Occasionally, our members are lucky enough to hit it off with the very first person they meet on MySingleFriend, which is what happened to Louise when she went on a date with Edd. The happy couple got in touch to share their story with us…
“Before MySingleFriend, I had only tried Tinder previously and that was awful so I was apprehensive. I’m also very shy and the thought of meeting new people terrifies me so it was a big step, but luckily my friend talked me into it and wrote my profile. Now I tell everyone that online dating is wonderful!
I had a running event the day after our first date, so Edd kindly agreed to come to somewhere near me for an early drink so that I wasn’t too late to bed in preparation for the next day. We went to a local pub for a few drinks and hit it off straight away. I think he ended up getting the last train home and I ended up with a bit of a fuzz head in the morning, and we arranged our second date almost straight away. There are no wedding bells for us yet, but I moved in with Edd in June. We are still finding a home for all my stuff in his flat so I think a house might be next on the agenda.
I was very lucky: Edd was the first (and only) person I met from MySingleFriend. We have both met each other’s profile writers and thanked them dearly. While Edd was trying to impress me he told me he would love for us to cook together with a nice glass of wine - two and a half years later and I’m still waiting! We have had a great time and seen and done so many nice things that I may let him off… we shall see!”
We’d like thank Louise and Edd for dropping us a line and wish them all the best for the future! If you are part of a MySingleFriend success story we’d love to hear from you too! Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us all about it!
Everyone wants to know the secret to winning at dating, right? That one trick that will land you a string of great dates until you finally meet The One and everything magically falls into place. The truth is that there isn’t one special trick that will lead you to your happily ever after, but there are several steps you can (and should) take that will give you a huge head start on everyone else and, if you apply them consistently, will help you win, sooner or later. Follow these tips and step up your dating game.
If there was just one secret to winning at dating, it would be this. Waiting around like a wallflower to be picked never works: you have to take the initiative. Choose the people you’re interested in and message them, rather than sitting around doing nothing whilst your inbox to fills up with people you aren’t really interested in.
Message length really matters
Striking the right balance when it comes to sending messages will help you get replies and, therefore, dates. Sending a message that is too brief, like ‘Hey, how are you?’ suggests you aren’t actually that interested, whereas sending a very long message is not only a) boring to read but b) can come across as needy. A message of around 90 words gives you enough space to make an impression but without coming on too strong.
Be honest, authentic and positive
Lying on your dating profile in terms of age, looks, body shape or achievements might be tempting but is pointless if you want to meet people in real life. As soon as your date realises you’ve been telling porkies, the date is effectively ruined, so be your honest and authentic self online. However, make sure you are presenting yourself in a positive light. For example, if you’re a snorer, this isn’t something they need to know before they’ve even met you.
Develop a thick skin
If you’re serious about meeting someone, you need to be able to deal with rejection. Being turned down at all stages of the process is part and parcel of online dating and you need to develop some strategies to cope with it so you can shrug it off and move on quickly. Time spent agonising over why someone hasn’t replied to a message or doesn’t want a second date is time that could be spent sending more messages.
If you haven’t yet met the person of your dreams, you have to keep going. It really is as simple as that. The more people you message, and the more people you meet, the more likely you are to find someone. Keep searching, keep messaging, keep dating and don’t get downhearted: that magical date where the sparks fly is just around the corner, if you persevere.
When it comes to dating, the good things come to those who wait. Whilst there is the rare occasion that someone ends up with the first person they meet from MySingleFriend, it usually takes a few dates before sparks fly. However, if you’ve been on the site for a while and you haven’t even made it past the messaging stage, it’s time to re-evaluate your profile and find out exactly why you aren’t getting much response. The following tips will help.
Your profile isn’t complete
People won’t want to date you if they don’t know anything about you, and a half-finished profile makes it look like you don’t really care about going on dates. If you really want to meet someone who is right for you, you need to fill out every tiny detail about who you are and what you’re looking for. Plus, given that this is MySingleFriend, you should make the most of the opportunity of having a friend write something about you.
Your photos aren’t working
When people look at your profile photo they want to get an honest idea of what you look like, so it’s crucial to use one that is a genuine likeness and will enable them to recongnise you when you meet. It is of course important to use a flattering photo, but we all have different ideas about what looks good: you might think that pout makes you look sultry and sexy, but to others you may just look sulky and grumpy. If you aren’t getting much response, ask a friend for an honest opinion and experiment with using different pictures.
