You’ll need to be fit for success with new dating site

While it never hurts to keep fit in order to attract that special someone, a new dating service is coming to the UK that makes it not only a good idea but compulsory.

Men and women looking for a good workout can get together soon in order to overcome physical challenges together, thanks to an Australian firm called Fit2date.  The new company will be launching next month with 2-hour long Mega Meet workout training sessions in London, Bedford, and Chelmsford, and hopes to build on its success down under, where there have already been 12 Australian Fit2date member marriages – and 4 children!

Erica French, from Sydney, the dating site’s founder, said that she never thought that the idea would be so successful.  The woman, who met her own soulmate at one of her own training groups in 2010, originally developed the service for busy singles who had little time to socialise or work out – and decided to combine the two in such a way as to maximise the return for people looking for both a good workout and a chance at maybe finding that special someone.

All the Fit2date exercises require two people to do properly, unlike your typical gym visit where you can simply pop in your iPod ear buds and drift off into your own little world, French says.  Instead, you’re not only encouraged to engage, but to excel, it’s a requirement, and you can avoid all those awkward questions you normally have to fumble through in a strictly social dating situation – and you already know you’ve got the goal of keeping fit in common.

Peer pressure determines boyfriend online dating choice

Another new dating site has surfaced and, perhaps rather predictably, it has just released a survey into its customers dating preferences.

Part of the survey carried out by new website looked at the effect that friends’ approval had on dating behaviour.

Clients were asked if they were concerned if their friends approved of their new boyfriend or not and what they would do if they did not.

Nearly 1200 people were surveyed and one assumes that they were all single females.

Surprisingly, a majority seemed to be very concerned that their friends liked their boyfriend and approved of the relationship. 89% said that they were bothered about their friends’ feelings, while a lot less – 59% were bothered about what their boyfriend’s own friends thought about their relationship.

The survey was carried out by the new dating site because, according to the founder, Luke Pomaro, they wanted to know more about their client base and what made them tick.

More facts and figures revealed in the survey included the fact that 12% said that they would dump a boyfriend if their friends did not approve, which showed that their friends’ opinion counted a little more than their mum’s, because only 7% said that they would end a relationship if mum did not approve! is a “double dating” website, which means that it arranges dates with a friend. Perhaps it is no surprise, Mr Pomaro said, that anybody who signed up to the new site would take their friends’ opinions seriously in terms of choice of who to date.

However, Mr Poimaro was a little shocked at the number of people who took their friendship with their friends more seriously than their friendship with their boyfriend.

He said that while it was fine to take one’s friends thoughts into consideration, it was important not to take them so seriously that it would cause the relationship to end.

He said that any healthy relationship depended on what the two people themselves thought about each other, rather than what other people thought.

Love scams can happen anywhere in the world

Malaysia and Singapore are now victims to dating site scams that are inflicting the world over, as online dating becomes increasingly widespread.

Only yesterday, a Nigerian born man was put under arrest by a Malaysian police officer in the capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. He was extradited to Singapore on the 11th April to answer to a run of internet love swindles.

The man, who is 32, is alleged to have been involved in a number of fraud episodes which they were informed about last year.

He is said to have feigned friendship to women victims via internet dating and networking sites, and formed emotional relationships with them.

He vowed to go to Singapore and, on the arrival day, would make contact with the victims, informing them that he had not been allowed through at the border. At this point he would ask the victims to send some money to specific bank accounts, so he could be released.

The man is expected to be committed in court on the 13th April and it is hoped he will be held in remand for more investigations.

The Commander of the Airport Police Unit issued his thanks to the Malaysian police force, applauding them for their fantastic cooperation and help in detaining this man.

The police have broadcast reminders to members of the public to stay vigilant and be on the lookout for dating scams and to let the police know instantly if anybody makes any attempt to demand money.

The public must be astute when it comes to the receiving of messages on dating sites from strangers who may wish to become friends. A police spokesperson reiterated that it was more important not to hand over any money to a person that one is not familiar with.

There have been a number of problems on dating sites on the internet when befrienders have spent many months expressing loyalty and affection for victims and then turned on them by asking for money and then completely vanishing when they have received an amount of cash that suits their needs.

