Informative & Thought-Provoking Posts From Around The Web – March Edition

Continuing our post from last month summarising the best informative and thought-provoking articles from around the web, here are six posts from the month of March covering the hottest topics related to love and relationships.

Is Big Data Dating The Key To Long-Lasting Romance?

Paul Rubens at the BBC investigates whether “big data” is the key to finding long-lasting romance and if modern technology can assist us all in finding our true love (or even just a highly compatible partner).

Love Machine: How Gen Yers Used Technology To Transform The Dating Game

“Sex and romance online was for freaks and geeks until young people came along. Nothing would ever be the same again.” In another post on love in the modern world and the use of technology, the Guardian looks at how Generation Y is going about the quest for love – their ways might seem outrageous to other generations, but it appears that the nature of the beast is still the same.

Same-Sex Marriage Now Legal As First Couples Wed In the UK

The first same-sex weddings have taken place after gay marriage became legal in England and Wales at midnight on March 29. Politicians from the main parties have hailed the change in the law. Scotland passed a similar law in February; the first same-sex marriages are expected there in October. For those who missed it last year, check out Find Keep Love’s post on Why Gay Marriage Is A Step Forward For Humanity.

Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Law Challenged In Court

On the other side of the world, Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni signed an anti-gay bill last month toughening penalties for gay people, including life sentences for gay sex and same-sex marriages. Some of the outrageous punishments include:

  • Life imprisonment for gay sex, including oral sex;
  • Life imprisonment for “aggravated homosexuality”, including sex with a minor or while HIV-positive;
  • Life imprisonment for living in a same-sex marriage;
  • Seven years for “attempting to commit homosexuality”;
  • Between five and seven years in jail and/or a $40,700 (£24,500) fine for the promotion of homosexuality; and
  • Businesses or non-governmental organisations found guilty of the promotion of homosexuality would have their certificates of registration cancelled and directors could face seven years in jail.

Protests are ongoing from groups like All Out and LGBT groups around the world, and the law is currently being challenged in court in Uganda.

Am I Really Ready For This? Pre-Wedding Jitters

A good number of engagements happen during the month of love – Februrary – but what happens when the excitement dies down and reality hits. Here is some advice for those who have recently popped the question (or have been asked to marry) and the enormity of the situation has just sunk in.

Cat Café Opens In London – Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium

And, finally, taking after the craze in Japan, a cat café has opened in London: Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium. At Lady Dinah’s – a home for rescued cats – visitors can kick back and relax with a cup of tea and spend time in the soothing company of our purring feline friends. This article provides more information on the cat café and its opening.

Informative & Thought-Provoking Posts From Around The Web – February Edition

February’s always a hot month for love with Valentine’s Day falling right in the middle. Here are a summary of posts from around the web this month that are informative and thought-provoking, covering various topics related to love and relationships. There’s something for everyone in this collection of news, articles and videos.

The History Of Marriage – Alex Gendler (A TED Talk)

“Marriage has always been shaped by society, and as a society’s structure, values and goals change over time, its ideas of marriage will continue to change along with them.” With marriage being a hotly discussed topic of late with increasing divorce rates and same-sex marriage legislation being debated by governments around the world, here is a brief history of marriage (via TED-Ed – Lessons Worth Sharing) in The History Of Marriage – Alex Gendler.

Everything You Wanted To Know About Polyamory But Were Afraid To Ask

Some of the estimated 1 million to 2 million Americans who choose to openly love more than one person share wisdom and advice for people who are considering “going poly,” or who are just curious about the practice in Everything you wanted to know about polyamory but were afraid to ask – inside the sex positive world of multiple partners.

10 Stubborn Sex Myths That Just Won’t Die, Debunked

Perhaps you’ve heard that size matters, women are naturally more bisexual than men, or that tantric sex means everlasting orgasms. The fact is, none of these things are quite true. Sex has been around forever, but we’re just starting to understand it. Lifehacker debunks 10 of the most common sex myths to set the record straight in 10 Stubborn Sex Myths That Just Won’t Die, Debunked.

Canadian Actress Ellen Page Comes Out As Gay At Time To Thrive Conference

Canadian actress Ellen Page made the brave decision to come out as gay at the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Time to Thrive Conference in Nevada, Las Vegas. Check out the post over at the Human Rights Campaign’s Tumblr page and watch the Juno star’s moving coming out speech below.

Facebook Offers Users 56 New Gender Options

Facebook announced this month that it will allow users to customise their gender, after consulting on the subject with gay and transgender advocacy groups. Facebook now offers users 56 new gender options and here’s what they all mean over at The Week.

