Happy Valentines

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Was utterly charmed to meet at a Business Women’s Networking lunch, a lovely, lovely lady, Karen Barr of Beswitchedon A life style coach who specialises in helping single ladies find a relationship and who guarantees single clients that they will achieve better connections with friends, family, and men within 8 sessions of coaching by her. Even though I am an old married lady by now, relationships are still a priority for me and I suspect that this is true for everyone. For single people, relationships with friends and family are a huge support and if you are married or have a partner it is always going to be something that needs attention – it does not get easier after a few years unfortunately!!

I asked Karen for a few words of inspiration that I could share with my readers on Valentines Day and she sent this, a twenty-first century guide to meeting people online.

Internet dating is THE new way to meet people. However there are still a lot of sceptics out there. Here are my top tips for safe and effective internet dating…

1. Facts about Internet Dating
60% of all single people who are looking are looking on-line
That means there are around 90 million people searching on line right now!
One in 5 marriages from the last 3 years are couples who met on the internet
I personally have been to the weddings of 4 internet couples, and know at least 10 more who are married or long term dating.

So it DOES work!

2. Attitude is everything!
One of the first things you need to get clear is your attitude. My favourite expression is “You reap what you sow”, so if you don’t believe the internet will work for you then it won’t. I do however empathise with you because I thought for a long time that the type of guy I wanted to meet would never be anywhere near the internet looking for a partner. WRONG!!

3. Intention
Once you have cleaned up your attitude, write out a statement of intention stating that you will put the appropriate effort into finding love on-line.

4. Writing a great profile
The key here is to know yourself and who you are looking for. Most women don’t think twice about the type of man they want, they just date anyone who is interested – no much wonder it doesn’t work out.

First, write out the top 5 adjectives that best describe you – these can include things you like to do. Then write out a statement that proves each one! Yes, just like a competency based interview! “Tell me a time when you…”

For example, have you any idea how many people say they like to travel?? So instead of just saying “I like to travel”, say something like, “One of my favourite cocktail moments was sipping Daquiri’s in Hemmingway’s Bar in Havana” or “I love watching the sun set over Hong Kong Harbour”. You get the idea. This is ‘show and tell’ stuff!

If you are extrovert and spontaneous, say so! An introverted planner needs to know that.

5. Invest in a decent photo
There is no excuse for not having a good clear head and shoulder shot. Get it done professionally if you really want to make a good impression. Men love women in red (a cliché I know but its true!) And show just a little cleavage – just a LITTLE mind!!

If you have to have a picture of you on your mountain bike, or you with your cuddly toy collection, have them as additional photos, not the main one.

6. Which site do I use?
Well, this is a bit like joining gym, it doesn’t matter which one you join, it’s using it that counts.

As I long suspected, recent research suggests that sites with psychometric profiling are a bit of a waste of time, so I wouldn’t bother with those. I also think that anyone who won’t even pay for a subscription shows lack of commitment, so I would also avoid those too.

Generally, the top sites such as match.com, cupid.com or datingdirect.com are good. So are the ones associated with newspapers such as Guardian Soulmates or Telegraph Dating depending on your political allegiance!

7. “Dos”
Do flirt, wink, favourite, or whatever the site allows. Or just go straight for it and email someone you like the look of directly.

Do go on-line often; most men won’t even bother with you if they see you haven’t been on-line for a few days, so try to do this at least every 48 hours.

Ask questions relating to your date’s profile, there is nothing nicer than knowing someone has actually read about you and is showing a genuine interest

8. “Don’ts”
In my experience, there are a few men who think that having a relationship based on emails or text is acceptable. If they are always texting and never calling – forget it.

Same with emails. If you are looking for someone local and can meet up easily, do so as soon as you feel comfortable.

ALWAYS speak on the phone before you agree to meet up. THIS SHOULD BE A NON NEGOTIABLE RULE. I think you get a much better feel for the person if you can talk to them. And besides, if you can happily chat to them for 30 minutes or so on the phone, then at least you know you can manage a decent conversation even if the spark is not there.

9. The Date
Go somewhere central – this just makes sense for safety’s sake. And always get your own way there and home.
Tell friends where you are going , and text them once you are on your way home. I’m sure they are dying to know how it went anyway!

Only stay for an hour. I think this is the easiest way to get out of a tricky situation. Tell your date that you only have one hour for a quick drink or a coffee. If it’s going well you can always change your mind or if it’s going really well, you have the rest of your lives to spend more time together.

10. Keep at it
It is very easy to get jaded if you are not finding anyone to your liking on the site. This is where you have to remember your commitment to yourself.
Just go out and enjoy meeting new people. It might not all end in ‘happy ever after’ but if you decide to have fun and be interested in others, you will find people interested in you.

Leaf heart Gummy Sweets

Wow, some real eye-openers there…Do men like women in red?? Her advice about meeting up as soon as possible, I think is very pertinent. Sorry to add a cynical note to this most romantic of subjects, but unfortunately you do get married men on dating websites and their inevitable reluctance to actually meet or suspiciously tight ‘work’ schedules are a real give away.

Inspiring though…get in touch with Karen through her website Beswitchedon

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