Date ideas in Surrey

You are spoilt for choice when it comes to great date ideas in Surrey. The county itself has so much to offer, and London is on the doorstep if you fancy taking the short trip into the capital. Don’t overlook the gems closer to home though as there’s a great choice of date venues to try that will impress a potential love interest. If you are a more established couple, there are plenty of advantages to mixing up your date nights and exploring the extensive attractions that are on your doorstep. We’ve asked our Surrey matchmaker Sam Rowland-Jones to share her favourites – find her top tips below. 

Have an impressive day out 

There are lots of impressive places in Surrey which give you plenty of time to get to know each other better as you stroll and take in the natural beauty of your surroundings. Visit RHS Garden Wisley, which is the flagship garden of the Royal Horticultural Society spread over 240 acres. Conveniently situated near Woking and Guildford, you can both enjoy a vast range of different gardens and no matter what the time of year, you’ll find lots of must-see highlights that reflect the beauty of the season

Polesden Lacey is a 1,600-acre National Trust estate which offers stunning views over the Surrey hills as well as ample ancient woodlands and elegant gardens to explore. If you are in a festive mood there’s plenty going on in December, including beautiful Christmas decorations in the house, wreath making workshops and hot toddies to warm you up after a bracing walk in the grounds. It’s also worth checking out Painshill, a beautiful 18th century landscape garden. Many parts of this picturesque landscape may feel very familiar as the location has appeared on screen plenty of times, including in Netflix’s Bridgerton and ITV’s Vanity Fair

Share delicious dining experiences 

If you fancy getting to know somebody better over dinner and drinks, there are plenty options for a night to remember. The Onslow Arms in West Clandon offers delicious food in a smart community pub setting, with a packed cocktail list and an alfresco winter wonderland dining option. The Ivy Cobham Garden offers sophisticated all-day dining so you meet over a cosy brunch, cream tea, or a delicious evening meal. The Ivy Asia in Guildford offers Asian-inspired cuisine in beautiful surroundings featuring curated artwork and an illuminated floor crafted from green semi-precious stone

Amazing events 

Soak up the excitement of the races at Sandown Park Racecourse, dressing up for the occasion if you wish! Impress a date by booking the VIP experience, securing a private table for the day, a Champagne reception and fine dining options. Hampton Court Palace is always worth a visit and there are plenty of events scheduled for various times of the year. Enjoy magnificent views of the Tudor palace as you take to the ice together on the stunning outdoor rink, which is available throughout the festive period. There’s also a fantastic food festival in the summer, allowing you both to sample delicious street food and shop for tasty treats to take home. If live music is more your thing, then head to the Hampton Court Palace festival which offers a great line-up of different artists. 

Enjoy a romantic night away

Share your first mini-break close to home by indulging in one of Surrey’s fabulous luxury hotels. Don’t miss Beaverbrook, a country house estate situated in the heart of the Surrey hills. There’s a gorgeous spa, complete with stained-glass ceilings, where you can relax with a treatment or simply take sedate laps of the pool together. Then take a stroll through the gardens to The Garden House Restaurant for a romantic meal or chose from one of the many other dining options. You could also try Pennyhill Park, which boasts a Michelin-starred restaurant and a choice of room features including free-standing baths, a personal hot tub or a private terrace. The spa is an impressive 45,000 square feet offering a range of experiences, from cabanas with large outdoor copper baths and a hydrotherapy pool, to open air hot tubs and delightful foot spas. 

Ignite Dating is an elite matchmaking agency specialising in hand-selected personal introductions for our discerning clients. Our exclusive private network of available ladies and gentlemen boasts successful and professional people, like you, who are committed to finding a partner. Find out more and contact our dedicated Surrey matchmaker Sam Rowland-Jones here


The best date ideas in Bristol

Bristol is a charming and fascinating city, boasting so much to see and do that you’ll never run out of inspiration for exciting date ideas. There are plenty of fabulous free attractions at your disposal, as well as a thriving food and drinks scene and plenty of live music to seek out. Whether you are an established couple or enjoying those all-important first few meetups with a new love interest, read our top tips for amazing dates in the Bristol area!