In The Mood For Love (10 TED Talks On Love)

Love: it’s what makes the world go round. And also: all you need. As well as that thing, in addition to war, in which all is fair. Here, watch TED Talks about this most basic of human emotions in In The Mood For Love.

26 Of Hollywood’s Most Romantic Movie Moments In One & A Half Minutes

Watch 26 of Hollywood’s most romantic movie moments in a minute and a half in The Most Romantic Movie Moments Mashup by Fandango.

Philosophy Of Love Course On MIT’s OpenCourseWare

The MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) OpenCourseWare is a web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content. OCW is open and available to the world and is a permanent MIT activity. This course,  titled ‘Philosophy of Love,’ explores the nature of love through works of philosophy, literature, film, poetry, and individual experience. It investigates the distinction among eros, philia, and agape. Students discuss ideas of love as a feeling, an action, a species of ‘knowing someone,’ or a way to give or take. Authors studied include Plato, Kant, Buber, D. H. Lawrence, Rumi, and Aristotle. Find out more and go through the course materials yourself here.

Last Minute Valentine’s Day Ideas For Everyone

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, so I thought in this post I’d provide some timely encouragement and inspiration to make the most of this yearly event celebrating love.

LOOKING FOR LOVE?

For those looking for love, you might like to start with our post Step 3. (Where To) Start Looking For Love, and if online dating is something you’ve thought about trying, check out our online dating-themed posts on The Best Dating Websites & Apps To Look For Love, Creating A Successful Online Dating Profile, and Tips & Advice To Stay Safe Online. Make Valentine’s Day your catalyst for finding and keeping love this year.

GOING ON A DATE?

If you’re going on a date with someone, particularly for the first time, don’t leave home without having read our First Date Dos And Don’ts!

And make sure you give yourself the best chance possible of attracting your ideal mate by reading 10 Ways To Make Yourself More Attractive To The Opposite Sex – Part 1 and Part 2.

WANT A DATE IDEA?

If you don’t know where to go or what to do on your date, and want some ideas that won’t break the bank, our posts on 10 Cheap Date Ideas That Won’t Make You A Cheapskate – Part 1 and Part 2 should put you on the right track.

If you’d just like to have a romantic evening indoors with your loved one instead, perhaps try our series of movie posts on movies perfect for couples: 10 Man-Friendly Romantic Comedies That Women Love, 10 Feel-Good And Tear-Jerker Movies That Change Your Perspective, 10 Classic Love Stories & Romantic Movies and 10 Girl-Friendly Action Movies That Men Love. There’s something for everyone in these collections of fantastic movies.

WANT TO SURPRISE YOUR PARTNER?

If you are in a relationship and want to make your Valentine feel special, 10 Ways To Surprise Your Partner will give you several handy suggestions to show them that you love and appreciate them.

And if you really want to surprise them and take your relationship to the ultimate level, our post on Epic Marriage Proposal Wins should inspire you to make it uniquely special.

What are you doing for Valentine’s Day to celebrate love?

New Year Resolutions To Improve Your Love Life

Many of us make resolutions at the beginning of the New Year, but how many of us actually end up turning them in action, let alone achieve them? Now that we’ve had some time to get over New Year’s Eve festivities, reflecting on 2013, what were your best and worst moments of the past year? If you made resolutions last year, did you come close to achieving any of them? I managed to achieve 5.5 out of 7 of my resolutions, but I didn’t read nearly enough books as I’d hoped, and I lost some excess weight, but not nearly as much as I’d set as a goal. Starting and maintaining this blog was one of my resolutions last year and I’m looking forward to continuing and expanding it this year. It now has its own web address, too: findkeeplove.com.

Thinking about what we might like to achieve in 2014, let’s look at the resolutions you might have made. Many resolutions are made without serious intent and are too vague to actually achieve: “lose weight,” “find love,” “be happier,” and so on. Making resolutions for the right reasons and that are achievable give you a goal to aim at throughout the year, something to look forward to, a personal challenge, and/or a new start. We feel better about ourselves when we set personal goals, no matter how small, and then end up accomplishing them.

So how can we set realistic New Year resolutions and set out to achieve them? First, don’t think of a resolution as something silly you make up on New Year’s Eve, but as you would any other goal or challenge you might make on any other day of the year. If you have trouble taking a “New Year resolution” seriously, call it something else, like “Goals for 2014.” Then follow these simple steps:

1. Pick the right resolution(s)

Think about what you really want to achieve this year and how you will benefit from it.

