12 Online Dating Red Flags to Watch Out For

12 Online Dating Red Flags to Watch Out For

Online datingred flags

Online dating is a wonderful opportunity to meet someone amazing to share your life with. With the development of matchmaking technology and more great singles signing up every year, you’re more likely than ever to meet your soulmate online. However, the world of dating apps and websites leaves you open to people who may not have your best interests at heart. Modern day dating comes with modern day red flags to watch out for!

1. They Like You… Too Much

Of course, it feels amazing when someone is interested in you, especially if you’re interested in them too. However, watch out if they’re too enthusiastic too soon. If you’ve exchanged a few messages and they’re already planning a wedding, perhaps give this person a miss.

2. A Lack Of Description In Their Profile

If their profile is missing out on important information (like their job, education, interests) then they should be avoided. When looking for a committed relationship, keep in mind that somebody searching for the same thing will be transparent, open and honest. Don’t expect someone to tell you their life story right away. But, if they are being too vague, it’s likely they have something to hide.

3. Photos That Look Too Good To Be True

photo red flag

The term ‘catfish’ is used for people who steal photos and pretend to be somebody else online. If somebody’s profile photo is a perfectly airbrushed model shot, this may well be someone using a photo they’ve taken from the web. And okay, maybe the person claims they actually are a model. If they are, they should have some ‘normal’ photos alongside professional model shots.

4. Not Enough Photos

As well as having photos that are too good to be true, watch out if a profile only has one or two photos. This is another indicator of a fake profile. A good profile will have a range of photographs, both of the person alone and with friends. You can use reverse image search to find out if photos have been taken from somewhere on the internet.

5. Generic Opening Lines

Generic, cliché conversation starters could mean that this person is just copy-pasting the same message to you and many others. Avoid replying to generic conversation starters like ‘hey sexy’ or a plain old ‘hi what are you up too?’, and instead, look out for those who have read your profile and have sent you a personalised message.

6. Something Is Off About Their Social Media Profiles

social media red flag

If you’ve been chatting to someone for a while, check out their social media profiles. If their Instagram account has very few followers or all the posts were uploaded recently or at once, the profile is likely to be fake. The same goes if they have very few Facebook friends. Their social media profiles should line up with who they say they are and have activity from friends and family.

7. They Send 15 Texts In A Row When You Don’t Respond Right Away

This is a huge red flag that becoming involved with this person will lead to some serious problems for you. If someone shows signs of being obsessive or controlling early on, it’s only going to get worse. Online dating should be fun, and nobody worthwhile will feel entitled to your attention 24/7, especially in the earliest stages.

8. They Make Every Text Into A Sext

A little flirty, sexy chat can be fun. And of course, want to have that physical attraction to each other. But if they send you a ‘what are you wearing 😉’ when you’re talking about taking your dog to the vet… you might want to give this one a miss if you’re looking for something serious. Unless, of course, you’re only looking for a hook-up.

9. They Flake Out On Plans Last-minute

date stood up

When we’re first getting to know someone, we’re on our best behaviour. Your ideal match will make you a priority. If they can’t commit to your coffee date, don’t expect them to commit to you.

10. They Never Want To Meet In Person

If you’re talking to somebody and they’re avoiding making plans to meet in person after more than a few weeks, waste no more of your time. They could be lying about who they are or just not interested. After all, you’re not online dating to find a pen pal!

11. They Never Want To Meet Anywhere Near Their Place

This suggests that they could be hiding you, or want to hide something from you. The same goes if they’re very vague about what area they live in or what they do for work.

12. They Only Want To Meet At Their Place

date at home

At the other end of the spectrum are people that only want to meet at their place. A cosy night in can be great, but a relationship can’t exist within the four walls of someone’s home. You might have to admit to yourself that they’re only after one thing… Remember, it’s dangerous to go to the home of someone who you haven’t met before. If you’re meeting for the first time, choose somewhere public like a café or bar.

It’s important to keep your wits about you and remember that online, people can hide behind their screens and claim to be anyone. Some of these red flags are glaringly obvious, but some are harder to spot. If you’re planning to meet with someone in person, tell a loved one exactly when and where you’re planning to meet them. And, if you like someone you’re talking to online, show their profile to a friend or family member and ask them what they think.