There have been instances of blackmail when victims have displayed themselves in an uncompromising fashion on webcams and fraudsters have used their wits to extract money.

Ronan rebuffs approach from discreet adult dating site

Former Boyzone lead singer Ronan Keating has slammed an offer by one high-class, renowned adult dating site to head up its new marketing campaign, which they have offered to tie in with his role judging the Australian version of the X-Factor contest this year.

The dating site owners have become interested in Keating as a figurehead for its services after the singer confirmed his split from wife Yvonne following fourteen years of marriage earlier this week over a social media platform.

Dating site Ashley Madison have officially requested the star’s ‘support’ as their facility recognises the need in the marketplace for disheartened halves of couples who seek solace and sex from singles or other married individuals outside of their existing relationship.

They’ve associated the Irish singer/songwriter with that role due to has dalliance with backing singer Francine Cornell (who looks uncannily like one of The Nolan Sisters, if you ask me), which, it was announced this week, has finally become too much of a strain on the relationship between Ronan and his wife, Yvonne, even though they have tried to keep their marriage in tact for their three children’s sakes for the last three years in the shadow of his seven month fling.

The discreet dating site are said to have offered Keating a ‘sizeable sum’ plus access to a private jet to ferry the star between his new life in Australia where he judges the wallaby wannabe show and hopes to move to permanently and his home in Ireland that he still shares with Yvonne, although they are reported to be living totally separate lives.

However, it seems that the online dating site is barking up totally the wrong tree. Even though the couple confirmed the rumours that they’d split in separate messages on Twitter last week, it is obvious that Ronan is still very much in love with Yvonne and his three children. He may be considering a move Down Under to get over the separation but there is no way he would glorify his actions, which he is said to regret even though his mistress Francine declared “We’re in love” when confronted by Yvonne after she found Ronan’s private mobile containing messages about the illicit affair that the two had sent each other whilst secretly dating during his solo tour in 2009.

Ronan may not like it but Noel Biderman’s comments in The Mirror suggesting that his site, Ashley Madison, is designed specifically for men and women whose partners no longer satisfy the yearning for ‘excitement and pleasure’ that they did at the outset of their relationship, must realise that his actions reflect the sentiment that drive this controversial dating site.

However, not fancying seeing his name, or subjecting his estranged wife and children to, being plastered over adverts across several levels of media that Biderman has planned, Ronan has referred to the approach as “in bad taste”. Somehow, I don’t think he’s short of a few bob and values integrity over quick, easy cash. I wonder whether his ex-lover, Francine, can look herself in the mirror and say the same…?

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Facial make up to blame for beer goggle bed-partners

Who is the biggest minger you’ve ever woken up next to? C’mon, there has to be a few skeletons in that old cupboard of yours, eh? No? I am surprised. Many a time whilst dating in Wolverhampton women have perched a pair of beer goggles on the end of my nose, put me to sleep, robbed my memory and set their badger on me to crap in my mouth whilst I’ve been asleep in their bed for the very first (and absolute last) time. And the money they’ve taken!

The least they could do is let me leave still wearing the beer goggles so I didn’t have to visualise the travesty of my actions. But oh no, they take them back and hide them in the morning, too, so that the full spectacle has unravelled behind heavy carbon ball-bearing eyeballs whilst Mr Brain, craving coffee, reminds me to find out which dating site this particular woman uses so that I can cancel my membership.

However, new research suggests that this habit of becoming extremely friendly whilst wearing Stella-specs is perhaps not all of my fault. And neither can it be said of the young ladies who have had the misfortune of meeting me when I’ve been ‘in beer’ that the terrible first date fumble has been entirely their fault – they ought to at least put a true photo on the dating site profile or not bring a less-than-pretty mate along with them to make them look good!

Sorry, yes – symmetry, my friends. Being Libran, I can identify with the results in the latest research carried out at Roehampton Uni – everything must be balanced in equal parts before it looks right. But there has been an association with a person’s ability to detect perfect symmetry and how they are drawn to love by la visage parfait.

