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Dating ideas in Hampshire

Whether you live in Hampshire and the surrounding areas or you just fancied a change of scenery, this gorgeous county can be the ideal location for your next date. The perfect blend of cities, coastlines and sweeping countrysides, you’re sure to find something that you’ll both love. You can spend days exploring the national parks or dine out in the ancient capital of England, and there are plenty of romantic settings to set the mood for your big date.

So if you’re looking for inspiration for the perfect date in Hampshire, look no further. Below are six ideas for beautiful days out and romantic evenings full of fine dining and entertainment.

1. Bombay Sapphire Distillery

Are you a gin enthusiast? Then why not take a guided tour around the Bombay Sapphire Distillery in Whitchurch. You’ll be shown around the distillery and taken on a sensory experience in the Botanical Dry Room, before enjoying a complimentary drink in the Mill Bar. This could be the perfect way to set the tone for your evening, before heading off into the night (perhaps to drink more gin!).

Bombay Sapphire Distillery Hampshire

2. Catch a show at the Anvil

The Anvil Arts in Basingstoke has hosted a huge range of famous guests over the years. So whether you like stand up comedy, music, drama or even dance, you’re sure to find something to keep you both entertained for the evening.

3. New Forest National Park

Enjoy a day (or even a weekend) exploring the New Forest National Park. Home to a number of quaint little towns and villages, plus plenty of beautiful walking routes, you’ll be spoilt for choice on your date. Here you can make the most of nature. So why not sit and have a picnic as you watch the wildlife go by or, if you’re keen cyclists or feeling a bit more active, grab your bikes and go for a ride around one of the many forest routes.

New Forest Hampshire

4. Dine out in Winchester

Did you know that Winchester used to be the capital of England? It’s no wonder then that this historic town can make for a very interesting and romantic night out. Along its cobbled streets are a number of delicious places to stop for dinner, from cosy pubs to Michelin starred restaurants. The tricky part is deciding where to go!

5. Spinnaker tower and Gunwharf Quays

Why not arrange a day out in Portsmouth, culminating in an evening of food and drink. Kickstart the day by visiting the 170-metre Spinnaker Tower and enjoying breathtaking views from the top. After this, you can enjoy a bit of shopping, eating and drinking around Gunwharf Quays, a beautiful waterfront outlet with over 30 bars and restaurants to choose from.

Spinnaker Tower Gunwharf Portsmouth

6. Beaulieu

If you’re looking for something a little different, Beaulieu is a beautiful small village in the New Forest. Home to the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu Abbey, a monorail and beautiful grounds and gardens, you can plan a fun and relaxing day out at this award-winning village.

If you’re looking for love in Hampshire, we can help! At Ignite Dating, we’ll take our time to get to know you and what you want from a partner, so we can help you find your perfect match. Join us today and soon it could be you organising a date at one of the romantic venues listed above.

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How to perfect your texting game at the beginning of a relationship

You probably know the feeling, that moment when your phone pings with a message from that special someone. It’s enough to fill your stomach with butterflies and put a big smile on your face for the rest of the day but have you got the perfect texting relationship?

Since the early noughties, texting has played a big part in how we form new relationships (we all remember Nelly texting Kelly from the party, right?). Being able to communicate back and forth with each other throughout the day, without having to set aside time for an actual phone call, revolutionised the dating world some twenty years ago.

And though nowadays you may be more likely to use instant messaging apps like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger to chat up a new love interest, the same rules still apply.

To this day, texting is an important part of making connections and nurturing new relationships. Which is why we thought we’d help you to perfect your texting game, so you can always have your date coming back for more.

Create anticipation

One of the great things about texting is that although it is readily available and you can tap out a message in a matter of seconds, it’s great for building up the suspense over a longer period of time. Encouraging flirty or romantic conversations can build up real anticipation and excitement for the next time you see each other in person.

Plus, you don’t have to reply straight away, as things take a flirty turn, why not wait for a little while and keep them on their toes. That way they’ll be eagerly awaiting your response, helping to build this anticipation. Of course, don’t wait days or even hours to reply as this can be a sign you’re not interested, but just keep them waiting long enough to have them hooked.