15 Amazing Winter Date Ideas

15 Amazing Winter Date Ideas

Winter Date Ideas

During winter, all we want to do is hibernate at home. With the nights getting longer and the days getting colder, it’s easy to go for a date night watching Netflix on the sofa.

But with a little creativity, winter can be one of the most romantic and exciting times of the year. Whether it’s a first date or time spent with your long-term partner, make it extra romantic this winter with one of our 15 Amazing Winter Date Ideas.

1. Go To A Book Shop

Book shops, especially independent ones, are cosy little hideaways on a cold day. Wander through the isles with your date, flicking through travel guides, photography books, or the children’s books you remember from your childhoods. To make it extra special, set yourselves the challenge of buying a book for each other to read later on.

2. Play A Game

A fun idea for a date night at home is to play a game together. It could be a board game, card game, or something designed specifically for couples. Whatever you choose, you are sure to have hours of fun. To spice things up, make it a little more competitive by promising a prize to the winner!

3. Go To See A Live Performance

Winter is a great time for indoor live performances, and there’s something for everyone. There’s something so exciting about a live performance. It could be a Christmas Pantomime, Ballet show, or stand-up comedy at a comedy club.

4. A winter walk followed by mulled wine (or cider!) at the pub

Winter Walk

Wrap up warm for a walk in nature. A quick google search will show you what beautiful walks are in your area. A long walk is the perfect setting for a long conversation, with scenery that will add the romance. If you are in the city, no worries, a park will do just fine. Then, when your fingers are chilly and your legs are tired, warm up with a warm alcoholic drink at a pub. (Bonus points if there’s an open fire!)

5. Make A Scrapbook Together

This one is for the committed couples out there. Spending a night making a scrapbook with your partner is certain to make you fall in love all over again. Get yourselves an empty scrapbook, some glue, print some out all your photographs, and reminisce over a glass of wine. Not only will this be a wonderful date, but you’ll also create something to treasure for years to come.

6. Head to a Christmas market

There’s nothing more festive than a traditional Christmas market. With a range of gift shops, food stalls, and hot drinks to take away, you’ll have a blast winding through them hand in hand with your date. Meanwhile, the glow of Christmas lights will have you feeling like you’re a character in a romance movie.

7. Go ice-skating

Ice Skating Date

If you’re a seasoned pro or like Bambi on ice, ice-skating is always a fun date. This active date idea will make for picture-perfect winter memories with your partner. Plus, flailing about on the ice will give you the perfect excuse to hold on tight to each other!

8. Paint Together

You don’t have to be an excellent artist for this. Get a couple of canvases and some paints and have an arty date! There are free painting tutorials online that you can follow, or have a laugh by painting each other! If you’re a good artist, you’ll end up with pieces to hang up side by side at home. And if you’re bad, you’ll certainly have a giggle!

9. Go to the cinema

It’s a cliche, but it’s a classic! The cinema is cosy and warm on a cold winter night. Make it festive on the run-up to Christmas by going to see a Christmas movie. Make your date feel extra special by surprising them with a selection of their favourite cinema snacks.

10. DIY Couples Photoshoot

Couple Photoshoot

Pick out your favourite outfits and spend the date doing a couples photoshoot. You could make a little set up at home, or find a picturesque outdoor location. Use the timer on your camera or phone, or take videos that you can take shots from afterward.

11. Plan a Staycation Getaway

You don’t need hot weather to take a vacation. On Airbnb, you can find amazing stays around your location – from cottages to beaches, shepherds huts, and treehouses. Or, check out sites like wowcher that offer hotel stays for drastically discounted prices. A night or two away is guaranteed to be magical, even if you’re less than an hour from home!

12. Cook Something New

Create a restaurant at home by cooking something together. Finding a recipe, gathering all the ingredients, and cooking together is an adorable way to spend some quality time. You could put in some extra effort by setting up some candles on the dining table – or, make it extra cute by dressing up for the occasion!

13. Take a class together

Couple Class date

Doing something brand new to both of you is a guaranteed way to bond with your date. You could learn anything from cooking to dance. If we’re in a long term relationship, dates can get a bit repetitive. Learning something new will spice things and have you feeling as if you just met.

