10 Things You’ll Know If You Met Your Partner Online

1. You have an alternative story about how you met – The stigma of online dating has well and truly gone but for some reason we can’t quite admit yet that we found love online. Perhaps we had such low expectations of online dating that it takes us completely by surprise, either way, you tend to find people sticking more to the ‘friend of a friend’ line.

2. You both agreed to delete your dating profiles – Or maybe you MADE them delete it! So you’ve now been a couple for a few weeks and things are going great, but you can’t help but wonder if they’ve deleted their dating profile yet. Don’t panic if they haven’t – it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve been using it.

3. You wonder if they’ve dated someone you know – Just about EVERY single person uses some form of dating app these days and so chances are you’ve probably encountered someone your partner knows. Fingers crossed you didn’t say anything inappropriate to the best friend!

4. You wonder just how many dates they went on – Were you their first choice? Probably not. It’s easy to worry about how many dates your partner had before you – particularly when you reached double figures!

5. Online dating ‘is’ all it’s cracked up to be – Yeah you get a little bit embarrassed and yeah your friends mock you but if truth be told online dating gave you everything you ever wanted and so it’s hard not to feel a little grateful – even if you don’t like to admit it.

6. You forget to change their name on your phone – You’ve been dating for a year and yet their name in your phone is still ‘Sarah E-Harmony.’ Surely they’ve earned a surname by now?

7. You lied about being online as a ‘one-off’ – When you started dating you told your partner that you don’t usually do this, a friend signed you up, you were drunk or it was just a one-off. Now be truthful, you have six dating accounts that you’ve been flitting in and out of for years, you’ve had photoshoots arranged specifically for a good profile picture and you’ve deleted and reinstalled your profile countless times in the hope that failed matches will change their mind.

8. You’ve found out all the little white lies – We all tell a few white lies when we meet someone new and most of them you can’t hide forever. No you didn’t used to be in a band, no you’re not over six feet tall, no you didn’t meet One Direction you were pushed of out the way by their bouncers and no you did not invent Pokemon Go.

9. You hope a friend meets their partner online just so you’re not the only one – Your partner is great and you’re deliriously happy but the fact you met online still casts the slightest of unwanted shadow, if only your BFF would also meet someone online everything would be just fine.

10. You wonder if you picked the right one – There’s so much choice online that you start to wonder if you’ve made the right decision. Did you settle too quickly? Was there someone better just a few profiles along? Chances are you should have a little more faith in your decision-making.

5 Ways To Save A Failing Relationship

I’m no expert, that’s for sure. I have however seen it all a million times before. On paper the perfect couple, you look good together, you live together, you’ve known each other for a long time, there’s a healthy mutual respect and attraction, but ultimately the spark has very much gone. Ideally if your relationship is failing you want to act sooner rather than later, but of course only save a relationship if it’s truly worth saving. With just a little bit of effort, however, your relationship could be salvaged easier than you thought possible.

1. Remember why you got together in the first place – This is easily the best time in a relationship, that indescribable buzz when you first meet, you like them and they like you back. It’s a special feeling almost impossible to recreate, but what you can do is reminisce (in a happy way of course). Revisit those old places where you shared your first date, your first kiss and relive stories of how and more importantly, why, you fell in love.

2. Never underestimate the power of ‘date night’ – Couples are often guilty of simply not making enough time for one another. Whether it’s work, friends or family, ‘life’ all too often gets in the way – which as many of us know can be detrimental to even the closest of relationships. Try and make the effort to have even just one date night a month, a night for just the two of you and no one else. Also, be picky with your location choices, don’t just go to the same old pub you venture to every Sunday afternoon. Mix it up and even try doing something completely different month by month.

3. Talk – You’d be surprised at how many couples are guilty of horrendous communication – no matter how long they’ve known each other. It’s bizarre just how bad most of us are at having a simple honest conversation with one another – perhaps we’re terrified of what we might hear? Generally though it’s so important that as a couple you’re both on the same wavelength. Kids, career, marriage…you need to know where one another’s head is at, otherwise you might just be engaging in one big time-wasting exercise. However, never fear ‘the talk’, it might turn out to be the weight off your shoulders you so desperately needed.

4. Invest in yourself – In an ideal world your partner will love you no matter what, but that’s no excuse for being lazy or letting yourself go. Life isn’t all about being the fittest or the best looking but you should at least try to make the most of yourself. The aim is that you feel good and if you can accomplish that as individuals then there’s a pretty good chance you’ll also feel happier together as well.