Put thought into the language you’re using

As with any sort of writing, texting can be a real art form. Think about how much careful planning and thought went into creating your last online dating profile or your Facebook page, now consider the language you use when writing your texts.

Words are everything when you can’t see someone’s body language or when you have only met someone a handful of times. You need to be very careful and selective with your language when texting in order to capture their attention and leave them wanting more. You also want to be careful that you’re not coming across too full on or perhaps even too shy. In the early stages of dating, it’s best to keep it light and fun as you get to know one another.

For example, instead of saying ‘can we arrange another date?’ why not say something more casual and flirty like ‘so when do I get to see you again?’. This suggests that you enjoyed meeting them and want to see them again, but it relieves some of the pressure and could just be another step to perfect the perfect texting relationship.

We’re not suggesting you spend hours agonising over every reply, just choose your words wisely. Don’t be afraid to use flirty and friendly language, this just adds to the excitement in the early stages. And hey, if you really want to feel like a giggling 18-year-old again, why not read the text out to one of your close friends and get their seal of approval too.

Get to know one another

Texting gives you the perfect opportunity to get to know one another, to ask questions, share jokes and find out what you have in common.  It can also be great to start speaking to each other this way before setting up an official date, as this can give you some talking points when you do meet in person.

That said, you don’t want to give too much away too soon, save something for your date night. Otherwise, you might find yourselves going round in circles talking about the same stuff over and over again. This means finding a balance when texting and this is a great skill to master in the early stages of a relationship.

Sometimes you might even want to scatter some proverbial breadcrumbs in your texts. Give them insights into stories or things they didn’t know about you before saying ‘I’ll tell you all about it when we next meet’. This gives you an instant talking point when you do see each other and helps to add to the anticipation we spoke about earlier. That way they’ll be excited to meet with you and find out more.

Talk about the things you have in common

The reason you’re getting on so well is probably that you have things in common and shared interests, so use these to keep the conversation flowing. Talk about movies you enjoyed or TV shows you’ve both watched. Perhaps you love the same bands and you’ve both been to see them in concert. Whatever it may be, use your common ground to keep the conversation flowing and to build rapport.

Do this to avoid flooding your conversation with mundane, everyday chat that could cause the conversation to fizzle out. We get it, Brenda in HR might have been driving you mad all day, but your new love interest doesn’t know Brenda and probably doesn’t want to hear about her! So avoid bitching and moaning or talking about the boring and humdrum. After all, you’re still in the early stages of getting to know one another, so you want to keep it fun and exciting.

Sometimes simplicity is key

In the early stages of the relationship you might find yourself penning (well typing) long messages to each other that could rival the work of Shakespeare, putting thought into every word. But never underestimate the effectiveness and simplicity of a quick text message just to let them know you’re thinking about them.

Imagine them waking up and looking at their phone to see a simple ‘good morning’ or ‘have a great day’ text from you. This shows that you’re thinking about them and can be enough to change their mood and have them daydreaming about you for the rest of the day.

Remember this is supposed to be fun

One of the most important things to remember when perfecting your texting game in the early stages is that it’s supposed to be fun! So even though you will understandably want to put some time and thought into your texts, don’t let this become an obsession and certainly don’t find yourself waiting by the phone desperate for a reply.

Use texting (or WhatsApp or Messenger) as a way to get to know each other and begin to build rapport. To let your date know you’re thinking about them and to build up anticipation and tension for the next time you get to meet in person. Texting can be a real asset when you’ve met someone new, so don’t underestimate it.

Getting to know someone new is an exciting time. That’s why at Ignite Dating were dedicated to helping you find someone special, someone who will fill you with excitement each time your phone pings with a message from them. We use a range of tried and tested techniques to do this, but we’re most proud of our dedicated matchmakers who will work closely with you to find out what you want in a partner. If you’d like to know more about how we can help you find that special someone, get in touch with our friendly team today.

