.

However in reality, it’s very difficult to get to know someone simply over emails and messages. It’s also particularly difficult to work out whether there will be any attraction in real life.

The problem with waiting to meet a date in person, is that in the build up to meeting, you begin to create a false impression about who you are texting or emailing. Without hearing the tone of their words, or seeing their face as they say things, you begin to attach unfounded attraction and expectation to the person. An attraction and expectation which may prove difficult to live up to in person.

In reality, ten people could say the exact same thing to us, but, when those same words are said by someone who you are attracted to, they produce a very different response to when anyone else says them. The problem with meeting someone online, and sharing lengthy correspondence before meeting up, is that you assume that you are going to fancy one another, simply from photos and brief online descriptions. You fill in the gaps with assumptions of attraction, and will view the things they say and do more favorably because you’re excited and invested. And at the same time, that person is doing a similar thing.

Obviously sometimes the person you’ve been getting to know will be just as attractive and as good a match in person as they were online. However more often, if you chat for too long, you either create a false impression which your match won’t be able to live up to, or one of you gets bored of simply feling like pen pals. Even if there is an attraction in real life, you need to experience it early on, in order to continue investing time in the ‘relationship’. After all, we all know how many other options there are online.

The easy solution is to meet up quickly. Once you’ve established you like each others’ profiles, and that you can communicate easily enough online, try to take things offline at the quickest opportunity. Don’t mistake haste for naivete. You should still pay close attention to your personal safety, and still apply thought to the date. Make it fun, and do something you want to do any way, so that even if the person doesn’t turn out to be as good a match as you first thought, you still have fun.

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Will I ever trust again

Dear Agony Aunt Nicola

I had been in a relationship for a handful of years and got engaged. The lead up to the wedding seemed fine until a few weeks beforehand when I found out my fiance had been having an affair with a good friend of mine. Yes it was my worst nightmare and a couple of years down the line I’m still not over it. I do want to start looking to the future and meeting someone special but I am finding it difficult to know if I will ever trust anyone again. Vanessa

Hi Vanessa

You have taken a knock in confidence and to trust someone again when wanting to start a new relationship will be undoubtedly difficult for you. I have a lot of emails that come in asking for advice and I must admit this is within the top 10 worst situations to be in. Remember though no matter how bad it can be there is always light at the end of the tunnel. It helps to talk about things may I suggest if not a close friend or family member that you may need some form of counselling to deal with your trust issues. Talking about a problem if it is affecting your life can do you a lot of good, to get things off your chest and put things into perspective that all men are not like your ex. Learning to cope with upset and trying new techniques will help you get over this. Time is a good healer too so with this combined even though you won’t forget you will move on successfully.

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Making the First Move Online

Of all the aspects of online dating, sending the opening message is the part we often overthink. In a face-to-face situation, approaching someone can be really tough. You don’t know whether they’re single. You don’t know they’re intentions. You don’t know who or what they are looking for.

By contrast, approaching someone online should be a lot easier. You already know far more about them than you would in a bar – you know they’re single and looking, and often you will also know their name, age, sexual persuasion, and a whole host of other details about him or her, before you even speak.

There’s also the fact that approaching someone online is a lot less awkward than speaking to someone face to face. Online, if someone isn’t interested in you, they simply won’t reply – making rejection a lot more passive, and less awkward than it is in real life. But how can you try to minimize the online rejection, and strike up conversation online?

1) Make sure you have a strong profile

Online, the success of a message is often far more reliant on who is sending it, than what the message actually says. Ten different people could say ‘Hello’ to you, and you might respond completely differently, according to who was approaching you. When you send someone an online message, he or she will click on your profile before deciding to reply. So make sure your profile is a good representation of you.

The first hurdle is always the profile picture. When your message appears, so too will a thumbnail. Popular online daters may not even get past your thumbnail, so make sure it’s is a good one. Stand out from the rest. Bold colours and backgrounds work well, and remember to smile!

2) Message a number of people

The online game is a numbers one, and it is important to remember that. Whilst you may have favourites, you should never restrict your approaches to one person at a time. Not everyone online is actively using the service, and you shouldn’t place all your hopes on one person at such an early stage. Spend time exploring one or more dating sites, and approaching a whole range of people. This is just stage one of the dating process, so don’t restrict your options too early on.

Try to keep note of who you’ve approached, if the website hasn’t done so for you. It can be embarrassing approaching the same person repeatedly. And don’t copy and paste messages. If you accidentally send the same person the same message twice, it will look lazy and as if you don’t actually care.

3) Don’t overthink things

In my experience, people overthink the online approach. In reality, what you’re doing is showing that you’re interested in the other person, and testing the water to see if he or she might be interested in you. As a result, you need to stay true to yourself when chatting online, and remember, that if that person doesn’t respond to you in the way you want, then maybe they’re just not the right person for you. Be friendly, casual, and above all normal! Don’t use contrived chat up lines, unless that’s genuinely you’re sense of humour. Compliments about how someone looks or their noted achievements are likely to come across as tacky or slimy. Avoid talking about what the other person looks like, and if you refer to something noted in his or her profile, don’t overthink it. By contacting them, you’re already showing an interest, there’s no need to suggest you’ve memorized their profile!

Questions can work well, as they give the person answering something to base their reply on, but try to avoid turning it into an interview. Don’t be afraid to make the other person think. Rather than asking about him or her, ask their opinion on something, or try a fun ice-breaker, like ideal celebrity dinner guests.

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Interfering Ex Girlfriend

Dear Agony Aunt Nicola

I have been dating for 6 months now and met a really nice guy i’ve found a connection with, the problem is his ex is interfering in our new found relationship. Before I get too serious with this guy I want to know a) he’s totally over his exes and b) cut them off for the sake of his new relationship with me. When we go out socially his exes are always around and come up to talk to him and just make me feel really uncomfortable. He knows I feel awkward but not to the extent of how much it’s really bothering me which could affect our future together. I don’t want a silly misunderstanding to ruin what could be a good thing. Jessie

Hi Jessie

It’s never easy when there are exes lurking in the background for any new relationship. There may not be any cause for concern, there’s a reason they are exes and until you are proven otherwise I wouldn’t worry. Getting things off your chest and letting him know how you feel is the best option for you to move forward. By bottling up your feelings can only make the situation worse with your fear his exes are getting in the way. He needs to re-assure you they are not a threat in any way, he’s devoting his time to date you so try to be positive and it will all naturally fall into place.

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