Why We Need Love Now More Than Ever

The times we live in are uncertain, but we know that we will, eventually move towards better times. For most of us, we take strength from our families and loved ones, whether they live with us in our current isolation, or whether we talk to them on our Facetime, party apps or just on the telephone each day. But for some people, this sense of isolation is even more acute.

For those who already lived alone, through situations such as not being married, being divorced, being a widow, or even being happily single through choice, the situation can now be a really lonely one, as you are no longer in touch with people on a day to day basis. We are, in the main, not at work, not going to the school gates or using public transport, or enjoying a shopping or theatre date with friends. The days can seem long and lonely.

These situations may be why there has been a surge in usage in online dating apps and websites. This seems to be a worldwide trend, with the Cheshire dating site Date Cheshire Singles just one of those who are noticing an increase in new clients in the UK, whilst news agency Reuters have reported a rise in younger daters coming aboard in cities like New York, currently in the middle of a real health crisis during the lockdown. They reported OkCupid marketing chief Melissa Hobley as saying  “What we’re seeing on OkCupid is a real desire to connect. As more and more folks are working from home, cancelling all social plans, not traveling, some are already feeling lonely and a bit isolated.’

But dating is not just the preserve of the young, and sites who are dedicated to more mature love like over 50s dating in Cheshire are also seeing an upsurge in the use of their messages between matched users, and an increase in contact through video calling. As our feelings of loneliness and isolation really start to kick in, it seems more than ever we want that feeling of human contact, of chat and laughter, or someone to talk to and listen to, and these videos and messages allow for some level of that. Even if it doesn’t lead to the romance of the century, it may allow for friendship and companionship, something that is in short supply for some people at the present time.

Online dating is more challenging at the moment than in any other time in recent history. Online chat is usually the forerunner for actually meeting in person and dating, and at the current time we really don’t know when this will be possible, when the current restrictions will be lifted, so that we can not only meet up to date, but have somewhere to go for a date. But video calling, Skype and Face time do give us the option to chat face to face, and this means that relationships can start to develop, and certainly giving you something to look forward to when this finally ends.

 

Staying Safe On Your First Date

Whatever situation you find yourself in, one thing is always important, and that is to keep yourself safe. This is nowhere more true than when you go on your first date with a new person. You may have met the person of your dreams, but that doesn’t mean you can totally let your guard down and not keep to your boundaries.

Whether you have met your date through college, work, or through free dating sites a great first date is also a safe one where you are able to enjoy yourself and be yourself, but know that there is no danger of being in a situation that could leave you feeling unsafe.

Here are some tips for keeping yourself safe on your first date.

  1. Make your own way to the date. Although it might be more convenient for your date to pick you up on route, the reality is that this is the first date so you don’t really know the person that well, particularly if you have met through online dating. If you accept the offer of a lift, you are automatically showing the person where you live, which may not be ideal if the date turns out less than successful, or you decide you don’t want to pursue the relationship further. The best scenario would be to travel by taxi, maybe booking a return with the driver so you have getting back home sorted too. If you want to see how the date progresses before booking your taxi, you can at least keep the number in your phone to contact them later.
  2. Choose a venue that is at a mid point for both of you. You really don’t want to be traveling miles to go on your date, particularly if this means you could later have trouble trying to get home. A mid point venue is therefore ideal when/if you choose to go your separate ways.
  3. Choose somewhere busy for the first date. A public place like a pub or restaurant are the ideal venues for your first date – the old adage ‘safety in numbers’ certainly runs true in this situation. The atmosphere is likely to be conducive to a fun evening, but with lots of people around there is less pressure on you, particularly if you feel the evening isn’t going as well as anticipated.
  4. Don’t give too much information away right away. You need to get to know each other gradually, rather than jumping in with both feet. You can talk about what you do for a living without actually having to give away your place of work, similarly, you can talk about the area where you live without giving your actual address. The person you are dating could be Mr Perfect, but just in case you have found yourself a stalker, don’t make it too easy for them.
  5. Keep your phone charged. A dead phone is a nightmare at any time, but on a date you need to keep it charged and close. You may need it to phone a taxi, phone a friend to let them know you are heading home, or even to use if you need to make a quick escape.

If you follow these simple tips your first date should go just fine, and hopefully lead to many more.

Set Your Boundaries When Dating Online

The past year has shown that even in the 21st Century, the treatment that women receive at the hands of men, particularly men in powerful positions, can be shocking in its nature. The Harvey Weinstein case catalogued an horrific cycle of abusive behaviour by a man who was in a serious position of power, and systematically abused it for a long, long period of time, destroying the life and careers of many young actresses and models in the process. But Weinstein was just the tip of an enormous iceberg that has led right up to the President of the United States himself, accused of paying a porn actress to keep quiet about a tryst that happened whilst married to his current wife Melania.

The stories of abuse and sexual exploitation have led to the rise of the ‘Me Too’ movement, where ordinary women have shared their own stories of abuse that occur every single day in our modern society. These range from inappropriate comments at work, catcalls when out on the street, to sexual assault, abuse and rape. Solidarity has been shown at Awards ceremony’s across the world, and women are finally feeling encouraged to talk about their experiences and, in some cases, to out their abusers.

With all this a major news story, there are implications for those who are currently using online dating sites, particularly adult dating sites which offer no strings sex dating. The highlighting of the ‘me too’ cases has given even more importance to the need to stay safe, and combat sexual harassment and abuse on adult online dating platforms, and while out on dates. But the negative stories do not mean that women should not be able to date in the manner that they choose, forcing women to conform an image where every women wants a date that leads to marriage and children is just another abuse. Consenting adults should make their own choices, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a need to stay safe.

Stay Safe

  • Be careful with oversharing. When you first go online keep your chat light and general, so avoid giving away details about where you live and work until you have got to know someone and are feeling comfortable with them. You may even choose to not give you real name but to use a  user name instead – a much safer option.
  • Think about how soon you meet up with someone. You’ve just met online and had a brief chat. He seems really nice, but it is too soon to meet up with someone you’ve only e-known for 10 minutes. Get to know the person a little before you meet in person.
  • If you feel that you are receiving messages that are inappropriate, abusive or menacing when using any form of dating site, you need to block and report the user. Do not continue to engage with the user, trust your instincts and remove yourself from the situation. Similarly, if you get an uneasy feeling during your chats, it may be better to trust those instincts and to stop the contact.
  • When you do meet up, try and stick to popular, public places where you can see and be seen, and where you could make a quick exit if the date isn’t going how you would like, or if you get that uneasy feeling. Let a friend know where your date is taking place, and use your toilet break to let them know if you move on to a new place, or decide to take it further.
  • Make sure you keep your phone with you, and keep it charged. An extra power bank could be a useful addition to your handbag.
  • Watch what you drink on your date, and keep your eye on your drink at all times. Being drunk can put you in a range of situations you may not be in control in. Plus., although your date may be wonderful, date rape drugs are a very real threat that should not be ignored.

Ultimately, enjoy your date and whatever it is you want to achieve from it. Follow simple steps and you can open a whole new world of fun and excitement.