How to escape the phone zone

Thanks to the prevalence of online dating, it’s common to establish rapport with a love interest by chatting via text. Messaging back and forward can be a helpful tool to sound out what the other person is like. However, this can sometimes evolve into something single people need to be wary of – getting stuck in the phone zone. 

This stage is where you exchange a flurry of messages without making a move to meet in person. It’s a fairly common phenomenon, with more than half of daters having found themselves in the phone zone in the past three months. 

A purely on-screen relationship develops, leaving you confused about how to move things to into a face-to-face date. You may find you are enjoying the arrangement for now, loving the thrill of receiving yet another message and enjoyed textual chemistry without having to attach labels to the romance. The common pitfall can be that you develop an attraction and attachment over text, but are left disappointed when you meet, if the chemistry isn’t there in real life. Having great chemistry via text message does not necessarily mean you are bound to hit it off in real life. Unfortunately, sometimes conversations eventually fizzle to nothing despite all the energy you’ve invested in chatting back and forward. It can also be a drawback to feel like you know everything about a person before you meet, as it leaves little to be discovered on the first date. 

If you are fed up with being in a seemingly never-ending phone-based talking phase, and realise things won’t progress without human connection, it’s time to initiate a conversation about meeting up in person. If it turns out you are not on the same page about where you want to take things, then you can move on. It can be a red flag to encounter somebody who is reluctant to take things further as it could be a sign they are avoiding commitment, aren’t who they say they are or are unwilling to emotionally invest in anything more. Don’t get stuck in the situation where you are constantly giving them the benefit of the doubt – if you’ve encountered a string of excuses about how busy they are or been rebuffed in your attempts to schedule a low-stakes first date, then it’s time to move on. People will always make time for those they want to make time for.  

Many daters find a middle ground in suggesting virtual and video dates, which give you a better opportunity to see whether you hit it off though the screen before committing to an in-person date. This has become a good antidote to the cost of living, taking the pressure off committing to an expensive night of dinner and drinks with somebody you’ll end up not sharing a connection with. 

It can feel nerve-wracking to make the first move, but the other person may be just as daunted as you are about initiating a date. You could check their availability and see how they react or design an invite around something you’ve already been discussing, such as an activity you both enjoy. If the reaction isn’t what you were hoping for, don’t let it get you down – there’s plenty more people out there to chat to and hopefully connect with in person.  

Are you looking for love? Why not give the experts at Ignite Dating a call today. We work hard to find you the perfect partner, using our expert mix of personality profiling, experienced matchmakers, intuition, and our extensive private network. Get in touch today to find out more!


Does dating casually work for you?

There are plenty of different reasons why people choose to date. There are some who would love to meet their partner for life, while others are trying to work out what they want after a breakup. For others, they’d just like to meet people without any strings attached. This is called casual dating, which is loosely defined as dating multiple people or having a casual fling without the feelings that come with a committed relationship. It’s dating without commitment and often non-exclusive. Dating casually can be a step between hook-ups and more serious relationships, helping forge an intimate connection with somebody before heading into something more committed. It can be a way to have some fun and a great opportunity to meet new people, but there are a few things to bear in mind to make this arrangement work for you. 

How to date casually

While it may seem simple to meet new people and keep things casual, there are actually a few important considerations to ensure you are both on the same page about what’s going on. We’ve shared our key advice below. 

Be upfront about what you are looking for: It can get messy if you are both looking for different things. If one person is hoping the arrangement turns into a full relationship, and the other is only looking for a bit of fun, then it can easily lead to hurt feelings. Although the idea is dating without pressure, it’s still important to establish boundaries to protect feelings. They can range from emotional and relational to sexual boundaries, and you must both be happy you have similar expectations. There’s no tried-and-tested routine for casual dating, it’s just what feels right for you both. However, it is worth being aware that if you see each other regularly, meet each other’s friends, and leave personal items at each other’s houses, then you might be crossing into relationship territory and feelings may develop, which can be painful if they are one-sided. Be clear from the very beginning about what you want from the arrangement. 

