How to protect yourself from romance scams

We’ve all heard the stories. Dating scams hit the headlines on a depressingly regular basis, highlighting heartless attempts to trick targets into parting with large sums of money. When attempts to scam targets are successful, they leave behind a trail of heartbreak and debt as the criminal disappears into thin air.

While it can feel like it is all something that happens to other people, experts are keen to point out that everybody who dates online needs to be aware of warning signs that you are being scammed. This is because attempts to dupe people can be sophisticated and they rely on strong emotions to trick their targets, making it hard to discern what is a genuine interest in getting to know you better and what is an attempt to deceive you.

Dating scams can play out over a long period of time, as scammers go to great lengths to gain somebody’s trust and convince them they are in a real relationship. Scammers are experts at impersonating people, convincing you they are something they are not, and they do their research before approaching you to make sure they are convincing. They may seem like the perfect partner, but they have used a fake profile to form a relationship with you. While it seems like you have a loving and caring relationship, their intentions have only ever been to take your money or personal information.

Requests for money can come when the victim is fully entrenched in what they think is a loving relationship. The scammer will often use highly emotive requests, claiming they need help with affording time-critical emergency medical care or to pay for transport from overseas so they can visit the victim. Reports made to Action Fraud reveal that £50,766,602 was lost to romance fraud in 2018 – an average of £11,145 per victim and a 27% increase on the previous year.

While this all sounds scary, there are some key warning signs to watch out for and plenty of tips which will help protect you if you are searching for love online.

  • Watch out for people who make excuses for why they can’t video chat or meet in person. They might attempt to move your conversations away from the online dating platform you met on, as they know legitimate apps can be monitored – so be wary of anyone’s attempts to switch your conversations to email, text, or the phone.
  • They may invent a job role which means they are overseas for long periods of time – perhaps in the military or the medical profession – so you aren’t suspicious about why it has been impossible to meet face-to-face.
  • Their profile may boast glamourous pictures which may in reality be stolen from an actor or model. They may also use stock images or photos copied from other people’s profiles. Do your research and try a reverse image search to find if the photos have come from somewhere else. You can also Google their name, any phrases they use repeatedly and the term ‘dating scam’ to see if anything comes up.
  • The scammer may urge you to keep the relationship private, so be very wary of anybody who asks you not to tell others about them. It pays to keep friends and family in the loop about the people you have been chatting to as they have your best interests at heart and will call out any suspicious behaviour.
  • Be aware that criminals often try and rush or panic you into giving them money – they may get defensive if you decline to help.
  • Don’t hand over any copies of personal documents such as passports and driving licences. Never give out bank details, send them money or take out a loan on their behalf. Another red flag is when somebody pitches you an ‘easy investment opportunity’.
  • The shame and stigma around romance fraud mean many don’t report it – don’t be ashamed if you do fall victim. Alert your bank and Action Fraud immediately.

Putting yourself out there in the dating world can be scary at the best of times so it is perfectly natural to worry if the people you are speaking to have honourable intentions. Working with a matchmaker can be the ideal solution to protecting yourself when you are looking for love. Here at Ignite Dating our matchmakers will ensure the person you are meeting is genuine, interviewing them face-to-face to make sure they are who they say they are. We also ID and digital footprint check everyone we work with. Having a third party involved every step of the way gives you plenty of peace of mind and confidence on your dating journey, leaving you feeling energised, safe and ready to enjoy some great dates with truly amazing people.

Your dedicated matchmaker is with you every step of the way, working closely with you to understand the characteristics and values that are important to you. Our experienced matchmaking team brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to make your dating journey as streamlined and enjoyable as possible. Get in touch today to find out how we can help you!


Should you be wary of an office romance?

Whether it is a coy look across the break room, or a flirtation at the office Christmas party, it is commonplace for romance to blossom in the workplace. Recent data from YouGov shows that 18% of Brits found their current or most recent partner at work. However, there can be complications that arise when a colleague catches your eye. So, what should you bear in mind if you are hoping to date a co-worker who you have romantic feelings for?

You can find yourself drawn towards somebody you work with for a number of reasons. You already have something in common in the job you do, and it’s natural to gravitate towards like-minded people with similar backgrounds. You already know much more about this person and their lifestyle compared with a stranger you met on an app or during a night out. Recent data shows even the pandemic failed to stop workplace romances in their tracks, discovering they may have even increased as employees were looking for a connection when they were forced to work from home. Romance still blossomed, even if the only way people could stay in touch was via video calls and messaging apps.