You aren’t being proactive
Whilst it would be great if Ms or Mr Right magically found you without you having to lift a finger, it ain’t gonna happen. If you stand shyly on the sidelines like a wallflower at the high school dance in Grease, no one is going to notice you, so you have to get out on that floor and be seen like Cha Cha DiGregorio. Seek out people you’d like to meet and make the first move by sending them a message. Confidence is sexy and people will be flattered by and interested in your attention, so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.
You’re being too picky
If you get bogged down in the details of trying to find exactly who you think you’re looking for (red hair, green eyes, over 6 foot, is fanatical about Emmerdale), you will instantly narrow your options down to almost nothing. Being open minded about meeting all sorts of different people gives you much more opportunity to find someone lovely, even if they don’t neatly tick off every item on your list. In fact, we recommend chucking away your list as we know happy couples who would never have met if they hadn’t been prepared to step outside the rigid boundaries they’d created for themselves.
Your messaging game needs a little work
Even if you have the most perfect profile in the world, you won’t get much response if you’re sending uninspiring messages. Here’s how to pique their interest…
· Make your subject line more interesting than ‘Hi’. If the person you’ve messaged has an inbox stuffed with messages that start ‘Hi’, ‘Hello’, or ‘Hey’ you won’t stand out from the crowd.
· Make it clear you’ve read their profile. This shows you have a genuine interest in them and aren’t just spamming everyone on the site with the same generic message.
· Tell them about yourself. Offering some morsels of information about yourself will grab their interest and make them more likely to visit your profile than one of those banal messages that say something like ‘Hey, how are you?’
· Ask a question. Asking a question in a message offers them a hook to hang their answer on by immediately opening a conversation and making it easy for them to reply.
If you’re feeling downhearted about not receiving much response, put these tips into action and don’t give up. You get out what you put in, so with a bit of extra effort you’ll soon have plenty of exciting dates lined up.
Liz and Andy just a few moments after they got engaged.
A while ago we introduced you to Liz and Andy, who had recently got together after meeting on MySingleFriend. They’ve just got back to us with an update to let us know that things are going swimmingly and they’ve just got engaged! Here’s a reminder of what they originally told us, plus their most recent news.
“I only went on one date, though, and I wonder whether I have missed out on having some of those funny stories to tell, or whether I would have cringed and ditched the whole idea after one or two tries. . I would definitely recommend it to others with a caution to have an open mind and not judge people just on their photos or profiles. What are their emails like? What questions are they asking you and how are they responding to yours? And people can appear very different when you meet them face to face.
"Since we both lived in the same town we met somewhere local and low-key. I was late (this was beginning to be a theme) and he was waiting. As I approached and he turned to greet me, my heart leaped! He was so charming looking. This was it! My first date and its already better than I expected. We hit it off and chatted and laughed over dinner. Then I challenged him to a game of pool at my local - he didn’t let me win - I didn’t want that kind of treatment from an accomplished snooker player - but I think he went easy on me! The date was lovely and he was such a gentleman.”
“Since then we’ve moved in together and been on a couple of holidays. Andy comes to see my band play and comes to all my theatre shows, and I sometimes watch the snooker with him! We got engaged on our most recent trip to the Caribbean where Andy proposed to me on the beach. It was very romantic and we went out the next day and bought the ring together on the island, which will always be a lovely reminder of our dream holiday.
I wasn’t expecting him to pop the question so we haven’t made any plans for our wedding yet, but we know we’ll want to share it with lots of our friends and family. As for the honeymoon, we might go back to that dream destination or perhaps we’ll go on a whole new adventure!”
Our wedding was truly magical and the friends who profiled us got very drunk as they did a shot every time they were mentioned in the speech!
One of the best parts of doing what we do is hearing from people who have met through the site and are now living happily ever after. Online success stories definitely do happen, and you have every reason to believe that the next one could be you! We recently heard from Simon and Thea who met on mysinglefriend back in 2011 and are now married with two gorgeous children.