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What we really want in a partner

You’ve probably been asked on more than one occasion what you look for in a partner. Often the most obvious answers come to mind – you want them to be attractive, funny and kind. But people are complex and no one is perfect, so over the years psychologists and scientists have conducted a lot of research into exactly what men and women are looking for in their significant other.

Every study has thrown up different results, but largely come to the same conclusion: looks usually find themselves near the bottom of the list, with traits such as honesty and kindness more likely to appear at the top. And while everyone is different and will seek out different things in their partners, research has highlighted some of the key personality traits that are important to us.

We’re going to take a closer look at what people really want in a partner and why these traits are so important for a successful relationship.


Honesty is a key component in any relationship, which is probably why it is very often rated as one of the most important attributes in a partner. Honesty is important on so many levels. No relationship should be based on lies and you should always be able to be open with the person you love. But it’s also about being honest about who you are as a person and what you want from the future and from your relationship. Telling the truth is important, just as long as it’s always in a constructive way that both parties can use to improve and move forward in the relationship.


Confidence is also consistently rated as one of the most important traits in a partner. Being insecure can lead to a number of issues in a relationship. Firstly, if you’re with someone who lacks confidence they may constantly question your relationship. Secondly, their negative feelings towards themselves aren’t just affecting them. They can also cause you to feel like you’re not trying enough or cause you to be upset that your partner is unhappy with themselves. These negative emotions can take their toll on both of you, and can ultimately bring the relationship down.

Sense of humour

It seems like a bit of a cliché, but a sense of humour is hugely important to lots of people. In fact, SBS did a study of people courting over Facebook and Tinder and found that a sense of humour was ranked as the top trait people were looking for in a potential partner. You spend so much of your life with your significant other and most people want to be with someone who makes them smile and laugh. This is especially true during difficult times when we may need humour to help lift our mood and bring some positivity to the situation.


Positivity is hugely important in every aspect of your life. If you are surrounded by negative people, it can be easy for these feelings to be passed on to you and start to affect your emotions in a detrimental way, and this is particularly true if you it’s someone you live with or spend a lot of time with, such as your partner. Instead, people want to date someone with a positive outlook who can try to see the brighter side of things. Of course, there will always be times when this isn’t possible, but as a general rule people want a partner who is a happy and positive person.


Most of us have goals and things we’d like to achieve in life and in our career, and so we often hope to find a partner that also has this drive. It can be very deflating to be with someone who is quite content doing nothing and has no ambition to try new things or reach for their goals, especially if you yourself are a very driven person and you’re always onto your next challenge. This is why ambition has consistently ranked as one of the top traits people look for in a partner.


The app Clue ran a study of over 68,000 people across the world and found that kindness was very important in a potential partner, particularly for women. Kindness can be such a valuable trait in a relationship as it involves showing care and love to your partner, as well as doing things to help and support them. But it also extends further than just your relationship, and many people enjoy being with someone who is kind to everyone they meet. This can be the hallmark of a great person and someone who will naturally strive to make you happy.


Being loyal is about more than just being faithful to your partner, it’s about sticking by their side no matter what and standing up for them in times of conflict. It’s about building trust and respect and it shows that you’re dedicated to that person and committed to nurturing your relationship with them.

Academic intelligence

For many people, a certain level of academic intelligence is desirable and someone who is knowledgeable, interesting and smart can be very attractive. This doesn’t have to mean a Nobel Prize winner, but academic intelligence is also important for understanding each other and for finding things in common. It’s this intelligence that allows you to have debates with one another and to find shared interests, leading to stimulating conversations with one another over a shared passion.

Emotional intelligence

You can have all the book-smarts in the world, but if you’re not emotionally available this can cause problems in a relationship. Emotional intelligence is so important because it allows us to empathise with one another and to see things from each other’s perspective.

No one wants a partner who can’t read the mood or who doesn’t know how to help cheer them up when they’re down or support them when they’re going through a tough time. Emotional intelligence doesn’t always mean you have to agree with one another, but it gives you the ability to compromise, to listen to each other and to grow as a couple. This is why so many people consider emotional intelligence important when looking for a partner.