Many consider it to be important to consider the power balance that may come into play with an office romance. Co-workers dating is often viewed as a very different situation to a hierarchical workplace relationship between a manager and somebody who reports to them. It is often viewed as important to report a relationship with a power imbalance to the HR department or a line manager, so they are aware of what’s going on. Some organisations in the US even have ‘love contracts’ to keep office romances in check, requiring both dating parties to sign to state the relationship is consensual and they are aware of company policies on sexual harassment and workplace ethics.

If you are dating a peer, issues can arise with your fellow co-workers when they suss out what has been going on. They may feel uncomfortable if your relationship is overtly on display, plus they may feel you are no longer efficiently working as a team if you favour each other’s contributions at every meeting. It can help to leave your romance firmly outside of the workplace by not sitting together in meetings and avoiding eating lunch together every day. Public displays of affection at work are a big no-no, as are screaming rows.

Fears of being judged leave many couples deciding to keep their relationship a secret from colleagues, which can also breed resentment if other team members suspect something is going on between the two of you. You can face gossip If you’re the lower status person in a relationship with your manager. There may also be career roadblocks to contend with if you are overlooked for promotion and training opportunities due to fears you will be seen as being favoured unfairly.

Sadly, relationships do come to an end and there’s the issue of how handle your working relationship if you’ve parted ways. Even if you’ve only shared a few dates, it can be awkward to have to face each other every day if romance did not blossom. If it is tough to work together after a painful split, it may be possible to request a transfer to another team or location. You may even decide to leave your role for another job, potentially having to say goodbye to a position you loved. If the relationship endures then you might consider it sensible for one of you to pursue a new role to separate your work and love lives. Office romances will always be part of life, the key is managing them correctly, so your careers and budding relationships are not negatively impacted. Be aware of the etiquette about making a relationship work when you both spend the day in close proximity and be mindful of how colleagues may feel about the pairing. Meeting somebody special is always exciting and it’s imperative you manage the work implications to ensure you have the best chance of making it work in the long run.

If you are looking for somebody new, why not turn to the experts for a helping hand? Our matchmakers use intuition, personality profiling and their extensive private networks to provide personalised introductions to some truly amazing people. Get in touch today to find out the next exciting steps!


Does a large age gap matter in a relationship?

It is a staple of many a gossip magazine story. From Harry Styles and Olivia Wilde to Amal and George Clooney, large age gaps in relationships often set tongues wagging.

The topic of age in relationships trigger many strong opinions – especially when it comes to an individual’s own dating preferences. However, it’s certainly not uncommon to find many couples consider age to be merely a number when it comes to settling down. In western countries around 8% of male-female couples have an age gap of 10 years or more. The gaps can be even larger than that, with an estimated 1% of heterosexual couples in the US having an age difference of 28 years or more.

Our online lifestyles mean the pool of people we socialise with has expanded more than ever, making it easier to interact across a range of different generations. While many point out there are advantages to dating somebody the same age as you because you’ll reach the same life milestones at a similar time, others point out the rulebook has been ripped up anyway. The way we approach our careers is so different to generations before us, and many are delaying having children to achieve other goals in their life. Despite all of this, it’s still common to find a lot of entrenched judgement attached to big age gaps. We’ve all heard the insults that are thrown about to describe those involved in them, including sugar daddy for an older man, or gold-digger for a much younger woman. There can be more stigma attached the larger the age gap involved.

So does age matter?

May-December romances, a term to describe a relationship between two people with a considerable age difference, can face challenges which other pairings may not. As we’ve touched upon, you may find friends, family and acquaintances are sceptical and may disapprove of the relationship, especially if the age gap is sizeable. This social pressure may bring difficulties to your relationship and may lessen your support network. However, it’s important not to let the opinions of others sway you if you’ve found somebody who you’ve genuinely fallen for.

Being at different life stages does sometimes presents an issue as you both age, especially if the older partner encounters serious illness or retires while the other is still working. One of you may be in a very different place professionally or financially, which means you’ll need to decide how you’ll manage your money to avoid any feelings of losing independence or being taken advantage of. There can sometimes be struggles in establishing common ground as you might not share similar interests, social circles, tastes, or frames of reference.