Why do I never get invited to this sort of research panel: Dr Lewis Halsey was given charge of a study to determine how people react when judging another’s lines of symmetry and then adding alcohol to see where that got the students?

The result is that, when you’re sober, you can judge the aspects of a face and make a reasonable stab at assessing whether a partner is pretty or not. But by adding alcohol, those lines get bleary and the ability to make reasoned judgement disappears faster than your credibility once the lads find out. People cannot appraise symmetry when under the influence and, being mostly affable pups we assume (though on what grounds I’m unsure) that we like this person in a reciprocal way if they’re coming on to you or, as an older sexual deviant that ought to know better, if they’re not.

So, next time you wake up next to someone and your immediate thought is ‘WTF?’, you can always blame being pi-eyed on Pythagoras and look for the right angle to get out of there sharpish if she’s not acute little thing.

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Measuring online dating habits the facebook way

If you missed the last item, telling us that facebook were seeing what days its members were getting it on and unceremoniously back off again, go back to Will facebook be the next big thing in online dating?, get  a grasp of what this part two of two is all about, then come back and pick up where you left off here…

First and foremost the information was gathered from US facebook users from last year and the year before, then was split into three defining age groups, <25, 25-44, 45=<.  And, as much as we may be seen to protest too much about the relevance, there were some very distinct patterns about what days of the week people in different age groups changed their relationship status.

All three age-groups started the week on a positive note, more of each changing their online status to in a relationship, the middle group by as much as 14%.  The boffins decided that this had very much to do with the fact that the weekend spent socialising and indulging in ‘never-on-a-school-night’ frivolities instigated many new relationships.

As the week tailed off, however, and this is a measured decline throughout a given seven day period, those statuses gradually went back to single, dipping quite dramatically.  The over 45’s saw the biggest swing, from a plus 10% rise at the start of the week to a nosediving -7.5% by Friday, with the mid-group not far behind that 17.5% flux, dropping from their high of plus 14% on Sunday to -2.5% by Friday.  Again, the mad scientists put this down to the weekend, by suggesting those with experience dumped their dumpy dumpster in time to find a fitter Ferrari model on Friday.

The youngsters hadn’t quite got the hang of that bit as they showed the only bucking of identical trends by their Friday figure; it started to pick-up after Thursday, giving their overall swing the least movement by far.  That tells me two things.  Firstly, whilst you’re young, you can just go on dating whoever – just because you’re ‘in a relationship’ constantly, doesn’t mean to say it’s the same one; the ground never has time to settle beneath their feet, let alone allowing them time to change facebook status.

The second major factor, and I hark back to my Picasso Night Club days in Wolverhampton, is that when you’re that age, your weekend does start on a Thursday – at least it used to for us.  Friday at work was simply an inconvenience between the first two nights on the pull of many a hectic weekend.  They’d never have kept up with our statuses, back then.  But that’s possibly because the Internet hadn’t been invented yet…

First dates – what not to say

Take a keyboard away from someone who uses dating sites or any social media platform and you’d be surprised at how many of them just clam up. If they have access to QWERTY, they’re flirty; minus the digits they’re practically frigid. Strange, but oh so true.

However, anyone who’s been on a succession of dates with singles they’ve met on the dating site of their choice will tell you that there have been times when they wish that they could have adopted the silent treatment as a weapon of choice, either for themselves when they’ve put their foot in their mouth or to use as a YKK zipper on their dating partner whose incessant chatter is destroying the romantic ardour built up beforehand.

But perhaps the most devastating thing that can happen on your first date is running out of things to say. When you have been in a relationship for some time, there are ways in which you can communicate with your partner that transcend vocals. This can either be a depth of sentiment that highlights your true one-ness (or wan-ness, if your relationship is coming to its natural conclusion) or it can be the depth of brown stuff you’re in, if you’ve upset your better half.

Save the silent treatment until you’ve been dating a while

Women play the silent card very well. Only when they think you’re starting to enjoy the silence do they dignify themselves to speak to you in any way that conforms to the norms of acknowledgement, but that’s for another article; for now, we’ll stick to the awkward silence when you first meet up with a potential partner from your dating site.