It can be OK to date other people:  Part of dating casually is figuring out what you want from a future relationship and dating this way can provide that opportunity. Seeing multiple people can help you decide what is important to you. You’ll learn a lot about the dating experience and the red flags to be on the lookout for. It’s still important to be open that you are seeing other people so the people you are dating know the score. Jealousy can crop up if you see the person you are dating casually with other people, but if you’ve agreed to be non-exclusive there isn’t really the option to say anything about it. 

Enjoy the freedom it brings: Many people enjoy dating casually because it allows them to spend more time with the other people in their life and be spontaneous with plans. Being in a committed relationship means you must consider the other person’s feelings and plans when you make your own solo arrangements, but when you are dating causally you can be a lot more spontaneous. 

Be respectful: Keeping things casual doesn’t mean you can disregard somebody’s feelings. If you think things have run their course, then let them know you are no longer interested. It’s not fair to ghost somebody, as it can cause a lot of hurt and confusion and leave somebody wondering what they did wrong. It’s also not fair to cancel at the last minute if a better offer comes along. Be polite and stick with your plans or reschedule if there is enough notice. It’s still important to be kind and respectful and being casual does not change that. 

Be mindful that feelings can develop: Sometimes dating casually is a stage that can turn into something more serious. If you find you are falling for somebody it’s time to be honest to see if their feelings are the same. It can be incredibly painful hanging on to a connection where you aren’t upfront about how you feel, and you know they only want to keep things casual, and their interest never deepens. 

One of the most important things is checking in with yourself, making sure you are still happy to date this way and you’re still having fun. If it’s all becoming a bit much then take time for yourself, concentrating on self-care and making time for things you really enjoy. Only return to your dating journey when you are truly ready, and you can concentrate on getting whatever you are looking for out of dating. 

If you are hoping to meet that person you just can’t wait to spend time with, give our expert matchmaking team a call today. We can work with you to really understand what you are looking for, helping you effortlessly meet the person of your dreams.


The best date ideas in Bath

Bath is a wonderfully romantic ancient spa city which is delightful to explore, boasting gorgeous honey-coloured architecture and natural thermal springs. The vibrant city boasts plenty of fun attractions and romantic dining spots to help you create a memorable first date. It’s also the perfect getaway for more established couples looking to spend quality time together with a relaxing mini break. Bridgerton fans can enjoy touring the various familiar filming locations dotted across the city. Whether you prefer serene activities, getting active, or trying something a bit different, we’ve rounded up the best date ideas to enjoy in the Bath area. 

Enjoy the thermal waters

Thermae Bath Spa offers a wonderfully tranquil experience right in the centre of the city. Fed by the natural thermal waters, the spa offers a range of packages including two-hour spa sessions which include access to the open-air rooftop pool with spectacular views across the skyline of Bath. The Roman Baths are also well worth a visit, even if you can’t get in the water itself! Check out thousands of archaeological finds from pre-Roman and Roman Britain and treat yourselves to an afternoon tea in the iconic pump room. Visiting soon? Add a romantic flourish to your visit by seeing the Great Bath torchlit during special summer late openings

Get out on the water 

Taking to the water on the River Avon offers another beautiful perspective on the city. What you choose to do is really up to you and your appetite for getting active – you can kayak, paddleboard, rent wooden boats or even a traditional punt. Grab a rental from Bath Boating Station, where you can picnic on their pretty lawn after you’ve worked up an appetite on the river.  

Luxury cinema 

In a more sedate mood? Then a romantic night at the Tivoli is for you. The cinema offers luxurious extra-wide sofas to snuggle up on, with small tables and a lantern so you can enjoy delicious drinks and food with your movie. 

Take a tour

If you are new to the area, or just want to experience a different side to the city, there are a range of walking tours to participate in. Try a range of food and drink tours of Bath, from the guilty pleasures culinary artisan tour to grazing local market stalls, you are sure to find something that suits. Or stick close to your date during a spooky ghost tour complete with grisly storytelling and audience participation, which is a great way to explore the city at night. 

You can also enjoy your own self-guided treasure hunt throughout the city, following a trail of clues and discovering how you work together as a team! There are even pub stops along the way to give you a rest and a chance to experience local historic taverns. If you’d rather relax and chat as you take in the beautiful sights, then join the City Sightseeing hop on, hop off bus routes.  

A date with a difference

Enjoy a romantic hot air balloon ride with spectacular views over the Somerset countryside and a bird’s eye view of the city. The flights depart from Royal Victoria Park and private tours are available for the ultimate romantic experience together. 

