Welcome to Dating 101

Everyone of us has an idea of the perfect lifestyle. We've got the car, the house, the designer clothes, the foreign vacations and of course the perfect partner. Well this article is all about finding the latter and the cars, real estate and money, well you'll have to find that lot yourself!

If You Know Your Current Partner Isn't the One....End It Now

This may sound incredibly harsh but if you're currently in a relationship and you know it's not going to last then end it now. It's may appear to be heartless but in reality it's the best thing to do.

Firstly it's not fair on you. You deserve the best and  if this person isn't for you then you have to end the relationship. Secondly, it's not fair on them, if you know there isn't a sparkle anymore then they'll probably know it too, so there are no excuses.

I bet there are loads of people out there, maybe even youself, that know their current partner isn't the one and that they should really break up, then what are they,or indeed you, waiting for? Either you are going to break up soon and therefore what's the point in waiting, or you'll keep meaning to break-up and never do it. Before long you've have been together 10 years and counting, so do it now!

Keep Calm

So you find yourself single, what's a person to do? 

The answer  is the same as the fire drill at school. Remain calm.

If you've just broken up from a long-term relationship or if you've been single for a while it really doesn't matter. I am a firm believer that we gravitate towards the best for ourselves in the long run, even if it doesn't feel like it at the time. So if you've been single for a day, a week, a year or even longer don't panic.

Singledom doesn't mean there is something wrong with you. You're not broken. You're not tainted. Your perfect the way you are. So relax.

There are lots of single people out there right now just like you, so how do we go about finding one that's perfect for you?

Through Friends

A great way to meet new people is through friends. It's an organic way of meeting like-minded individuals and the logic for potentially a good match is definitely there. If you and your potential date are both friends with the same person then you'll probably have somethings in common like sense of humour, intelligence and interests. Makes sense doesn't it?

However, it is important to be true to your own feelings. If  your friends sets up a date for you then it is important to remember some inevitable facts.

Your mutual friend that matched you up is probably more excited than either you or your date about the whole affair. Their role of potential match-maker will have them in a buzz and will probably have their wedding hat, baby names, and areas with great schools all picked out before you're half way through your first dinner together.

Don't get carried away with your friends enthusiasm. They may feel that your date is the ideal partner and you'll be perfect together but if you don't feel anything then don't feel pressured, always be truthful. It'll be far kinder in the long run. 

Speed Dating

They are so many speed dating sites around these days that they are becoming almost ubiquitous. If you want to find the nearest one to you just google 'speed dating' and your area of the country and you'll be flooded with results.

For those of you that don't know what speed dating is  (the minority) let me explain. The concept of speed dating evolves around the fact that within the first couple minutes of meeting someone you can usually tell is there is an attraction or not. If out on a regular date and the attraction isn't there then you've got another couple of hour to kill before the date is over.

With speed dating the idea is to give you a large number of 2-3 minute short dates with different people. That way if you do feel an attraction then you can get in touch with that person again and go on a proper full-length date. The ones that didn't quite fit, well, it was only a couple of minutes you wasted. In one evening you could meet around 20 potential partners and you'd need a couple of month to do that with regular dating. 

The actual night involves having around 15-20 girls and guys hooking up at a local bar or club. Usually the attendees have booked through the internet in advance and been given the correct time and place to meet. Pre-booking is usually required so that there are an even number of men and woman. It usually costs between $30-$50 per night but obviously this changes on location.

On arrival everyone gets a name badge with a number attached. There is usually some mingling before the start, where the hosts are waiting for everyone to arrive, and this is a good time to grab a drink. Try not to slam down too many cocktails because a few drinks might loosen you up but being drunk isn't going to impress any potential long-term partners!

After everyone has arrived the organisers will usually have a brief introduction and icebreaker and then it is normal protocol for the guests to sit down at the table with the corresponding number to their name tag.

Now it's time to get chatting to potential partners! but watch out, ever two minutes a bell or buzzer goes off and the men move around to the next woman. It's probably not a good idea to get too bogged down in conversation because you've only got 2 minutes. Keep in light and don;t try too hard. You don't the persons life story just an idea if you want to see them again. This way in an evening you can have potentially 15 -20 dates rather than just one.

The next day, or even that night if you're enthusiastic, you log into the speed dating website and select which date you'll like to see again. If they also pick you then a match has been made. Hurrah!  When the match is made you'll receive the e-mail address and phone number of your date and then it's up to you to make plans for meeting up again.

In the scenario above I've described a heterosexual speed dating event just because they are more common and it's easier to describe how it works with the men moving and the women remaining seated. However they are a wide variety of gay and lesbian speed dating nights available too, that follow the same structure and rules.


Free Internet Dating Sites

Of course there is also Internet dating. To be honest, in my experience I find this the least useful in meeting people.

A lot of internet dating sites are free to join and because of this they usually have large numbers of profiles available to sort through. Initially this sounds great, but the flip side to this is that because there are no membership fees to renew people's profiles stay on the site indefinitely. This leads to lots of profiles of people that have long ago left the dating world and are probably married with children now. 

It is also quite common for people to set up fake accounts just for a look around at who's single in their area. They can go into work and talk around the water cooler at who they saw on the dating site last night, a bit sad but true. So when you see free dating websites with the tag lines of 10,000 member profiles etc, just think how many are actually genuine people looking for a partner. 

Paid Internet Dating Sites

I much prefer paid internet dating sites. The membership fees stop expired profiles from being viewed and it's highly unlikely that someone will pay a monthly fee just to have a nosey around to see if they know anyone on the site.

The best one that I came across was e-harmony. It is quite expensive and the questionnaire that you had to fill out to make your profile took a couple of hours, but it was worth it.

The dates were much better and far similar to my personality and interests than any other dating service I tried. I met a nice girl on there and we started dating and it's now been over two years and we're still together and buying a home together shortly. Yeah for e-harmony!

One last Thing.... Persistence.

Dating can be tough. After a few months of dating if you've still not met the right person it can be frustrating but don't give up.

From personal experience I went on around 15 speed dating nights,viewed countless dating profiles and went on about 10 individual dates before finding my current girlfriend. We counted it out one night and estimate that I met over 300 women before I found the right one. A lot of my friends laughed at me and called me 'Mr Undatable' but I wasn't willing to settle. I'm glad I didn't because now I've found the one, I love her to bits and I'm not letting her go. And  that is worth persisting for.