When it comes to dating somebody who is significantly older or younger than you, the initial stages of seeing each other can feel much like dating somebody your same age. However, as things get more serious, it pays to look at how things will pan out down the line. If you have different family situations, with one of you already having children, it’s important to consider how it will work if you do settle down together.

Making an age gap work

There’s not an exact science to determining whether an age gap relationship will be successful. Many find the increased self-awareness and care that goes into making the relationship work can help it endure and be successful. As with all healthy relationships, it takes both of you to put in the work to ensure you are both continue to be happy and satisfied. It can pay to focus on shared interests and be open and honest about any roadblocks which you can foresee becoming a problem so you can be prepared to work together to overcome these issues. The ability to compromise can be a big factor in an age gap relationship, especially when different life stages become more noticeable. What might not have seemed so important when you met might emerge into something more pertinent as you both move into different life stages.

It really does come down to a case-by-case situation with individuals, as age is just one part of the equation. When you have a successful relationship where you share similar values, aspirations, beliefs, and goals, and you are prepared to work through any problems that may arise, it will feel like age isn’t a barrier.  

So, considering age isn’t the be all, end all, why not be a little more open-minded? Many daters set a narrow age range on their profile, potentially ruling out plenty of amazing people. It’s important to remember age doesn’t determine who you are or what you want to do. Next time you are looking at a profile of a prospective match, try ignoring the age. Read about the person and recognise the commonalities that you have, and you might just be surprised how much you have in common. It could be the start of something truly amazing.  

Here at Ignite Dating we enjoy working with enthusiastic clients who are committed to finding a life partner with similar family values and outlooks on life. If you’ve decided it’s the right time to start a search for somebody new, then give our expert matchmaking team a call. We specialise in hand-selected matches with amazing people you’ll really share a connection with, helping you with a dating journey that’ll leave you feeling safe and energised.


Christmas date ideas to get you in the festive spirit

Winter may not feel like the most inspiring time to date, with wild weather and long, dark evenings to contend with. Thank goodness for Christmas then, which can inject some much-needed sparkle to the end of the year. The festive cheer opens up a wealth of great date ideas which make the most of the build-up to December 25. You’ll find a jolly atmosphere to be enjoyed everywhere from your local pub to the bustling Christmas markets that spring up across the country.

It’s time to make the most of the romantic dating opportunities available in December whatever stage of your relationship you are in. Cuffing season is truly upon us so you may find many people are keen to meet and enjoy some fun getting-to-know-you dates this Christmas. You may be in a bit of a dating rut and in need of inspiration for some exciting nights out to share with somebody you’ve been seeing for a little while. Or perhaps you have a significant other and you are looking to mix up date night with some seasonal fun. Check out our suggestions for the best date ideas to be enjoyed across the country as everybody looks to get in the Christmas spirit!

Embrace the arts

You’ll find a whole host of live entertainment to be enjoyed at this time of year, which is the perfect excuse to get dressed up in your finest festive attire. From ballet performances and plays to getting in on the pantomime fun, you’ll be sure to find something that suits. It’s a lovely time of year to enjoy a merry carol concert, whether you sing along or just enjoy live musical renditions of those Christmas favourites. Many historic houses and National Trust properties have their own programmes of Christmas-themed music and carols in atmospheric settings.

Cosy nights in

Making the most of the Christmas cheer doesn’t have to mean battling the crowds or wrapping up in several layers to keep warm outside. It’s the perfect time of year to cosy up with a festive film marathon. You can binge watch all your favourite classics and get in the festive mood with the cheesiest of Christmas movies. Prepare some tasty seasonal treats to accompany the films – whip up a batch of gingerbread or make some boozy hot chocolate and indulge together. Rock your ugliest Christmas jumpers or festive PJs if you feel relaxed enough in each other’s company!

Eat, drink and be merry

Restaurants will be going all out at this time of year, preparing tasty set menus and Christmas-themed cocktails – you can’t beat a snowball or a tasty eggnog. If you want to save the feasting until later in the month, there are plenty of al fresco winter terraces that offer drinks under outdoor heaters complete with cosy blankets for that romantic touch. Some even offer alpine chalets and igloo-style bubble pods, so check out if there are cosy pop-ups available in your local area. Prefer to avoid the crowds? Have Christmas cook-off at home where you whip up all your family favourites to share with each other. Pop open a bottle of wine and take your time preparing the meal together to whip up a delicious feast.

