Lorraine Adams has been a leading industry spokesperson since she launched herself into the sector when she pioneered the Speed dating concept in 2000. A published author, she has appeared countless times on TV & in the media & has launched several successful dating & matchmaking brands over the last 23 years.
As featured in Life Redefined - The amazing new portal for the new era of 50+
Getting over someone that you once loved, even if it was you who did the dumping, is right up there as one of the most traumatic and stressful experiences to go through. Statistics show that over 43% of couples divorce after being together for 30+ years, which means that there are far more couples splitting aged over 50, than any other demographic.
If you've been in a toxic relationship and left, although in some ways you will feel better, you are still likely to feel totally lost and drained for weeks, if not months. If you're the one who has been left, it can be even harder to process what happened. It can be years before you start to rediscover your sense of self, especially if you don’t seek help or ensure you make the effort to work on yourself. Leaving an unhappy relationship will, in most cases, turn out to be the best decision you ever made.
The most difficult part of ending a relationship is walking away. It is much easier talk yourself into the "better the devil you know" mindset, especially when you read or hear of horror stories from the dating world. However, with the average life expectancy currently sitting at around the age of 81 – give or take a couple of years – and that age expected to stretch out even further over the next twenty years, don’t you think you owe it to yourself to try and snatch back 30 or so years of potential happiness? If not bliss!
Siobhan Copland is a top London matchmaker and dating coach. Siobhan says:
“It can be daunting, especially if the last time you were single was over a decade or so ago, before the world of dating apps, but embrace the changes that have come with the times. Given that your days of hitting the bars and nightclubs might be over, it’s an opportunity to have countless amounts of romance opportunities literally at your fingertips.
"So have fun, go out on dates, try to reserve judgements on singles before meeting them and try not to judge yourself. Initially, place the emphasis on this being a steppingstone experience, rather than going all out in search of a partner. Start with a phone call, or even better a video call first if you're not sure that you want to meet in person. You could also think about hiring a dating coach to help prepare you for the slightly faster pace of dating.”
She adds: “Be prepared not to feel that immediate physical attraction. It's one thing to grow older together and accept the changes in your looks as you age. But it can be harder to find that initial attraction now your suitors look more senior than the last time you dated. Look for friendship that can be built on. Be around friends who are happy and positive-minded don’t spend so much time with friends who perhaps you also shared with your ex for a while, as it's tempting to talk about them, and you risk it becoming a constant reminder, when you're trying to move on.
"Create some new memories, such as visiting new places you haven't been with your ex or taking a trip with family and friends. When meeting new people and discussing your life experiences, avoid referring back to your ex and reminiscing or dwelling on the past. It's never too late to find love and to create excitement with someone new!”
Longstanding dating coach James Preece suggests creating some new routines to help fill the void left by the breakup. Try new hobbies, join clubs, or take up classes to meet new people and keep your mind occupied. Keeping busy will help you stay positive and create new memories to focus on. Keep an open mind about who you are happy to meet. The more tick boxes you have, the fewer chances you are giving yourself to meet someone.
"It can be daunting, especially if the last time you were single was over a decade ago, before the world of dating apps. Embrace the changes that have come with the times."
April Ashby who runs one of the busiest matchmaking agencies in London, Mutual Attraction, suggests that if you are going to throw yourself into dating apps, which initially does shake off a few of the old cobwebs, be cautious, especially because you might be feeling slightly vulnerable. Try not to be swept away by compliments and positive sentiments, especially if someone is giving them away too early on. Be aware of any early red flags, as it might be a sign that the other person is not who or what they seem.
Owner of the Intro-NW matchmaking agency in the North West, Tiffany Thomas is unapologetically brutal with her advice. She has seen too many people waste years of their life going back and forth with a partner in a dysfunctional relationship, only to wish they had made the move years ago when they are introduced to a new romance. “The quickest way is to move forward and to give yourself a new beginning and to let go. It's something that my grandmother once told me after a relationship ended. She'd say sharp knives cut clean.” Tough love maybe, but Tiffany has seen how breaking away for good can enhance someone’s life and make them look and feel years younger, with renewed energy.
Joni Hughes is site editor at The Dating Directory, a one-stop website that lists and keeps up to date with all the best dating apps, matchmaking services, dating events and everything else to help singles on their dating journey. Joni suggests giving yourself manageable mini-timelines when you first break up with someone. Tell yourself that you are not going to initiate contact or respond for a whole week. After that week, you will definitely feel a little stronger, to maybe be able to extend that timeline. Joni understands how raw a breakup can feel in the early days, and suggests trying to distract your mind in any way that you can in those first few weeks, however drastic that might be. If you can afford to take yourself away, do it. Even if you have nobody who can join you, it's the perfect time for a trip to a retreat or health farm where you can take care of you.
Check out our Dating Directory to find the right dating service for your needs and budget
It has been the hot topic of conversation on our collaborative matchmaking group – just how many new singles aged 70+ are signing up to agencies with a great passion! Just five or six years ago most agencies had an age ceiling of around 60 for women and 65 for men as it was deemed too challenging to help match up the 70+ demographic or help discover new romantic opportunities.
However, today’s 70+ singles have a very different attitude to dating and romance. More and more people are making an effort to seek new romance opportunities. A recent survey revealed that they are seeking a partner for fundamentally different reasons than those still in the 50’s and 60’s. Most 70 + men and women are not looking to remarry or even live together.
In a recent poll, The Dating Directory asked just over 100 singles, aged 70+ who were actively dating, to list their top three priorities for hauling themselves back into the world of dating at such a grand age. An incredible 58% stated that Intimacy was at the top of their list, surprisingly almost just as many women as men.
Another 29% said their top reason for wanting to find a partner was essentially for companionship. Whereas just 12% said the main reason they had signed up to a dating service was because they were lonely. (1% stated another reason).
Sandra McMahon runs Affinity matchmaking, a national agency that specialises in singles entering the last quarter of their lives. Sandra enjoys representing singles in the 70+ market as she has found that they are typically very easy going and extremely appreciative of the help being given. Unlike many younger singles joining matchmaking services, their expectations are very realistic, and they keep a totally open mind.