2. Set an achievable goal

Unrealistic goals are doomed to fail and a goal is more achievable if you can quantify it in terms of numbers.

3. Set a time line for the goal

and if possible, break the goal up into steps. This helps you review your progress against tangible performance metrics. A resolution made without thinking of the steps necessary to achieve that resolution will most likely fail. If you want to lose weight, for example, try “exercise for 30 minutes a day,” “replace crisps/chocolate with a piece of fruit,” and so on, in order to lose weight (e.g., lose x kilograms).

4. Review your progress towards the goal

This helps you stay on track… and remember to try as hard as possible not to move the goalposts, but also remain somewhat flexible – at the end of the day, you are only letting yourself down, but you are the main influencer of your own happiness! At the end of January, review the progress towards your goals and see how you’re going.

5. Achieve your challenge

… or part of it. Even if you don’t complete 100% of the original goal, you may have learnt a thing or two along the way. And there’s always a chance to make new resolutions in a year’s time.

Making New Year Resolutions To Improve Your Love Life – For Singles

For singles looking to find love, perhaps you can set yourself the goal of one activity a month that allows you to meet someone new. This might be joining new club, group or organisation related to something that interests you or something you’ve wanted to try. One place you can start looking is Meetup. It’s always good to push yourself out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself from time to time. You can use these activities as an opportunity of assessing others’ suitability as a partner (subtly, of course).

If you’re serious about finding love this year, you’ll want to have a look at Find Keep Love’s three step program to finding love:

If you want to try online dating, sign up to a dating website or two and start creating a profile. You’ll might also like to check out our series of posts on online dating:

Making New Year Resolutions To Improve Your Love Life – For Couples

For couples, you can set goals individually or together. As an individual goal, for example, resolve to do a random nice thing for your partner once a month (or once a week if you’re feeling overly ambitious) or to take your partner out for a proper romantic date once a month. Find Keep Love’s post on 10 Ways To Surprise Your Partner addresses this topic and will point you in the right direction. You could also aim to pay your loved one a compliment a day for the entirety of 2014. 365 compliments will gain you some serious love points, and you’ll form good habits to strengthen your relationship.

You can also set goals together – to learn something new by taking a course together (a new language or a cooking course perhaps) or to go on a romantic getaway once or twice this year. Resolve to spend more quality time together, particularly if work or family life gets in the way. Our posts on Modern Day Dating & Scheduling Dates, Relationship Maintenance & Avoiding Relationship Ruts and The Natural Drift Of Relationships – Why Some Relationships Don’t Last discuss some of the common issues with modern relationships and some ways to overcome them. You may also find some inspiration from our two-part post on the 6 Secrets To Keeping Long Term Love and on the 7 Deadly Relationship Sins – What Not To Do In Love – you’ll want to aim to do more of the former and less of the latter.

What are your New Year resolutions? What steps will you take to achieve them?

10 Cheap Date Ideas That Won’t Make You A Cheapskate – Part 2

In this post, Find Keep Love continues the theme of 10 Cheap Date Ideas That Won’t Make You A Cheapskate – Part 1, looking at a few more cheap date ideas that won’t break the bank and won’t make you appear to be a cheapskate.

6. Use vouchers & take advantage of special deals/offers

There are a multitude of voucher/deal applications for smartphones available: Groupon, LocalSocial [Android], vouchercloud [Apple and Android], and HotUKDeals [Apple and Android] are some examples. If you’re embarrassed to use a voucher in front of your date/partner, why not call ahead and book and mention it while you’re doing that (in fact, some deals require that). Or you can always fake a trip to the restroom and slyly make your way to the cashier to sort out the bill, rather than calling it to the table. You’ll not only gain points on the chivalry front, but you’ll get a great deal on the meal. For UK-based restaurant vouchers and deals, check out this post at Money Saving Expert.

7. Ten pin bowling

A ten pin bowling date can be an immensely fun date and many bowling alleys incorporate pool/snooker tables, bars and video games, so there’s plenty to do. Often nearby are restaurants, movie theatres and even nightclubs. You can relive dates of decades past at a retro bowling alley or immerse yourself in one with the latest gaming technology – there’s cosmic bowling, for example, with the latest beats and glow-in-the-dark pins.

8. Go to a local fair, market or other special event

Every weekend you will find local fairs, markets and other special events taking place across the UK. There are music festivals (the more commercial ones will cost a significant chunk of cash, but there are many free ones, too), beer festivals, food festivals, cultural festivals, dancing festivals… the list goes on. Check out your town/city/village’s local newspaper or magazine – in print or online – for upcoming events. You’ll find there’s always something on… to do something you both enjoy, or get out of your comfort zones with something new and interesting.