Get your skates on

You can’t beat an active date and getting out on the ice is a wonderful thing to do at this time of year. Whether you can give Torvill and Dean a run for their money, or you can barely stand up in skates, it’ll be sure to put a smile on both of your faces. There are plenty of ice rinks erected especially to celebrate Christmas, including Somerset House’s iconic ice rink and Manchester’s offering in the Cathedral Gardens.

Take in the Christmas lights

Keep it simple by grabbing a hot drink and walking around your local Christmas lights. Many houses in nearby streets are illuminated, and towns have their own sparkly festive displays. If you’re near London or another major city, travel in together to have a look at their large-scale displays. There are many Christmas light trails dotted around the countryside with tunnels of fairy lights, illuminated trees, seasonal music, and plenty more, dependent on the venue. It’s a great way to escape the stresses of everyday life and focus on some quality time together.

Are you looking for somebody special to share plenty of good times and new experiences with? Then give our friendly matchmaking team a call. We work hard to understand what you are looking for in a partner and we’re experts at finding them for you. We offer hand-selected introductions to people you’ll really share a connection with, offering you a stress-free and enjoyable search for love.


Feel fabulous while you get date-ready this Christmas

There is no doubt dating is most enjoyable when you feel your best. Dedicating time to getting ready for a big date is such an important step as it can help boost your confidence and make you feel good. It’s all about feeling fabulous, developing a routine which helps you ensure you’ll make a good impression while staying true to your style and personality.

Whether you are returning to dating after a break or enjoying a range of dates with potential love interests, the preparation is big part of the overall experience. You may experience a whirlwind of emotions as nerves and excitement hits. Many single people develop their own tried and tested pre-date rituals to make sure they enjoy getting ready and mentally prepare for the big night ahead. Your go-to preparations may be based around going the extra mile in your beauty routine to find confidence in feeling your physical best. Others share the experience with friends, seeking their opinions on outfit options via WhatsApp and chatting on the phone for a motivational pep talk. You may prefer a more holistic experience before you step out, relaxing with some yoga or a chilled meditation session. It can be something as simple as a long bath or just chilling out with your favourite tunes – whatever makes you feel the most relaxed.        

There are some key pointers to bear in mind to make sure you are getting the most out of gearing up for the big night. It’s essential to wear something you are comfortable in rather than selecting clothes based on what you think your date would like. You won’t be able to relax if your outfit does not reflect your true style or makes you feel uncomfortable. Allow plenty of time to get ready so you don’t end up flustered or having a new beauty technique you are trying out go horribly wrong minutes before you leave the house.

Be aware it’s the time of year where hair appointments or last-minute beauty appointment slots are like gold dust as everybody gets ready for their festive shindigs. If you are the sort of person who loves that salon feeling, or you find it hard to juggle a busy work life with the sorts of hours salons work, it pays to be organised and secure an appointment with plenty of notice for the all-important date night.

The Lucie App

Many professional singles are juggling extremely demanding schedules and are particularly busy at this time of year. If you recognise yourself in this scenario, but you’ve got some exciting dates planned in December, then there is an easy way to ensure you can access a range of services that’ll help you get date ready in the most convenient way possible. The Lucie App offers access to top-grade therapists and experts from leading wellness brands who are available to offer treatments in the comfort of your own home. There are a range of beauty options to choose from, from blow dries and sessions with make-up artists, to visits from mobile nail technicians and facialists. You can also concentrate on a relaxed start to your date with an at-home massage, meditation session or even try a one-to-one yoga session. It’s the perfect way to indulge in some pre-date pampering without battling the December crowds and navigating waiting lists for last-minute appointments, ensuring a relaxed start to some truly exciting dates this Christmas!

Lucie offers a dedicated account manager for clients of Ignite Dating, providing advice and a concierge-type approach to their services, which are available in London, The Cotswolds, Hampshire, Surrey, and Ibiza. Please contact and 0333 880 6370 to find out more.


How to build an autumn date wardrobe to impress

It is hard not to love dating when autumn rolls around again. The change in the weather opens a host of dating opportunities which you just can’t get any other time of the year. From romantic walks through crisp piles of leaves to enjoying that first pub drink in front of an open fire, there are plenty of fun options to be enjoyed together.