There’s a popular saying ‘how can you love someone else if you don’t love yourself’. Self-esteem not only affects the way you see yourself but your ability to give yourself to another person and to love them fully. Therefore, it’s not surprising that most people want a partner who is confident and happy with who they are and has high levels of self-esteem.


This is an interesting one and not something you may typically associate with desirable traits in a partner, but a study published on Psychology Today found that conscientiousness was a surprising but important aspect people were looking for in a partner. This is because they associated conscientiousness with caring, always being honest and always keeping promises to one another, very important parts of a happy and fulfilling relationship.

At Ignite Dating, we understand the importance of finding the right person for you. Someone who complements your personality and lifestyle. That’s why we spend time getting to know you, so we can use a perfect mixture of Myers Briggs personality profiling, your feedback and our expertise to match you with great potential partners. If you’d like to know more about how we can help you find love, get in touch with our friendly team today.

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Summer Dating in Surrey

Despite being so close to London, Surrey is one of England’s most wooded areas with plenty of beautiful outdoor spaces and countryside to be explored. The perfect mix of quintessentially English villages and vibrant metropolitan hubs, it’s a wonderful place to go on a date any time of year.

And in the warm summer months, Surrey becomes even more beautiful as its lush green spaces fill with flowers, restaurants begin to offer alfresco dining and pub gardens flood with happy guests soaking up the sunshine. So whether you’re a local or you live nearby and you’re looking for the perfect place to have your next date, here are six ideas for summer dates in Surrey.

1. Go for a walk around Virginia Water

Originally a royal pleasure ground, the beautiful lake at Virginia Water can be the ideal location for a romantic day out. The woodland shores and ornamental waterfall add to its majesty, so whether you’re walking the perimeter or simply relaxing and watching the world go by, it can be the perfect place to get to know one another. You could even stop in at the Piccolino La Griglia Restaurant, situated by the lake, for some delicious seasonal food.

2. Dine alfresco at the Thai Terrace

If you love Thai food, but a trip to Thailand seems like a bit of a stretch for your next date, then we’ve got just what you need! On the Palm Terrace, you can enjoy beautiful views, Thai cuisine for lunch or yummy exotic cocktails in the evening as you watch the sunset.

3. Have a picnic at Painshill Park

If you love spending time in nature, the award-winning Painshill Park in Surrey is a wonderful choice for a date. The gardens are 158 acres, so you’re guaranteed to find a nice quiet spot for a picnic, perhaps you could even tuck yourself away amongst the Heritage Collection of North American trees and shrubs. The mystical grounds are full of wildlife so you can spend the whole day exploring, just be sure to stop by the beautiful Serpentine Lake on your way around.

4. Enjoy a drink at the Abinger Hatch

Enjoy a cold drink or a delicious lunch in the Abinger Hatch pub garden. The pub is a beautiful 17th-century building located on Abinger Common and the large garden is complete with an outside kitchen and wood-burning oven, so you know the food is going to be good! Perfect if you want to create a more relaxed date whilst enjoying the sunshine.

5. Get lost at RHS Gardens Wisley

From exotic plants and glasshouses to bonsai tree walks and Japanese-style rock gardens, the gardens at Wisley have it all! Recognised as one of the most beautiful gardens in the world, RHS Wisley is Surrey’s pride and joy and it can make for a very romantic atmosphere surrounded by incredible floral displays and luscious green spaces.

6. Stop by the Weyside

Whether you want a drink in the sunshine or some traditional pub grub, The Weyside pub in Guildford is a great date venue. You can sit in the beautiful garden or up on the decking and choose from a huge range of delicious wines, gins and meals prepared from locally sourced produce.

Planning a memorable date in the Surrey area? It’s much easier to choose the perfect location when you know more about your date. At Ignite Dating, we take our time to get to know you so we can match you with like-minded individuals, so you’re guaranteed to choose a date venue that you’ll both love. Get in touch with our friendly team today.