The Gorgeous Networks matchmaking agency said that over the last six months the over 70’s has accounted for around 20% of their new client intake. With a recent joiner being 92. Clients have no qualms about paying fees of around £2-£3k as they are at a time in their lives where they feel they have earned the luxury of pampering themselves.
Jacquie Baker of Select Connections, that operate predominantly in the South specialises in the over 50’s and has seen a rapid recent increase in clients in their 80’s sign-up. Jacquie is in awe of how energetic her elderly clients are “There are rarely moans and groans, or date cancellations because of ill health or hospital appointments. This generation have got real grit” Jacquie Smiles. Select-Connections also run regular events.
Many of the 70+ demographic of singles we spoke to felt disappointed at what dating apps had to offer their age group. With complicated technology and the feeling of uncertainty, many felt it was an easy decision to make to seek out expert help from a matchmaker.
Typically, one of the biggest challenges that the older generation face is with their families. Especially if the person has been recently widowed. Which was one of the main reasons that many people in this age range do not wish to totally turn their lives upside down by remarrying or moving in together.
Getting together at weekends, having trips away together, going the theatre or cinema, and even enjoying doing gentle sporting activities together seem to be the order of the day.
Three top Dating tips from the UK’s leading Dating coach James Preece for the 70+ daters
· It's important that you focus on compatibility of life values and interests rather than just instant physical attraction. Have someone who you really connect with on an intellectual and emotional level is so important. You will find intimacy is far more natural with someone you connect with on all levels
· Expand your social circle as much as possible - so attend clubs, classes and meet-ups for those in your age group. It’s also worth asking your existing network if they might know someone who is a good match for you! Keeping a great social life, especially meeting new people outside your existing network is reported to help avoid dementia and will be good for your mental health too.
· Time is a luxury so don't be afraid to make the first move and approach someone you're interested in. There are single people everywhere from the supermarket to the park. Confidence is attractive at any age and even if they aren't interested, they will certainly be flattered. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose.
In our ever-changing social climate, we get closer every year to a society that really is way more accepting of gender equality. However, it is no surprise how challenging it has been for men in the dating scene to get to grips with what kind of conduct and behaviour is viewed as, not only acceptable but also appealing.
For those guys that feel they have lost their way a little bit over the years – The founder of - The Dating Directory An independent site that lists all the UK’s best Dating apps, services, events and news etc. for singles to navigate their way around the dating sector - has come up with a definitive list for guys to keep as a guide.
When you realise how dating apps are stacked overwhelmingly in favour of women, at the male/female ration is typically around 70% male to 30% women – single guys today need all the tools they can lay their hands on to impress their target women.
1. Keep your ego under control
2. Try to get to grips with understanding the blurred lines between being a nice guy and being a wimp
3. Stop being pedantic about equality – it is what it is there is no going back!
4. Have a bit more pizazz when reading the room - to understanding the right moment to become intimate with your girl
5. Try and have the capacity to actually listen and have something to add to what you’ve heard instead of ignoring what she said and continuing to talk about yourself.
6. Don’t Mansplain
7. Be prepared to make simple decisions, like suggesting where to eat or meet. Don’t leave everything to her
8. Work on yourself or get help to become more emotionally mature
9. Understand the right balance when it comes to communicating with each other in between dates
10. Lose the 1980’s mindset
11. Try and figure out the difference between confidence and arrogance
12. There is a difference between being tactile and being a letch
13. Learn how to give a respectful and authentic compliment
14. Understand the difference between the romantic chase and acting like a sexual predator
15. Try and teach yourself the ability to switch off your ‘ogling other women radar” at least in her company
16. Be genuinely supportive of her friendships and her career
17. Try to start and engage in more conversations together where all the topics don’t revolve around you
18. When you’re in the company of your girl make it a ‘disgusting habit free zone’
19. Don’t Gaslighting her just because you can’t deal with your own insecurities
20. Don’t send uninvited images of your anatomy!
Check out our Dating Directory to find the right dating service for your needs and budget
One of the key things I look out for when consulting new clients, is whether they are in the right frame of mind to be seeking a potential partner. It is so vitally important to check yourself and ensure that you are bringing the best possible version of yourself to the table. If you are not feeling anything other than great about yourself you should not really contemplate finding someone to share your life.
I have worked with so many people and it is amazing how much more rapidly things start to happen in terms of romance if I have had time to delve into my clients inner thoughts and help to ensure that their mental wellbeing is strong and vibrant.
Everyone needs to have a sense of purpose, if you are looking for a partner to give you that sense of purpose you are starting from a negative and vulnerable position. It does not often take long to set someone up for receiving a great partner into their lives, it is worth taking the time and trouble to think long and hard about yourself prior to diving into dating.
Most of us have an unrealistic view of what exactly a relationship should be. We watch too many movies and read too many books that depict a very improbable, unworkable and naïve truth.
So, what should being in a relationship add to our lives? Firstly, we should not look to a relationship to bring us happiness. If that is the reason that you are seeking a person to be with then that is going to cause heartache from the get-go. If you are single or you are already in a relationship that you feel is failing, look first at making and creating your own happiness.
This might require therapy, or it may just mean creating a project of discovery for yourself to determine what else you need in your life. It may sound like a mountain to climb. However just like everything, if you break everything down to sizeable chunks, everything is possible.
If you feel like you hate your job, or you want to get fit, or lose weight, or your health is failing. If you feel your social life is miserable, or you don’t have enough money or you are in a situation that makes you feel consistently anxious try and create a plan for yourself to dig yourself out of your particular hole. If you cannot do it yourself, then seek help, either through your doctor or search online in your network for applicable services.
Sometimes it is just a case of joining a new network, introducing a new thought process, or a new interest. Emerging yourself into a new book or reaching out to find out more from posts you read.
There are many reasons why we would think a new relationship will fulfil us. Whether you are single or already in a relationship that you think is going nowhere. The first place to start is to ask yourself to picture in your mind at least three different scenarios that appeal to you and make sure you ascertain why these situations appeal.