9. Be a tourist in your own town

People often think they have to travel far away – perhaps to exotic locations – to be a tourist, but you can always be a tourist in your own town. With a little research you can always find something new and interesting to do – sometimes we take our own place of living for granted and overlook some great things to do – and save on flights, accommodation, and so on. Things that might actually be staring us in the face, on our own doorstep, that we lose sight of. The local newspaper or magazine will have a list of things in it that just might surprise you. There could be a new restaurant, bar or coffee shop, or there may be a visiting performer or art exhibition. Fall in love with the place you live all over again.

10. Heat up some popcorn & have a movie night in

You don’t always have to go outside for a date – watching a romantic movie, cuddled up together at home on the couch or in bed, perhaps sharing a bowl of popcorn or some chocolate treats, is a great way to enjoy each other’s company. Some supermarkets have some great meal deals designed for couples to have a night off cooking without having to resort to junk food – my local M&S, for example, has a Dine In For £10 deal on select days. For some movie date ideas, check out these Find Keep Love posts:

So, in summary, in addition to the five ways in Part 1, ten cheap dates that won’t make you (seem like) a cheapskate are

1. A coffee date
2. Visit a National Park & enjoy the great outdoors
3. Visit a National Trust property
4. Go on a day trip on a bus or train
5. Go for a walk/jog/run/cycle somewhere together
6. Use vouchers & take advantage of special deals/offers
7. Ten pin bowling
8. Go to a local fair, market or other special event
9. Be a tourist in your own town
10. Heat up some popcorn & have a movie night in

You can follow Find Keep Love on Twitter (@FindKeepLove), on our Facebook page, or click the ‘Follow’ button to get updates via email.

10 Cheap Date Ideas That Won’t Make You A Cheapskate – Part 1

In this post, Find Keep Love looks at a few cheap date ideas that won’t break the bank and won’t make you appear to be a cheapskate.  You can show your date/partner a fun and/or interesting time without having to take out a loan to do so!

1. A coffee date

A date at a café can be an inexpensive way to get to know someone over a cup of tea or coffee (and even cake!). This is a great option for first/initial dates – it’s casual, and the bill shouldn’t end up being too expensive. It is also a suitable alternative to a pub, where alcohol can sometimes have a negative influence on a date (see our post on First Dates Dos and Don’ts), but you can also easily end up with an expensive bill if things are going well!

2. Visit a National Park & enjoy the great outdoors

England, for example, has 10 National Parks that cover almost 10% of the land area. There are 113,000 National Parks worldwide, which cover about 6% of the Earth’s land surface! Many of these are free/cheap to enter, so provided the weather is good, why not pack a picnic basket with yummy food and enjoy some beautiful scenery that have been specifically protected for us to enjoy. There are many ways to get in touch with Mother Nature, and it doesn’t have to be at a National Park. Besides enjoying the weather outside, you can watch the sunrise/sunset, watch birds and other animals, pick fruit, gaze at the stars, and so on.

3. Visit a National Trust property

The UK’s National Trust protects and opens many historic gardens, mills and monuments for the public to visit, and for a small yearly membership fee (even cheaper when you get a joint membership), you have access to National Trust properties and events, as well as opportunities to join local supporter groups. National Trust properties include something for everyone: grand houses and mansions, caves, lighthouses, gardens, beaches, castles and abbeys!

4. Go on a day trip on a bus or train

With advance/cheap bus or train tickets, you can take a trip to another village or city and spend the day there. Super Off Peak Day Return train tickets can let you have a day trip on a weekend for just over £10 to travel from Cambridge to London, for example, where a normal ticket would cost over £40. With megabus.com, you can get a bus from Cambridge to Oxford for as low as £1! For other offers and tips, check out Money Saving Expert’s post on cheap train & coach deals.

5. Go for a walk/jog/run/cycle somewhere together

Many cities have walking or cycling trails and getting some exercise together can be a great way to release endorphins. You could stop off at a village along the way to browse the shops, sample the local produce, have a cup of tea or coffee or a beer, and then continue on your journey. The exercise will have a positive impact on your cardiovascular system and have you both feeling (and possibly even looking) better, and with the help of Google Maps you can tailor your route/distance to your specific fitness level!

Stay tuned for the continuation of this post, where we’ll explore five more cheap date ideas!

