For luck in love don't judge on looks
With more than 12 million singletons in the UK, and the number of people living alone on the rise, NICHOLAS MOORE takes a look at how people approach finding their perfect match.
A recent survey by Love Systems revealed that women in the UK would most like to date the dreamy Robert Pattinson of Twilight fame, while men would most like to step-out with actress Jessica Alba, with Cheryl Cole coming a close second.
Based on the survey’s findings, dating experts Love Systems draw the conclusion that too many people’s views are clouded by physical appearance. Those people unlucky in love need to look deeper, they say.
Dating guru Jeremy Soul said: “The biggest challenge people face these days is where to meet people. It’s easy at university because everyone is young, enthusiastic and social.
“But as you get older and more serious about finding love the dating pool seems shallower. Most people rely on meeting someone either through friends or through their workplace,” said Mr. Soul.
“These are both decent strategies, especially if you have a job in a big company with lots of people or if you have good friends who know a lot of people. But they’re limited if neither of these things are true,” he said.
And the secret, Gwent people say, is having lots in common with your other half.
Emma Corten, 22, is originally from Newport but now lives in Cardiff with her boyfriend of three years Dean Hawker, 26, and their 14-month old son.
“We met at Global Gathering, the music festival. We went with mutual friends and got a minibus as a group. As the only two singletons we stuck together,” said Miss Corten.
“I’d say the secret to relationships is to not get riled. If you let everything get to you you’ll go mad.
“I don’t believe that opposites attract, I think you have to be quite similar and have lots in common. Otherwise it’s difficult to do things as a couple and have a real relationship.”
She believes the most crucial thing while dating is to be confident with the opposite sex.
“In reality no one wants a shy retiring type. Well, most people don’t anyway. I was always confident when talking to people and that is really important,” she said.
Single Sarah Fox, 18, from Newport, thinks it’s important for prospective couples to have things in common so they have things to do together.
She has recently become single and is looking forward to enjoying the single life by making the most of going out with friends and spending more time with family. She thinks the best way to have a first date is to do something quite relaxed.
“A walk in the park or going out for a quick bite to eat would be good. It’s better to do something where there’s no social pressure. A posh sit-down dinner would be a bit much for a first date,” she said.
“Although at the moment I’m looking forward to going out with friends and spending time with my family.”
Go for drinks, not dinner and remember to smile
So, you’ve met someone and you’re going out for the first time. Don’t be nervous, if you follow Jeremy Soul’s tips for a first date and you can be sure of having an enjoyable and relaxed first date.
- Determine the time and place for yourself
It makes it easier to stay in control of the date and helps you to relax.
- Meet for a drink not dinner
You want the focus to be good conversation. Going for drinks is low-key and inexpensive but most of all doesn’t put social pressure on either of you. Going for dinner or movies is best left for future dates.
- Keep on familiar territory
If you are familiar with the location you will be more relaxed. If you know anyone else there it shows you are friendly and that other people like you.
- Sit next to them not opposite them
Sitting opposite someone on a big table makes it awkward and difficult to connect. Opt for a couch or a booth seat so you can sit next to each other.
- Relax and smile
It’s easy to be nervous when you’re on a first date. If you act nervously they’ll pick up on it and start to act nervously themselves. This could lead to unnecessary awkwardness and discomfort. Whenever you feel nervous remember to smile and relax. Body language is important, don’t fidget.
- Relate emotionally
Focus on building an emotional connection. Find out about their life and try to relate aspects of your own. You don’t necessarily have to focus on the facts but rather the emotions involved.
- Compliment them
Not simply about physical appearance but more importantly compliment their personality. Things like intellect, maturity or confidence are good places to start.
Do you get on well together?
- Gaynor Grace, from Newport, has been married to Daniel for eight years. “He’s good-natured and we have lots in common,” she said, “our first date was nice and relaxed. We went out to a pub and for a meal.”
- Laxmi and Sita Rai, from Maindee, have been married 23 years. He says she always smiles and is never angry while she admires his calm nature.
- Lee Cander and Katie-Jayne Williams, aged 18 and 19, have been together for one-and-a-half years. They were friends in college and the relationship developed from there. She says she’s attracted to his sense of humour.
- Kochiwe Phiri, aged 18, from Pillgwenlly, Newport, has been in a relationship for nine months and says her boyfriend is funny, kind and always puts her first.
- Jackie Jenner, 30, from Baneswell, Newport, has been in a relationship for one year and thinks the most attractive attributes of her boyfriend are that he is funny and good looking.
- Francis and Sylvia Rabbit have been married for 52 years and live in Newport. They met at a youth club dance group. “I think being in a relationship is all about give and take, being flexible and having a sense of humour,” said Mrs. Rabbit.
- Louise Morgan, from The Gaer, Newport, has been in a relationship for six years. “He’s kind, caring and affectionate. It changes over the years. At first it’s physical attraction but you find other things attractive about them as time goes by.”
- Sue Penny, 22, from Maindee, Newport, said: “I’ve had relationships which didn’t work where we’ve had nothing in common, opposites attract and all that. I think it’s better to be with someone who has lots in common with you. It’ll probably last longer.”
- David Lyndsey, 32, who lives in Graig, Newport, said: “I took Cathy out on a meal for our first date. It didn’t go well but somehow we’re still together four years later. I’m glad she gave me another chance.”
- Bethan Morgan, 22, from Maindee, Newport, is single and goes for someone who makes her laugh and treats her well.
Click on the image for full size.