Often, we give up on a current relationship because of the age-old feeling of the grass being greener. I am the first person to advocate someone removing themselves from a toxic or terminally unhappy relationship. However, I would also strongly encourage sitting down and trying everything to make the necessary changes to your current relationship to improve it.
Sometimes it will have nothing to do with changing your partner, but instead everything to do with changing different aspects of your own life. Being in a relationship does not and should not define the person that you are or the person that you become.
It is also naïve to believe that you are going to discover something better than what you already have. A relationship is like an old wardrobe of clothes, you can spruce them up, add to them, embellish some of them, but what you are unlikely to do is throw everything out. This is how you should think about re-energising your relationship. It is always worth putting in some serious thought and time first before ending it and jumping too quickly into something else.
Nobody really understands the effects of the menopause until they actually experience it for themselves. It can effect women in completely different ways. As someone who embarked on my menopausal journey a few years ago I've learned to recognise my own personal symptoms and combatted the worst by having my doctor prescribe Biodentical's, which have been a life saver. However it has been a 'condition' that needs constant reassessing over the years. It is not something that you just pop a pill and everything goes away.
I'd say that going through the menopause leaves its stamp most predominantly mentally. It has you second guessing yourself all the time for starters. The confidence and self esteem that most of us have started to enjoy and bask in since our late 30's and 40's starts to fade. In addition even the most patient of us start to lose it for the tiniest most stupid reasons and also paranoia starts to set in quite severely.
For those of us who have been fortunate enough to find a balance with HRT that suits our own personal symptoms - and I might add that no woman should allow herself to be fobbed off by doctors who are completely ignorant of the menopause and have no real understanding of the effects, it takes time to adjust and re-adjust to the medication - it can be life changing. Though it does enable us to recognise symptoms in others when they probably have not the faintest idea of why they suddenly feel like an alien in their own body.
In my role as a matchmaker and romance coach I have discovered that menopausal symptoms massively affect so many women's ability to make good choices romantically. Speaking generally I've come across women in their mid to late 40's and early 50's who have stayed in a broken relationship, simply because they don't have the mental strength to move forward. I have seen women leave pretty solid relationships because they have not been able to clear the mind fog enough to address simple aspects of their partnership. I have seen single women who have lost their way when it comes to expectations of what they are seeking from a relationship. I have also come across so many strong, beautiful women who have lost all confidence in themselves and seem no longer able to master a normal conversation with men that they have a romantic interest in.
I'd also like to point out that men also have great hormonal changes going on in mid life, which do not help the dynamics in the least.
I think the first step towards menopausal or peri menopausal women reclaiming control of their lives is first to recognise the symptoms, it passes NO Woman by completely. Next to address a remedy, if your doctor is reluctant to prescribe HRT get a second and third opinion. Worst case scenario look for natural remedy's that might help. Magnesium supplements, Flaxseed, Legumes, Green leafy veg, Cold water fish, Nuts and seeds, Winter Squash, Prunes and Papaya can help various symptoms. But my best advise is to accept help and coaching and guidance, ask others opinions and listen when it comes to making decisions on a romantic basis.
It would seem obvious to most of us that the best-case scenario would be to determine early on in the relationship, at the fledgling stage, whether or not you are well matched. However in reality most of us rarely consider the types of qualities that are more likely to advance our relationships towards longevity.
Instead we tend to focus on less important superficial traits and characteristics that in the long-term will usually be quite irrelevant.
In the majority of relationships, either one or the other or both have already become attached emotionally before the cracks begin to show. This of course makes it far more difficult for either partner to extract them selves away from the relationship without causing distress and upset. Of course we rarely make the right kinds of decisions when we are feeling anxious or unhappy, which only perpetuates the situation.
There are four keys to understanding whether or not you are embarking on, or that you are currently in a relationship that has longevity.
· Do you have matching values?
· Does your sense of humour compliment your prospective partner?
· Have you discovered which masculine/feminine traits you are most attracted to and does your prospective partner possess these characteristics?
· Are you content in each other’s company and content with each other’s life plans?
Do you have matching values?
It is crucial to discover whether or not you have similar values when you embark on a new relationship. Similarly if things are not going well in your current relationship you should definitely stop to consider if your values are closely aligned as it could determine whether you should work hard to mend things or split.
We all take different paths during our lives and can often find ourselves in very different situations to potential love interests. However if we discover that as growing up we were instilled with very similar values this could lay a strong foundation for a happy future and long standing relationship.
In other words you might find yourself in the company of someone who you might think initially is totally different to you. They may have a totally different lifestyle, or you might have different interests and pursuits. You might even have different politics. But if you both feel strongly about fundamental things such as trust, work ethics, social issues etc. this could be very significant.
Values are all based around your reactions and opinions to certain situations. For example: Do you honestly have the same ideas around monogamy? Drug use, alcohol, lifestyle, and disciplining children, looking after members of each other’s family. How do you feel about charitable acts, racism, homophobia, and misogyny?
It is way more important that you should be delving into these kinds of questions than considering whether or not a prospective long-term partner is easy on the eye. Looks can fade with age; looks can also improve with age.
Having similar values strengthens your relationship through any adversity in a relationship. If you both head in a similar direction and have a similar thought process when you are facing challenging situations you will far more likely come through those issues as a stronger happier couple.
Does your sense of humour compliment your prospective partner?
So many people are attracted to someone with a sense of humour. However humour will not keep you stimulated if your partner’s humour begins to grate on you and your humour does the same to them because it differs so much. This will only allow resentment to seep into your relationship and you will begin to irritate the hell out of each other.
Sometimes someone can appear funny when they are directing their humour at someone else. However ask yourself that as your relationship develops would you feel they are quite as humorous if you were the butt of their jokes!
Having a good sense of humour will only compliment a relationship if the humour is of a similar nature. It is incredible how many relationships go sour based on the bitterness stemming from contrasting humours.