Myths About Love And Finding A Partner

In this post, Find Keep Love investigates a few of the misconceptions people have and myths about love and finding a partner.

There is only one true love… I’m a firm believer in “there are plenty more fish in the sea.” After all, there are over seven billion people on the planet and about half of them are of the sex you’re looking for (or even more if you’re bisexual). Even if you narrow it down to your particular age group and those who are unattached and looking, that still leaves millions of potential partners. If you know what you want (Find Love. Step 2. Know Yourself) and have a certain level of standards, this certainly narrows down your choices, but it also ensures you look in the right places. Often we end up with the kind of partner who fits our expectations.

There are also a number of theories on mate selection, including Parental Image Theory (Freud proposed that a child forms a deep attachment to their parent of opposite sex, and chooses someone similar to them as a mate), Homogamy Theory (based on ‘like attracts like,’ i.e., people choose mates based on similarities they find in each other), Propinquity Theory (two people who spend a lot of time together in close proximity are likely to develop a close relationship), and Complementary Need Theory (Winch proposed that a person seeks a partner who complements his/her own personality, i.e., a partner who complements their own weaknesses).

Every day is rosy and lovely (and only couples in bad relationships argue)… all couples have disagreements and arguments, especially when living together in close proximity and dealing with joint finances, looking after and raising children, and so on. It is not so much your disagreements and arguments that define you as a couple, but the way in which you deal with them together. When (not if!) these disagreements or arguments occur, deal with them appropriately like adults, and not in public or involving others. Be honest with your feelings and respect each other’s needs, wants and opinions. It is often said that couples who argue together last longer together and form stronger bonds together than couples who do not argue very often. A relationship based on mutual respect, honesty and trust will survive many disagreements and arguments, but it is a difficult skill to be able to accept and embrace disagreement.

An amazing sex life lasts forever… Seeing the daily habits of your partner, and seeing them at their worst (the bad breath and other smells, bed hair, grooming and toilet habits, mood swings, and so on), does have an effect on how sexy they appear and how much lust we feel towards them. In the initial stages of dating, you generally only see their good side. Living together changes your viewpoint dramatically – you see your partner in ‘lazy mode’, experience their toilet habits, and smell their morning breath. This is life, after all, but it doesn’t do much for our sex lives! Every now and then, you should both get dressed up, meet up separately (say after work) and treat things like a first date again – it might just be the spark you need to rejuvenate things and keep that lustful flame burning. Try surprising your partner with one of Find Keep Love’s 10 Ways To Surprise Your Partner. For some more related tips to maintain a healthy relationship, check out Modern Day Dating & Scheduling Dates and Relationship Maintenance & Avoiding Relationship Ruts.

You can follow Find Keep Love on Twitter (@FindKeepLove), on Facebook page or click the ‘Follow’ button to get updates via email.

How To Flirt – Flirting Via Texting & Messages

This post addresses how to flirt with someone via texting and messages and to perfect your writing style to win the interest of the object of your affection. In today’s busy world, texting and short messaging is the most common form of communication. Therefore, knowing how to text appropriately, including flirting with others, has become ever more important.

Use appropriate language

There’s nothing worse than someone attempting to use language outside of their age bracket. I’ve seen parents, for example, try to text their children with modern-speak (think LOL, LMAO, and so on) and just look inappropriate and lame. There is a whole group of people out there who think LOL stands for ‘Lots Of Love’. Not only is what you say in your text important, but the language you use tells the recipient a lot about you. Don’t come on too strong or use overly sexual language, which along with sending explicit sexual photos, is a big complaint from many women (see our post on 10 Things Men Want Women To Know & Women Want Men To Know. Your photos can be forwarded onto others at the click of a button, and can embarrass you in front of your friends, family and colleagues. Sexting scandals have ruined relationships, families, careers and reputations.

Check your spelling and grammar

Along with the style of language used in your message, make sure you check your spelling and grammar. Sending messages that are incomprehensible or inarticulate with sloppy grammar or incorrectly spelled words makes you look like a fool and makes the recipient feel like you don’t care about them enough to put in effort for them. Your writing doesn’t need to be perfect prose, but at least give your text a once-over before sending it. Watch out for the auto-correct function on your phone, too – you may end up saying the wrong thing and end up on a website like Autocorrect Fail. And finally, before you press send, always check your text is going to the right person! These quick checks can avoid a potentially embarrassing situation – imagine a flirty message going to a family member by accident.