5. Never take your partner for granted – Often the one overwhelming feeling that sparks and even reaffirms a break-up. Sometimes the longer a relationship lasts the more we take each other for granted. My advice, take just one moment to really think about how grateful you are for everything they do for you and if you’re feeling really brave, tell them!

So there you have it, 5 key points that could save you from returning to ‘singledom’. Relationships are never straightforward, they require time, effort and compromise something I often found out the hard way. No two relationships are exactly the same so adapt my advice in a way that suits you and you won’t go far wrong. Good luck!

5 Simple Steps That Improved My Health

One of the endless reasons why your health is important is because how you look and more importantly how you feel, will significantly impact your relationships. If you don’t feel good then you won’t feel confident and as a result, your prospective dates will never get to see the very best of you. Now let me be clear, I ain’t no Joe Wicks, but I have made some simple changes to my lifestyle and diet that have left me feeling healthier than ever – mentally and physically.

1. Kick the coke habit – COLA that is. Growing up I’ve always been partial to a fizzy drink or two. I’m not the type to just pick up a can of juice for the sake of it but a cold can of coke or two with my dinner used to go down all too nicely. Upon taking up recycling (great hobby) I realised just how much coke I’d been drinking, bags and bags of empty cans filled that little blue bin in no time at all. Eventually I cut back from around three a day to one or two cans at the weekend whilst adopted sparkling water as my new tipple during the week. The result? I lost half a stone in weight in record time, I was sleeping better than ever, the bags under my eyes slowly disappeared and my concentration drastically improved. To be honest knowing what I know now about how much sugar is in a can of coke, the thought of one makes me feel a bit sick.

2. Cut back on alcohol – An incredible thing happened recently, I had the most amazing night out without getting drunk. Who knew it was possible! I was just over a bout of flu and so decided I should probably take it easy, all I had to drink was two cans of Magners (I’m still human) and I ended up laughing and dancing the night away. I don’t begrudge anyone having a drink but if you want to get in the zone with your health and fitness, at least try and cut back. Did you know, one bottle of beer is the equivalent of six slices of white bread? I’d be lying if I said that doesn’t put me off a bit.

3. Get organised – I’m the most unorganised person you’ll ever meet but since becoming a full-time freelancer it’s something I’ve had to really work on and not just on a professional level. I’m still no Monica Geller but simple commitments like going to the gym twice a week and trying to have three meals a day have kept me feeling that little bit saner. Making lists and something as simple as having a calendar on the wall has also been like a weight off my shoulders. It really is the smallest things that can make the biggest difference.

4. I bought a blender – It’s okay to laugh but buying a good blender has been the key to a significantly healthier diet. I’ve not been making any fancy sauces or anything like that, it’s all about that morning smoothie. I love my veg but I hate eating fruit, so when you can fit your 5 a day into one quick smoothie then why bother? My secret ingredient is coconut milk, it will make just about any ingredient taste nice. My ‘go to’ smoothie is usually coconut milk, a banana, a handful of spinach, some mint leaves and a little squeeze of lemon juice. As a little extra healthy tip, chop up a celery into cubes and stick them in the freezer for the healthiest ice cubes you’ll ever find.

5. Pilates – Again, it’s okay to laugh. So I’ve never been the most flexible of people, I tried yoga a couple of times but I always found it tough to commit to attending classes. Then one day I was doing the whole one YouTube video leads to another and another and another until I eventually stumbled upon a ten minute Pilates workout. Glorified stretching I’d call it, but wow, what a difference it’s made. Ten minutes at home every day or two, I don’t think anyone can say they don’t have time for that!

The Biggest Mistakes Made By Online Daters

It’s no secret that the stigma once associated with online dating has well and truly disappeared. Once labelled desperate now just the norm, there are but a few singletons out there who haven’t tried some form of online dating. My own experiences of online dating have been few and far between, but having immersed myself in this industry, I’ve found that I’ve learnt far more as an outsider looking in. This summer I’ve spent a fair bit of time studying the biggest names in the industry and without further ado, here are my observations as to what not to do when online dating.

Choose the wrong site – no sponsored posts today folks so I’m not going to mention names of who I’d recommend (although if you’d like some do get in touch) but yes so many people criticise online dating when so often it’s been a case of ‘right time, wrong place’. Online dating is all a bit of a numbers game, you have to look at the key factors of meeting someone and think about which site will maximise your chances of finding the one – or someone. Let me give you an example, I had a look at one particular site after it won two awards at a ceremony I was attending. Two awards, I thought that’s pretty impressive. So I signed up only to discover it was like a ghost town – well at least where I lived. In spite of all the accolades and fancy branding, there didn’t appear to be a single user who lived within 100 miles of me. So lesson 1, play the numbers game, if no one in your area uses a particular app or site then what’s the point? Remember, that’s not to say compromise on quality, but location is a much bigger factor than people realise.