Have you discovered which masculine/feminine traits you are most attracted to and does your prospective partner possess these characteristics?
Most people think that attraction is based only on aesthetics. It is true to say initial instant attraction of a short-term nature is usually based on visual appeal. However an attraction that goes on for years is completely different and boils down to more of a primal attraction.
To decipher whether an attraction is going to be long-term you need first to understand what masculine traits you are attracted to if you a are a woman, and what feminine qualities you are attracted to if you are a man. It is also crucial to recognise your own gender traits. For example:
Are you a driver? A ‘hunter/gatherer’ type. Are you likely to be heavily drawn towards being more of the breadwinner in the relationship? Usually there can only be one Alpha in the relationship. Or do you have a more compliant ‘follower’ personality?
Are you a nurturer? Or a fixer. A relationship tends to last far longer if the personality traits compliment each other rather than clash. We tend to be attracted to the same types through out our lives. It is this attraction that is going to keep you stimulated and invested in the relationship. It is far better to consider these kinds of aspects rather than focus on what body shape someone has or if you like their hair or sense of style.
Many people think that having the same interests is vital to becoming a well-suited couple. However in most cases having separate interests can bring more excitement and inspiration into a relationship. This is more likely to help to make it last.
Are you content in each other’s company and content with each other’s life plans?
Contentment is the golden chalice in terms of establishing a happy relationship. Survey reports have proved overwhelmingly that those couples that are content within their lives and content with their partner are less likely to stray. It is not necessary to be passionately, madly, crazy in love, simply being content is far more powerful.
Contentment could stem from both being on a path earlier on in your relationship heading towards a common goal that inspires and pleases you both. Or it could be later on that you feel similarly content with what you have both achieved.
If one or the other still feels they have something to aim for or to prove and that does not resonate with the other, then you don’t have shared contentment and unless you get on board with each other it could be the cause of many relationship break downs.
Here are some crucial questions that you should pose yourself to establish if you have very little chance of the relationship being happy long term or if there is a strong chance you can go the distance. Asking each other these questions may also give you food for thought to enable you to move your relationship to a stronger footing.
If you have answered similarly to most questions then this should confirm that you are good together. Even if there were issues in your relationship it would probably be better for you to stay together and work through those challenges.
However if you have answered the majority of the questions differently then perhaps you should think seriously about both your future happiness and go your separate ways.
If the responses are 50/50 then it could go either way.
1) Is having a good sex life together important?
2) Do you have similar ideas about raising children?
3) Do you get on with each other’s families?
4) Do you like to discuss issues or difficulties within your relationship and tackle straight away?
5) Are you content with the way your life is heading?
6) Do you feel resentful towards your partner a fair bit?
7) Are you happy in your own company?
8) Is your partner stimulating company?
9) Does your partner exude a good energy most of the time when you are together?
10) Do you feel attracted to your partner a lot of the time?
If you decide to split, it would be beneficial to all concerned if you can try and remain amicable. There may be a lot of resentment and you may feel you have to go down the blame game route. If one person in the relationship does not want to split this can cause them to behave less than admirably. Often if someone feels guilty it can cause him or her to try and shift the blame on to the other party to ease their guilt. Raise all these points to try and make your split as easy for both of you. This will help you both move on and it will aid your search when the time is right to find someone more suitable.
It is crucial for both parties not to rush into any other relationship too quickly. Even if you feel that you have been absent from the relationship for sometime, it is important to allow yourself time to heal. It is far better to embark on simple flings, or no strings attached dalliances than jump too quickly into a new relationship.
3 Steps to Attracting a Fabulous Long-term Partner into your Life.
Why is it that some people seem to stumble into lasting loving relationships and other’s either stay long-term single, or only attract unhealthy and challenging partnerships?
The answer lies in what vibes you give out. It is not a coincidence that some people seem to consistently fall into abusive relationships one after the other. Just the same as it is not fate that others receive absolutely zero romance opportunities – despite being incredibly proactive.
The first and vital step – as cliché as it may sound - is to ensure that you are completely happy and confident in your own skin, before you start seeking a potential significant other.
When you look at finding someone to ‘make you happy’ or ‘complete your happiness’ it simply means that you are just not ready to embark on a relationship that is going to grow and evolve. A potential new partner should be someone who draws out the best possible version of you, in the same way that you should be bringing out the very finest qualities in your new partner.
If you enter into a fledgling relationship when are not comfortable or content with who you are it is doomed to failure or at the very least it will become an association that is consistently bogged down with unsalvageable challenges.
Unless you have deep seated psychological problems and issues, or your mental health is at an all-time low, you could find inner happiness fairly rapidly. See a dating coach to take you through the process of ensuring that your self-esteem tanks are refilled and to finding internal blissful confidence.
Step two – Ensure that everything in your life is set up to accepting a new partner. Make sure you have room to invite a new person in. Meaning that you are fully open to change. The people who just expect a potential new partner is going to fit nicely into their current lives are completely delusional. It just does not happen that someone is going to complete your jigsaw so you live happily ever after. A new relationship is ALWAYS going to be about compromise. So you may as well understand that from the start, otherwise you will just wait forever expecting the perfect person to rock up.
It is also key to remember that a future partner is not always going to appear in the package you imagine. The best relationships base their togetherness on values, respect and total equality and not because they meet each other’s perfect aesthetic expectations.
Step three – Make certain that your life appears inviting to enthuse a potential suitor to want to join you. Create an aura of positivity and appealing energy around yourself. Leave someone feeling that they want more of you, rather than fill your time together moaning or whingeing or putting out negative dynamic. Be cheerful and optimistic but true to yourself. Make sure you are both bringing a balance of attributes and qualities into a new relationship.
People often ask me ‘when is the right time to make a fledgling relationship official’. My thoughts on this vary, depending on the circumstances and the amount of time spent together. For example you might have been seeing someone for three months but only two or three times a month. Or you may have met someone more recently and seen them almost every day.
I think that if you have seen someone on one to one dates at least half a dozen times, or you have got to the stage of being intimate, it is reasonable to seek out a status update.