“Before MSF we had both used another dating website and were of the opinion that online dating was for geeks, loners or slime balls. Neither of us shine socially so the idea of a friend highlighting our assets was really appealing. At the time online dating was in its infancy but also a feasible option for both of us as our social circles were highly limited. We were glad to be able to read true profiles of potential suitors.
“Our first date was in Ely. Simon arrived over an hour early (he always arrives with time to spare even 9 years later!), and had spilt hot chocolate down his shirt before he met me! Prezzo was full, and I had a stinking cold (again, this is true to form!). We went to Pizza Express and the rest is history! Simon proposed 16 months later and we married in December 2012. We commuted to see one another throughout our dating and engagement so had living together to look forward to. Our wedding was on a sunny winter’s day in North Oxfordshire, at the Tythe Barn (Bicester). It was truly magical, and the friends who profiled us got very drunk as they drank a shot every time they were mentioned in a speech! Our honeymoon was in NE Slovenia - a chalet in the mountains - where we achieved driving on the right, navigating to attractions that were in seasonal shutdown, and reflecting on our next steps.
“We have been through two house moves, a major house renovation project, a Masters degree and bringing two wonderful children into the world. We wouldn’t change a thing. Our ups and downs are a part of the rich tapestry of our life together, and may the weaving continue making memories together!
“We have recommended MSF to friends who have also had success. We as a couple would very much like to thank the MSF team as without you we wouldn’t gave met.”
Huge congratulations to you both from everyone here at MSF!
Men often get a bad rep when it comes to being romantic, but according to new research it turns out that they might actually be the soppier sex. According to statista.com, the average spend on Valentine’s Day has increased every year since 2015, with an estimated £650 million spend in 2018. This spend is largely funded by older millennials (aged 28 - 36) who are reported to be the most active buyers and gifters of Valentine’s products.
To see if it’s true that men are making more of a fuss, this year Funky Pigeon created a tool to see which gender was more romantic about Valentine’s Day in 2019. They found out that men are behind 81% of all flowers sent, whilst women send more cards and alcohol. In fact, women send more alcohol (74%) than they do cards (71%). However, women sent 71% of cards, so it looks like that guys might not be shy about splashing out on a bouquet, they are much more reticent when it comes to committing pen to paper in the name of love. Maybe men and women are just as romantic as each other, but in different ways.
Check out Funky Pigeon’s tool to find out where you and your loved one rank on the scale of romance.
Are you looking for the perfect date spot for Valentine’s Day, but don’t have the budget (or desire) to splash out? There’s no need for your bank account to suffer this Valentine’s Day, as there are plenty of free days out across the UK that double as brilliant date spots. Great dates are all about discovering new places and making memories together - something that doesn’t need to cost a thing. There’s also less pressure with budget dates as neither of you will be shelling out, so if you’re planning a first date around Valentine’s Day then a free one is the way to go. There’s a free date out there for every couple, so check out these top free locations now.
For animal lovers
The Donkey Sanctuary – locations across UK
Spending an afternoon with lots of adorable donkeys – what could be better?! The Donkey Sanctuary has locations across the UK, but the main location is in Sidmouth, Devon. It’s home to hundreds of rehoused donkeys and is a great date location for a pair of animal lovers.
City Farms – locations across UK
Experience rural life while in the bustling heart of a city. City farms make a great spot for urban dwellers in need of a country escape. Feed and pet the animals, wander around the grounds and enjoy a fun (free) day out. There are plenty city farms across the UK, including in London, Bath, Nottingham, Edinburgh and Newcastle.
For food & drink fanatics
Biddenden Vineyard, Kent
Take your Valentine to an award-winning vineyard run by the same family who started it. Wine plus a romantic walk – what could possibly make for a better date?
Healeys Cornish Cyder Farm, Newquay
A trip to Healeys Farm is a must for any cider lover. It’s a working factory based 20 minutes out of Newquay with so much to see and do. Discover how the cider is made, visit the farm animals and enjoy a fun day out.
For sports fans
National Football Museum, Manchester
If you live in Manchester, you can get free entry to the National Football Museum – making this a great budget date for anyone footie mad. Wander through the Hall of Fame, take a penalty shootout and discover how fans, players and the media have shaped football to be the phenomenon it is today.