Enjoy the view

The iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge, the city’s most recognisable structure, is set on the cliffs of the Avon Gorge and boasts gorgeous views. Clifton Observatory has a rooftop terrace which allows you to see the bridge in all its glory as well as a spectacular panoramic landscape of Bristol. Grab a drink from the cafe or a tasty snack and enjoy sightseeing together. The White Lion Bar also offers the chance to cosy up on its large terrace enjoying the view of the bridge and Avon Gorge. You could also visit Brandon Hill, a park which offers great views over the city and Harbourside area. If you are feeling fit, then climb up the twisting steps of the Cabot Tower for even better views! It’s free to enter and you can get amazing sunset views before the attraction closes

Go surfing!

Take to the ocean despite being in-land at The Wave, an impressive 180m long surfing lake that offers consistent top-quality waves to surf on. You could share in a surfing lesson or catch some waves if you are both experienced surfers! It’s a great day out which allows you to make the most of the beautiful countryside as well as the water. Is a relaxed swim more your thing? Then head to the Bristol Lido, which offers a heated outdoor pool and plenty of swim and dine options combining a visit with tasty fare from the poolside restaurant. 

Explore Clifton Village 

Explore one of the most beautiful suburbs of Bristol, which boasts Georgian architecture and picturesque streets bursting with excellent independent shops and eateries. It’s perfect for a relaxed mooch, window shopping at a range of independent retailers including jewellers, boutiques, and galleries. You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to food and drink, with lots of tasty places to try. Head for the Coronation Tap, Bristol’s oldest purveyor of cider, or try some tasty Japanese fare at Fujiyama. For a tasty meal in beautiful Georgian surroundings, try The Ivy Clifton Brasserie. Whatever you fancy, you’ll be sure to find something that suits in this vibrant area. 

Head to the Harbourside

The buzzing Harbourside is great to explore with a new love interest. You could seek out one of the many attractions, which include museums, galleries, plenty of fun water sports and wonderful street markets to explore. Spot Banksy’s amazing work first-hand on the wall of a building in Hanover Place, where you can see The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum. Take a chilled boat trip, whether it’s around the harbour or further afield to the Avon Gorge. You can also try a fun alternative dining experience on converted boat restaurants that are moored in the harbour, including Three Brothers Burgers and barge-turned-pub The Grange Barge. There’s also plenty of independent restaurants and bars on offered at Wapping Wharf to find something that suits you both. 

Enjoy fun bars

Just doing drinks? You’ll find some amazingly unique spots in Bristol. Her Majesty’s Secret Service is a quaint bar packed with retro décor which you enter via a red telephone box! The Clockwork Rose is a steampunk-themed cocktail and lounge bar boasting loads of personality and delicious cocktails. Seriously stylish cocktail bar Loose Cannon offers great cocktails as well – or try all three locations if the night is going well! Looking for a fun icebreaker? Try Chance & Counters which offers more than 500 board games, many of which you may never have heard of before, that you can get competitive over while you enjoy yummy comfort food and tasty drinks.  

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!


Why unrealistic expectations can hold you back in dating

Having been a matchmaker and a coach for more than 30 years, it has pained me to have clients come back to me saying that they realise they let the perfect person slip through the net due to superficial reasons. Often it is because they see people like commodities and discard them without investing the time and energy to really get to know them. The reason they don’t invest further in this person is because they feel that they don’t match their unrealistic and often long list of expectations. Old patterns and fears hold people back from something magical because they get stuck in a trap of thinking they know who they want, and who they don’t want. If they had an open mind and met people based on aligned values, life aspirations, and beliefs, they would have a much better dating experience.  

It may be hard to recognise that you’re falling into the expectations trap, so I’m going to ask you a few questions: 

  • Do you wonder where you went wrong in past relationships, and are you concerned about repeating these mistakes? 
  • Do you feel someone better will always come along and dismiss good people, hoping for someone who ticks all your boxes? 
  • Do your expectations, wants, wishes and desires make you dismiss people quickly? 
  • Do you find yourself finding faults and reasons why you should not date someone or see them again? 
  • Do you go on dates and like the person, but still not give them a chance? 
  • Are you chasing a unicorn, someone who doesn’t exist? Do you try to make even the wrong person work for you? 
  • Do you procrastinate over agreeing to go on dates or seeing somebody again?  