14. A museum or gallery

If you live in a city, you’re likely to have a few museums or galleries at your doorstep. This is a great idea for a first or second date because the exhibits are sure to spark conversation between you.

15. Go Out For Breakfast

When we think ‘date’, we think ‘dinner’. Mix things up with a breakfast date. In almost every town or city, there’s cafes offering delicious breakfasts, from cooked English breakfasts to pancake stacks. Breakfast dates are great for those who like to keep it casual because they don’t require dressing up in a glamourous outfit.

12 Online Dating Profile Tips That Really Work

12 Online Dating Profile Tips That Really Work

Online dating profile tips

Gone are the days of hoping fate will bring you and your soulmate together at a bar or through a friend of a friend. Instead, online dating allows us to have access to hundreds of potential matches. One in three couples find love online – so by signing up to an online dating site, you’re in with a great chance of finding someone perfect.

There are millions of people actively online dating every day. Many of the sites even use algorithms to connect you with singles you’re likely to be compatible with. But don’t let that fool you into assuming that finding someone will be effortless

Step number one is to craft an eye-catching profile. Writing about yourself might feel awkward at first, and it’s natural to want to avoid bragging or sounding conceited. But the love of your life could be looking at hundreds of profiles per week, so it’s important to make yourself stand out. In the online dating world, your profile is your first impression. And everyone knows first impressions count. Use our 12 tips to make your profile the best it can be:

1. Think Of Your Profile Like A CV

Just like your CV, your online dating profile is all about selling yourself. The techniques that have helped you find a job in the past might just help you find someone to love! Just like your CV, your dating profile must be clear, concise, and honest, all while putting across the best version of you. Your professional experience, voluntary work, education, and core values are all things that your future partner will want to know.

If being someone’s partner was a job – what makes you the most qualified for the role? Remember, your online dating profile is all about showcasing what you have to offer!

2. Be Clear About What You’re Looking For

Are you looking for a life-time partner or to have a bit of fun and meet new people? Do you want to get married and have children someday? Or have you decided that that’s not for you? Is it vital to you that a potential partner shares your religious or political views?

These core things are important to have in mind before you start online dating, and you might want to mention them in your profile. This will filter out people who aren’t on the same page and prevent you from wasting time getting to know somebody who isn’t the right fit.

3. Don’t Fill Your Profile With A List Of Requirements

Online dating profile tips

Even though we just told you to be clear on what you want from a potential partner, that doesn’t mean filling your profile with a list of specific requirements. Yes, you might be certain you want a 5’9 Italian airline pilot with blue eyes who loves skiing – but you could put off someone amazing if they read your requirements and don’t meet them.

You haven’t met your perfect partner yet – so you don’t know for sure exactly who they will be! Instead, keep open-minded and focus on finding someone you click with, not someone you’ve dreamed up.

4. Look At Other Profiles For Inspiration

Look at other people’s profiles and make a note of what works and what doesn’t. When you come across a profile that sparks your interest, note what aspects of that profile attracted you. If it’s their profile photo that caught your eye – what about it was so outstanding?

It’s just as useful to get inspiration from what doesn’t work in other people’s profiles. Does something someone’s written make them come across and conceited or unkind? Has someone added an awkward comment that renders them a definite no-go? Learn from their mistakes when crafting your profile.

5. Be Honest

It may feel innocent to tell a white lie to secure a date, but it’s vitally important to be honest on your profile. If things go as you hope and you find your ideal partner, you don’t want to have to have an awkward conversation later on when you’re forced to admit the truth. Healthy and happy relationships are built on trust, so starting yours off with dishonesty is a recipe for disaster.

This goes for your photos too. Use recent photos – you might have looked amazing on holiday 15 years ago, but your photos should be an accurate representation of what you look like now.

Your goal is to find someone who likes you for you, and the only way to achieve this is to be authentic.

6. Be Specific And Avoid Clichés

It’s common to see statements like ‘I’m adventurous’ or ‘I’m a people person’ on dating profiles, but these won’t mean much to the person viewing your profile. Anyone can say that they’re ‘fun-loving’ (who doesn’t love fun?!) but cliches are boring and won’t help them get a picture of who you are.