Choose an appropriate time to text

There are many good times to send a text, but there are also a few times when you should NOT text someone. One such time is inappropriately late at night or early in the morning. Many phones have silent or ‘do not disturb’ functions on them, but be aware of your recipient’s schedule, and when might be appropriate to text them. Another time not to text someone is when you are incredibly drunk – drunken text messages usually end in embarrassment or hilarity (see Texts From Last Night for some examples) – but not very often do they result in a positive impact on your love life. A couple of drinks can give you the courage to message your crush, but any more than a few and you should keep your phone in your pocket. Try not to message someone – particularly someone you like – when in a highly emotional state (angry, sad, annoyed) as you may say something you regret and turn them off seeing you. No-one likes supporting emotional baggage in the early stages of a relationship. Finally, for safety’s sake, don’t text and drive. Texting requires a decent amount of concentration, using both your eyes and hands, which will distract you from driving and put you, your passengers and other road users at risk. Use a hands free kit with a text-to-speech facility or use an app for your phone like Siri, Skyvi (Siri for Android), SMS Reader, and so on. Although, there are studies that show this is still distracting and risky behaviour.

Be casual, be cool, be creative

You should never go too overboard or come on too strong in a text message, so try to be as natural as possible. So many people over-think what they’re going to say that the text or message feels forced and unnatural. Some of the rules of flirting via texting or messaging are not so different to those in real life, and the best flirts come across as easy going and natural. Subtlety and balance are crucial, but also try to be creative. It is a much greater skill to be creative and come across as interesting when using only words as your medium, and they’ll be impressed if you can pull this off. Make them laugh, make a clever or interesting observation, or just be original in the best way that you can be (don’t try to be someone that you’re not). Don’t try too hard, though, and don’t try to be too funny or seem too eager or enthusiastic – it can be a major turn-off.

How to begin your conversation

One of the best ways to start a text conversation is to ask a question. It can keep a conversation going and you can learn more about the other person. Keep the questions simple and open-ended, which gives them more opportunity to answer, but don’t be too open-ended or philosophical in a way that might puzzle them. Ask them their opinion on a new movie, restaurant, band or news item (news that isn’t too controversial). Be thoughtful, too – if you know they were doing something important (a sports competition, a test or exam, or a job interview), ask them about it and show that you care. If they’ve been sick, ask if they’re feeling better. You could also write about an observation or something else that made you think of them. It may have been a place you visited or something you ate or a conversation you had – it informs them that you were thinking of them without being too direct.

Taking flirting to the next level

A little naughtiness or teasing can be a great way to take the flirting to the next level, but it requires subtlety, indirectness and MUCH CARE. As mentioned above, sexting can turn off many women, particularly sending in-your-face sexually explicit photos. Learn to read the nature of their replies to gauge whether or not a particular topic or level of conversation is appropriate at that point of time. Something like ‘TMI’ (= Too Much Information) as a response is good indication you’ve already said enough. Tease your crush lightly and be a little playful, but not too much. Sometimes an overly sensitive recipient, mixed with a lack of forethought, can end up with them being offended – see 7 Deadly Relationship Sins – What Not To Do In Love – Part 2. Keep it light, make it clear that you’re joking, and show that you don’t take yourself too seriously. You could think about a silly nickname for them and use it when you contact them. Don’t forget to complement your crush either – find a subtle way to let them know they looked cute or nice, or that you like their new haircut or outfit.

Do I call or do I text?

Some people really don’t enjoy the cumbersome effort of typing out a message and prefer the relative simplicity of talking on the phone. On the other hand, some people find texting more preferable and hate talking on the phone. With texting, they can answer in their own time and can text more easily in certain situations, like when with others, when on public transport, when in a class or lecture, and so on. Try to gauge your interest’s preference early on and communicate with them in the way they prefer.

Treat texting for what it is – a casual form of communication

Remember texting and messaging for what they are – a casual, short form of communication – and don’t expect to build a meaningful, deep connection. It might be a great way for a little flirting, to learn a little more about each other or to make plans, but you can’t beat the connection that can be made in person. There’s less chance of a miscommunication via texts and messages, too, because you can read their body language and judge the tone of their voice.

With these tips at hand, it’s your turn now to try some of them out yourself. Good luck! And stay tuned for the next post on How To Flirt – Flirting In Person.