You will discover a host of benefits to dating at this time of year. Firstly, it is not so hot outside that you worry about arriving at the venue in a flustered mess, and it is not so cold that venturing outside is not an option. This is a time where we naturally slow down and relax after a packed summer of holidays and sun-soaked get togethers. There are plenty of people looking for somebody special to snuggle up with during the colder months, with Christmas and New Year’s Eve another powerful motivator for finding a new love interest. 

Autumn style

This season is all about mixing textures, layering bold accessories, and pairing your outfit with your sexiest boots. It is also the perfect time for sweaters, and who doesn’t love to break out the knitwear after it has been packed away all summer?

I have summed up the key styles to add to your dating wardrobe this autumn which will be a great way to ensure a memorable first impression.

For her:

The season lends itself to comfortable classics, and you can’t beat a fitted sweater dress at this time of year. A good pair of boots add a touch of class to an outfit, and I’d recommend over-the-knee suede boots. Choose your favourite from a range of styles including wedges, flats, or heels. Another sophisticated look is a suede heel bootie which will elevate any date night outfit. Autumn does not mean constantly having to wrap up against the elements though. An off-the-shoulder silk blouse is a great look, and you can go for a distinctly autumnal feel concentrating on rich, dark colours. One of the best things about this season is you can get creative with layering. Crop sweaters add a handy extra layer for warmth while looking both sexy and girlish. Go for bold colours and brighten up even the gloomiest autumn afternoon.

Lace camisoles are both beautiful and sexy. They can be paired with a silk blazer or moto jacket for a cool yet feminine look which is perfect for this time of year. As always, don’t forget accessories – make a statement with some gorgeous gold hoop earrings.

For him:

Layering is just as important for him, and you’ll find some wardrobe essentials come into play this time of year. I’d recommend dark slim fit jeans paired with a suede Chelsea boot and a fitted white tee. For a more casual look, try a white tennis sneaker. Add a stylish touch with a brown casual jacket or a peacoat in an autumnal colour. You can’t beat a smart lightweight jumper for a relaxed Sunday brunch or a romantic casual supper.

No matter your preferred personal style or your interest in fashion, you will find some wardrobe staples that can easily be put together for incredible fall outfits which will really make you feel you best. And with a great selection of date ideas to be enjoyed, it’s the perfect time of year to reinvigorate your dating journey!

Beverly Osemwenkhae is founder of ProjectBee Wardrobe Consulting

Are you looking for somebody special who will truly understand you and share your values, life goals and aspirations? Your dedicated matchmaker is waiting to introduce you to some truly amazing individuals. Get in touch today to find out how we can help you with a safe and enjoyable search for love.


The benefits of dating in your thirties

Entering your thirties is a time many singletons evaluate what they want from dating. This can be a pivotal period where you may look to put the game-playing of dating behind you to focus on the goal of finding a serious and committed relationship. The good news is, although there are challenges to contend with, there can be plenty of positives to dating when you’ve passed this milestone birthday.

Many singletons find dating in their thirties can be very different to dating in your twenties. It often comes down to dating with intent. When you are in your twenties, dating can be all about the experience and you may have plenty of fun along the way dating people who wouldn’t usually tick all your boxes. The dating game can be care-free and a lot more enjoyable when you aren’t really looking for anything too serious, and it’s a great opportunity to learn a lot more about what you want from a partner.  

When you hit your thirties, you are often no longer dating for the sake of dating. You have a much better idea of your end-goals, whether they are settling down and having children, or a burning desire to put an end to the game-playing and casual nature of swiping for dates. You can decide what you really want in a partner, using all the experience gleaned from the dating experiences you enjoyed in your twenties. It’s possible you may have had your fingers burned along the way, experiencing heartbreak and bad relationships, but this ultimately helps to emphasise how important it is your future partner has the values, aspirations, and outlook on life that you are looking for. 

It’s good to be upfront about dating intentions as it can help eliminate dates who just want to have a bit of fun. While it’s OK to know what you are looking for in a partner, it’s not a good look to be firing questions at them on your first date to establish their 10-year career plan or thoughts on marriage and children. As you enjoy getting to know somebody, you can use discretion but be honest to sound out if you are on the same page and to explore whether there’s a connection there.  