Instead, be more specific and give examples to showcase your characteristics. Instead of saying ‘I’m outdoorsy’ tell them you’re outdoorsy by saying something like ‘I go rock climbing at the weekends and love to go hiking in the woods with my dog….’

7. Make It Easy For People To Start A Conversation With You

Online dating profile tips

Striking up a conversation online can be difficult, so make it easy for someone to find something to start with! Including specific interests in your profile to give your potential date something to kick off the conversation with and help you avoid awkward small talk.

A great method is to add a question to your profile and invite people to answer it in your private messages. If travel is something you want to have in common with your significant other, you could put ‘tell me about your dream travel destination.’ Or if music is your thing, invite them to tell you about the best gig they’ve been to.

8. Check Your Spelling And Grammar

It’s not just what you write, it’s how you write it. A study of online daters showed that bad spelling and grammar on your dating profile can really affect how you’re perceived. Spelling mistakes can come across as sloppiness, and your innocent grammatical errors could suggest that you’re uneducated.

Having a well-written profile tells potential dates that you’ve taken some time to write it thoughtfully, and that you’re taking online dating seriously. If you’re unconfident in this area, there are plenty of free apps to help you proofread. Or ask a savvy friend to give it the once over.

9. Avoid Using Group Photos

Skipping through somebody’s group photos trying to figure out which one they are is annoying, time-consuming and something that many people won’t bother with. Group photos don’t showcase you and a person with too many can come across as unconfident.

And, if you have too many photos with the same group, you could get talking to someone who thinks they’re talking to your best friend! Remember – creating a good online dating profile is all about clarity.

10. Stay Positive & Enthusiastic About Dating

It’s important not to be a downer. Saying things like ‘ I don’t think I’m going to meet anyone on here but will give it a go anyway’ or ‘things never usually work out and I’m chronically unlucky in love’ won’t earn you any sympathy. Instead, a negative attitude will scare people off and make them think you’re hard work. If you write about how dating never works out for you – your potential dates may jump to the conclusion that you must be the problem.

Avoid any reference to your past failed relationships. Talking about your ex is an age-old dating tip and for good reason. It suggests that you’re not over it and aren’t ready for something new.

11. Choose Your Profile Photos Carefully

Profile photos

Choosing good photos is one of the most important parts of your profile and plays a key role in making your profile stand out. It might seem easier to take out your camera phone and snap a quick selfie, but that would be the waste of a great opportunity to show potential dates your best self! You want your photos to be well-lit and flattering while being accurate to what you look like (so no editing or heavy filters!)

Photos are also a great way to show off your personality. If you’re an animal lover, snap a cute photo of you with your dog. Into watersports? Show them how fun and adventurous you are with a photo of you smiling in a wetsuit.

12. Ask A Friend To Double Check Your Profile

Once you’ve used all our tips to put together your best profile, ask a friend to check it for you. Ask them if they can spot any obvious mistakes or if you’ve missed any important information. But more importantly, they can tell you if you’re putting across a true and honest version of yourself.

10 Game Changing Tips For First Date Success

10 Game Changing Tips For First Date Success

You’ve browsed the online dating sites, picked a few people you’d like to chat to and you’ve done the wooing/been wooed. Now it’s time for the first date! First dates are nerve wracking, even deciding on a time and venue is stressful to get right. Then there’s all the fears and worries over what to wear, wondering if you’ll like them, if they’ll like you and if conversation will flow.

But there are things you can do to make your first date go swimmingly. Follow our tips and who knows where things might take you!

1. Choose the Location Wisely

Location is everything on a first date. Always suggest a public place, such as a bar or restaurant and never meet anyone for the first time at their house or somewhere too out of the way. A picnic by a deserted lake might sound romantic, but it could be a bit too romantic for meeting someone you’ve never met before.

Pick somewhere quiet enough that you’re able to hear each other and get a good feel for them, but with enough atmosphere to not feel exposed and awkward. A quiet corner of a busy bar is good, or a popular restaurant. The cinema isn’t the best place to get to know someone as you can’t talk, and something active, such as rock climbing, might not go down too well unless you know they’d love it.

