Sunday, 24 April 2016

Five simple online dating tips to transform your profile

Writing an online dating profile should be simple – all you’re doing is writing about yourself.  But there’s a reason we don’t all work in marketing and self-marketing is particularly tough when your love life is on the line.  
So how can you make sure your dating profile attracts the right people?
1) Do put some thought into your photo – it’s the most important part
Yes, yes, I know we’re all bored of Tinder, and it’s fashionable to write it off as superficial, but in reality most of us actually need to be physically attracted to a match.
Thumbnails are vital, so think carefully about the photos you choose. What do they say about you? Have you included full-length shots as well as close-ups? 
Profile tip: Avoid the frustrating clichés: sunglasses, babies, drugged-up tigers, cock shots, trout pouts, and group images where no one can tell who you are. 

2) Do be honest
Not just with other people, but also with yourself. Unlike Facebook, on an online dating site, you’re chatting to strangers. Which means it’s not the place for overly flattering photos, or pretending to be someone you’re not.  
Profile tip: An incredible dating profile might get loads of first dates, but if it’s unrealistic, it won’t lead to many second dates.

3) Do look at other profiles
Most sites allow you to easily alter your search criteria, so why not check out the competition? If you don’t know what to write, see what other people are doing, and think about how you react when you read it.
Most of us are trying to attract a like-minded person, but it’s a lot easier to view a dating profile objectively when it’s not your own. Look at the length of other peoples’ profiles, how much information they share, and their tone of voice. If you like what you read, don’t be afraid to borrow their style. 
Profile tip: Don’t write an essay, but focus on a couple of interesting things about yourself that will make you stand out in the crowd. 
4) Don’t talk about what you want or don’t want in a match
Dating sites have filters for a reason – trust them to do the selection, so you can concentrate on showing yourself in the best light possible. By outright stating what you do or don’t want in another person, you will either sound demanding, or dismissive. And in reality, most of us don’t actually know what we really need or want, until he or she is staring us in the face.  
Profile tip: Be honest about what you’re looking for but don’t spell it out in your profile. And don’t dismiss potential matches prematurely.

5) Don’t spend too long on it
When you’re on a date, and you’re asked a question, how long does it take you to answer?  Probably not three hours. When you’re creating your profile, don’t agonise over every detail.  Go with your gut, and answer the questions as if a friend is asking.  
Yes of course check your spelling, and be careful with grammar (if you don’t, some smart arse may well contact you just to correct it!). But don’t treat it like a dissertation. 
Profile tip: Don’t feel like you need to tell your life story, just offer an accurate glimpse of the person you are today. You’ll have plenty of opportunity to fill in the gaps on the date.

Five tips for beating first-date nerves

Even the most confident of people can get jitters when it comes to a first date. But the more relaxed you are, the more approachable you appear. So how can you calm some of those first date nerves? 
1) Case the joint
If you’re feeling particularly nervous, why not have a dry run? Visit the bar or restaurant with a friend before the date. Check out the menu, work out where you’d like to sit, and sort out the basics, like where the bathrooms are. They may all sound like trivial concerns, but if you’re prone to worrying, then it’s fewer things to fret over on the date itself.
2) Phone a friend
Or better still, meet up with one beforehand. Meeting a friend for a quick drink before the date will relax you, and a good friend’s company will bring out the best version of you. If you’re worrying about something in particular, talk it through. Nine times out of ten it will feel like a much smaller deal once you’ve said it out loud.
3) Remember your date is just as nervous as you are
No matter how confident they may seem, everyone gets first date nerves. So if you do something silly, or say something you didn’t mean to, just laugh it off. Any date worth his or her salt will understand. And if they don’t? Well then they’re not for you!
4) Make it fun
Remove the traditional trappings of a ‘date’, by choosing a fun activity instead. One of the great things about dating is that it allows you to act like a tourist in your own city, so make the most of the opportunity. Be a big kid at the Science Museum, explore London Zoo, or check out some of London’s biggest tourist spots. The more you focus on the activity, as opposed to the person you’re dating, the more fun a date becomes. And even if you don’t end up fancying them, at least you haven’t wasted your precious spare time.
5) Do it a lot 
Dating is like anything – the more you do it, the more confident you become. So relax your search criteria slightly, and be open to meeting new people. Try out new ways of meeting people – there are heaps of apps, websites and singles events these days. Take advantage of the opportunity to meet new people and experience new things, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself to meet ‘The One’ immediately. The more fun you have with the dating process, the more fun you will be to go on dates with. 
And if you’re still feeling nervous?
There’s nothing wrong with a bit of adrenaline! Nerves can quickly lead to excitement, and we all need to step outside our comfort zones every now and again. Embrace the sensation, and make the most of the dating game. You won't be playing it forever, after all. 