You may be dating someone and want the relationship to be confirmed as something more serious. Whether you want to be known as boyfriend and girlfriend, or you want to become exclusive, there comes a point where you must feel comfortable enough to broach the subject together. If the person you are seeing is evasive or has an unreasonable excuse not to make your relationship official, then you should accept that it is unlikely to go anywhere.
If this is the case, it does not mean that you should stop seeing the person, especially if they are bringing joy into your life in some way. However you should see it for what it is – casual – and set out to pursue the type of relationship you are seeing with someone else, simultaneously.
The person you are having a casual relationship with have nothing to do with who else you might be dating if they are showing no inclination to move the relationship on. Some people prefer to just make a complete break and move on, however my advice is that if you are enjoying seeing the casual person there is no reason why you should not continue. Until the time you meet someone else and both decide to take the new liaison official.
The benefits to taking this route are twofold; a) Usually people feel more confident and self-assured when they are courting more than one person b) That niggling feeling that you are wasting time disappears if you are looking out for and seeing new prospects!
Well apparently not! When we recently surveyed our network of singles to discover what they wanted most from a long-term relationship - good sex was way down on the list at number three.
Topping the poll was companionship with 33% of singles opting for friendship over good sex. Bearing in mind this poll surveyed singles aged between 30-60 there are obviously just as many Millennial's as those nearing the twilight of their life that do not see good sex as a deal breaker when seeking love.
From over 4000 singles 28% said that feeling loved was key on their wish list and only 25% put Good sex at the top of their list. 10% of those surveyed placed preferring to feel a sense of security as the most important feature in a relationship. 4% either did not know or chose another reason for wanting to find love.
Reading a little bit deeper into the surprising findings from this survey I wonder if ones expectations change once you are actually in a relationship. I would be interested to know if we polled 4000 people already in a relationship if the findings would be the same. Could it be that singles are all a little bit over good sex – maybe those who are unattached have more important passions in their lives, or is it that we think good sex is unrealistic and so opt for just being good mates and having a cuddle!
Interestingly when you look at the gender split there were pretty similar findings. Only slightly more men opted to place good sex at the top of their list:
The findings for men found 31% said that companionship was the key element to a good relationship, with 29% saying feeling loved was most important and just 28% placing good sex at the top of their list.
It is usually only when you have experienced several relationships that you finally understand what you should really be looking for in a new future romance. If you have had little relationship experience yet you are the type of person who readily takes on heartfelt advice, you might recognise this better than someone with a far longer relationship history but who perpetually settles with the wrong partners time and time again.
Most people seek out what we call superficial qualities when deciding if a person could be a potential match. This could have a lot to do with what they look like, what they wear, their job, their financial situation, education, where they live and perhaps whether their life experiences so far have impressed you.
Let's break down those aspects to understand how important they actually really are and would all be if you entered into a long term relationship.
Their overall appearance and looks - Many people say they have to find someone physically attractive before considering entering into a relationship with them. However, realistically, you could take the same person and restyle or remodel them to appear physically attractive - so this is something that can be easily adapted.
Job, education and financial situation - If you are in your 20's or early 30's these aspects are not anywhere near as important as perhaps they would be if you are mid 30's and older when you would have expected someone to be on their way to carving out a reasonably good standard of living. However even if someone you met was not in great shape financially, or if they did not currently have a great job or have even had a great education it doesn't mean they should be written off. You should delve further, it could be current circumstances that been someone is down on their uppers and yet with the right people around them could absolutely shine. The poor financial situation could be because they have just come out of a bad relationship, or be recently divorced. Not every successful person has had a great education, in fact quite the reverse. Also some people are late starters.
Life experiences so far - There are very few people who have sought out their historical life experiences all by themselves. People are often influenced by the people around them and in their lives. It could be that their best experiences are yet to come, with you!
When looking to embark on a long term relationship it is far more important to look at characteristics that are embedded, are they authentically honest? Do they have similar values to you. Good values are very personal, someone could be seen as having moral values, however they might not match yours. It is crucial that a future partner and you look at things through a similar lens because as you go through life and challenges beckon, you will more likely be able to overcome the trials and tests life throws at you together and grow stronger for it.
Look at whether the dates you go on have a similar thirst for life, do they have a comparable energy aura as you? Be that high energy or a take things at a slower pace. This too is far more important than if someone has the hair colour or body shape that you think you are more attracted to.
When considering someone new, it will take more than one encounter to delve into seeking out the more important qualities to their persona. Better to meet someone several times, and simultaneously to meeting others so that you do not feel that you are wasting valuable time.
When we launch ourselves into the singles market and actively start to date, it generally kicks off with the compilation of a wish list. Matchmaker and romance expert Lorraine Adams has been operating her business Gorgeous Networks.uk for over twenty years. Here she gives an insight into the biggest mistakes that singles can make when compiling their wish list.
In truth the first big mistake is to actually create a wish list in the first place as realistically it just acts as a barrier to finding long lasting love. However, if a list is merely to help you focus, then it should be regularly edited and condensed as you get further into your dating.
Invariably lists can change following the outcome of the first few dates. Sometimes if the dates are not materialise as rapidly as you had hoped, it should become clear that some of the original ‘must haves’ could be unrealistic.
Many singles who have just resurfaced from a troubled relationship tend to be mindful of what has been particularly challenging and list the exact opposite of what they have recently experienced so a wish list might consist of something like:
Their list might also include a few nice to have’s, improving on their last partner.
Characteristically long-term singles often include the things that they have particularly yearned for over the years when dreaming about potentially what they want a relationship to consist of. It is normal in this case to gravitate towards the stuff that they observe on the surface of their coupled up friends or family. Things like:
This is a common mistake as these types of ‘wants’ can generally evaporate when you meet someone you really fall for. For example, there have been many people who have given up hope of having a family or have never felt particularly maternal/paternal or they may already have children so they rule it out. Yet upon meeting someone who they connect with that might all change. So ruling out someone because they mention that they do not want to start a family can be a bit hasty.