2. Keep Things Casual

Instead of pinning all your hopes on one date, avoid putting too much pressure on the situation. By all means pull out all the stops if you have the cash and you’re sure you’re going to get on. But a first date doesn’t have to be a lavish affair. It’s an opportunity to spend time talking to someone and seeing how you align, it’s not a time for extravagant gestures and
expense.

Try too hard and your date will spot it; going into it with an open mind is far better. Getting a date with someone you like the look or sound of is a confidence boost, so in the words of Del Boy, play it cool!

3. Consider Mobile Phone Etiquette

Leaving your phone on the table during dinner is a big no-no. It’s distracting for both of you and let’s be honest, it’s quite offensive – you’re giving the impression that something more important or exciting might happen.

But it’s important to also let friends know where you are and how you’re getting on. So keep your phone on silent, in your pocket or bag, and send that update text from the bathroom.

4. Be Yourself!

Be Yourself

There’s nothing more false than simply not being yourself, and if you start off as someone you’re not, it’ll be a hard act to keep up if you end up on a second date and beyond. Being yourself allows conversation to flow more easily and authentically, meaning that everything will just feel more natural.

So don’t let nerves get the better of you and turn you into someone desperate to impress. Be true to yourself and enjoy it, you’re on a first date, how awesome are you?!

5. Be Prepared with Things to Talk About

A great way to avoid awkward silences is to have a few things up your sleeve to talk about that you’re passionate about. Good ideas are projects that you’re embarking on, demonstrating your ability to look to the future. These can be fitness goals, a craft project, a career change or a dream travel destination. You’ll be able to talk freely about a topic you know lots about, and open up your plans for discussion with your date to explore their views and aspirations at the same time.

6. Pick Your Outfit Wisely

What you wear can say a lot about you. There is a large element of being yourself, like we discussed above, but this needs to be weighed up against your ‘standard’ attire. As much as we champion being authentic, turning up to a first date wearing a scruffy T shirt, ill-fitting jeans and dirty trainers isn’t going to do you many favours. So dress smart, appear groomed and make sure your clothes are clean and ironed.

That said, overdoing things can give a bad impression, especially if heels or tight fitting clothing is way out of your comfort zone.

In a nutshell, do you, neatly. And dress appropriately for the venue!

7. Keep To Your Personal Boundaries

There is no right or wrong on how far you take things on a first date – but there are when it comes to your personal boundaries. Make your decisions before you go, and if you think drinking alcohol might make you take things further than you plan, then go easy on the wine.

It’s so important to protect your sense of self, and if you feel at all uncomfortable, make your excuses and leave.

8. Offer To Pay Your Way

Whether you’re male or female and you’re dating a male or a female, the rules on first date etiquette are shifting, and who pays what can be a bit of a minefield. Traditionally, when a male and a female had a first date, it was generally assumed that the guy would pay. In today’s world that isn’t necessarily the case.

Assumptions generally always lead to misunderstandings and offence could be taken by your date if you assume they’ll pay or you go ahead and pay without asking your date how they like to do things.

When it’s time to get the bill, or you’re queuing at the bar, casually say, “Shall we go halves?” That way hopefully you’ll avoid awkwardness. There’s still awkwardness to be had, especially if you don’t want to split the bill, but what’s a first date without a little bit of shifting uncomfortably?!

9. Plan The Second Date, But Only If You Get Along

Second date

If you get the sense that things are going well, and that your date agrees, then broach the subject of a second date, at the end of the first date. That way, your date is clear on your feelings; you like them and you’d like to know more. This boosts confidence and removes any feelings of “do they or don’t they like me?”. Perhaps mention an activity you like and ask if they’d like to join you in a few days’ time.

10. Let Go If It Doesn’t Work Out

A first date is exactly that, a first date. No matter what your dreams for your own future, the person you’re meeting for the first time isn’t necessarily in it, yet. Putting pressure on a first date to be Mr or Mrs Perfect could set you up for a fall. If things don’t go as planned, and the spark wasn’t quite there for either or both of you, it’s disappointing. But it isn’t the end of the world. It’s not a reflection on you, it’s simply that there wasn’t quite enough between you to make it to a second date.

As they say, there’s plenty more fish in the sea. We just all need to fish in the right sea, at the right time, for the right fish. Getting out there and having first dates will most definitely narrow the search. Good luck!