Being mean and moody is all well and good, but if you try to hide behind that persona on your first date, the likelihood of getting a second is zilch. Big fat zip.

In the early stages of dating, it’s all about getting to know whether there is any mileage in you expending your time and effort in the person you’re seeing, and that is very much a two-way street.

Assuming that you have spent time building up an online dating relationship with the person you are about to meet up with, which is usual on any matchmaking or personals site other than a casual dating platform, you should know a little about your date. If they have expressed an interest in any subjects with which you’re not au fait, then do a little research into them.

When it comes to the date, do not try to blag it, pretending you’re an aficionado in the subject to impress; be honest. You’ll score more brownie points by ‘letting it slip’ that you took the time out to brush up, even if only slightly, on subjects that interested your partner than by trying to usurp their knowledge, then failing miserably and finally making yourself out to look like a right git.

If all else does fail, one thing not to do is panic. Instead of asking what they do for a living, you could end up being over intrusive by asking about their salary. Or, if asking about their recent dating history (but only as a very last resort – remember, this first date is about you, them and pastures new); you may splutter something along the lines of ‘how many guys you had, then?’, or, ‘as a woman, do you think it’s right to go all the way on a first date?’. Scoff at your peril, but when the pressure’s on, especially if you’ve overdone the Dutch courage, keeping the relationship between brain and mouth in the right order does not always work in the way you’d like it to, to devastating effect.

Keep it fresh and relevant, not too intrusive and let your date get a word in every now and then. The goal is to come away with you both knowing more about each other and judging whether there is any mileage in a repeat performance.

The beautiful people have feelings, too

Being what is generally accepted as good looking can have all sorts of complications that being plain or less than handsome don’t inherently attract, of that there is no doubt, whatsoever. Being ‘fair of face’, to quote the old rhyme (the twelfth of October, 1970, for example – go on, write it in your diary…why, thank you), can raise all sorts of self-doubt and warrant unwanted attention from those, usually of the same sex, regarding you with little green monster eyes.

For example, Monday’s children may well have had to address the following issues whilst dating in the past that those less pretty would have no conception of (unless they had an exceptionally high opinion of themselves):

  • is he/she only with me as a trophy boy/girlfriend?
  • do they only want me to impress family/friends?
  • Is that bloke over there, built like a brick…wall (keep it clean) with the scar and broken nose going to rearrange my ‘not the face, not the face’ because he just can’t handle the fact that I’m gorgeous?

Oh, yes – you may mock, but that has happened – or the situation, at least – and only by sheer good fortune has one escaped with little more than a black eye and a slightly skiwiff bridge of the nose that now ‘adds character’.

Good looks not always helpful in dating land

Having a super-model photograph on a dating site may seem a blessing to those who are not as blessed with looks, but there is a curse attached to having come to bed eyes, being denturally perfect and possessing long, flowing locks. Most people who are good-looking genuinely look for more faults in their appearance than anyone else. Not necessarily through vanity, either.

If you’ve been classed as a bit of a catch, generally, it sets you above the rest. Why? God knows. But it does. But that does engender a certain responsibility, if only to keep up one’s moral. The school reunion, for example. Say you’re having a real bitch of a time of the month or a shaving rash has encircled your throat and you can do nothing to hide the spots or whatever imperfection is the symptom. What’s the first thing you get asked? Or worse, hear someone tattling when they thought you were out of earshot? It’s something like: “Blimey, hasn’t XXXX let themselves go?” or, the killer, “They never looked like that when we dated!” And you feel like shouting back – it’s a ferkin spot for ferx ache. But time and tide has taught you not to and you just let it simmer in your bile duct where it can gently erode your self-confidence away whilst inflaming insecurity.

And having a perfect dating site profile picture does two things:

  1. attracts all of the weirdoes who either go out of the way to say something defamatory with no justification or start stalking you and will not leave you alone, no matter how many hints or outright obscenities you throw back at them.
  2. singles who you may be interested in don’t bother to get in touch because they think you’re out of their league. It’s so not true. Good looking people may have earned a reputation for being shallow, but that’s so not the case. We just want people to realise that beneath that cherubim face is a real person – good looks are not a shield to defend against all the jealous scorn directed at The Beautiful People.