It’s important to avoid the urge to settle for somebody who isn’t quite right, especially if you’re feeling the pressure of pals coupling up and your pool of single friends dwindling. It’s so important to recognise you’ve got a lot to give and that you’d be happier single rather than settling for something which is just not quite right. Be on the lookout for people who are in panic mode and desperately looking to settle down rather than putting in the work to establish whether they have a genuine connection with somebody new.

The most important factor to remember is that dating in your thirties can be extremely enjoyable. You are more confident about what you want, you’re likely to be more established in your career and home-life, and you’re prepared to ditch the timewasters in favour of those with romance potential. Dating is meant to be fun, and you’ll enjoy it even more if you are relaxed and letting the real you shine through on dates. It helps to put some perspective on the situation and realise that dating isn’t everything, it’s just part of a satisfying life you’ve created for yourself.

Don’t get too hung up on the end goal as you’ve still got plenty of time to meet someone, and if it all becomes too much, don’t be afraid to take some time away from dating to focus on yourself. You’ll then be in a much better place emotionally when you do feel ready to embark on the search for love again.   

It is also important to recognise there is nothing wrong in looking for a helping hand when it comes to your dating journey. Working with a matchmaker can be a real asset in your search for love, with the advantage of outsourcing the hard work of finding somebody new. Matchmakers are experts at understanding what you want from a relationship, and they use their intuition and extensive private network to make suggestions of people you’ll really enjoy meeting. With an expert in your corner, you’ll be in the best place to enjoy an effortless and stress-free search for love.

Here at Ignite Dating we understand your goal is a long-term, committed relationship and we work hard with you to help you find the perfect partner. Get in touch today to find out more about how our expert matchmaking team specialise in hand-selected introductions, helping you find a life partner who shares the same values, aspirations, and lifestyle as you.


The key to successful dating: know your fears and your patterns

We are joined by coach and author Katherine Baldwin to explore how our fears about relationships drive our dating and relationship patterns and how this knowledge can transform our romantic life.

If your road to love is rocky and your dating experiences lead to dead-ends, it could be time to take a look at your relationship patterns and any fears that lie beneath them. It’s vital to understand any self-sabotaging relationship patterns you may have, to identify any fears that compel you to repeat these patterns and then to face these fears so that you can change your patterns into healthier ones and find true love.

This is enlightening, game changing work that will transform your romantic life and support you to find and form the healthy, loving partnership you desire and deserve. It’s also deep self-discovery work so I’ve broken it down into four steps to make it easier.

Sound good? Let’s begin.

1. Firstly, I’d like you to take a look back over your romantic history. You are searching for clues here – trying to identify patterns of repeated behaviour that lead to negative relationship experiences. The following questions, based on my own and my clients’ experience, might help:

  • Do you tend to fall for people who are emotionally or physically distant or unavailable but struggle to fall for available people who want to be with you?
  • Do you avoid spending time on your love life? Do you spend most of your time working, concentrating on hobbies or helping others, while dating stays on the back burner?
  • Do you find fault with every person you meet? Does nobody match up?

You may have different patterns to those listed here but the key is to mine for information and to be honest with yourself.

2. The next step is to identify any fears you might have about being in a relationship. This can be an eye-opening exercise. Here are some of the fears that I located inside myself and that others have shared with me:

  • Fear of loving and losing
  • Fear of abandonment and rejection
  • Fear of making the wrong choice
  • Fear of getting hurt or hurting others
  • Fear of being suffocated and trapped

Again, your fears may be different to these. Whatever they are, try to bring them to the surface.

I’d now like you to explore the roots of your fears. This will involve going back in time, to your childhood or previous relationships.

When I did this work, I saw that I was afraid of loving and losing because of my early life experiences. I idolised my dad and when he moved out, I felt abandoned and rejected. In that moment, I decided that love equalled loss and was to be avoided at all costs.

I also feared feeling trapped and losing my freedom because as a girl, I witnessed my mother’s marriage fall apart, leaving her alone with two kids, little money, and no career to speak of. If that’s what marriage looked like, marriage wasn’t for me, I decided.

How about you? Were you hurt, rejected, or abandoned in previous relationships? Did you lose your freedom or financial independence? Knowing the roots of your fears will help you to change them.

3. The next step is to draw the dots – to see how your fears drive your patterns. For example, if, like me, you have a core belief that love equals pain and loss, you may sabotage your relationships. You may keep falling for emotionally unavailable people because they feel ‘safe’ – there’s no prospect of real intimacy – and you may reject available people.