So how many resonated with you and your dating journey?  The more honest you are the better! 

If you are looking for superficial qualities in a partner, such as a specific height, type of job, income bracket, dress size, geographical location, fitness level and so on, then you are caught in a trap that will keep you single or dating the wrong people. You are basing your tick box on a recipe for disaster, not a long-term loving, healthy relationship. The emotional space is key to recognising the right person when you meet them. Start looking for aligned values when it comes to family and work ethics. Are you both wanting a family? Are you invested in your current family and both open to creating a healthy blended family together? Do you both share the same beliefs on raising children, or even have the same wants, wishes and desires for retirement?  Your aligned values and aspirations for the future are the key to creating the right life together. Shared dreams become a joint reality. 

Clients who work with me get to unravel the expectations trap that keeps them single as well as building confidence to date authentically. I help clients identify the patterns, fears and unhealthy beliefs that are keeping them single and work with them to unlock these. Firstly, we fact-find and discover what is holding them back, then we start implementing the tools to create new healthier ways to date, and finally when clients are dating, we ensure the tools are embedded for long-term success. I have had so many successful happy clients who are all in relationships that they would never have had the confidence to recognise as the right person for them.  This is the best part of my job, watching clients reach those “a-ha” moments and finding the right love that goes above and beyond any tick box! 

At Ignite Dating, 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! 


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.


How to handle falling for a close friend

It’s a common scenario – you’ve known somebody for a while as a friend and you start to feel that you may be developing feelings for them which fall well outside the realm of just being good buddies.

It makes sense that a good friend may catch your eye. After all, you already have a strong bond that has developed over time, you have shared memories and experiences, and you like them as a person. At the end of the day, all successful relationships, no matter how you met, involve a level of friendship. Many say the happiest and strongest relationships they have had are actually those that started out as friendships. A fact that has been backed up by statistics, with a recent study finding 40% of couples interviewed had indeed been friends before they started dating.

But the big question is, how do you get there?

It’s a well-trodden path to make the transition from just friends to dating but that doesn’t mean it should be taken lightly. After all, this friendship is an important part of your life and you don’t want to risk jeopardising it if your feelings are not reciprocated by the person you like. It can be scary to take the leap as you can’t undo what has been said once it is out there, leaving you worrying about the fact that it could be tough to just carry on the friendship like nothing happened.

Here are a few things worth bearing in mind before you fess up to having fallen for somebody close to you.

Can you tell if they feel the same way?

Although you are probably already very comfortable in each other’s company, keep an eye out for non-verbal signs of flirting which may well suggest that they do indeed have mutual feelings. You can also try some subtle flirting, such as holding eye contact or lightly touching their arm, to see if they return the flirtiness. If they are being flirty with you in a way they don’t act with others, it can be a great sign they actually feel the same way. They may also give themselves away if they act jealous when you mention other people or dates you’ve been on.

Will you make a good couple?

There are of course practical considerations you’ll need to weigh up before you make the bold move of admitting your feelings – firstly, they need to be single and secondly, you should both be on the same page about what you are looking for in a relationship. It’s not likely to work if you want to be in it for the long-haul and you know they are a commitment-phobe who prefers a string of casual hook-ups. Plus, the reason you liked them as a friend may not translate into a successful relationship – their desire to be the life and soul of the party five nights a week might become exhausting if your idea of a great date night is a boxset and takeaway on the sofa at home. Make sure this person is somebody who has the qualities that are important to you and you’d want to date them regardless of your how familiar you are with each other as friends.

Things might be awkward

It can feel strange to move from friends to lovers. One minute you’re just hanging out and the next you’ve moved into couple territory. Despite how long you’ve been friends when you transition to a relationship it’s important to take it slow. Realise that although it might seem awkward to become intimate with somebody you’ve known so long as a platonic friend, it does not necessarily mean the relationship isn’t working. Communication is key to navigating your new status and you both need to be willing to work on the areas which may initially feel awkward.

What if it doesn’t work out?

As much as it hurts to consider it, there is a big question of what would happen if you did date, and the relationship doesn’t last. It can be hard to maintain a friendship with an ex and there’s the question of how you’d feel if you both still share the same social circle following a break-up. If you are questioning whether your feelings are strong enough to take this sort of risk, it may be best to just remain friends.