Another example might be that wanting to travel might be high on your list and may push you to rule out someone who does not have a similar thirst for travel. However it could be entirely possible that you inspire a new love interest to be more enthusiastic to travel, after all bringing out the best in each other during a fledgling romance is a big part of what could make it happy and long lasting.
Normally a wish list is assembled and ultimately based on what the person seeking a relationship thinks is going to make them happy. Typically every list will include some specific aesthetics such as hair colour, even eye colour or height and size. This is another huge mistake, as we all know aesthetics can change enormously throughout a long-term relationship. Looks can either be improved or they may deteriorate, in real terms it should not affect what you feel in your heart for someone.
It is important to clarify that when we look long and hard at some of the frivolous ‘nice to haves’ that could appear on a wish list we come to realise that these aspects actually have no bearing on sustaining a long-term loving relationship.
Habitually the key aspects, traits and qualities that are essential for a flourishing long-term relationship, are often absent and mistakenly largely ignored during the compilation of a wish list.
The most important things that should be present on a wish list should be related to your goals, values, morals, levels of respect, ambitions or principles and beliefs. If repeatedly disregarded this could be one of the key reasons that your relationships are not lasting.
Every relationship will experience challenges, some small and some gigantic and life changing. It is only then that it starts to become apparent just how important it is to consider the key characteristics missing from your original wish list.
Once a bond and connection are established within a relationship it becomes more difficult as time goes by to bale. So many couples opt to try and patch things up rather than face the reality the fundamental differences in their personalities that perhaps they should have considered early on, are just going to continue to cause each other eternal long-term heartache.
So what makes us consider hair colour over values? Or stress over someone being an inch too short or too tall rather than examine more closely each other’s respective aspirations or beliefs. Why do singles make the crucial mistake on placing so much importance on the presence of an instant chemistry? Rather than getting to grips with identifying key attributes.
Only those that have experienced long term happiness, recognise that there are generally two kinds of chemistry. The first is a lustful spark, something more sexual. This kind of chemistry can often be short lived and evaporate after intimacy.
Where as the longer lasting chemistry is based more on a mutual respect for each other. This is the type of ‘warts and all chemistry’ that you start to feel when you grow to absolutely adore somebody irrespective of aesthetics or inconsequential characteristics. Chemistry of this kind is built up over time and is an affection that is likely to have longevity. Not being mindful of synching personality traits with an early love interest will be crucial to whether or not you are capable of establishing a relationship with longevity, sadly until that time it is unlikely that fate or timing will have anything to do with it.
Most of us flit obliviously over serious society issues unless they directly affect our every day life. Which is why it is only now during my fifties that I have really come to comprehend just how seriously devastating and soul destroying it can for a woman reaching middle age.
Up until this time in my life, I did not really have any opinion regarding women over 50. Their existence did not really impact my life one way or another (apart from my mother, who to me always seemed ageless anyway) – middle-aged women were just there. However, now that I am in my fifties I have come to discover the colossal ‘disappearing act’ of the millions of women in my own age demographic.
Most disappeared of all women in this age group I have come to discover, are single women over fifty. The first place I lay the burden of blame for this problem is typically on to men - as lets face it most single men over fifty feel it is their divine right to seek out a younger woman (apologising to those guys who do not) – However I can’t help wondering if we as women are actually perpetuating the set-up simply by giving up and accepting it and becoming invisible. Certainly from where I am sitting the majority of 50+ women do little other than complain to each other about the situation. Given that together there are around 13 million of us - that makes up 20% of the entire UK population - why are we not doing more to sing our strengths from the rooftops?
Many of my fellow 50+ friends are some of the most remarkable, high achieving, wonderful people I have ever come across, yet they have somehow been ushered to the side lines in so many aspects of their lives, work, romance, social life, the media!
Of course we have a few token dynamic 50+ women scattered around. Usually they are very good looking for their age. In the acting world, news anchors, politicians. But realistically are they as widely acclaimed or fawned over as their male counterparts? Maybe we’ll make a big deal out of their outfits, or whom they are dating. Usually they are positioned to be rapidly brought down or humiliated or mocked at every opportunity. They are judged in every way a person could be possibly judged, sadly not just by men.
I have discovered that the most accepting group of the disappeared female section of the population are usually married women over 50 with families to keep them busy enough not to really notice they are being overlooked. It’s like we still probably have a good 30 or 40 years of life left, yet we are not encouraged have the ambition, the excited anticipation of what the next section of our life might hold for us. We are expected to be content with welcoming the grandchildren!
Women who I’ve found are certainly not happy with their lot are those who find themselves single and over 50. Society has set itself up to more or less encourage women over 50 to give up the goat in terms of trying to seek any kind of meaningful romance, let alone have fantastic sex. Being honest any woman who still puts herself out there with claims of wonderful earth shattering sex over 50 is often torn down by the media and social media and made to feel like she should know better.
It is generally accepted that men improve with age, subsequently men over fifty are very much still on the radar. Much of the time embellished by a younger woman. In the work place a fifty plus man is seen as a man of the world, illustrious, full of worldly character and experience. However let’s face it how often does a woman in the same age demographic get looked upon as having the same energy and charisma as a man in her own age group.
It is a well documented and an accepted fact of life that men often suffer from a mid life crisis at some point around his fifties. We’ve come to empathise and even forgive a chap for going through this phase. He often comes out of it eventually and all for the better. He is still encouraged to strive for everything he so desires, the world is a delightful place for a fifty plus man. In comparison menopause is like a dirty little secret, not to be discussed or even acknowledged. There are still people who think it is a just state of mind (granted mostly men) However even other women in the media write at how bored they are with women talking about menopause – Alexandra Shulman for one in her Mail on Sunday column. She happens to be one of the few 50+ woman who has not disappeared off the face of the earth post her long spell as Vogue UK editor, so wouldn’t it be one for the sisterhood for her to stand up for her fellow 50+ gender.
Very little research or funding has ever actually gone into understanding the menopause. We are expected to just deal with it quietly with a ‘one-size fits all’ drug therapy if we are lucky enough to have a doctor who will happily prescribe it. Some of us go one step further to discover biodentical’s which go a long way to normalising the duration of the menopause.