If this rings true, I suggest you explore and heal your relationship wounds, ideally with support, so that you can let go of your harmful beliefs. Self-reflection is a valuable exercise that will help you to consider what you can learn from past experiences, and it pays to be honest with yourself about what’s been going on. In this way, you can start afresh, judging each new romantic encounter on its own merits rather than through the lens of your past.

4. Now that you understand how your deep-seated fears drive your patterns, you can start to face your fears and change these dating habits. This can be challenging and you might need support – someone to point out when you are operating in fear or repeating self-defeating patterns and to help you get back on track. This could be a trusted friend or a professional. The key is to recognise when the urge to self-sabotage starts to hit.

Don’t be afraid to take a break from dating to focus on yourself if you need one, prioritising plenty of self-care and time spent with friends and family, so you can be sure you’re ready to date when you feel the time is right.

But if you are ready, this step will be the exciting part too. This is when you get to date with renewed courage, clarity, and confidence. This is when you get to put the past to bed and make different choices and healthier decisions.

This is when you find the love you desire and deserve.

Katherine Baldwin is a love, dating and relationships coach, midlife mentor, and the author of ‘How to Fall in Love’, a dating guide for single professionals. She specialises in supporting people to understand and face their relationship fears and to change their dating patterns so that they can find healthy, committed love. Katherine coaches 1:1 and hosts workshops and retreats in the UK and abroad.


Top tips for getting over a painful break-up

Sadly, it’s a situation most of us have found ourselves in – some of us many times over. The break-up of a relationship can be devastating, leaving you feeling heartbroken and struggling to imagine what life will look like without that all-important person in it. It can be irrelevant whether you initiated the split, whether the decision was mutual, or if the other person called time on the relationship. Going your separate ways can be extremely tough and it can take a long time to recover from the impact of a relationship ending.

Break-ups can be incredibly painful and there is no right or wrong way to deal with a heart-breaking split. However, there are some predictable stages to a breakup, which are often likened to the stages of grief you experience as you mourn a death. These include denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally, acceptance.

However, breaking up is not necessarily a linear process so it’s not unusual to bounce around between these stages, experiencing them out of order or not encountering them at all. You may have experienced first-hand the agonising disbelief that a relationship is over, which can lead to resorting to bargaining tactics in a bid to attempt to salvage the relationship. Unfortunately, this rarely works. Anger may manifest in many ways, whether it’s directed at your ex, external factors involved in the breakup, or even friends that want to maintain a relationship with both of you rather than taking sides. Many of us will recognise the huge sadness that accompany a breakup, which can take a toll on your body and make every day feel like an emotional rollercoaster. However, these negative feelings will eventually pass, and you will, in time, make peace with the situation.

Although it can feel like the pain will never end, there are ways to help get over a painful split. Here are our top tips to help you if you are finding it hard to move on from a relationship which has come to a sad end.

Don’t forget your support network

While it can be all-too tempting to curl up into a ball and shut out the world, it’s important to make sure you let your friends and family support you at this difficult time. Your nearest and dearest can offer a fresh perspective on the split and be there for you when you are struggling, providing a valuable distraction.

Beware of romanticising

It can be tempting to have a rose-tinted view of your time together when you are mourning the loss of a relationship, and this can easily lead you to forgetting to factor in the bad parts. Being realistic about what wasn’t great about the relationship helps you strengthen your resolve that it was ultimately the right choice to call it a day, no matter who initiated the breakup.

Focus on you

Elements of your character can get lost in the things you liked to do as a couple – perhaps you loved watching horror movies, but your partner wasn’t a fan. Rediscovering old interests is a great way of re-establishing your identity outside of the partnership.

Cut ties

It can be tempting to try and maintain a connection with an ex, but this can ultimately prolong the pain. A clean break can be the best way forward for healing and moving on.

Look to the future

Don’t see the time spent in the relationship as wasted, as you can learn a lot from your experience and the time you spent together which will help you decide what you really want from your next relationship. When the time is right, you’ll be in a much better place to move on and meet somebody you’ll truly have a fantastic connection with. 