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London
Wrap up warm, grab a flask of coffee and head out for a walk around Queen Elizabeth Park. It was built for the London 2012 Olympics and continues to be an inspirational place for sporting potentials today.
For art lovers
National Gallery, London
Where better to take an art-lover than the world-famous National Gallery? Home to a collection of over 2,300 paintings that date back to the 13th century, it makes for an excellent date location.
Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
The Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool is home to one of the largest art collections in England outside of London. So, if you’re after some art in the North, this is the place to go!
For history buffs
Natural History Museum, London
The Natural History Museum in London makes a perfect date spot for any history buffs. With over 70 million artefacts and stories that span the history of earth’s existence, there’s so much to see and do that you’ll forget all about your first date nerves.
Durham Cathedral was one of the first buildings to be given World Heritage status (along with the Taj Mahal and the Palace of Versailles), making this an interesting and unusual date for any history fan. Plus, the naturally quiet environment is perfect for any awkward lulls in conversation!
Big Pit National Coal Museum, Pontypool Wales
A visit to a coal mine might not sound like the most romantic date in the world, but it will certainly be a fun one that neither of you will forget. Discover what it was like working in the mines, getting up close and personal 300 feet underground.
For nature enthusiasts
The Winter Garden, Sheffield
February might not be the warmest time of year for an outdoor stroll, but that doesn’t mean nature lovers have to suffer. Pay a visit to The Winter Garden in Sheffield, one of the UK’s largest (indoor!) greenhouses home to over 2,500 plants from around the world.
Glasgow Botanical Garden
Exploring Glasgow’s beautiful botanic gardens makes a perfect date for any nature lover. It features several greenhouses and is home to plenty of wildlife, including a collection of tropical rainforest plants.
For book lovers
Writer’s Museum, Edinburgh
The Writer’s Museum in Edinburgh is great date spot for any budding readers and writers. It’s home to a collection of unique books and manuscripts, set in a gorgeous historic building.
The Potter Trail, Edinburgh
Discover how the city of Edinburgh shaped one of the world’s most popular book series. Not just for Potter heads, this free guided tour is a great way to learn things about the city and how influential location can be for literature.
The British Library, London
A trip to the library might sound like a boring date, but The British Library is anything but dull. It’s the largest library in the world (with roughly 200 million items from across the globe) making this a perfect date spot for any bookworm.
Regardless of how much of a rapport you’ve built up online, your first meeting should take place somewhere public
The internet is a fabulous resource for finding people to date, but it’s easy to get lulled into a false sense of security when chatting to someone online, and forget that this person is a total stranger. Whilst the vast majority of people you talk to are who they say they are and are looking for a genuine connection, there may be some who aren’t. Follow these few simple steps to keep yourself safe.
1. Meet in a public place at first
Regardless of how much of a rapport you’ve built up online, your first meeting should take place somewhere public like a cafe or bar. Never agree to go to a stranger’s house for dinner and never agree to being picked up from your home, either in a car or on foot.
2. Consider a day date
Dates don’t have to happen in the evening, so consider meeting for a coffee or lunch rather than after work drinks. This presents you with the opportunity to tell them you plans later in the day, meaning you have the perfect excuse for a quick getaway if necessary.
3. Be careful with alcohol
A drink or two will help if you’re feeling nervous, but too many could leave you in a vulnerable position. Be very aware of how much you’re drinking and stop if you’re starting to feel out of control. Warning bells should ring if you feel your date is pressuring you into drinking too much, so don’t be afraid to swiftly end the date and call a taxi.
4. Do your research
Pretty much everyone has some sort of online presence now, so have a look at social media and find out a bit more about them. If you see anything you don’t like or that concerns you, it isn’t too late to bail.
5. Tell a friend what you’re doing
Make sure someone knows what you’re doing, where you’re meeting and any details you know about your date. It’s sensible to check in with them once or twice during the date, especially if you change venues. You don’t need to make a big thing of it - it’s easy to send a quick text when your date nips to the loo - but it will make your dating experience much safer.
6. Have an exit strategy
If your date isn’t going well, it’s good to have a pre-planned reason for leaving. The best way to do this is keep your first date purposefully short: agree to a coffee rather than a sit down lunch, or a quick drink rather than dinner. Telling your date before you meet that you have plans later makes it easy for you to leave, and if the date goes well you can make plans to meet up again soon. However, if you’re not feeling good about the date you have every right to politely but firmly tell them, and leave with no excuses.