If you’ve decided to broach the subject of dating, there’s a couple of ways to go about it. Many experts think it’s worth keeping it light, asking playful questions such as “have you ever dated a friend?” and push the subject depending on their reaction. If they shut down the idea, it’s easier to backpedal and laugh it off with no lasting harm done.

However, it may well be worth being direct and honest about your feelings to avoid a situation where you’re tied up in knots yearning for this person, but your subtle signs go unnoticed. It ultimately might hurt more to be left wondering what might have been if you keep your feelings hidden and life ends up taking you in different directions.  

Have you decided it is the right time to meet somebody special? Working with a matchmaker helps you easily meet people who you’ll really share a connection with, taking all the hard work out of your dating journey. Give our expert team a call today to find out how we can help!


How to spot mind games in the dating world

It is a sad fact of life that there is plenty of game playing that goes on in the dating world. The very early stages of meeting and getting to know each other is a common time to encounter mind games because neither of you are sure yet where the relationship is heading.

Let’s face it, the dating world can be a confusing landscape to navigate at the best of times, even when you both have the best intentions. When you’ve only just met and it’s too early to gauge where the relationship is going, it is not unusual to hold back elements of the real you as you suss out where you are going. It may be as a result of worrying that you are coming on too strong, or an attempt to dull your shine in a bid to adapt to be whoever you think the person you are dating wants you to be.

However, genuine game playing in dating often tips over into real dishonesty, causing plenty of confusion for the person who is on the receiving end of the manipulative behaviour. People who play games in dating are intentionally not being transparent and authentic with the person they are seeing. Some may actually perceive the act of dating as a game to be mastered and won, enjoying the challenge of winning somebody over rather than having genuine intentions of forming a relationship in a natural way. To them, it’s about working to keep you interested without providing the commitment or respect you deserve.

What to watch out for

If you’ve got an inkling somebody is playing mind games with you, you’ll be on the lookout for solid evidence that they are indeed a player.

Tell-tale signs of game playing can include feeling like you are on an emotional rollercoaster – one minute they are really into you, then they disappear for days or weeks at a time. Their words are not followed by the appropriate actions – they may break plans at the last minute, or suggest they want a relationship while their behaviour screams anything but commitment.

Somebody who is playing games is extremely unpredictable, bombarding you with mixed messages and leaving you confused, making the whole dating experience seem distinctly one-sided.

Communication is erratic at best and the waiting game is no fun for anybody. Instead of creating an air of mystery, somebody who takes days or weeks to reply to your message just causes frustration and anger. Alarm bells should also ring if you never hear from them out of the blue or outside of work hours and you’re doing all the work by sending the first message every time.

They may toy with your emotions by trying to make you jealous, insinuating they are seeing other people or flirting with others in front of you. Or they hold back from introducing you to their friends and family, keeping you at arm’s length instead of drawing you closer and including you in their life.

How to deal with a player

The list of different games used to toy with your emotions is sadly a long one but the sorts of behaviour we’ve touched upon are well worth watching out for to ensure you can recognise and call out somebody who is playing games with you. Be under no illusions – any bad behaviour in the dating world is a major red flag and it pays to be wary of the signs.

You can tackle a game player head on and ask them about their motives in the relationship to save yourself from getting tied up in knots with endless worry and frustration about their true intentions. Their response will tell you a lot about whether there’s any relationship potential with this person. Sometimes the game playing is not glaringly obvious, and you may worry about accusing somebody just in case there is a valid excuse for their strange behaviour. However, you might find you need to stick with your gut feeling when you suspect somebody is a playing games, if something doesn’t feel right then it probably isn’t – once you know where you stand you need to decide whether it’s time to move on and ultimately whether you’d be better off without them.

Be assured that the right person will make a relationship seem effortless, rather than leading you to constantly question the other person’s motives and feelings. An authentic person who values open and honest communication does not need games to earn your affection. So, be wary of the players in the dating world and instead concentrate on those whose behaviour and genuine nature show they have plenty of potential for an enjoyable and long-lasting relationship.