Dating in London

Even with eight million people to choose from, dating in London has never been simple. Setting aside the small matter of finding someone willing to spend an evening in your company, you've also got to sort out somewhere to meet your date, some kind of mentally stimulating activity and, of course, a romantic place to eat.
But don't panic. These days, the variety of weird and wonderful dating events in London (done speed dating? Try silent dating) is mind-boggling, and there are enough intimate pubs and restaurants to keep even the most prolific player busy. Go forth and mingle, people.

f you’re single, sometimes dating can feel like a second job. And so together with exclusive professional dating site The Inner Circle, we’ve explored some dos and don’ts for maintaining a better work/love-life balance. 
Do stuff you wanted to do anyway
Dating = time. You're like a regular busy person, but with this whole extra thing you have to do. So why not take your dates to all those new places you wanted to visit anyway. Not only will it add some much-needed variety to your free time, but it's also a good test of whether your potential partner shares the same taste in activities as you. If you're more Hawksmoor and they're more Streat Feast, it’s best to find out earlier on, eh?
Don't just talk about work
It's great to be passionate about your career, and it can be interesting finding out what someone else’s job is really like. But after a stressful day, try not to unload all your workday woes on your poor date. If you suddenly find yourself ranting about Excel spreadsheets or interest rates then you may have gone too far.
Do be realistic about your schedule
Everyone knows life is busy, and other professionals will understand when work gets in the way. But it’s still not great if you end up canceling on someone repeatedly. Be realistic about your work pressures. Identify key times of the month when you’re likely to work late, and then arrange dates during quieter weeks. Dating is only fun when you have time to dedicate to it. 
Don’t just limit yourself to one city
If you often travel for work then why not try a dating site that allows you to change city or country at the touch of the button. At the very least, you get yourself a local tour guide for the evening, and it means you won’t have to eat dinner on your own, with just a book for company.
Do avoid the local
It's so close by! So convenient! But remember: all of your workmates are there. They’ll ask embarrassing questions, and you'll have to chuckle awkwardly without fully acknowledging this is someone you've literally only just met. Or worse, they’ll become your own personal 'X Factor' judging panel, ready with a verdict on your date first thing the next day. This awkwardness is only compounded when it becomes a weekly event. So live a little – go to the second-closest bar instead!
Don’t forget to make an effort
When you leave for work in the morning, your date that evening may be the last thing on your mind, but you don’t want them to know that! Keep some grooming products in your desk for a last minute spruce up. You never know, if the date goes particularly well, you may need that deodorant and back-up tie so that no one realises you’re still in yesterday’s clothes.
Do use a dating site targeted at professionals
Worried the only place you’re meeting like-minded people is at work? Don’t worry, you don’t have to start dating your boss just yet (though it might make for some entertaining performance reviews!). The Inner Circle knows how tough dating in the City can be, and so they’ve created a members-only site specifically for single professionals. Connect with singles in other European cities at the touch of a button, and use the site for date ideas across the capital. The Inner Circle run regular invite-only events at sought-after London venues, and their app is even compatible with your Apple Watch.

Bar Américain at Brasserie Zédel

The greatest thing about the scene here is that there is no scene. This basement bar, part of the Brasserie Zédel complex, is equally wonderful whether you’re treating it as a way-station en route to dinner, a nightcap-dispensary before heading home, or an evening’s entertainment all in itself (with terrific bar snacks). It’s also one of the loveliest bars in London, with an art deco look that’s changed little in decades of its existence (under various names). And just as lovely (and unchanging) is its approach to building a cocktail list: short, classic, no need to blind with science. The Martinez (vermouth, gin, maraschino, curaçao and orange bitters) is as good as we’ve had in London; and everything except champagne cocktails comes in at under £12. When people ask for a bar recommendation around Piccadilly Circus, we always raise the Américain flag.

69 Colebrooke Row

This tiny place, a short walk from Upper Street on an Islington backstreet, is where bar-wizard Tony Conigliaro first came to widespread prominence. Conigliaro has a laboratory upstairs, producing unique cocktail ingredients which find their way into the drinks here and at his other venues.
The cocktails here actually seem much straightforward than many people expect, with fewer (and less weird) ingredients than those found at many other London bars, although there’s real dedication evident in every sip. There’s a serene simplicity in mixes such as Death in Venice: campari, grapefruit bitters and prosecco.
The visual style is classic jazz-age, and a pianist provides the soundtrack. Conigliaro’s fame and the bar’s size mean that it’s best to book, but the prices, given the reputation behind the place, are extremely reasonable.