Put all your eggs in one basket – I’ve lost count of the number of people I’ve encountered who feel like they’re at the end of their tether with dating and that they need to find the one LIKE RIGHT NOW. This can be a huge problem when online dating and can often lead to you throwing yourself into something with the first available ‘acceptable’ person. Don’t settle for acceptable, take your time and wait for remarkable. Remember, online dating is not a last resort and wont be the immediate answer to all of your problems. Don’t shut yourself off to finding love in other places.

Be too needy – ‘Desperate’ sounds like a harsh term to use but we’ve all spotted those profiles that absolutely wreak of desperation – please don’t be that person! There’s nothing wrong with wanting to find love, of course there isn’t, but if you try too hard then you might be waiting a lot longer than you’d hoped. When constructing your profile try and not give too much away, there’s plenty of time to tell someone your life story on the many dates you’ll be going on together.

Be negative – This has to be the number one thing that pissed me off during my research. I realise everyone has had tough experience but that doesn’t have to be the first thing you tell people about; “no one under 5ft 6, no single parents, no workaholics, no gingers, no no no………..” I saw it time and time again and yeah it’s fine to be picky, but I wouldn’t dare have contacted any of these people – it was draining to read. Plus, it also makes you think, well what makes you so special?

Be someone you’re not – it’s very easy to be someone you’re not online and it’s even easier to start believing your own bullsh*t. My ex lied to me about everything from her parent’s names to her birthplace to her job to the number siblings she had, all things that she was going to get found out for. Don’t put yourself in that position in the first place, it’s a sure fire way of ending the relationship you spent so long looking for in the first place.

Get stuck in a rut – A lot of negative feedback on online dating actually comes from its most avid users. I only ever recommend using online dating as a short-term solution, the harsh reality is that you will be rejected at some point (no matter who you are) and if you’re online for a sustained period of time then the rejection may add up which in turn could do severe damage to your confidence. Don’t be online every second of every day, get on with your life and check it now and again. There’s a trap with online dating where over time you start to expect negative results and all of the above points will eventually all roll into one. You have to be better than that –  make sure you get away from the keyboard and out into the fresh air from time to time!

So these are my top ‘dont’s’ but there are of course plenty of ‘do’s’. DO have fun, boost your confidence, get back out there, meet people, have coffee, dance, watch movies, walk in the park, eat good food, laugh the night away. Most importantly, get online to get offline.

What mistakes have you encountered?

PTB

The Single Resolution

So we’re just over a week into the New Year and I wondered how many of us have already broken our resolutions? Yes, my hand is up. Understandable of course, it’s never easy but good on you if you’re smashing it. Resolutions I’ve found are often influenced by our relationship status and during a dinner conversation over the festive period, I was surprised to hear of a refreshingly different kind of resolution.

“My resolution this year is to stay single” proclaimed a friend of mine. At 35 years old he’s drifted from one questionable relationship to the next, many of which have compromised his personal and career goals year after year. I had to applaud him (not literally). I rarely hear relationship resolutions from singletons that don’t end in finding the love of their lives. However, sometimes we forget to make the most of aactuallly being single and remembering that being single does not make you a leper. I’m a big believer in being happy by yourself before being happy with someone else, being in a relationship isn’t always the answer to life’s problems. What happens when you pressure yourself or rush into the wrong relationship? You find the wrong person, simple as that.

Being single isn’t something to be ashamed of or to hide away from. No matter what age you are and what the opinions of your friends and family are, there’s no shame in living your life, not the one people expect you to live. Sure relationships can at times be incredible, but so can career development, friendship and travel and all the other things that sometimes aren’t possible when you’re in a relationship – particularly when you’re with the wrong person.

When I was younger I was in a relationship with someone who I’d wanted to break up with for about two years of our three year relationship, but I just couldn’t quite bring myself to do it. I made being single out to be a much scarier prospect than it actually was. Eventually, she broke up with me – it was the best thing that ever happened to me. For around a week I was inconsolable, but once I was past that initial shock, everything changed for the better. I genuinely believe that had she not ended our relationship I would still be working in a call centre, would never have travelled and generally would be a shell of the person I am. Ever since that relationship I’ve always sworn to never underestimate the benefits of being single. I firmly believe to this day that if you use your single time in the right way, it could very well be the making of you.

So this post is just a little reminder – never ever beat yourself up for being single. Relationships can be great, magical, whatever you want to call it…but life shouldn’t depend on it.

Happy New Year,

PTB