Next time you see a genuinely beautiful person on your dating site, take the time to say hi, and that you like the way they look – you may be bloody surprised at the keen response you get back. That is all.

Alternative dating methods, allegedly

I’m not going to say that I’m a traditionalist when it comes to dating, but meeting in a bar and heading off to a reputable restaurant does me fine every time. However, it would appear that for some, that’s just not good enough for a first date.

Reading an article today made me question whether I’ve just become stuck in a rut or whether I do actually need to shake up the hat a bit when plucking out what to do the first time I meet up with a potential partner in the flesh that I’ve met on a dating site.

These were five ideas conceived to achieve just that effect – would love to know whether any of them are your cup of tea, or whether I should concede that it’s time for me to join a senior dating site and just enjoy, well, my cup of tea.

The Picnic. Would I look like a wuss if I turned up with a wicker basket filled with ham sandwiches, tomatoes and sausage rolls? Living in the heart of Urban Central in the West Midlands may also be a drawback to finding a park that wasn’t littered with broken glass and walls sprayed with six-foot-high obscenities and tags. But, according to the article, girls like a simple and special treat, so, am I a sandwich short for not getting this one?

The Beach The second suggestion for taking your dating site partner out for the first time is a drive along the coast to watch the undulating waves flop against golden, sandy beaches. Again, the West Mids being smack-bang in the middle of England, we’re a bit short of Atlantic panoramas. The choice is either a stroll along the cut (that’s a canal, for anyone outside the Black Country) or a trip up the M6 to the turgid waters of The Irish Sea bombarding Blackpool’s Golden Mile.  Not too keen on that, either, I’m afraid.

Biking Okay, we go from the sublime to the bonkers, with a suggestion of picking up a bike trail into the mountains. Mmm, bit short of hillocks until you get to the Welsh border, really, or up to The Pennines. But the thought of dating someone with mud-spattered calves, no matter how shapely, with sweat stains seeping from armpits tightly clad beneath a cycling jersey just doesn’t do it for me, there, either.

Camping The suggestion here goes along the line of, take your woman off into the woods and hitch up a tent to spend the night together. Does this go against every rule of dating site safety you’ve ever read, or what? Couple that with the fact that, on your first date, you want as much access to electricity and clean running water as possible if it is imperative that your date means staying overnight somewhere. Leave camping to the Scouts, methinks.

Skydiving/Paragliding Air sports can be good for an adrenalin rush on your first date, apparently. It can also be good for showing what an absolute coward you are, breaking a leg or your dating partner falling for the more rugged instructor. No, I think I’ll stick to doing a runner from the Indian to get my blood sugar crashing, if that’s what the date called for. Definitely not flinging myself out of a plane from 15,000 feet, thank you. Firmly a terra firma type of guy.

And then the article concludes with a simple statement that suggests many men have no comprehension of what it takes to get women…
…I can only assume that the author was talking from personal experience. Waiter? Cheque, please!

Figures for mobile dating are on the up…and then some!

Two years ago, mobile dating was very much in its infancy and prototypes were having limited success, and even fewer take ups. Mobile handset security was in question, as was the whole concept, querying whether or not dating sites would make safe enough havens for such platforms. As Phil Collins once warbled: Well take a look at me now!

No empty spaces here any longer – mobile dating is the ‘app-ening trend amongst savvy singles out for a night on the pull. No longer is there the need to trawl thousands of dating site profiles at home before enticing a potential partner to hook up for those with Smartphones, Androids or Blackberries. Simply make sure it’s switched on whilst you’re out on the town and wait to be pinged by another member of the dating site when they’re in your vicinity and see where it leads.

For proof of this growing phenomenon, one of the leading franchisers of dating sites, who have only recently adopted dating applications for mobile devices, have seen some stunning results since launching their platform.