Then after we have managed to push through the peri-menopause (there is not even a word for this in the spell check) and then the full menopause we hit the post menopause, which is not actually really even considered a condition. Basically after the six or seven years of managing the effects of the change menopause has on our bodies and our well being, we are expected to accept that we will not produce the progestin, oestrogen and testosterone that we enjoyed in our younger years and we will no longer need the drugs that first helped us through. So painful, dry sex, not as much energy as we had, more tired spells, why? Because of course we have been disappeared, unimportant, really not worth a second thought, except perhaps as a beloved mum or grandma.
So what is the solution? Should we go on marches? Should we lobby parliament, to at least throw some money into menopause research. I was fortunate enough to be prescribed testosterone as part of my biodentical’s prescription, however when I looked on the bottle it stated this was a product to be taken by men only! We don’t even have our own testosterone products! How can we stand up as a group? After all with around 13 million of us in the UK we are certainly not a minority.
Firstly I think we need to look at what happens in society, or at least what has happened historically, to understand why we have become so disappeared and then to address why we (women who are 50+) and the rest of the people on the planet are doing nothing to stop this injustice.
Understanding and taking on a millennial woman’s attitude to life is somewhere to start. It goes against the grain for women currently living as a middle aged woman to be as totally self-centred and as expectant as our male counterparts. Our generation seem to be quite happy with the scraps of equality that have been thrown in our direction. Having put up with pure prejudice and discrimination for much of our lives we tend to feel quite fortunate that we have got to where we are, why make a fuss and ask for more?
So my first step to overcoming this appalling unfairness is to tell every woman over fifty to find a female millennial mentor. Then having found what we initially see as a selfish, intolerant, ungrateful young woman, we should take on her persona. In every situation that we find ourselves in where our first instinct in to shuffle away back and withdraw into acceptance, we should ask ourselves, how would millennial woman deal with this? It’s a start!
As the globe fights inequality - is it ok for dating apps and services to still be actively encouraging overt and unconscious racism and ageism.
Having experienced twenty years as a key facilitator within the dating industry in terms of bringing couples together, I can hand on heart say that I have witnessed the very worse end of the inequality spectrum from clients in terms of racism and ageism. I have often asked myself why we, as industry insiders continue to openly allow such intolerance when it comes to race and age.
Whilst we live in a world where any racial or ageist intolerance is polarised in all walks of life, when you enter the ecosphere of dating, individuals make no secret about ruling out meeting those from a specific race. It is also seen as normal for male clients to specify their disinterest in women of a similar age and to narrow their search to much younger women. To openly request not to be introduced to a certain ethnicity, or age group is not acceptable for employers seeking new staff, so at a time when the western world is actively campaigning for racial and gender equality why do we still tolerate such overt racism and ageism within the dating industry?
People worldwide are arguing for diversity, yet at the very heart of our lives - our relationships -we are still inherently honouring an extreme racist, ageist and misogynistic uniformity. From first hand experience as a matchmaker and former dating site owner I can confirm that over 80% of singles will openly show signs of at best an intolerance and at the very worst total bigotry when seeking a future partner.
Are we ever going to get anywhere near true equality and acceptance if singles are intrinsically and actively fostered into selecting someone of a preferred colour to date? Will ageism ever disappear if the unattached are shoved towards selecting potential dates from an outmoded traditional expectation of age range?
It is typical of most men who are keen on starting a family to Categorically rule out women over 34 - even when the guys themselves are in their 50's! Many women are still able to conceive well into their 40's, so why is this unacceptable behaviour still being tolerated. Misogyny is absolutely rife amongst single men within the dating community and the worst of it is that most dating company business owners and matchmakers are still tolerating such injustices for fear of losing the potential clients.
The lack of progression in terms of tolerance and diversity within the dating sector is one of the reasons that I have shifted my business offering from facilitator to guide and coach. I have always been at the forefront of new innovational ideas and concepts, however for now I feel it is the time for me to be diverting my energy towards trying to push this institution into the 21st century.
This weekend I helped a client with her first online dating profile. My client is in her 50's and new to dating having been in a long term relationship followed by five years of singledom. After conducting a PDE (Personal Dating evaluation) I suggested several different dating sites and apps that would be good starting points. I relayed how she should look at this as a journey rather than a mountain to climb.
Together we decided to try three different apps that we felt suited her personality and outlook. The apps tended to ask the same basic questions and she more or less copied and pasted the same profile and included the same details about herself and what she was ultimately seeking. We also went through her library of photos and selected three pictures that did her justice and reflected some of her interests and the type of person she was.
We stopped at paying for any of the apps to give her the opportunity to experiment with the functionality. Her immediate reaction when she started getting messages were of horror! The types of men who had reached out to her were not in any way shape of form the types of guys she would even remotely consider. However I explained that realistically when it comes to dating sites there is probably only going to be one in every 30 or 40 profiles that cross her path that she finds even marginally appealing, but for her not to find this disheartening.
At this early stage of dating it is just about experimenting with how you present yourself, your profile, photos, feeling your way through each sites functionality and keeping an open mind. When you feel you have found a site that has at least a handful of marginally appealing men/women it is worth investing in a month's membership or boost.
After paying for an initial membership, don't be tempted to sign up and pay for more than one at a time. Next stage is to start responding to one or two of the people who have reached out to you, but only if you feel that they have anything about them (Always base this in profile and photo and not just one or the other).
Respond to the odd appealing profile that reaches out to you simultaneously to seeking out the profiles that you discover. Send a short cheery message to those you like the look and sound of - i.e. hello, It's hard to tell by our profiles if we would hit it off, but from my side happy to meet for a coffee at best or Zoom call failing that.
Take it from there, get to meet them in person fairly rapidly - if they keep delaying drop them - they are likely to be already in a relationship or someone who does not make much of an effort.