Online Dating – Creating A Successful Online Dating Profile

In this post, Find Keep Love looks at how to create a successful online dating profile, to give you the best possible chance of attracting possible suitors and finding the most suitable person for you. Here are our three biggest tips for perfecting your profile:

1. Choose your best, most appropriate photo(s)

The photo(s) you choose for your online dating profile are crucial. Your first impression, as in real life, is a visual one. Within the first few seconds of seeing someone new, we make a number of subconscious decisions and judgements based on what we see. Are you someone to engage with or avoid? Are you similar or different? Will you have compatible tastes? Do you appear friendly, trustworthy, competent and likeable? The world of online dating can be cut-throat and your profile picture(s) make a significant first impression one way or another. Think hard about how you want to be viewed. How you are perceived by others can be related to who you attract and an inappropriate choice of photo might attract undesirable suitors. Make sure your photo truly represents who you are and is recent. Some photos to avoid posting include:

  • Retro photos (from 10 years ago when you may have been younger, slimmer and more carefree).
  • Photos with ex-partners (who may be present or cropped out),
  • The bathroom mirror self-shot (with or without the modern day ‘duck-face’ pout),
  • Photos with others (particularly if which one you are is ambiguous), and
  • Party photos (you might like to advertise that you’re fun and exciting, but not many bar/nightclub photos bring out the best in us, often making us look tired, drunk and/or sweaty).

2. Be honest

It is fairly obvious that if you lie about your physical characteristics on your profile, you’ll be found out eventually when you meet for a date. But you’d be surprised how many people describe themselves as a little bit taller, slimmer or even younger than they actually are (good, recent photos can avoid this temptation to overstate reality). When filling out your profile, try to give as much information about yourself as possible, while avoiding some of the security issues with releasing personal information on the internet (see our post on Online Dating – Tips & Advice To Stay Safe Online). In particular, if a site uses a matching algorithm, you have more chances of finding a good match if you have a complete profile. As described in The Natural Drift Of Relationships – Why Some Relationships Don’t Last, without honesty, you might find your partner falling in love with the person you portray to win their affection, and not your true self. Being yourself from the outset can avoid this later on, and this starts with your profile.

3. Sell yourself

One key advantage of online dating is that you can browse profiles without having to interact with anyone and do so in the privacy of your own home, but this allowance for anonymity can make it feel harsh for those who are overlooked with a simple scroll of the mouse. So, whilst honesty in your profile is laudable, you mustn’t forget to sell yourself and paint yourself in the best possible light. How can you set yourself ahead of the competition?

  • Treat your dating profile as you would your resume when applying for a job (without listing all the juicy/gory details of your past experiences, of course). Keep your profile, including your relationship needs/wants, goals, and so on, up to date.
  • Create a profile heading that’s catchy and grabs people’s attention. Something ideally that stays in the reader’s mind, even after reading dozens of other profiles.
  • Be original and creative. By all means use other profiles for inspiration, but focus on what makes you, well YOU. Try to avoid clichéd interests like ‘socialising with friends,’ ‘reading,’ or ‘watching beautiful sunsets’. What are the things in life you’re really passionate about? Write about these.
  • Avoid negativity. Although you may have had bad experiences in the past, or your luck in love might be down, try not to express this too much in your language on your profile. Avoid talk of horrible relationships, cheating ex-partners or how desperate you are to find love.
  • Ask friends/family what they see as your positive characteristics. Sometimes they can see something your own judgement cannot. You could also ask them to review your profile – an extra pair of eyes can make a world of difference.
  • Keep your profile simple and succinct. Simple doesn’t have to mean dull if you’re wise with the words you use.
  • Do one final spelling and grammar check. You wouldn’t send out a resume with spelling and grammar errors in it, and you shouldn’t do the same with your online dating profile.

Following these three steps will put you in the best possible position to get and maintain interest in your online dating profile and take the first step in finding love online. Now you can use some of the suggested tools and websites in our post on Online Dating – The Best Dating Websites & Apps To Look For Love to start perfecting your profile.

Find Keep Love Blog Competition – Best & Worst Dating Stories

Congratulations to the winners of Find Keep Love‘s blog competition to celebrate 1,000 views and to find out your Best & Worst Dating Stories: Alastair, Sam, Michelle, Rob, Steph and Jamie. Here’s the text from the original post:

Find Keep Love has now passed 1,000 views and continues to climb! To celebrate this milestone, and to thank all the readers and contributors so far, we’re delighted to announce a competition, in collaboration with eHarmony.co.uk, to find out your Best & Worst Dating Stories.

Did the universe align for one special moment? Did a set of unbelievable circumstances result in something serendipitous? Did your date or partner do something outrageously romantic and beautiful to win you over?

Or did things go horribly wrong? Did a trusted family member or friend set you up with someone completely wrong for you? Did something embarrassing happen to you or your date? Have you sent the wrong message to the wrong person while dating?