This is how fast the take up of mobile daters has been, the developers have not yet found a way of handling individuals’ request to send their dating site mobile en masse and are having to literally take the framework for each website, de- and re-code it, and issue them in batches to their franchise managers every few weeks. It’s all a bit techy for me, but this involves redirecting users once they land on their traditional dating home page by some javascript snippet and then, after the server deciphers the type of device the dating site member is viewing the website with, will transmit the signal so that it’s functional on their device. See what I mean?  It may as well be in the icloud, it’s that far over my head, but the punters seem to like it as the following sets of figures will amaze and astound you.

Singles like mobile dating. After just the second full month live, the dating site sign-ups have increased by nearly a half, registering a 44% increase. That represents almost 20% of the whole of the new business (and the company I’m talking about, that’s some big numbers).

And this is the truly amazing figure. Like most dating sites, there’s has both a free and paid for facility. True to many models, a lot of members try the free aspect initially and then go on to sign up for the full monty, some with considerabubble monthly fees. The increase in upgrades via mobile technology has escalated 133%. Or simply put, for every three people who were upgrading their dating site membership prior to the mobile platform, there are now seven people doing the same.

Mmm, it does kindle one’s interest, doesn’t it?

Where’s that chatterbox I met on the dating site?

There are an awful lot of singles out here in dating land who can e-mail, private message and text as if they were trying to beat the monkey to write the complete works of Shakespeare. Their dating profile is extensive and they may only get around to replying to four messages a night because of how fluently conversations flow once they become ‘that person’ everyone knows them as on their dating site. Once stuck behind that keyboard, they could host a marathon of chat-shows that would put Wossy to shame.

But put that same person in front of a web-cam or in a real, live date situation, and it’s as if their brain’s hit the vocal cord mute button. This is often an involuntary reaction, perhaps brought on by the pressure they feel to impress, they’re taken out of their comfort zone so their confidence is undermined or are just too darned scared of saying the wrong thing.

This happens to a lot of people (writers, mainly!); away from the safe distance that sets them at ease and lets (un)natural conversation flood out when rattling away on their dating site on a date, they are desperate in this induced silence to find that spark that ignites once they’ve logged on and settled into their dating persona.

With every passing moment they feel the pressure building more – what is wrong with them? Why can’t they find the words that got them to this stage, the first date, in the first place? Soon, that is their only goal, to not come across as shy or ignorant – inside, they are cringing and praying that the date is going well, although focus has been lost and all hope of regaining some sort of control of the situation, unless the other party takes charge, has disappeared on this occasion.

Will they get a second chance? Their brain is screaming to sort a second date, time to gather themselves and ‘do better next time; but that dating site fluency has deserted them and they cannot even ask for the opportunity, that they doubt will come about anyway. Another chance blown, and they’ll be left to rue the consequences, quite vociferously through their finger-tips, when they write the world what a schmuck they were on ‘that date’ they’d been building up to for an age.

But will it be any better next time around? They sigh, think probably not, then log back on to their dating site and start the whole process over again.

Does that story ring any bells?  Don’t fear – help is at hand. In the next article, we’ll look at how planning, mental clarity and not assuming anything can help you overcome this very real experience that many, many singles experience on their first date.

It’s in his sniff

Will a woman ever meet their dream man? In fact, does such a being exist and are you one of the lucky ladies out there to have met him, either on your dating site, at work or by introduction through a third party? And, more importantly, does the bubble burst when the dream-lover steps out of the cloud or is he the angel you always hoped you were destined for?

So many questions, but all worth asking. Especially as it has come to light that, even though the fairer sex trawl dating profile after dating profile on both paid and free dating sites alike, looking for the photo of their dream boat, that fella in your dreams represents the missing emotional link you yearn, yet are beginning to develop with an alpha male, rather than any physical attraction or need you may think you have. Although that’s not to say the physical craving isn’t intensified by this chemical courtship. Mmm, definitely one to ‘discuss:‘.

This is how the theory goes….

…you’re in the office at work, and there’s a guy who emits chemical signals, willy-nilly; you may not even be aware your feminine receptors are picking them up, but your brain is forming an attraction to him. This is something that not even the chemistry-type dating sites can put into their algorithms for you over the Internet.