Be open minded on your date and DON'T judge too quickly. Spend at least 40 minutes on your date. Best to arrange to meet only for a coffee or a walk on the first meet. You can always extend that if things are going well, where as if it is a non starter date then you can make a getaway without appearing rude.
January - Date rating 2 out of 5
January is not the best time to throw your-self into online dating. Whilst it is generally a very busy time with record singles signing p to online dating sites and apps, it is not the most fruitful. This is because people are generally far pickier when they first embark on this route. It is likely that unless your profile is super stand out perfect you will get ignored and ghosted or stood up more than any other time of the year.
February – Date rating 3 out of 5
Whilst February is a marginally better time to hit the online dating apps than January, it is still a bit hit and miss. People will generally steer very clear of organising first dates anywhere near Valentines Day! Though things can tend to pick up after the 14th as it serves as a reminder that they want to be part of a happy couple.
March /April/May – Date rating 5 out of 5
This is one of the best periods of the year to be out there dating. Most singles have got used to the format, the weather has usually improved somewhat and the evenings are getting lighter. There are also usually lots of singles events being organised during this period.
June/July/August – date rating 3 out of 5
There is usually a little lull at this time of year. Singles who have signed up at the start of the year tend to start to feel a little jaded or disappointed if they have not progressed to seeing someone regularly. Often their mind is on planning their holiday with the hope they will perhaps have a bit of holiday fun. Generally the summer months are not the most fruitful time of year to start dating online. Though you will find events could be more effective. You need not necessarily only singles events, it is a good time of year to get your-self out and about.
September/October/November – Date rating 5 out of 5
These months will bag you the most success. Singles are in exactly the right frame of mind to seriously seek that significant other. They have an eye on the festive holidays and tend to want someone on their arm at this time of year. Most singles have usually wised up to online dating and know the ropes. They often have a more open mind at this time of the year.
December – Date rate 2 out of 5
December is a bad time to date. You will rarely find a mutually convenient day to meet, everyone’s calendars are so busy and people minds are on other things. Everything is usually put off for the New Year. However it is the very best time to plan for the new year. So sign ups are usually very high during this time in preparation for after christmas
Would you like to meet our single of the week? Read more.
Whilst January and February are usually the most proactive months for singles to throw themselves into dating - the current lock down places huge hurdles in the way for those hoping to embark on a potential new romance.
However if you follow our tips below you can make the most out of lock down dating and actually turn this into your most successful and rewarding dating period so far!
Try the sites that operate video dating and proactively arrange video dates to meet people to enable you to build a bit of rapport and give you the opportunity to discover if there is a mutual attraction. (Something almost impossible to establish via text or calls)
Stalling intimacy in a fledgling romance is probably the best chance of longevity for a potential relationship. Research shows that couples who took their time before jumping into sex when they initially start dating have a 72% better chance of relationship success than those who became intimate immediately. So it makes sense to use the restrictions to get to know people a little better via video chatting initially.
Try video speed dating with SpeedDater - they are currently organising regular virtual dating events all over the country.
Make the most of being allowed to exercise outside in parks by smiling and opening a socially distanced dialogue with fellow exercisers. Research shows that people have been engaging with strangers outside more than twice as much during lock down than they would normally.
The Christmas holidays has proven to be one of the most successful times to embark on a new plan. It is a time when many people reflect over the past year and start to feel excited anticipation for the year ahead. Most of us have time off over the Christmas Holidays - especially now when we are in the middle of a pandemic.
If you are single the most fruitful route to relationship success is to sit down and make a list of everything you want from a relationship, list how you feel a relationship will enhance your life. make a list of things you want to avoid. Then list what you think you can do to make your current life more inviting for a perspective new partner. This should help you determine what type of service you want to opt for.
Take the steps to join up with a site or an app or make an appointment with a matchmaker or expert. Some companies are doing video or phone calls. You will have the time to think and create the best profile find the best photos etc. Even if you do not intend to make a start until January. Knowing you can tick that box so you can relax over the break will bring you much joy and peace of mind.
1. You can still opt to join an online dating site. Allow yourself two or three evenings a week to search and chat to other singles but try not to become obsessive and allow it to become a nightly habit – even though it is all online it can still be emotionally exhausting
2. Search the internet for online pub quizzes – these are often fairly localised so it is a fun way of getting to know people online and building friendships with the potential to meet other single pub quizzers and eventually meet in person after the lockdown.
3. If you are ultimately looking for a long-term relationship, never get too intense or intimate when chatting online. Wait until after the lockdown and you get to meet in person. Keep it friendly, with a bit of banter thrown in. Be especially wary of unsavoury characters that have no intention of embarking on a serious relationship but are simply taking advantage of the situation to; at best draw you into false intimacy or at worst actually scam you!
4. Don’t be tempted to call your ex and get yourself tied back into something that did not work the first time around simply because of the circumstances.
5. Check out the regular online SpeedDater virtual Speed dating events in your local area. You will be greeted by the host and introduced live online to compatible singles. www.speeddater.co.uk
6. Use the lockdown period to research online dating sites and apps to find out what works best for you. Once you have found the right service spend the time creating a really stand out profile.
7. When taking your daily exercise ensure that you opt to walk instead of run or jog sometimes and take the time to smile and make eye contact and even say good morning. Keeping mindful of the ‘2 metre’ distance rule. It is especially easy to strike up a conversation during these times as most people are also cooped up all-day and happy for the opportunity to spend a few minutes chatting. Be bold and suggest swapping numbers if you feel an instant connection and you have discovered if your stranger is single!
8. Once you have got to know someone either through chatting online or meeting during your park walk – progress to Skype and Facetime calls to enable you to get to know someone a little better and ensure they are sincere.
9. Scan the Internet for online social interactive events and groups. People are being really inventive during the current crisis. SpeedDater.co.uk are operating some great online themed events such as cooking master classes or Vegan dating for singles to meet like-minded people online. Plus simple morning coffee drop in dating events.
10. Use the lockdown period to really work on yourself and ensure you eat healthily and keep yourself fit. Work on drawing up a plan for your goals and expectations when the crisis is finally over.