PRIZE WINNERS  BEST DATING STORIES

Dashing Prince Rescues Damsel In Distress. Travelling for a sales job, I had a flat tire off the main highway, outside of a small village. My mobile phone reception was poor and I was struggling to get through to the AA for help. Then a nice (and attractive!) guy came along, pulled over and offered his assistance. He’d clearly done it before and replaced the tyre in no time. I offered him dinner next time I was in town, which happened to be in two weeks’ time. We hit it off amazingly well, and we’re still together today. We still laugh at fortunate unfortunate situation and at the “damsel in distress” comments many people make!

The Serendipitous Train. It was New Year’s Eve and my friend and I had missed a train (getting ready as girls do), and he missed two (deciding on whether or not to go to another local bar heading into the city for a New Year party with his mate). We caught each others’ eyes through the train carriage window, checking each other out, and the ticket machine in his carriage didn’t work. We were sitting right next to the machine in our carriage, and we struck up a conversation while he purchased his ticket. It turned out they were going to the same New Year party at the same nightclub as us, and we ended up sharing a dance and a midnight kiss, and we’ve been together ever since (for over eight years now!).

PRIZE WINNERS – WORST DATING STORIES

The Date With The Painful, Icy Ending. After a nice dinner date with a guy I’d just started dating, we decided to go to the local ice skating rink. With it came romantic thoughts of gliding and twirling on the ice, hand in hand, him guiding me forward. After 15 mins or so of staying near the guard to get our balance (and a slightly bruised bottom from falling over a couple of times), we decided to attempt moving off the rails and going a bit faster. Not long after, I took a big tumble and landed on my leg awkwardly, resulting in a trip to the hospital with a broken ankle and severely injured pride (and a quiet social life for the next few weeks).

A Dance Move To Remember. Whilst probably not a date in the strictest sense of the word, one of the worst evenings I’ve ever spent with a member of the opposite sex had actually started quite well. I’d been catching up with an old school friend over a couple of early evening drinks in Cambridge and I was snapped out of the conversation by a piercing pain shooting through my right foot, which turned out to be from a young lady’s stiletto heel backing out from the crowded bar, two mojitos in hand. My first impression of her (aside from her aggressive choice of footwear) was that she was very pretty, which may have been why I made a little more of my newly-inflicted injury than was absolutely necessary. Anyway, after she’d apologised for impaling me with her shoes and we’d decided that a trip to hospital wasn’t needed, I found out that the extra mojito was for a friend of hers who she was also catching up with. After the four of us had shared an evening of incident-free drinks we decided to head for a nightclub to dance the rest of the night away. This was where things took a turn for the worse as I always find myself fighting with the volume in clubs and seem to end up holding conversations though a combination of bellowing and then pushing my ear towards my partner to hear. The evening ended when I’d leaned towards my date to hear what she had to say with a little too much gusto and ended up head-butting her square in the forehead, her stilettos offered her little stability and I sent her crashing to the floor. Whilst we narrowly avoided a second trip to the hospital that evening, my apologies did little to cover my embarrassment and we ended up going our separate ways quite shortly after. Needless to say we haven’t caught up for a second date!

The Ex That Wasn’t. I met a girl while out one day and organised a date at a nice restaurant. Everything was going fine until about an hour or so into the date, when a guy comes rushing in after seeing us through the front window. Soon enough a yelling and screaming match began between the two, then crying, all within a few minutes. After the initial shock of the whole situation, I excused myself for them to sort it out (in private!). It turns out they hadn’t just broken up, but were still together and they’d recently been having a few arguments! I politely declined any future contact with this particular lady.

Universal Misalignment. Sometimes no matter how hard you try, some things just aren’t meant to be. On our first date, I wrote the wrong date in the diary and received a text message in a late afternoon work meeting asking where I was. I apologised profusely and we re-organised a second date, but this time around the car wouldn’t start when I went to leave and had to take it into the mechanic to get it fixed. I basically begged for a third date, but the night before the date, a family member of hers passed away and she had to cancel. By then we got the hint that it just wasn’t going to work out!

Thanks to all those who entered and Find Keep Love hopes you enjoy the eHarmony gift cards, Amazon gift certificates and eBooks!

ABOUT THE SPONSOR: eHarmony has over 2,000,000 registered users in the United Kingdom, and isn’t like other online dating sites in the UK: their Compatibility Matching System™ matches you with like-minded singles based on key dimensions of compatibility. Follow them on Twitter: http://twitter.com/eHarmonyUK.