It is then your psyche that is falling in love with this chappie, i.e. the angel who later appears in your dreams; he probably looks nothing like the guy at work’s profile, but the dream man is your brain’s interpretation of your true chemical match. The more your angel appeals to you romantically, the stronger the natural connection between your two personalities and sub-conscious physical make-up to suggest you’d be a successful couple.

The sad thing is, unless you can fine-tune your receptors or take note of any subtle emotional shift you feel when you’re in a man’s presence, you may never know who this perfect match for you is. If you’re having these types of dreams, please don’t go around the office tomorrow sniffing every man who comes near you – if your dream man sees you doing this, you may never get to grips with the physical aspect of dating.

To confuse the issue, it is perceived that the reaction of a man’s inherent chemicals with his choice of cologne may produce even stronger results than either he or his unwitting victim pick up on in a physical sense. Yet his psyche also gets stronger as it comes into the proximity and connects with the female chemicals that have the same affect on him, making the combined effect, to the naked eye at least, even more powerful.

Dating sites can offer a lot of ways for you to meet ‘the one’, but until you get up close and personal and let your bodies own receptors do their bit, the relationship could be missing something so corporeal, it will never fulfil the part of you that reacts to pure, base chemistry. It has been suggested that this could be the reason why there are so many affairs at work and that almost four out of ten US citizens married in the last five years met either at work or back in school.

If you’re looking for 100% satisfaction, close your eyes and let nature pick that man of your dreams for you. Psyche!

Just who was our Valentine hero?

Nothing gets singles dating like valentines day. It is the one day of the year when usually shy guys and girls abandon pretence and pride and just go for it. In offices up and down the country, in bars, pubs and clubs tonight on UK dating sites everywhere, there will be people who have been building up to declaring their undying love for someone for a while and can’t wait to blurt it out. There will be singles everywhere who just never saw it coming and will be bowled over by proposals that spring up from nowhere to shock and amaze them.

Yes, some may say it’s commercialism gone mad (note the facebook status of those who do – guarantee you it’s: <b>single</b>) whilst those in relationships use the day to fall in love all over again and love the opportunity to express to their significant other just how much they love them. In today’s hyper-connected world, we spend so much time texting and e-mailing, private messaging on dating sites, but how often do we talk and not feel at odds with ourselves if we say ‘I love you’ to the one we do?

In this day and age, with online dating having transformed the way people look at dating as a whole, there really is no excuse not to tell at least one person how you feel about them. As Jake and Elwood once sang, everybody needs somebody to love.

But who gave us this opportunity? Is St Valentine real or is it just a myth that someone could prove love so much that he was honoured so throughout time immemorial by so many lovers after him?  Or did Clintons have a really bad Christmas one year and decide they needed something between New Year and Easter?

Well the jury’s still out about who he actually was but there is one version that holds true, both in timeline and historical accuracy around the time that Valentine’s Day was conceived, albeit somewhat unwittingly, by the saint we honour today who was martyred for the cause.

The common belief dates the sending of the original Valentine’s card to around the time of the Roman Emperor Claudius II. The leader stumbled upon the idea that single men fought with more vigour than their married peers, who longed for their families when they were fighting for the Empire on foreign shores. He subsequently banned all marriages.

However, a Catholic priest by the name of Valentine upheld the church’s belief and continued marrying men (to other women, you understand, he wasn’t a gay bigamist). Claudius II summoned the priest and extended an offer of pardon, providing the priest stopped carrying out wedding ceremonies. Valentine refused and was imprisoned before being subjected to a beating, then a stoning before finally having his head chopped off. However, whilst he awaited his punishment, he wrote to the jailor’s daughter expressing his undying love, no matter what happened to him; the letter he signed ‘from your Valentine’.

However, it wasn’t until 1,100 years later, around 1400 A.D., that sending valentine’s cards was popularised, a tradition we still hold today and was reportedly worth £20M to the UK economy alone last year. If only he’d had some of those royalties and a good agent…

Valentine’s Day – is anyone that bothered, this year?