Making the leap from messaging to IRL dates can be a slow process. You have to make an effort to connect with someone, find common ground and, ultimately, be brave enough to ask someone out. Sometimes the process can feel a bit tricky and confusing, especially if someone you’ve been chatting with suddenly vanishes. Whilst we frown very hard upon ghosting and always want people to state clearly if they’re not interested in an actual date, it’s worth asking yourself if there is anything in your messages that is making that initial spark fizzle out. Here are six reasons your messages might not be getting you dates.
1. You sound negative
Sound negative, miserable or cynical is going to be a real turn off. Even if you hate your job or your flatmates or the political situation, now is not the time to air those grievances as you won’t make a good first impression. Of course we all have annoyances and disappointments in life that can be shared later on, but in the first instance it’s important to keep things upbeat.
2. Your messages are too long
If someone has to read what feels like an essay every time they hear from you, they’re soon going to get bored. Long paragraphs of text are overwhelming and leave people feeling unsure how to respond, meaning they probably won’t. Keep it short and snappy and remember that if you make a connection now you’ll have plenty of time to share your life story later.
3. Your messages are too short
At the other end of the spectrum are messages that are so short that there’s nothing for your potential date to respond to. Messages that simply say ‘Hey!’ or ‘What’s up?’ are WAY less engaging than those that offer people an easy way to respond. Referring to something in their profile and asking them a question does most of the hard work for them, so you’re much more likely to get a reply.
4. You use your messages to moan about your ex
This is a terminally bad move. Whilst it might be tempting to trash your ex, especially if you’re newly single, it will make you look a) not over them and b) bitter as all get out. Neither of these are attractive qualities or a good foundation for a new relationship, so don’t do it.
5. Your messages sound obviously copy-and-pasted
Generic messages are easy to spot and easier to ignore, so don’t be tempted to spam multiple people with same old lines. Making a genuine effort with each person and writing something unique to them will work much better, we promise you.
6. You aren’t easy to pin down for a time to meet up
We get that you’re busy, but if you want to meet someone you have to make yourself available for actually going on a date. Be clear about what fits with your schedule and when a plan is made stick to it. Appearing flaky or uninterested will make people stop messaging you very quickly.
Have you ever heard of ‘Dating Sunday’? It falls on the first Sunday of each new year and sees the most sign ups and user engagement of any other 24 hour period, making it one of the most important days in the dating calendar and one you can’t afford to miss. This year it falls on January 6th, so, if you’ve neglected your dating profile a little over the winter months, you’ve got plenty of time to give it a makeover before the big days rolls around. Follow these tips to make sure dating in 2019 goes with a bang!
Use simple language and proper grammar
Have a look back over what you wrote on your profile and check for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. You don’t have to be Shakespeare, but taking care over presentation gives a much better impression than being sloppy and careless. Research has shown that potential dates respond better to simple language because people are naturally drawn to words that are easier to remember and pronounce, so don’t try to impress with over-complicated words of sentences.
Keep it upbeat
When going over your profile narrative, make sure that what you’ve written is positive and upbeat and, if it isn’t, give it a rewrite. Avoid saying negative things about yourself or things you don’t like about other people, and PLEASE don’t mention an ex. People will be much more drawn to you if you are optimistic about life.
Be specific about your interests
Online daters respond well to people who have similar hobbies and interests to them, so do yourself a favour by being specific about what your passions are. For example, don’t say you like ‘sport’ and ‘reading’; instead name your favourite sports and give a list of your top 5 favourite books.
Change your photos
If you’ve been online for a while your photo can go a bit stale. People who have seen it hundreds of times but not contacted you will look at you with fresh eyes if you post a new photo, plus it will revitalise your profile for you too. Remember, the best photo is a smiley, colourful, clear head and shoulders shot.
Write about yourself
This might seem obvious, but many people are naturally self-effacing and so singing your own praises can be difficult. However, writing about yourself is crucial: research has shown that successful online daters spend around 80% of their profile writing about themselves and 20% describing the type of person they’re looking for. People are looking for detail, so don’t be afraid to give some.