Are you looking for somebody who is the real deal? Our matchmaking team are experts at understanding what you want in a relationship and matching you with amazing people who are really worth getting to know better. Give us a call today and find out how we can help you achieve your goal of a lasting, long-term relationship.


Find the best date ideas to enjoy in Rutland

Rutland may be England’s smallest county but that doesn’t mean it should be overlooked when it comes to finding a great place to enjoy a variety of romantic dates.

Plus, from a dating point of view, Rutland may very well be a promising place to meet somebody new – if you are a single lady, that is.

This tiny county is the most male-dominated place in the country, according to recent census figures. According to The Daily Telegraph, the findings show there are significantly fewer women than men in Rutland – a striking 40% female to 60% male aged 20 to 30. It may well be the case this is a trend echoed throughout the age groups.

So, what else has the county got going for it?

Boasting the title of England’s smallest county, it has a total area of just 147 square miles, so it’s not hard to travel around the county to explore the highlights it has to offer. Not to mention the fact that it borders Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, and Northamptonshire so offers up an easily accessible slice of rural charm to people living in nearby towns and cities.

It’s also home to Ignite Dating’s regional office so our expert matchmaking team are well-placed to share their pearls of wisdom on the best places to date in the area! So, whether you’ve just started seeing somebody new, or you’re looking to mix up your dating journey with your significant other, here are our top date ideas to take advantage of in the county.

Get outdoors

Beautiful Rutland Water is ideal for romantic walks

The jewel in Rutland’s crown is Rutland Water, a reservoir surrounded by 4,200 acres of open countryside. It’s a beautiful place for a romantic stroll and picnic while admiring the spectacular views over the calm water. If you can, grab some of the excellent fare on offer from the nearby artisan Hambleton Bakery. If you are feeling active, then hire a bike and enjoy a short scenic route or take on the full 23-mile lap of the reservoir. In the warmer months, it’s the perfect place to try your hand at a range of water sports by hiring a kayak, canoe, or paddleboard. Or you could break the ice with an adrenalin-filled date at the Aqua Park, an inflatable obstacle course with thrill slides, free falls, and trampolining available on the water. With so many possibilities for a range of interests, it’s easy to see why Rutland Water is a dating favourite amongst locals and visitors alike.

However, if you enjoy getting off the beaten path, Rutland is the perfect place to explore tiny villages, little known tracks, and country lanes. There are so many areas to discover on a romantic stroll, with the benefit of finding plenty of traditional village pubs along the way for a bite to eat and a well-deserved drink.

Looking for a more sedate al fresco experience? The Tolethorpe Hall open air theatre is home to the Stamford Shakespeare Company, which offers a selection of plays throughout the summer months, all set against a stunning and historical backdrop.

Spa and Stay

Luxury hotel break at Hambleton Hall Rutland

If you are at the mini-break stage of your relationship, Hambleton Hall offers a luxury country hotel break on the peninsula above Rutland Water, complete with Michelin-starred cuisine and stunning views from its outdoor pool.

OK, admittedly it’s just across the border but Stapleford Park is the perfect place to unwind and a great base for exploring Rutland. The country house and 500-acre estate offer luxurious rooms, suites, and cottages with stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Spa treatments are offered in the 1889 Baroque Revival Stable Block with an indoor pool, sauna, steam room and jacuzzi found in the main house.

Eat and drink

Sample home brew at The Grainstore Brewery

You’re spoilt for choice for romantic date dining spots across the county.  The charming market town of Oakham has Otters Fine Foods which is a great place to graze over a cheese and charcuterie platter for a casual lunchtime date. If traditional pubs are more your thing, then Oakham boasts its own brewer The Grainstore Brewery with a pub to sample the fruits of its labour. The Olive Branch is a village pub that is well worth a visit, not to mention it was recently named UK Pub of the Year 2021 by the Good Pub Guide. The venue focuses on locally sourced and seasonal produce with daily changing menus featuring ingredients grown in their own pub paddock. Over in Uppingham there’s the quintessential traditional pub The Vaults and fine dining with an extensive wine offering at The Lake Isle.