The fourteenth of February is rapidly approaching. If the date’s not ringing any sudden bells and you’re in a relationship, either offline in the real world or with a virtual partner in an online dating capacity, you may want to check what next Tuesday stands for. This may save you picking up an earful down your handset, your private message inbox going quiet for a few days or letting a potential partner down most terribly, on the most romantic day of the year. But, to be honest, from what I’ve read so far online this year, no one in dating land is looking forward to Feb 14 at all. Is this usual?

This is my first year writing in online dating land; I truly expected to find articles galore embedded with 22-font (or foot) bold pink text, love hearts and fluffy bunnies bordering every page of every blog and dating site, but that’s just not the case.

Does Valentine’s Day really hold such dread for singletons that the only people to comment on the occasion are those harping on about how they cannot see the point of declaring their undying love for someone special on one day when true love should flourish in a relationship every day, from the minute one half of a couple awakens until they both curl up and go to sleep all cuddly together every single night for the rest of their lives?

If that’s the common belief of how long term relationships work, held by those looking to spark perhaps their first serious time around the block via their dating site platform, I’d suggest notching up a few short term relationships first if it’s that feeling you’re looking for. Make the most of that ‘loved-up’ emotion, getting plenty of Valentine’s Day gifts and looking forward to buying them instead of agonising over the ‘what to get this time?’ question that comes with being with someone for fourteen and a half years…and certainly don’t take down the old dating site membership, just yet.

In my personal experience, I have to go with the flow – Valentine’s Day works great for those just starting out on their first real relationship or if it’s early days in a new partnership. But if you’re single with little prospect of hooking up with someone from the office, bar or dating site, or if you’re married or living with someone who you’ve been seeing for as long as you care to remember, it does all seem like a lot of effort (and expense, keeping card shops, florists and chocolatiers in business) for the reward.

Still, there’s over a week left, folks. Try something new, join our dating site – your perfect partner could be waiting online for you, now, big fluffy bunny, box of All Gold and soppy, 22-foot card waiting to be posted. It may be the year that Valentine’s Day does kickstart your love life. What are you waiting for? With all my love xxx ????

Being single is not a contageous disease

So, yeah. This girl was sick of being treated like a social leper just because she’d been dumped after Christmas. It’s not the best time to be without someone, Valentine’s Day, but that’s only if you’re constantly reminded about the fact that you are single and not dating. All of the friends you’ve been sociable with recently as part of a couple are finding your company hard to deal with when you turn up without a significant other on your arm.

It’s not like you’ve lost your wallet or your purse, is it? If you go for a meal sans beau, it’s not like you’re going to do a runner just because you’ve only got one bill to pay for. Okay, you may have to dip into your purse a little further than the rest of the party as you’ve had no one nagging you along the lines of ‘Don’t you think you’ve had enough, dear?’, but if that’s the only price, you can live with it. And so should they. But they can’t, and that’s the real issue.

The subject of your being single can be the elephant in the room, sitting in the seat opposite you where, up until recently, sat your partner. You can almost hear your girlfriend kick her fella as he’s about to ask you if you’ve had any luck on your dating site? or have you heard from ‘x’ since the split?...
…where x is the ex, obviously.

As well as your friend may have batted your corner for you over dinner from the ignorami, you know deep down that’s because she wants to check out the health and temperament of your dating welfare herself, when the two of you are on your own. It may be that you all met on your dating site and she’s itching to tell you about the guy she’s been chatting to on your behalf or, worse (if the friendship’s only recent), she could want to introduce you to a guy she had a lot of fun dating
…which then begs the question: why aren’t you still with him, then?

However, you do tend to find that a bathroom stall apart is as close as your dating friends want to get. Remember, this is leprosy and it spreads. Your happy-couple friends do not want to catch what you’ve got, no sirree!

And so it comes as no great surprise that, as the coats go on and your coupley friends are all heading back to one of their homes to talk ‘people-in-love-with-each-other’ talk, your best buddy asks what time your taxi home’s booked for…
…you make one last excuse to nip to the powder room and order that cab either screaming or crying, it could go either way.

Being a singleton is not a disease, but only to other singletons. To anyone in a relationship you are unclean. This Valentine’s Day, if you can’t meet up with someone off your dating site between now and then, remember to pop a bell around your neck, just to let everyone know you’re comin’! And how…