Work with the experts

Although it can be hard to believe, in time you will move on from your ex and get over them for good. And when you feel it is the right time to meet somebody new, it can really help to have support and advice of a trusted individual, so you aren’t facing a search for love alone. This is where our matchmakers come in, offering their expertise and extensive private network to help you easily find great people you’ll really share a spark with. Our matchmakers act like a trusted friend, being on-hand to offer advice every step of the way. This support is invaluable if you’ve experienced a particularly bad break-up and empowers you to focus on what you really want out of your next relationship. All you need to do is leave it to the experts and get out there again to enjoy some truly exciting dates!

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!


Find the best date ideas in Dorset this autumn

If you are lucky enough to live in Dorset, you’ll be sure to appreciate the natural beauty and fantastic mix of coast and countryside that lies on your doorstep. The county is famous for its sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters as well as the more rugged beauty spots found along the Jurassic Coast. Sun-kissed peninsula Sandbanks is recognised as one of the most exclusive areas in the world to live and is a favourite with celebrities.

There is a lot more to Dorset than sun-seeking and battling throngs of tourists for the prime beach spot in the balmy summer months though. As the temperatures drop the area still has plenty to offer when it comes to finding some truly exciting date ideas. So, whether you are local to the area or looking for visit for a romantic mini break – it’s approximately two hours from London on the train – check out our top tips for some truly enjoyable dates this autumn and winter.

Fabulous foodie experiences

Dorset is a must-visit foodie destination, with plenty of celebrated chefs having established notable eateries in the area. These include Mark Hix, who opened The Oyster and Fish House which boasts panoramic views across the Jurassic Coast and Lyme Regis. BBC Masterchef winner Mat Follas is behind the Bramble Restaurant, a small cosy dining experience in Sherborne. TV regular Mitch Tonks’ Rockfish restaurant group has outlets in Poole and Weymouth, giving you ample opportunity to sample their delicious seafood. You can also sample iconic seafood dishes over at Rick Stein’s restaurant in Sandbanks, which offers a sea view terrace where you can cosy-up under blankets and enjoy the views of Poole harbour. If you are keen on discovering new wines, you’ll find vineyard tours on offer at Langham Wine Estate with the opportunity to sample some tasty fizz over a lazy lunch.

Romantic beach walks

The beach doesn’t cease to be a draw once the sun cream is packed away for the season. It can be lovely to get wrapped up warm and enjoy a bracing walk along the shoreline, with less crowds to contend with as well. If you’re local you’ve probably experienced all the big hitters before, so why not seek out some hidden gems a bit further afield? Mupe Bay is just around the corner from the famous Lulworth Cove but much more tranquil in comparison and a great place to enjoy some valuable relaxation time after an invigorating hike to reach the beach. Do your homework before you set off though, as the trails are only open certain times depending on whether the land is being used for military exercises. Find striking views at Church Ope Cove, where you might even spot a dolphin if you’re lucky. Some beaches are so off the beaten track you might even find them completely empty, making for a super opportunity for a romantic stroll and private picnic for two.

Take in some culture

The National Trust boasts some noteworthy properties which are well worth a visit. Corfe Castle is a dramatic thousand-year-old ruin which boasts fantastic views across the Purbeck countryside. The quaint village of the same name is well worth spending time in to enjoy the traditional village pubs and explore the quirky independent shops. Kingston Lacy is a fascinating stately home built to resemble a Venetian Palace with formal gardens and extensive parklands. If you visit close to Christmas, there’s a fabulous after-dark trail featuring over a million twinkling lights and seasonal sounds.

Enjoy some pamper time

If relaxation and pampering are more your thing, you’ll find spas which are well worth a visit. Monart Spa in Poundbury offers five-star luxury with an impressive thermal suite which includes a hydrotherapy pool, salt grotto, steam room and unique experience showers. Christchurch Harbour Hotel and Spa is positioned right on the water’s edge offering plenty of spa packages and overnight experiences. Or for a more quirky experience try The Pig at Studland Bay which offers a spa menu in two sheep huts that have been transformed into single treatment rooms.

These are just a flavour of the many amazing dates you can enjoy together in Dorset – we’d love to hear your top tips for getting the most out of the area. Head over to our Facebook or Instagram pages to share your thoughts on the best date ideas to be enjoyed in Dorset during the cooler months!

If you are looking for somebody to share plenty of exciting new experiences with, why not give our expert matchmaking team a call? Here at Ignite Dating we specialise in hand-selected introductions to people you’ll really share a connection with. We have an extensive private network and use our expert intuition, experience and personality profiling to find you the perfect match.