Visit nearby Stamford

Again, it may be just over the border but the historic town of Stamford is well worth a look for a romantic day out. Home to the famous Burghley House, a grand sixteenth century English country home, there’s plenty to enjoy in the beautiful Sculpture Garden, but be sure to leave time for a cream tea in the stunning Orangery before you leave. The George Hotel is another amazing building, situated in the centre of the town, offering a range of hospitality, from Champagne outside under the heated canopy to fine dining in the Oak Room Restaurant. The Slanted Door restaurant and cocktail bar is a recent addition to Stamford’s thriving nightlife and it’s well worth bagging a table on the balcony overlooking the pretty Stamford Meadows if you can.

Are you looking for that perfect venue for a memorable date in Rutland? We know it’s much easier to choose the perfect location when you know more about your date, which is why our matchmakers offer an easy and stress-free way to meet somebody new, learning all about you and your lifestyle and fine-tuning their selections so you’ll meet people you’ll really share a connection with – making choosing that first date venue a whole lot easier for dating in Rutland. Give us a call today to find out how we can help you on your dating journey!


How to tackle the topic of money in a budding relationship

So, let’s discuss the subject of money and relationships. It can sometimes feel like a taboo topic at the best of times, and it hardly makes for romantic small talk to bring it up early in a budding relationship.

However, let’s consider why it’s so important for men and women not to ignore the practical side of entering into a relationship – even when it may be the last thing on your mind as you’re swept up in the excitement and romance of dating somebody who seems really rather special.   

What you need to think about when you meet somebody new

You’ve taken the all the risks, you’ve kept going when it was so tempting to quit – but you didn’t – and you have reaped the rewards of a successful career and acquired considerable wealth along the way. Now you’re thinking how nice it would be to meet somebody, settle down and enjoy the fruits of your labours. It’s understandable if you’ve got some concerns about what a long-term relationship means for combining assets and the practical implications of managing your money.

So, what are the key things to consider?  You can think of it as three phases – dating, living together (or to use the official term, co-habiting) and marriage.

The dating is really about getting to know somebody better – do they want the same things as you and is life just better with them rather than without them? There’s no real financial or legal impact at the dating phase, except if one of you has more than the other. Are you happy to pay for the expensive holiday in the Seychelles you’ve always wanted to share with somebody special? Does it bother you if the person you’re dating earns significantly more or less than you do?

If the dating is going well and you’re thinking about moving in together, you will need to decide where it’s going to be – will you rent or buy a new home, or will one if you move in a house the other already lives in? Are you prepared to make changes to the home so that it’s ‘ours’ rather than ‘mine’?

This is where legal and financial aspects come into consideration. Let’s assume you’re the wealthier partner and that it’s your home you’ll be living in.

There was some talk of partners who lived together gaining rights after two years. At present, this is not the law…but that could change.

Currently, if one person owns the property, a partner could only claim rights if they had made a capital contribution, such as paying part of the mortgage, paying for improvements to the property (a new bathroom, for example), or if there is a child in the relationship.

Because you have fewer automatic legal rights than married couples, a co-habitation agreement is a way of laying out the terms of living together. This legal document sets out the arrangements for finances, property, children and what happens if one of you becomes ill, dies or you split up.

Now it’s going really well and you’re thinking of getting married.  You don’t get married with a plan to get divorced, but it is best to think about what you’re comfortable with should the worse happen.

Prenuptial (prenup) agreements are legally required in some countries but are not quite yet a legally binding document in the UK. However, courts will give serious consideration to the prenup if you get divorced. A prenup should be fair and it should be done in a reasonable timeframe. It can’t be signed the night before the wedding! This agreement must be signed off a month before the wedding as a minimum and both parties should have independent legal advice (but it is OK for you to pay for your partner’s advice). A prenup also requires full financial disclosure by both parties. This can also be reinforced with a postnup. A ‘life event’ such as having children can partly void a prenup, so it’s best to address those points in the original agreement and agree for there to be a review of the agreement if children arrive.

There is the subject of how you raise the matter. You may not wish to be on bended knee with a ring in one hand and a document in the other! So, once the Champagne and celebrations have been enjoyed, ensure you raise these issues with each other before you embark on the big relationship milestone of getting married. It’s also important to ensure you seek the appropriate expert advice when it comes to the legal side of things and be open with each other about your wishes.

While it might not seem like the most romantic of topics, understanding and securing your financial future will help both of you feel secure and well-prepared should the worse happen. And once the paperwork is sorted, you can just enjoy all the great things that come with a successful and loving long-term relationship!