Enjoy fantastic food and drink

There are lots of lovely independent venues to enjoy some truly fantastic date nights together. Green Park Brasserie offers live music four nights of the week and a range of different dining experiences, including bottomless brunch, tasty Sunday lunches and delicious steaks. Sally Lunn’s is a historic restaurant offering famous Bath ‘bunns’ in one of the oldest houses in Bath. Wine lovers will be right at home at Corkage, an independent wine merchants offering tasty locally sourced food. Bath Brew House is the place to head if beer is more your tipple, a great venue complete with its own brewery. Circo Cellar Bar offers delicious drinks nestled away in a Georgian cellar with stylish décor.

Are you keen to hear more about the matchmaking process and how Ignite Dating can help you with your dating journey? Just give our expert team a call today and we’ll happily detail more about how our multiple award-winning service works!


How to set social media boundaries in a relationship

How much does your phone dominate your spare time? A typical evening at home in front of the TV can often be punctuated with a stream of interruptions from your mobile phone as messages, notifications and calls pour in. It is common to see diners at restaurants with their devices perched close to their plates so they can keep an eagle eye out for the next incoming message. What you don’t always see is how irate their dining companion is because the person they are eating with more interested in the alerts flashing up on their screen. Our phones are usually the first thing we reach for in the morning and the last thing we look at night.

How much time a partner spends on their phone and on social media platforms can be a big source of tension in a relationship. In a 2014 survey, 45% of internet users aged 18-29 said the internet has had an impact on their relationships. Many people are guilty of ‘phubbing’, a term used to describe snubbing somebody you are with to look at your phone. It’s been hailed as behaviour that can severely disrupt your present moment, in-person relationships.  

However, with some simple boundaries in place it can be much easier to navigate blending your online life with your personal life. We’ve highlighted the common issues that can occur and the steps you can take to address them.

Exes on social media

A new relationship can be impacted when one person discovers the other is still friends with their ex on Facebook or Instagram. Liking and interacting with an ex’s posts can also add friction to the relationship and fuel jealousy and insecurity. The new partner may feel like you are deliberately keeping an eye on what your ex is up to. It can be worth considering unfollowing an ex that is not part of your life anymore, or thinking carefully about why you are posting on their timeline and what your new partner would make of the behaviour.

Respect your partner’s privacy

It’s often the case that one person is more private than another in a relationship, which can leave them feeling uncomfortable about the amount their partner is sharing about them both online. They might not want updates about their relationship status shared with the world, or countless photos of them appearing without their prior consent. It’s best to discuss posting anything related to the relationship beforehand, making sure the other person is comfortable with it being shared with the world. Make sure you are on the same page about the sorts of things you post so one of you isn’t left embarrassed by an overshare they didn’t want to appear online. Airing your dirty laundry via status updates is a big no-no as well.

Create device-free time

It’s important to dedicate time when it’s just the two of you, with no phones or other devices allowed. Whether it’s a mealtime, date night or just agreeing to put your phones on do not disturb while you watch a movie together, it helps make sure you are both really in the moment. In general, it pays to be mindful how often you use your phone when you are with your partner and consider catching up with messages when they are busy, or when they are also on their phone. The same applies if you are dating – there’s nothing more annoying than a date who keeps checking their phone every two minutes during dinner.

Bad behaviour online

Micro-cheating is a problematic behaviour that often plays out via social media. It’s doing that your partner wouldn’t approve of, such as not revealing your relationship status to somebody you are chatting to or having personal interactions with somebody else that they hide from a partner. It’s embarking on behaviour that you wouldn’t tell a partner about, or actively concealing online activity from them. Having clear boundaries about what you think is acceptable on social media and clear communication can help address any issues that arise.

There are plenty of positives to social media and phone communication, not least they are a good way to stay connected no matter how busy everyday life gets. They are a great way to stay in touch when navigating a long-distance relationship and social media platforms provide a sweet way of collating memories of your time together. Just ensure you get the balance right to avoid any negative consequences for budding relationships and to avoid conflict with a long-term partner.

Are you looking for love? Matchmaking is the perfect way to achieve an easy and stress-free search for love. Give our expert team a call today to see how we can help you!