Rudy Vandaele-Kennedy is an Investment Manager looking after private clients and their families, as well as their business and charitable interests. 

Here at Ignite Dating we aim to provide you with a stress-free search for love, with expert matchmakers on-hand to really understand what you are looking for in a partner. Get in touch today to find out more about our award-winning service!


Why the phrase high maintenance is a red flag in the dating world

What do you think when you hear the phrase high maintenance? Do you instantly think about somebody who puts a tremendous amount of time and effort into their appearance? A person who expects a high standard of living and can ultimately be hard work to date? Some would say, a ‘princess’.

And let’s face it, you’re probably thinking about a woman. A recent article over on The Conversation points out we rarely come across the term “high-maintenance man”.

Looking into the use of the term high maintenance on dating apps, the author Lisa Portolan found that many single ladies end up treading a fine line of identity management, by wanting to look attractive on dating apps but not too ‘perfect’ as they worry they might scare prospective matches off.

Her research found women worked hard to ensure their dating profiles did not come across as full of traits and images that were viewed as coming across as high maintenance. Instead, they wanted to convey their image as being “pretty” but “relatable”, concentrating on portraying themselves as expectation-less, fun-loving, easy-going, and capable. Low maintenance, in other words. Their intention is to ensure they don’t “intimidate” a potential match through their images and behaviour by appearing high maintenance.

Lisa’s research led her to conclude that the use of this sort of language to “reign themselves in” perpetuates a certain invisibility on online dating sites, where women are effectively dulling their shine and shrinking themselves to stereotypes of how women should act to appease men.

What do people think when they hear the term high maintenance?

High maintenance is a term that is often thrown around in the dating world in a derogatory fashion. As The Conversation article points out, it can be a slippery term to define, with the traits that constitute high maintenance usually centred around appearance and behaviour. The stereotype of high maintenance centres around women who are unapologetically demanding, with unreasonable lifestyle expectations of their partner. They are loath to split the bill on a date, like the finer things in life and put a great importance on material status.

The internet is full of articles explaining how to “manage” a high maintenance woman, portraying them in a negative light and asking whether it is worth the reward to date somebody who has a profile which screams “high maintenance”. It’s no wonder the single people who featured in Lisa’s research strived to avoid these sorts of definitions.

Other experts are keen however to point out the problem may actually reside with the person who is throwing this term around. Over on Medium, a recent article points out using the term high maintenance can be a form of manipulation, indicating the person you are dating wants you to comply with their wishes. It can lead to women doing just that, just to avoid being labelled with the title of high maintenance.

The article points out that if a man says you are high maintenance, this reflects more about them, not you, and demonstrates the person using the term ultimately doesn’t value you. It creates an imbalance in your dating journey, where your expectations don’t line up to their preconceived ideas of what a relationship should look like and the effort they should be putting in.

Other experts in the dating world agree, saying the term has become weaponised against women to shift responsibility when a man refuses to meet your emotional needs in a relationship, instead labelling you as the problem. Using high maintenance as a way to degrade or berate somebody is often with the intention of making them feel like their relationship demands are unreasonable and that they are a bad person for having them. A massive red flag, in other words.

Don’t dull your shine

The valuable lesson here is the right person will respect who you are and be prepared to put in legwork to really make a budding relationship work. A good partner will understand and respect your needs in a relationship as well as their own. It can be all too easy to dull your shine in the dating world, with recent surveys finding many daters admitted they were conscious of behaviours thought to be off-putting to men including appearing too clingy, being too forward or coming across as genuinely interested. However, by being yourself your date can get to know the real, amazing you. If you are both authentic and upfront with each other, it’s so much easier to establish whether you have a genuine connection. The right partner will love all the quirks and traits that make you the person you are (even if you do make you both late for every night out because you like to dedicate plenty of time to getting ready!). If you come across somebody that isn’t prepared to put in the effort to really make a relationship work, then it’s time to forget this person and move on.

Are you looking for somebody who will really value who you are and share your goal of a long-term, committed relationship? Here at Ignite Dating we’re experts in helping you with an enjoyable and stress-free dating journey, providing you with hand-selected matches you’ll really share a connection with. Contact our team today and find out how we can help you find true love!


The Science of Dating – How to maximise your chances of long term relationship success

While there is nothing unusual about having a type when it comes to dating, we all know somebody who is guilty of taking it a bit too far. Think about that colleague who is obsessed with only dating glamourous blondes, or your friend who won’t even look twice at somebody unless they are over 6ft tall. Then ask yourself this question, how many times have their uncompromising preferences led them into successful relationships?

Well, according to the science behind relationships, there might be a very good reason to ditch the tunnel vision and look for somebody who doesn’t necessarily tick all your usual boxes.

Bear with us while we explain.

A recent article on Wired, adapted from a new book by data scientist Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, examined whether it is possible to predict whether two people will be happy in a romantic relationship.

In a nutshell, Stephens-Davidowitz sets out the efforts of scientists to define reliably which traits can predict relationship success. But like anything in life, there were some important lessons learned along the way.

For one, the researchers found many of the traits that are competed for ferociously in the dating world do not necessarily correlate with romantic happiness. Citing data collected from online dating apps, the article points out that single people are predictably drawn to certain qualities in a partner, such as height, wealth, beauty, occupation, and similarity to themselves.

However, the conclusion was that there was not a set of traits that guarantees romantic happiness. In fact, the traits most valued by daters were found to be among the least predictive of long-term relationship happiness, despite their attention-grabbing qualities in the dating world. So, if indeed daters believe the pursuit of these particular traits will lead to relationship success, it then suggests single people are actually going about dating all wrong.

The findings led the author to sum up: “In the dating market, people compete ferociously for mates with qualities that do not increase one’s chances of romantic happiness.”  

It’s not just data science that has led to these sort of conclusions – dating experts are keen to point out the detrimental impact of relentlessly focusing on a certain ‘type’ when you are looking for love. Over on our blog, our master executive coach Genevieve Gresset explained how having a relationship checklist can hold you back in your quest for love.

Solely focusing on a checklist of physical and personal preferences can limit your search for the perfect partner, as you simply don’t know who you are going to share a connection with. You could be ruling out somebody special just because they don’t tick all of your usual boxes and the person you’ve initially discounted could actually be perfect for you.

Don’t get hung up on certain traits

It’s important to remember that height and age are just a number, and it does not matter if you have completely different tastes in music, TV, or film. Shared interests offer a good starting point for those initial conversations, but it doesn’t guarantee that your relationship will be successful in the long-term.

The same goes for getting hung up on physical attractiveness. It can really pay to disregard a profile photo and concentrate on what the profile says about the person, their values, aspirations and ultimately their potential compatibility in a relationship.

Physical attraction is important but it’s vital to remember there’s many other aspects to consider if you want a long-lasting, happy relationship. By keeping an open mind, you are much more likely to open yourself up to some truly amazing people and you stand a much better chance of achieving the all-important spark you’ve been searching for.

Focus on yourself

There was another valuable finding that was gleaned from the data analysed in the Wired article which could help predict relationship success – and it does not involve the traits of the individual you’re dating.

Researchers found that if somebody is happy and content in their life outside a relationship, then it can have a huge impact on their happiness within a relationship. This serves as a valuable reminder to always focus on your own well-being and self-love in your dating journey. Dating can be tough, especially if you’ve been on a string of unsuccessful dates and it’s all starting to feel like a chore.

Focusing on what makes you happy in life can be a valuable antidote to dating burnout. It can help to concentrate on yourself and enjoy time with family and friends to appreciate what you have in life. Building some valuable breathing room into your dating journey can provide the time to understand what you’re looking for in a partner. You’ll then be in a much better place to tackle the dating world refreshed and confident, helping you achieve a more fulfilling and stronger relationship in the long run.

Stephens-Davidowitz’s book is a fascinating insight into the modern dating world. It’s another timely reminder to make sure you don’t fall into the trap of mono-manic dating – instead ditch the checklist approach to be in with the best chance of meeting somebody who you will really share a connection with!  

Are you looking for help with your search for love? Our matchmaking team can open your horizons to a new way to date, introducing you to hand-selected individuals you’ll really share a spark with. Give us a call today and find out how we can assist with an enjoyable and stress-free search for love!